KevinMarks


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Kevin Marks

Professional Overview

Very experienced software engineer and system architect. Have worked the gamut from scripting and database to real-time video compression and transmission. Managed million dollar media and software projects.

Specialties

System Software, Application software, Digital media, Production management.

Contact

1612 Koch Lane San Jose CA 95125

email

Home: kevinmarks@mac.com Office: kmarks@epeus.com

weblog

Date of Birth: 13th September 1966 Marital Status: Married

British Citizen - US permanent resident (Green Card holder)

Employment

April 1998 to August 2003: Senior Engineer, QuickTime, Apple Computer Inc.

I joined the QuickTime Team in April 1998. The first two projects I worked on were both featured in keynote presentations by Steve Jobs - a demonstration broadcaster for streaming live video over the internet, and the Apple DVD Player, which makes DVDs as easy to use as a Macintosh.

Since then I have done extensive engineering across many different areas of QuickTime, including development work on the initial version of QuickTime Streaming, in particular live broadcasting. This involved developing a real-time software application and System level APIs that would stand up to continuous demanding use for weeks at a time, and remain in sync, and debugging at network protocol level. All live QuickTime content is broadcast using my code.

I led the OS X transition of QuickTime Video and Audio capture (used in professional applications such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere) and successfully shipped this key component of Apple's Digital Hub. I have specified, developed, debugged and shipped software in several versions of QuickTime, which has shipped on Windows, Mac OS and OS X (Unix), to over 150 million users by Apple's latest estimate, and is downloaded by a million people every 3 days.

I also maintain an active presence on Apple and other mailing lists - Ben Waggoner tells me that the best way to get the right answer for a QuickTime-related question is to add "Kevin Marks" to your Google query.

August 1995 to April 1998: Production Manager, MMC

When MMC expanded to work on up to 12 projects at once, a new post was created to manage and co-ordinate the different productions the company was engaged in, and to ensure that the MMC’s high software, design and content standards were maintained. In this role I defined and shaped product ideas with individual producers, and structured schedules and budgets. I built and inspired creative teams of designers, engineers, producers and content experts, working together with a shared goal of using the most appropriate and effective media and technologies to communicate ideas and engage users. Managing Lead Engineers, I ensured that data structures were defined in extensible ways, optimised algorithms and minimised hard-coded assumptions, and encouraged a coding style that is robust and minimises leaks. I debugged code and acted as a sounding board for debugging complex problems. I optimised production pathways and defined tools and processes that ensured integrity of information and ease of conversion between different software platforms. I established an effective Quality Assurance system, incorporating bug testing and reporting, linked over the Internet with publishers and testers in different countries. With some products being localised into 12 languages, I co-ordinated the data preparation and separation of code and data to ease this process for both European and Asian languages. By providing leadership and guidance across the projects, I transferred knowledge and experience between different production teams. My hands-on approach meant that I was as likely to be found on site in a museum supervising a complex video and computer installation, in the video edit suite or stepping through code with engineers as in a design review meeting or client presentation. Projects included commercially published CD-ROMs, web sites, on-line databases for intranets, business to business communications through CD-ROMs, kiosks and screen savers, as well as museum installations, interactive TV trials, and TV productions.

Sept 1994 - July 1995 Executive Producer – 3D Atlas Series,MMC

Following the success of 3D Atlas, I was responsible for the overall direction of a product series produced by MMC and published by Creative Wonders, the joint venture between Electronic Arts and ABC, the US network. This includes Wide World of Animals, ABC Newslinks, which provides context for current affairs plus daily headlines on the Internet, and annual updates to 3D Atlas. In addition to managing the above, this job involved supervising and coordinating the Windows 3.1, and Windows 95 versions of 3D Atlas, as well as versions localised for different languages. I also developed a relevance ranking and cross reference building indexing scheme for the textual components of the CD-ROM products. This role continued as part of my responsibilities as Production Manager.

Feb 1993 - Sept 1994 Producer – 3D Atlas, MMC

I conceived and produced this title, from the first proposal and initial pitch to publishers Electronic Arts, through design, development and production to completion. As well as the overall conception of the project, I was directly responsible for budgeting and coordinating the creation and production of picture, video and mapping data, graphic design for Macintosh and 3DO platforms, and software implementation for Macintosh. I also co-wrote the software for the Macintosh version, and gave engineering direction to the 3DO and later Windows teams. The title exploits the power of the multimedia computer to the full by presenting the Earth not as a collection of flat maps but as a three-dimensional sphere that can be turned and zoomed freely. This is used as a basis for presenting real satellite and cartographic data in a visually stunning manner, and as the navigational core for referring to pictures, text, video and statistics from different countries. It has been one of the most successful reference CD-ROMs published, with over 2 million copies sold.

Aug 1990 - Jan 1993 Producer/Software Engineer, MMC

Over this period I produced a variety of different projects, including a point-of-sale multimedia kiosk for Apple Computer; version 2 of the EcoDisc CD-ROM - a nature reserve simulation in 9 languages; a prototype multimedia information system for vets; multimedia design guidelines for BT; Erd Sicht, an installation on the earth and mankind's effects on it for the German government; and many other demonstration and presentation projects. In addition to this I was one of the first developers outside Apple to use QuickTime, spending a week with the QuickTime development team early in the project in December 1990, and have kept in regular contact with them since. During this period I gained experience in what makes a successful multimedia product, and learned the importance of quality in graphic and interface design, in software engineering and in editorial content.

Feb - July 1990 Software Engineer/ Tech Support Engineer, MMC

When the MultiMedia Corporation was formed as a management buyout of the BBC ITU, I joined the new company, initially working as technical support engineer, also writing software for projects including a virtual conference project for Apple, and a casting database called LaserCast that was later acquired by Spotlight.

Sept 1989 - Jan 1990 Engineer, BBC ITU

I joined the BBC Interactive Television Unit as the resident engineer for a 3-month attachment to combine my interests in television and computing.

Sept 1988 - Aug 1989 Engineer, BBC Ealing Studios

I joined the BBC as an engineer direct from university and worked at Ealing Studios for a year on Video and Audio engineering, passing my BBC Engineering courses with marks in the high 90’s.

Lecturing

I have lectured on multimedia to a large number of organisations, including the Royal College of Art, Middlesex University, University of Central England, the BKSTS, the Center National des Récherches Scientifiques, the Royal Television Society and the Wildscreen film festival. I have spoken and appeared at Apple Worldwide Developer Conference and QuickTime Live, as well as the National Association of Broadcasters.

Awards

Products shipped

Published CD-ROMs

*

Interactive installations

Online, Intranet and corporate communications

Education

Cambridge University 1985-88

BA in Natural Sciences (Physics) – Second Class Honours

Final Year Project simulating a telescope in software - First Class Honours

MA (Cantab) 1991

Vice President Cambridge University Film Unit; Founder and Chairman of Cambridge Moving Pictures, which produced 2 short films and a play. Sidney Sussex College May Ball committee 1987.

Kingsbury High School 1978-85

A-levels: Maths - A, Further Maths - A, Physics - A(A), Chemistry - A(A)

10 O-levels

Languages

Conversational French and basic German.

Hobbies

Reading to excess - Economist, Spectator, Private Eye, Wired etc... Books by Waugh, Mandelbrot, Austen, Neal Stephenson, Kundera, Heinlein, Solzhenitsyn, Kevin Kelly, Tolstoy, Paul Auster, K. Eric Drexler, Lessig, Hayek, Robert Wright... Exploring the world of ideas with my 8-year-old and 6-year-old sons.