Things That Matter To Me

Family. Cloud-scale. Ducati. Van Halen. Supercross. Python. Dream Theater. College Football. Forza. Spain. Ferrari. Alice In Chains. Service-oriented. Queensryche. SEC. Ibanez. Pink Floyd. Java. Formula One. Yamaha. Iron Maiden. Apple. Journey. Software Engineering. Coldplay. Auburn. Aston Martin. Megadeth. C++. Scorpions. Aprilia. Def Leppard. Peavey. Event-driven. MotoGP. U2. Victory.


Nothing I write or have written in the past represents the views of any current or former employer, the LDS church, or any other organization with which I may currently be affiliated or may have been affiliated in the past.

Personal Policy on Blogging About Employment

I do not write about any current or former employer, neither to mention them directly nor to discuss specific situations or experiences, neither to endorse nor criticize, with the exception of possible off-hand objective mentions in strictly technical posts.

This unfortunate policy is one I felt compelled to adopt as a defense against the world we live in today. Too many people, too many corporations, feel justified in making too many assumptions based on anything I write, or even based on what I don’t write. I feel it unfortunate, but I can’t possibly know in advance how any individual would interpret any post, even those well-intended, and I can’t afford to have my blog negatively impact my career. The only way I feel I can be safe in this regard is to adopt this policy.

Matt in a Nutshell

Matt Ryan was born in 1971 in a small northeastern Utah town named Roosevelt. Matt spent his youth becoming an accomplished local pianist, jumping his bicycle off of every conceivable place in town, sustaining four concussions, lifeguarding at the local pool, and tying a still-standing high school record for highest recorded ACT score. In January 1991 Matt finally left Roosevelt to serve a two-year LDS mission to the Andalucia region of Spain, with a short stint in northern Africa to boot.

In spring of 1993 Matt returned from Spain and enrolled at Utah State University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. Matt spent a couple of memorable years living at the infamous Blue Light Club on Darwin Avenue and attending nearly every home football and basketball game. It was on Darwin Avenue that he met Amber Hansen of Alamogordo, New Mexico, the woman he would marry in 1995.

While in school Matt started working for Spillman Technologies as a software engineer, writing law enforcement database software. After graduating from Utah State in December 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Matt took a position as a software engineer with IBM Global Services in Boulder, Colorado. In the year 2000, Novell offered Matt an opportunity on Novell’s digitalme team. The lure of this interesting technology was too much to resist, and Matt and Amber moved back to Utah that year.

Matt spent many years at Novell, working on digitalme, on management software for the Volera caching appliance, and on data center monitoring and management software. Matt also spent a number of years working in Novell’s Developer Services organization, where Matt proposed an idea that eventually became Novell Forge, which was a key initiative in helping Novell evolve to become a more open-source friendly company. It is also rumored that Matt’s document, “Reestablishing Netware,” which was sent directly to then-Vice-Chairman Chris Stone, was key in laying out a plan for Novell to move to an open source platform, although this rumor has never been confirmed.

In the year 2008, with Novell continuing to struggle and with no career growth prospects in sight, Matt left Novell with a great deal of nostalgia and took a position as Senior Software Engineer with an EMC subsidiary named Decho, originally known as Mozy (and still known as Mozy around these parts). After about a year there, he worked for two and a half years for Microsoft at their Utah Development Center on a number of different solutions for Microsoft’s Desktop Optimization Pack, a product suite most people haven’t heard about. Matt left Microsoft to take an opportunity at the startup Jive Communications, where he led 10x growth in the engineering team over two years and was a key developer of their cloud-scale infrastructure. Matt spent some time working for a startup named HireVue before accepting a position at Adobe working on open source, primarily Apache Jackrabbit and Apache Jackrabbit Oak, and Adobe Experience Manager which is built on top of Apache Jackrabbit Oak. Matt is an Apache Jackrabbit PMC member and committer.

Matt and Amber are still happily married and living in Utah. Matt tends to build his own computers from parts and loves to build high-powered video gaming systems, even though he doesn’t play video games all that often. Much to Amber’s chagrin, Matt loves college and pro football and professional racing (AMA Supercross and Motocross, World Superbike, MotoGP, and Formula One) and appreciates his wife’s understanding in this regard. Motorcycle racing is a particular affinity. Matt’s seen every Salt Lake City Supercross event, every Salt Lake City World Superbike event, and has even traveled a fair distance for other racing events, like to Anaheim (Supercross), Las Vegas (Supercross and Supercross US Open), and Monterrey (MotoGP at Laguna Seca). When Matt does play video games, they are usually racing games like those in the Forza Motorsport series or F1 2010. Lately he’s been wasting way too much time playing Minecraft.

Matt still loves music. He plays his piano every so often, although the skill level is nothing like it was when he was a young teenager in Roosevelt. Matt owns six nice guitars, a black Ibanez RG350 electric with upgraded Seymour-Duncan pickups, and a natural-colored Takamine EG360 acoustic-electric with a rosewood back and sides, and five electric guitars: A black Ibanez RG350 with upgraded Seymour-Duncan pickups, an ivory EVH Wolfgang Special, a blue Jackson SLQ2 Pro Series Soloist, an amber ESP EC-1000, and a gray/purple PRS Mark Holcomb Signature. Although he’s not very good, Matt really loves to play guitar and greatly appreciates talented guitar music. Rock concerts are another big affinity for Matt, who arranged with friends to drive all the way from Utah to Sacramento, CA to see Van Halen in November 2007 and again from Utah to Anaheim, again for Van Halen, in June 2012.