I’m Sean Graham. Some people call me ‘grahams’. These people apparently have difficulty understanding that my email address and login are not my name. I don’t mind, I simply don’t understand it. What I do mind is when people refer to me as “Sean Grahams”. My first ISP assigned the login ‘grahams’, derived from my last name followed by my first initial. I have always requested the same login on subsequent machines, just out of custom. Enough of that nonsense.
Until I left for RIT, I had lived in New Jersey my whole life. I was born on March 31, 1977, and I lived in North Plainfield for my first year. I don’t really remember much of that town, just the occasional fragment or flash of the neighborhood. I am uncertain if those memories from when I was living there, or when my family went back to visit friends there.
I grew up in Hopatcong, NJ and I attended Preschool thru high school in (or around) that town, not enjoying much of it. Early on in life, my family placed me in contact with computers, from my dad’s Ohio Scientific Superboard II to the Commodore 64 I got as a gift from my grandparents, I always had the opportunity to experiment. I am sure that this early exposure influenced my current interests (It certainly was not the computing resources in High School)
While growing up in Hopatcong wasn’t extraordinary exciting, growing up with my family couldn’t have been better. My entire family shaped the sense of humor and outlook on life that I possess now, and they were an integral part of my life. I look back today and consider how different things could have been, and am thankful that I have the opportunity to enjoy a whole, loving, family. We aren’t perfect, but with the number of broken families out there, I certainly count my blessings.
After graduating High School in 1995, I studied Computer Information Systems – Business Option at the County College of Morris. I guess naivete led me to believe that the curriculum would have been more challenging than it was, but I was completely bored the entire time there. I had thought about transferring to another school for some time, and on a whim, I applied to the Rochester Institute of Technology, who accepted me into the Computer Science B.S. program. My first quarter at RIT was Fall 1997, and while I already had 2 years of “college” under my belt, it was a completely different major, so while I had 2nd year standing, I started in Freshman CS classes. The freshman classes, while sometimes boring, filled in many of the holes I had developed through years of self-teaching and poor instruction.
In the Winter of 1997, I joined Computer Science House at RIT, and soon moved in (and stayed in). CSH is located in Nathaniel Rochester Hall (a dormitory) at RIT, and is a residential environment for those with interests in Computer Science and Computers. I found this environment refreshing and frustrating, alternately. I enjoy the educational and social environment, but the close quarters and limited resources of dorm living become frustrating at times.
Computer Science House is an important aspect of my experience here at RIT, and honestly, I am unsure if I would have stuck around without it. RIT is a tough school, and it is not exactly the best environment (in more ways than one). I can’t say that it has always been wonderful being a part of CSH, but it is my home away from home, and its residents are my extended family. Some of my most cherished friendships have been nurtured there, and I wouldn’t do it differently if I had the choice.
After my first year at CSH, I decided to run for office, and was elected as director of the House History committee. I held that position for two years straight, eventually stepping down at the end of my second term to afford me the time to work on more technical projects. I should have done that earlier, because I joined CSH for the educational experience, but not an education in politics. I just realized that a bit too late…
After completing my coursework at RIT in February 2001, I took some time off for myself. May 1st, I took my first step into the real world by starting my first real position as a Software Engineer at Rovia, Inc. Moving to Boston for this job was a frightening proposition, but I think most of my fears were ill-founded. Living just outside of a decently-sized city has turned out to be alot of fun. Working for a startup company is always a risky proposition, but I think the tension and hard work is good for the soul.
In October 2002, Rovia was acquired by another company and I was laid off. Looking for work in the 2002-2003 job market was less than a pleasant experience, but it did provide a break from the hectic startup work schedule. After a few months, however, this break grew tiresome.. Fortunately, a beautiful distraction from my unemployment came along when I met Corinna, who i’ve been very happily partnered with ever since.
I didn’t find work until March of 2004, finally settling with several RIT alum (as well as several RIT coops) at Goodrich Corp. I specifically worked for the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems part of Goodrich’s Optical and Space Systems divison. Moving from a company working with Open Source technologies to the Military-Industrial Complex was a shaky transition, but was one I managed.
I left Goodrich in 2006 for a job at Snowbound Software where I have worked since. I started out doing Java application development, but the past few years I have been working on the company’s flagship web product Virtual Viewer HTML5. In 2007, Corinna and I bought a condo in Watertown, MA, a scant 2 miles from the office. It is nice to once again have a more permanent residence, and I couldn’t pick a better person to share it with.