My name is Dan Waters. I work for Microsoft, and I enjoy building things out of bytes, pixels and sound waves.
This website exists so that I can share these things with you.
Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn:
I'm a creative technical professional who enjoys brainstorming, problem solving, presenting ideas, building things, and sharing ideas, techniques, & experiences with others.
At 15, I started a web design company and had clients from all over the world. It all started with a few odd jobs, and suddenly I found myself presenting wireframes to ops managers of cable companies at the age of 17.
From there, I held consulting jobs at Software Architects (now Sogeti), BORN Information Systems (now Fujitsu Consulting), and several startup companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area.
In 2007, I joined Microsoft as an Academic Developer Evangelist, covering the Southeast region of the US, including Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.
In 2009, I had the opportunity to take over the Pacific Northwest region, including Alaska and Hawaii, and relocated to Seattle.
In my spare time, I am an avid musician, and I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters.
You can email me at dan (dot) waters (at) microsoft (dot) com or dwaters (at) gmail (dot) com.
You can also follow me on Twitter (not always work-related) or LinkedIn, my professional profile:
My dad put a ukelele in my hands at the age of 2. I was given an awesome electric guitar for my ninth birthday, and spent the next several years fantasizing about becoming a rock star. Nearly 20 years later, none of those fantasies have quite come true, but I spend a lot of my personal time indulging myself in my music, which is my biggest creative outlet.
I have a very wide range of interests and influences: the Smashing Pumpkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Foo Fighters, Paco de Lucia (a legendary flamenco guitarist from Andalucia, Spain), John Petrucci, Aphex Twin, Eric Clapton, the Shins, the Traveling Wilburys, and so on.
In 2010, I released an album of experimental electronic music under my old pseudonym, catapultic (a reference to my now-defunct web design business, Catapultic Web Solutions). You can find the album on iTunes, Amazon.com or the Zune Marketplace by searching for the artist catapultic or the album Stories on Sound Waves. I created the album art in Photoshop.
Here are some samples of my motion design work.
- Explorations Preparatory School - flash intro w/ original music
- KoRn KoRner - flash intro
- DanWaters.com - flash website circa 2002
- OneSource Communications - flash intro
- Morningside - "The Brain" - show flyer
- Morningside - logo design; rich menu prototype
- Catapultic - musical, interactive avatar (turn both knobs up)
Old Stuff (10+ years old)
Here are some screenshots of projects that helped me get my start. Most of these are at least a decade old.
My career in the computer world started when I was about 14. I was a young teenager and spending far too much time in chat rooms, particularly instances of an interactive virtual world known as The Palace. Though I was young, I was trusted and given some work. My first task was to learn this horrible programming language known as Iptscrae. I had never programmed before, so this was new to me. Iptscrae is a RPN (reverse Polish notation) language, where instead of saying a + b = c, you say a b + c = and then your head explodes.
During this time, I made websites and interactive environments for all manner of clients:
- KoRn: Scripts & support for the KoRn KoRner interactive world and design of the companion website
- South Park: Scripts & support for the South Park interactive world and design of some web apps using CGI/Perl
- Flash intros for startups which no longer exist, and by today's standards were not very good flash intros, but were cool at the time.
After determining that I could indeed make money with these skills, I started a sole proprietorship and gained some more official clients. I also did some fun projects on the side.
- OneSource Communications: I walked into their office, made a proposal and got their business. Designed, developed & maintained their corporate website for three years.
- HydraRig, Inc: My dad was generous enough to allow me to bid on a project his company had to modernize their web site.
- A local insurance adjuster
- A local accounting firm
- A website dedicated to alternative healthcare
- A project management prototype system for Cisco Systems
- A for-fun community website for level designers & players of the Unreal Tournament PC game called the UT Underground, part of a very popular network of sites at PlanetUnreal.com. I handled design and development.
- Consulted for several different versions of a particular startup in the DFW area, with clients such as HP, Microsoft, Philips-Conoco
After college, I joined the "real" world and worked on some pretty cool projects:
- An automated system to scan in multiple healthcare related documents at a non-injury clinic and automatically fax them
- An HR portal (Sharepoint customization) for a very, very large data systems company
- A vision lens manufacturing company website
- A mobile app for a major food and beverage retailer to help delivery people manage their inventories
Then, I joined Microsoft and developed a bunch of content.