Hello World!

Welcome to my site! Find out about who I am, what I’m currently up to, what this site is about, and some of my background in this initial post!

Hi everyone! My name is David E Rodriguez. I am an experienced Software Engineer with a passion for Interactive (VR/AR/XR/3D), Mobile, and FullStack Web technologies. I’ve been a professional software engineer, after college, for the past 11 years (but much longer if you count a few things which I’ll explain further below). I love to solve interesting problems in creative ways with code. I also have a passion for creating / playing music which means I love to dabble in Ableton, play some some guitar / piano and I love to sing/scream. I am always excited to learn and form new skills and I find fulfillment in mentoring others. It’s great to digitally meet you!

This post is to share with you a bit about me as well as to layout what I plan to use this site for in the near future. I’m sure my content won’t be for everyone but that’s ok since this is more of a way for me to feel comfortable sharing my thoughts / ideas publicly in hopes that some of what I write will resonate with / help others. That being said, I will focus heavily on technical / engineering, music / art with a sprinkling of musings on various other topics.

What am I up to now?

I am super excited to announce that I’ve recently joined the team at Wave, as a Senior Principal Engineer, to work on the future of live interactive virtual music experiences! I am really happy to have joined Wave. The company embodies a perfect balance of Music and Technology that I am passionate about. I can’t wait to be a part of their amazing shows in the near future!

Visit WaveXR.com to learn more and see videos of what we do!

This Site

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that more time is spent on repeatedly using only what “you know” and less time is spent on “not knowing” something. After a while it can be difficult or it can even be anxiety provoking to get back to the basics and really spend time on improving knowledge gaps or trying different techniques to become a better engineer. I’m hoping that this site lets me share my journey in rediscovering and experimenting again.

My posts will primarily be a way for me to refocus my engineering skillsets and share the software, projects, and experiments I’m working on in my own time as well as many other thoughts / ideas. I will be writing about new technologies, programming, SDKs / frameworks / techniques / patterns, tools, applications, and hardware that I’m diving further into or rediscovering. I will also take some time to write my thoughts on my career and life, how I handle with certain engineering / leadership challenges and what I value. Some time may also be spent on relevant news or other articles that intrigue me.

From a creative / artistic point of view, I will be writing about things that interest me in music theory, art, performance, my progress and Aha! moments with singing / screaming and guitar, any music projects I’m working on, and any art or creative interests that I’m thinking about, researching, or practicing from time to time.

You can join my email list below if you’d like to be notified when I post something new. I will also be putting up certain posts on Twitter and LinkedIn for visibility. As well as my personal Instagram stories. I will try my best to categorize content so you read only what you mostly resonate with since everyone’s interests are different.

My Background

I will try to keep this part focused on breadth, rather than depth, since I can write a lot more about my background and story which I’ll get to eventually in future posts.

I began programming in C and C++ when I was around 12/13 years old and was heavily focused on OpenGL and DirectX. My first remote job as a programmer presented itself when I was around 15 years old for a video game company (BTU Games) working on an FPS game. Unfortunately, as a lot of games usually do, 2 years later, that game got cancelled. I was happy to have learned so much about software during these years.

In 2004, I began attending college at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and later obtained a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering (with a concentration on Computer Architecture) and another degree in Applied Physics (with a concentration in Optics) in 2010. As an undergrad, I took part in and co-led a team of students at NJIT to compete in the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges to create a self driving vehicle. I also spent some time working as an applications engineer for an industrial automation supplier (Faber Industrial Technologies), working in Physics Research in a lab at NJIT (with some papers published on Terahertz Spectroscopy), and as an R&D Engineer for a time-clock technology products company (Amano). These experiences in software, electronics, and physics really helped me to better understand theory, applying that theory, and taking on projects with a much larger scope.

Post-college I spent some time as a web software developer for MetroFlats, an online vacation rentals startup, before co-founding Forge42, a Mobile / Web applications consulting company. At Forge42 I spent my time coding mobile and web applications for clients as well as doing some patent consulting as work for hire.

Afterwards I joined RadicalMedia, a global media company, as a Mobile / Unity developer working on various client projects, including apps for American Express and an interactive iOS/Android app experience for Taylor Swift that won a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. I learned a lot there and was very proud of what we created. Following those experiences, I did more consulting with Local Wisdom, a digital communications agency, on a Mac OSX Native Photoshop-like Editor for their artists to use to create new content for their line of iOS/Android weather applications.

Entrepreneurship has it’s ups and downs, but I was drawn to it to give it another shot. Around the same time, I co-founded a family focused gaming / social networking company called Snapogee that allowed your family members to share family photos with their kids through fun and educational games on mobile and tablet devices. We built a product which consisted of a social networking mobile app, a line of video games, and a web backend/frontend. I learned a lot and was super proud of building these products with our team but we unfortunately had to shutdown at the end of 2015 due to lack of funding. These experiences definitely helped me better understand the business and product side of engineering.

Afterwards I joined LegalShield, as a Lead iOS/Android Mobile Engineer, because they had quite an advanced backend and frontend stack, an amazing product and engineer team, a great engineering culture, and they allowed me the opportunity to build their new mobile app architecture from the ground up. I worked there for 2+ years and learned a lot more about leadership, building larger teams, working cross departmentally in a larger company, and was able to lead the technology direction and architecture of the company’s iOS/Android apps that served 1.5+ million members. Even though I was sad to leave LegalShield, I felt a need to get back to working in interactive / 3D technologies.

In 2017, I was excited to join Madison Square Garden Ventures, as a Principal Interactive Engineer, where I was able to lead the software development of real-time / interactive Simulation and Visualization technologies for MSG Sphere. Towards the end of 2018 I was promoted to Director Interactive Software to build an engineering team and software focused on gaming / interactive technologies for MSG Sphere. I then made the difficult decision, in February 2021, to step away from my role in management, as Director, to refocus my time and skills on what I love to do which is more hands-on software engineering. I am still very proud of the products, projects, and teams that I worked with / helped build and the innovative technologies that MSG is creating for their “venue of the future” and I can’t wait to see MSG Sphere come to life in Las Vegas!

I am now spending time diving back into what I love to do, which is hands-on software development on personal projects and coming up with ideas for this website! And as mentioned above, I am now working at Wave alongside their super talented team!

If you’d like more info or to see my skillsets and technologies I work with please take a look at my resume in my About page.

Opinions expressed on my website are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.