2115 Bowdoin Street
Palo Alto, California 94306
650 888-9632

J. Donald Tillman



A substantial career in software engineering (web technologies to microcode, artificial intelligence to digital signal processing, object oriented programming to CAD), analog circuit design (audio, signal processing, discrete bipolar and FET design), digital circuit design (logic, system design), product design, music, with much interest in math, physics, business, and economics.

Expertise in product development and design, the software development process, well-crafted product design, and user experience. Shipped a career total of over 120 products. A big fan of entrepreneurship; worked for six startup companies, three of which went public.

Fluent in: Python, Java, JavaScript, Lisp, C, XML, HTML, XHTML, CSS, PostScript, etc.

Employment History

Consolidated Fuzz
Palo Alto, California
CEO, Founder
June 2013 to present

Startup company in music electronics; synthesizers, Theremins, audio equipment, guitar effects.

Riverbed Technology, Inc.
San Francisco / Sunnyvale, California
Technical Staff, User Interface Architect
November 2005 to June 2013

Riverbed makes network appliances that accelerate the performance of Wide Area Networks by an order of magnitude or more. Designed and implemented a powerful, robust and professional UI framework with advanced web technologies (Python, AJAX, XHTML/CSS) serving as the base for most of the company's products. Implemented the user interfaces for the two main product lines: the Steelhead WAN optimizer and the Central Management Console (manages an installation of up to thousands of network appliances). These are substantial web setups, about 80 pages each. This helped grow the company revenue from $22 million to $840 million.

The UI framework includes a package for consistently generating widgets from declarations, with features including input validation, role-based managment, retargeting to a policy, graceful error handling, a package for generating powerful AJAX-based tables with a lot of features, and mechanisms for presenting complex arrangements of widgets and user interactions.

Kazeon Systems, Inc. (now part of EMC Corp.)
Mountain View, California
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
July 2004 to October 2005

The Kazeon Information Server is an appliance that crawls, analyzes, indexes and classifies large quantities of unstructured data at corporate IT sites for purposes of search, compliance, discovery and data management. The system runs as a cluster for scalability. Design and implementation of the Search and Audit User Interface (Apache Tomcat, Java Servlets, JSP, XML, BEEP). Implementation of the Policy Engine with LDAP persistence. Defined and promoted company software development standards.

Sigaba / Secure Data in Motion, Inc. (now part of Proofpoint, Inc.)
San Mateo, California
Principal Member of the Technical Staff
January 2002 to July 2004

Designed and developed Sigaba Secure Statements (now Proofpoint Email Encryption), a system to deliver important documents such as invoices, financial statements and medical records securely over email with encryption, signing and authentication. The system runs on any mail client and browser, requires no installation procedure, performs at a high bandwidth efficiency with an ActiveX Control if possible, and otherwise backs off to a decryption server. Also server-side Tomcat development, user interface design, many additional features, testing and throughput measuring software, documentation, and adapting the system for specialized customer requirements.

Marimba, Inc. (now part of BMC Software)
Mountain View, California
Senior Engineer
April 1998 to May 2001

Major contributions to the Marimba Castanet Internet Infrastructure Suite, a system to efficiently distribute a software application over standard internet protocols. Ported Castanet to the Macintosh, to Linux, and to the SCO UnixWare platforms. Ran the company's build operations, documented the build process, and trained engineers.

Netscape Communications, Inc. (now part of AOL, Inc.)
Mountain View, California
Senior Software Engineer
August 1996 to January 1998

Development of Netscape Visual JavaScript, an Integrated Development Environment for building dynamic web pages using components which can include HTML scripts, JavaScript, form elements, Java Beans, Java Applets and database access tools. The components are dropped onto a semi-WYSIWYG page editor and connected up with JavaScript code. Responsible for the Inspector system, Java Bean and Customizer interface, user interface widgets, and the design of parts of the core. (For more about the product, see The Official Netscape Visual Javascript Book by Doug Lloyd, Netscape Visual JavaScript for Dummies by Emily A. Vander Veer, Server Scripts With Visual Javascript by Dan Rahmel, and Teach Yourself Visual Javascript in 21 Days by Danny Goodman.)

Apple Computer, Inc., Advanced Technology Group
Cupertino, California
Contracting as an independent consultant
1993 to 1996

Software development and system design for SK8, a multimedia multiplatform object-oriented authoring tool development environment using both scripting and a direct manipulation UI.

Built a Common Lisp interface to Mathematica for solving complex constraint systems. Built memory profiling tools, system benchmarking tools, implemented hostile garbage collection tree-shaking features for smaller deliverable applications, extended the foreign function interface, added multiple threads, implemented source language backtracing, breakpoints, stepping and condition handling.

Lucid, Inc. (now part of LispWorks, Ltd.)
Menlo Park, California
Computer Scientist
1989 to 1992

Ported the Lucid Common Lisp compiler and development environment to the Sun SPARCStation, DEC VAX and DECStations, 386/486 PCs, and Hewlett-Packard Precision Architecture machines in the capacities of compiler implementation, X-Windows development, user-interface, networking, operating system interface, and interfaces to other languages. Taught several Lisp courses. Presented a talk on CLX, the Common Lisp interface to the X-Windows protocol, at Xhibition 89, the X-Windows conference.

Consulted for Intel's AI group, designing and implementing a sizable portion of an expert system to schedule an integrated circuit manufacturing facility. With roughly twenty products, a couple hundred steps in the manufacturing process for each product, and thousands of lots of wafers being scheduled on several hundred machines, the goal was to maximize factory throughput by optimally scheduling wafer lots through appropriate machines. Built the object-oriented factory model, the model editor, the strategy and tactics editor, the interface with manufacturing floor databases, and optimization algorithms.

Symbolics, Inc.
Cambridge, Massachusetts and Chatsworth, California
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
1983 to 1988

Symbolics was founded in 1980 by a dozen researchers from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab to produce the most advanced Lisp Machine and development environment. A Lisp Machine is a computer with an instruction set that natively implements the Lisp language for an order of magnitude performance improvement over running Lisp on a comparable general purpose computer.

Software Services: Led the Languages Support Group providing software support for Symbolics language products and supporting Lisp code, the compiler, operating system internals, the window system, and the user interface. Fixed system bugs and designed, implemented, and maintained software tools for the Software Services organization. Trained and mentored software engineers.

Hardware Product Development: Wrote a PAL (Programmable Array Logic) compiler, many PAL implementations, a State Machine Compiler, Phase Locked Loop simulation software and disk driver utilities. Developed disk performance evaluation tools and diagnostics, contributed to the disk driver microcode, developed electrical CAD system utilities for board level designs and PC layout. Designed parts libraries and integrated plotting utilities. Designed the ST506 and ESDI disk interface systems for the Symbolics 3640 Lisp Machine. Designed the Front End Processor / IO Board for the Symbolics 3620 Lisp Machine that includes a 68000-series processor, SCSI disk and tape controller, Ethernet interface, serial ports, buffer memory and bus interface logic.

Digital Equipment Corporation (now Hewlett-Packard), Video Terminals Group
Maynard, Massachusetts
Design Engineer

Electrical design of the modem for the VT220 terminal. DSP analysis for a DSP-based modem.

Texas Instruments, Inc., Data Systems Group
Houston, Texas
Design Engineer
1981 to 1983

Electrical design of the video section of the TI931 video terminal. Designed the video system IC used in the TI OPTI 940 video terminal and the TI Professional Computer. Design of a Color Lookup Table IC and memory expansion board. Graphics programming.

University of Wisconsin, Space Science and Engineering Center
Madison, Wisconsin

Electronic work on ground support equipment for the Hubble Space Telescope.

I. W. Turner, Inc.
Port Washington, New York
Electrical Engineer

Designed the Sequencer, Ring Modulator, and several Waveform Generator products for this small electronic music company. Designed a phase shifter guitar pedal that was branded as the Ampeg Phazzer.


University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
1980, Graduate study, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
1977-1979, B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Specializing in communications, digital signal processing, computer aided design.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York
1975 to 1976
Electrical Engineering major.

Member, Audio Engineering Society.


Electronic Music Articles

ARP Instruments entry, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
Square Wave Variations
Quadrature Trapezoid Voltage Controlled Oscillator
Voltage Controlled Duty Cycle Sawtooth Circuit
An Interpolating Scanner Circuit
Moog Synthesizer Patent Reviews
ARP Synthesizer Patent Reviews
Mellotron Patent Reviews
Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Position and Width
Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Mixing
Pickup Response Demonstration Applet
A Discrete FET Guitar Preamp
An FET Preamp Cable

(These are all referenced by numerous Wikipedia pages. The Guitar Pickup articles have been referenced in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.)


Composing and arranging; play guitar, keyboards, bass, electronics.
Leader of Tesseract, a local progressive rock band (1995-2002).

Album Credits

The Loud Family, Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things, 1993, ARP Synthesizer.
The Loud Family, Interbabe Concern, 1996, Moog and Buchla Synthesizers, Mellotron.
Tesseract, Tesseract, 1997, 6- and 12-string guitars, keyboards, production, engineering.
BayProg Sampler, 2002, guitars, keyboards, production.