Who is Kevin Marshall?

Kevin Marshall is a developer and consultant, dad, coach, husband, avid people watcher, and lover of life.

As a developer and consultant for the past 19 years I’ve worked for a large variety of companies across an even larger variety of software projects.

I’ve written and contributed to various technical books and articles on programming and have real-world experience, with a proven track record of systems that scale and users love, across many different programming languages and technologies.

What this means for gawk.it: The foundation that gawk.it is built upon is technically sound, at it’s core “just works”, and is as prepared to properly scale as possible. Everything gawk.it related simply starts with amazing software.

As a dad I try to expose my kids to as many life experiences as possible. I don’t provide answers, instead I ask directed questions. I push them to set goals that are hard, where the rewards are gratifying, and actively discuss the challenges with them throughout the journey. I push them to constantly be aware of the journey and the world around them. To help other people. To focus on understanding and always asking ‘why’ until they do.

I believe one of the most important things I can do is simply show up and be engaged in their lives and their interests. I don’t push my own agenda or my dreams, but I do share them so that they understand that everyone has them. I work to give them the freedom and desire to do their best, to fail, to win, to learn from it all and to have as much fun as they possibly can through the entire journey.

What this means for gawk.it: gawk.it is very much like a third child to me. As such, I have the same high standards and expectations for it as I do for my kids. I will constantly push for hard goals with high rewards, spend a large amount of time analyzing and discussing the journey and helping to understand the 'why’ of the decisions and results we earn. I will focus a massive amount of time and energy into making sure the entire journey is rewarding and filled with as much fun as possible.

As a coach I focus on skills, knowledge, and fun. The ultimate goal is to consistently be better today than we were yesterday. I believe winning and losing are simply part of the feedback loop on how well we practice. I believe practice, effort, and more practice is what separates the average from the good and the good from the great. I believe practice should be fun, rewarding, and most importantly set an example for how to approach all aspects of your life.

What this means for gawk.it: We’ll work hard every day. We’ll improve every day. And we’ll have fun every day. Because all the little details of the day-to-day work is where the real fun is at, and what we will constantly be focused on improving.

As a husband I’ve learned to accept I’m never the smartest person on the team. To present a unified front and develop dreams that reach beyond just my own interests and mental limitations. I have learned about real and important priorities and to sometimes sacrifice my little desires for the bigger things I truly care about and the bigger goals we’ve set as a team. I’ve experienced the amazing security that true teamwork and loyalty can provide and what it means to have complete and blind faith in someone else (and to have someone else’s complete and blind faith in me). I’ve learned how to disagree, argue, be upset, and still come together at the end of the day through communication, cooperation, and compromise.

What this means for gawk.it: Every person I get involved in gawk.it will bring with them their own passion, strong opinions, and unique ideas. They will likely be smarter than me in many ways and we will find ways to work together (even through disagreements) to achieve goals that are bigger (and better) than just our own individual interests. I will be very loyal (probably to a fault in this case) to each and every one of them.

As an avid people watcher I accept that people are often unaware of their own actions. We remember only what we want, in the way we want, regardless of what reality actually was. We can justify almost anything internally. We can rarely resist instant gratification (even when we know it’s ultimately bad for us). We are mostly apathetic until we feel real pain. We often, and easily, fall in love without really understanding (or caring) why. Once we’ve fallen in love, we will go out of our way to justify and rationalize that love to others.

What this means for gawk.it: We will have a brand that polarizes people. You will either love us or hate us and we will do everything we can to move you into one camp or the other (apathetic is the dirtiest adjective any one can use to describe our users or our service). We will care deeply about emotion and the fuzzy experiences that evoke it. We will constantly watch and learn from those that give us attention (both good and bad).

As a lover of life I strive for new, interesting, and exciting experiences. I seek out fun and adventure in everything I do and when I find it, I try to share as much of it as I possibly can. I’m always open and ready for a challenge and try to never claim to be 'too busy’ when an opportunity presents itself (at the very least, I try to admit that it’s my own priorities, and my own enforcement of them, that prevent me from acting on a given opportunity).

What this means for gawk.it: gawk.it will be very active. We will try a lot of different, sometimes crazy, things. We will always be looking for new adventures and opportunities. We will learn a lot because we will do a lot. We will have some struggles, but we will also be open and ready for the big opportunities as they present themselves.

Though we will always be searching for “what’s next”, we will also always keep our larger priorities in mind and use them to guide our decisions on what opportunities to actually act on or not…and above all else we’ll have a lot of fun throughout the journey.

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).