My name is Kevin Burns and this is my website.

I took my first programming class learning Basic on an Apple IIe in 7th grade.

    10 PRINT "FART"
    20 GOTO 10

Sophomore year in high school, I got to take a class in C++.
That's the first time I really felt like programming was something at which I could excel.
That summer, I enrolled in an HTML class at a local community college.

    <font color="red">Hello, World!</font>

Junior year I discovered a program called Middle College that would allow me to take my senior year of high school at a local community college. I got to take courses not available at my high school like multivariable calculus, classical drafting, TIG welding and Java.

After graduating high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I was excited about the web but going into a CS degree seemed boring. It would take hours to make something useful in C++ that I could do in minutes with a little HTML.

After searching around a bit, I found the School of Media Arts at Santa Barbara City College.

At SBCC, I got to take classes in Classical Animation, 2D Design, 3D Animation, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Javascript, Drawing, Object Oriented Programming and Sound Design. Coding for the web is what stuck with me the most and I became a Web Development intern and TA in the Multimedia Arts department.

So, after 5 years of community college and no degree, I returned to the Bay Area.

I worked for a number of startups, consulting agencies and small companies as a contractor and full-time employee. Some of the startups I worked for went out of business and some got acquired.

I have always approached my career as a continuous learning experience. I've spent thousands of dollars on books since leaving college. After starting as a front-end engineer, I became more involved in back-end work as the need arose. I dove deep into PHP and spent long enough in the language to realize that it's not a very good language.

Things that suck about PHP:

  1. Performance and efficiency are orders of magnitude behind other languages
  2. It's a scripting language (like ruby, python and javascript) which makes it a vector for remote code execution
  3. It is single threaded and really isn't built for concurrency

PHP's design took a weird turn and it tried to make itself look like Java. The entire community began taking itself very seriously around the time Composer gained popularity. Then a flood of underskilled developers washed into the scene and created a lot of bad software. Dependency Injection Containers became the "right way" to do PHP and, as a consequence, the ecosystem mirrored node.js in its tendency to cause any PHP project at any level of complexity to accumulate massive dependency graphs.

Maybe there are solutions to some of these problems, but the performance and efficiency of PHP will always be shit.

So I took some time off and learned Go and I'm very glad that I did. Go is better than PHP on all points listed above. It is truly a general purpose systems programming language whereas PHP is a one-trick-pony.

With Go in hand, I took an interest in Software Architecture and Distributed Systems. Nowadays, I run code from infrastructure automation in CloudFormation to API development in Go to relational database design to front-end development.

From one day to the next I might be doing Site Reliability Engineering or DevOps or Interactive Design or Project Management or Systems Architecture or Database Design or Performance Optimization and that's okay with me. I feel most fulfilled in my work when contributing broadly toward a shared objective.

What drives me in my work is the same thing that has driven me throughout my entire career; I want to deliver products that contribute significantly to the quality of peoples' lives by building high quality systems capable of withstanding the test of time.

What mark upon the universe can we create together?