About Me #
I am Jake Van Alstyne. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I mostly develop software, but I’m sometimes known for taking a break from that to spend time in the mountains or backpack through Europe.
I am a software developer. My first experience with code was BASIC on an Apple IIe somewhere around 1990, when I was in my early years at elementary school. I didn’t get into it more seriously until I was older, had spent some years in Germany, earned a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, and was forced to finally ask myself what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when the economy crashed in 2008. I was able to pivot from Chem. E. to a Ph.D. program in Scientific Computing at the University of Utah. Somewhere along the way, I decided I was far more interested in writing software professionally than academics so I quit the program and managed to convert my credits and research to that point into a M.Sc. in Computing. My focus was computer graphics and scientific visualization.
I’ve played the guitar more or less consistently since I was 14. Aside from a few lessons here and there, I’m self taught. Like my journey through programming, my journey through music has been a joy. In my teens, I worshipped the Dave Mathews Band and took a lot of inspiration from Dave’s guitar work. That helped me develop the foundation of rhythm guitar. In my twenties I shifted somewhat to learning the styles of players like Mike McCready, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Eric Johnson, and other guitarists with more a lead guitar focus. My fingers will always be too stubby to approach their greatness, but I like to think I have gained a much deeper appreciation of music through their talents. More recently, I’ve been learning the piano through Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Beethoven’s Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata, and Debussy’s Claire de Lune.