I am a software engineering manager and civic hacker living in Washington, DC with experience in scientific computing and data analysis, civic and government technology and advocacy, and cybersecurity compliance. I am best known for creating GovTrack.us, the widely used educational website about the U.S. Congress. I am currently the Head of Product Development at LARSA and previously held numerous consulting and co-founder roles related to information technology innovation in government.
LARSA, Inc. Head of Product Development
Multinational construction companies rely on desktop software developed by LARSA, Inc. to design billion-dollar bridges and other complex structures, from overpasses in the District of Columbia to world-renowned cable-supported bridges throughout the world. As Head of Product Development, I manage the development of LARSA’s legacy and emerging products and a small team of software engineers.
In 2003 I founded what would become one of the world’s most visited free government information websites, www.GovTrack.us. The website helps 10 million Americans annually — students, educators, politically active Americans, lobbyists, and other legislative professionals — track the daily activities of the United States Congress in an easily consumable form, catalyzed the world-wide “open government data” movement in the mid 2000’s, and inspired Congress’s efforts in the 2010’s to create its first official “bulk data download” of legislative information.
Some of my side projects on the web:
Mail-in-a-Box is an open source project to make deploying a good mail server without system administration experience, promoting decentralization on the web. The project has an active community of users on the discussion forum and our Slack channel.
Icebergs are less dense than water, so they always float with about 10% of their mass above the water. But which way up? Draw an iceberg and see how it floats. This little onepager went a little viral in early 2021.
congress-legislators | congress | legisworks-historical-statutes
python-email-validator | fast_diff_match_patch | rtyaml | convert-outlook-msg-file
We went solar and here are the real numbers (2021)
What three weeks in Japan taught me about public transit signage (2020)
Write joyous git commit messages (2019)
How that map you saw on FiveThirtyEight silences minorities, and other reasons to consider a cartogram. (2016)
How I changed the law with a GitHub pull request
I made the first ever change to a law via pull request. (2018)
So you want to reform democracy?
Hello. You probably just wrote me an email about fixing democracy. (2015)
Open Government Data: The Book (2012/2014)
A logistical guide to running a successful technology hackathon. (2014)
“If you already know what recursion is, just remember the answer. Otherwise, find someone who is standing closer to Douglas Hofstadter than you are; then ask him or her what recursion is.” -- Andrew Plotkin