Robert Lawson

About I enjoy making things and seeing what I can of the world.
In an ill-advised attempt to understand the workings of the universe, and with that the nature of existence, I obtained a Bachelor's in Physics from Cal Poly. On the other hand, perhaps more developers should take solid-state physics. They might appreciate how amazing it is that with enough layers of abstraction, electrons wiggling around in crystalline structures become Youtube.

Of course, I eventually decided it would be a good idea to get a real job, and to that end I studied Perl, Java, PHP, Assembly Language, and a bit of Android dev and German at Santa Monica College and Ohlone College in what happily proved to be a better-fated attempt to become more useful.

There are a thousand cliched quotes about travel; suffice it to say that there are few greater pleasures than seeing our planet (and others if the opportunity arises) and the wonderful people who reside here. Having spent the majority of my life in California, I recently moved to Ireland. The people and the craic are wonderful. The import duties and prevalence of mayonnaise less so, but it's a worthwhile tradeoff.
I am an avid cyclist, and particularly enjoy recumbent cycling. I attend DefCon most years. I like hoppy beers, scuba diving, and Linux. While living in LA, I made some use of the laser cutter at CrashSpace, to generally pleasing effect.
Personal Sometimes I work on things.
Before moving to Europe, I did a lot of research on the immigration policies of various nations. It was a pain. Pond-Crosser is an attempt to make this easier. It is in progress.
Zimride? Craigslist was doing rideshare way before that, but it was a pain to view rides on a map. This fixes that, and adds some other handy features as well. Try looking for rides from San Diego or Los Angeles! While writing this I learned a good deal about the Google Maps and Facebook API's.
Lanesurfing on Facebook
I enjoy making beer. While Ireland has a number of great craft breweries, the styles I like (9-10% ABV dry-hopped IPA's) are hard to come by here. This proved the motivation needed to finally start brewing, something I'd meant to do for years.
Professional Sometimes people pay me to work on things.
I currently work in Dublin for Swrve, making sure app publishers can use our systems. It's been useful getting a broad range of experience in SDK's for iOS, Android, and Unity, and of course digging around in logs and databases when something behaves unexpectedly.
I spent some time working with United TLD, doing a good deal of work with EPP and learning ICANN policy (it's involved!)
Demand Media Incite
Now defunct, Incite, from Demand Media, was a content-recommendation network. It had some pretty cool use cases, but found itself in a crowded market against Outbrain and Taboola.
Online Ad Operations
For an oft-maligned industry, working in online advertising can be surprisingly mundane. Still, managing campaigns for Internet Brands was an interesting experience. Had I not needed to learn the Dart and AdSense API's I might never have learned Java.
Contact Should you be interested in reaching me.