Mark Verber

pgp keys

My web pages are mostly annotated bookmarks to help offset my poor memory, with a few essays buried deep in the pages. This website uses the same technology it did in 1990, hand edited HTML. I am happy if others find these pages useful, but don't expect something pretty or elegant. I sometimes update my blog rather than putting content here and I sometimes tweet things I find interesting. One of these days I will actually do a full overhaul, move the content into some CMS and intergrate these sites together... but not today, or even next week.

Interests: Doing good, building effective enterprises (organizational learning, leadership, etc), systems (architecting, complexity theory, game theory, emergence), learning & growth (psychology, education, science of the mind, epistemology), and matters of faith. I believe that the world is complex with far more inter-connections than most people realize... so small changes can often make a huge impact. I seem to spend a lot of time mobilizing or organizing people. I have run Perspectives a number of times. I have been involve in a number of programs to welcome international students, immigrants, and refugees. I donate my time and skills to organizations that perform humanitarian service or result in effective development (governmental, NGO, religious, or commercial). I think society can be best judged by how it treats those with the least power.

Home: Jackie and I married after I lost my first wife to cancer. I have a trans son, and gained two daughters from my Jackie's earlier marriage. I strive to be a good parent We are blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Work: I am an engineer director at 23andMe. I have spent most of my career in what is today called DevOps: the intersection of engineering, IT, technical services, program management, with a dash of research. I have been lucky to have worked for three success start-ups: WebTV aquired by Microsoft, Tellme which was aquired by Microsoft, and Metaweb which was aquired by Google. Besides start-ups I have worked in more academic/research oriented orginizations: Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Stanford University, and The Ohio State University. I have been been building teams and computing infrastructure since the early 1980s. If you want to know more, ask me for a current resume. I have been active in ACM and USENIX (program committees, reader, etc). I had the privilege of being an industry advisor for the joint UC Berkeley & Stanford ROC and UC Berkeley RAD Lab projects. Check out Captology to see how technology can can change people's thinking and actions. I am interested in many aspects of computer science but focus mostly on systems.

Hobbies: outdoors (running, cycling, backpacking), health/nutrition research, travel, reading, photography and music.  I love hiking and find it a wonderful way to remember the importance of beauty, simplicity, and living in the present. A number of years ago I invested some time into building a stereo and headphone audio system and like many geeks play with consumer electronics.

Learning: I grew up in an academic environment where nearly everyone seemed to have at least one PhD, but where it was also understood that wisdom was more valuable than mere book knowledge or academic success. These days my learning come mostly from sage advise from great co-workers, interesting web sites, books, the media, and learning things the hard way through direct experience :-)  I believe that the unexamined life isn't worth living. I think sharing knowledge and wisdom is very important. Sharing can be done on a small scale via mentoring, but often requires writing to be useful to a larger audience. Alas, I am an extremely slow writer.  I work hard to get other people to write on topics which I think are important.  As a last resort, I will write myself.  Most often, what I write starts as an email, or maybe a brief outline.  Over time I add content to transform notes into something that is hopefully useful to others. In each category, documents are listed in decreasing levels of "finish"... e.g. the last documents listed are outlines at best.

Computing & Operations

Hobbies & Life