I’m many things. I’m autistic. I’m a technologist. An artist. A photographer.
But mostly, I’m just Ward.
Who I am
As Technologist & Technology Leader
Since the age of five I’ve been programming computers, from creating my own games as a kid to building N-body simulations in high school to running massively distributed fluid dynamics simulations on supercomputers to now spending the last two decades building infrastructure and technology organizations from startup to enterprise in scale.
Since before I could speak, people knew I was different; but not in what way. I was born in a time when autism was neither well-understood, easily diagnosed, nor well-received.
It was not till my mid 30s that multiple professionals independently suspected I was on the spectrum. By this time, I learned an effective set of “neural-typical behaviors” to such a degree that nowadays I do not present as autistic. Till then I thought I was a “broken” or “devolved” human-being. Finding out that I was autistic was this great gift; it meant I was not broken, but just different. As consequence, I embraced my differences in ways I never could growing up, and discovered I love who I am.
So why call myself out in this manner? In a word: stigma. I do not have autism; I am autistic. It is not a disease. It is not contagious. It is an integral part of how I process and interact with the world and the people in it.
As a Technology leader, I want to stand as an example of what an autistic person can accomplish, even excel at. Too often we see autistic folks as “brilliant but not as leaders.” This may be true from some, but the same can be said for people who’re neural-typical.
Leadership and the ability to develop your EQ is not the singular purvey of “normal people,” it’s the providence of every human being to have the opportunity to grow, to nurture, to be kind.
I view the camera lens as a vehicle to explore the natural world around me. Camera in hand, I’ve traveled many parts of the world, allowing my autistic, introverted self the opportunity to slip in amongst people, both simultaneously as participant and voyeur. It’s through my camera that I learned how to bring color back to my artwork.
While I took a bit of a hiatus in my early twenties from art, it’s always been as much a part of me as science, technology, and mathematics. In some ways, I think art is more dear to me at deeply personal level, as I find in the development of even esoteric equations describing first principles physics a sense of self expression no different than when I pick up the proverbial brush to create a piece of artwork.
From enterprises such as Amazon to startups turned enterprise like Varsity Tutors, I build world-class technology organizations.
experience in technology leadership from startup to enterprise-scale.
Results that Grow
From tripling revenue in 3 years to building enterprise-grade architecture to support that growth, my focus in growing my companies.
I’m available for both short-term and longer-term engagements.
I currently consult with a broad spectrum of companies from pre-raise straight through Series-raise and beyond.
Engagements include cooperating with the CEO and head of engineering or product to advise on technology roadmap, strategic product roadmap, organizational development, and infrastructure and architecture.