Introduction

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Roy Smith, sole proprietor of City Island Software. I write software for a living, and have been doing so for a long time. Near as I can recollect, I've been writing software since 1975, and have been getting paid to write it since 1980.

City Island Software is the next best thing to a virtual company. It is a noncorporeal company, which is to say it doesn't exist. But, if you're willing to overlook such minor isuses, it's actually a pretty nice place to work.  Benefits range from a 20 10 Mbps internet connection to being able sit on my front porch and write code in my bare feet, a one minute walk from Long Island Sound. In addition to the proprietor, City Island Software employs two domesticated felines, named Tribble and Yoda. Their precise roles are confidential.

Mostly this is just a outlet for me to write about software-related topics that interest me. It also serves as a bit of a technology sandbox. There's plenty of perfectly good blogging sites out there which would serve the first purpose just fine, but it's more fun to roll your own.  As of this writing, the stack is django, with a combination of django-cms and zinnia for content management. Running on a virtual linux box somewhere in the cloud. Well, somewhere in Newark, NJ, but that doesn't sounds quite as mysterious as somewhere in the cloud.

I have a bit of experience with Unix.  The first Unix system I worked on was v6, running on a pdp-11/45. These days, I live on Linux (for servers) and OSX (for the desktop). In between, if it looked and quacked like Unix, I've probably used it at one time or another.  If you're really curious, you can check me out on LinkedIn.

For about two years between 2010 and 2012, I worked for S7 Labs, a small (but real) consulting company. We specialized in web development, doing contract work for clients as well as developing our own projects.

Currently, I'm Director of Engineering for Songza.  We're a streaming music service, available on the web as well as IOS and Android mobile devices.  We're still pretty small, but growing fast (when I originally wrote this, in April 2012, we were 10 people in our Long Island City office; as of July 2013, we're about double that).  We just passed N (sorry, I'm not allowed to disclose the exact value) million users and closing in fast on N + 1 million.  Pandora and Spotify, watch your backs.

Other stuff

When I'm not writing code, you can probably find me sailing. I own a J/24, which I race out of the Harlem Yacht Club. You can find more about J/24 racing in New York at the fleet website. If you want to get into the scene, just send a message to the fleet 61 mailing list, advertising your availability. Somebody's always looking for crew.

For a while, I also flew small planes. I hold a Commercial Pilot certificate (with instrument rating), but haven't flown for a couple of years now. At one time I also held a Flight Instructor certificate (also with instrument rating), but I have let that lapse. I did it mostly for the challenge, but eventually got bored and moved on. I do miss it, and may pick it up again sometime.  Longest trip, New York to Key West (in a 172). I suffered one engine failure, but fortunately it occurred at 5 AGL with a mile of paved runway directly below me. I strongly suggest that if you're going to have an engine failure, this is the way to do it.