I'm a bit of an oddity in that I come from a humanities-oriented family background, childhood, and base of personal interests. My parents are philosophy professors, and I have spent much of my life engrossed in twentieth century history. For the time that I was in university, I was a philosophy major, and wanted to go into either political science or law. However, I also spent my childhood nurturing my interest in computing and programming, and ended up in engineering. When I ended up there, I took many of the habits of mind and expressive patterns of a liberal arts person with me, which tends to inflame my employers and clientele. It's who I am, though--there's no use in beating around the bush.
I was born in Moscow, Russia (at the time, the RSFSR). At the young age of six, I emigrated with my family to the US. I spent a substantial part of my childhood in South Bend, Indiana, a little while in Houston, Texas, and the rest in Athens, Georgia.
As mentioned above, I was a philosophy major at the University of Georgia, where my father teaches today. However, I did not complete a degree; I dropped out about two and a half years in, and started working full time.
Since late 2006, I live in Atlanta, or, at least, I'm formally domiciled in Atlanta. I've taken a liking to spending extended time abroad lately, most notably in Berlin, Germany, and also with extended family in Yerevan, Armenia. In relatively recent times, I've also made enjoyable--if sadly short--visits to Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Britain, and Georgia (the country). In less recent times, I've been to Austria, France and Italy as well. Back in high school, my parents and I took an enjoyable road trip to central Mexico, before it got particularly dangerous due to the narco-gang wars. Guanajuato was unquestionably my favourite place there. As far as the US goes, I think my favourite city will always be Chicago. I like NYC more every time I go, though.
I have many non-work related interests, but among the most prominent are economics, politics, post-WWII twentieth century history, law, the Portuguese and Spanish languages, travel, and great coffee. West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, by William Blum, is my favourite book.
Since very early 2008, I have been an open source-oriented VoIP engineering consultant, specialising chiefly in the development and integration of SIP service delivery platforms for SIP trunking providers at the wholesale and retail level.
I am the principal of Evariste Systems, an Atlanta-based software company (of consultancy heritage) specialising in this subject matter. If you're looking for a high-performance wholesale or retail ITSP trunk routing/rating/accounting solution, we may have just the product for you. We do some custom projects in the VoIP arena, too, although, in the main, we're trying to transition out of consultancy and into a full-time software product company. Pretty much all of the custom projects involve Kamailio, Asterisk, SEMS, and other open-source VoIP engines in some way.
Still, the vast majority of my work these days centers on the Kamailio project. As well as being a heavy user, I am a member-in-council of its management board and an occasional code and documentation contributor. I work with Asterisk and SEMS a lot, too. Heavy use of PostgreSQL also figures conspicuously in my daily life.
A great deal of my employment background, prior to my consulting venture, involves voice and data telecommunications infrastructure and operations-focused software development. I have experience with a lot of IP and TDM gear. My telecom work has been fixed line-oriented; I know enough about RF and mobile to hold a conversation at a bus stop, but it hasn't been my area. I have worked, among others, for NEGIA, an ISP and IT consultancy (at the time), Intelliverse, BroadRiver Communication Corp. (a CLEC and data center operator), and Amerisave Mortgage, an online mortgage lender with a sophisticated call center operation.
More broadly, my background is in UNIX-oriented software engineering and systems design, in addition to the regular gamut of application development.
Appearances and Publications: I have been a recurring guest on the VoIP Users' Conference call and podcast, courtesy of the gracious invitations of its talented host and Renaissance Man Randy Resnick. I have appeared in the following episodes thus far: The Telephony Food Chain, Kamailio and OpenSER, and The Return of Alex Balashov (about VoIP fraud).