About Me #
I am Jake Van Alstyne. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I develop software and dabble in music, but sometimes I take a break to spend time in the mountains or travel.
I am a software developer. My first experience with code was BASIC on an Apple IIe somewhere around 1990, when I was in my early years at elementary school.
I didn’t get into it more seriously until I was older, had spent some years in Germany, earned a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, and was forced to finally ask myself what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when the economy crashed in 2008.
I was able to pivot from Chem. E. to a Ph.D. program in Scientific Computing at the University of Utah. Somewhere along the way, I decided I was far more interested in writing software professionally than academics so I quit the program and managed to convert my credits and research to that point into a M.Sc. in Computing. My focus was computer graphics and scientific visualization.
I’ve played the guitar more or less consistently since I was 14. Aside from a few lessons here and there, I’m self taught.
Like my journey through programming, my journey through music has been a joy. In my teens, I worshipped the Dave Mathews Band and took a lot of inspiration from Dave’s guitar work. That helped me develop the foundation of rhythm guitar.
In my twenties I shifted somewhat to learning the styles of players like Mike McCready, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Eric Johnson, and other guitarists with more a lead guitar focus.
My fingers will always be too stubby to approach their greatness, but I like to think I have gained a much deeper appreciation of music through them. More recently, I’ve been learning the piano a bit- Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Beethoven’s Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata, and Debussy’s Claire de Lune.