Bits, Birds, and Beer
Martin Wellard has been with Dojo Five since August of 2021 as a Senior Firmware Engineer. Martin currently resides in the artsy and cultured Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. The area was named from the Lenape Indian word “Manaiung”, which translates to “place to drink”. The latest dispatch from Martin is that the pub scene is keeping pace with the arts scene.
Martin was raised in London and spent his early career in England after receiving his BSc in Computer Science and Psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London. From an early age and consistently throughout his career, Martin has enjoyed working across a wide range of computing projects. He started with C in the late 80’s, Linux in the early 90’s, and has diverse experience across desktop apps, mobile apps, assembly, robotics, and security. Because he enjoys the tangible nature of embedded work, he keeps coming back to firmware and cloud development.
His first embedded development project was in 6502 Assembly, developing a robotic fencing tournament marking machine for his college professor, who naturally, was also an expert in Shakespeare. If that’s not British enough for you, Martin recently casually dropped the ISO 3103 standard for reference in a group chat.
He’s worked on some pretty nifty proprietary communications and security technologies at DirecTV and Comcast, but has also enjoyed smaller ventures. Martin wrote an app for the iPhone 3G that is still available a decade later and the residuals occasionally cover the cost of a fancy dinner. He also once worked on video collaboration technologies for an “eccentric billionaire”, which provides him with many stories he would be happy to share with you someday over a pint.
“I’m the type of person that likes to experiment. A free week and a blank slate to work on anything? That’s FUN.”
On the programming front, Martin has a few decades of experience in C, but is working on transitioning to Rust. He has done a lot of work in Python, and is a fan of Go, but it’s a complicated relationship in that he appreciates the simplicity, but dislikes the runtime.
Martin has enjoyed working with knowledgeable, yet humble people at Dojo Five. Everyone seems to have a wealth of experience, yet when they encounter something new, they just figure it out and do it.
In his recreational time, he tries to keep a balance between soaking up the local arts scene, and jumping right back into his lab to program devices. He has a background in filmmaking, putting out a couple shorts over the last decade, and is experimenting with music on the TP303 MIDI controller watch.
Martin’s wife is a wildlife rehabilitator, and more specifically a “bird nut”. While her long-term coworker is Russell, a crow, they have the usual pandemonium of rescue parrots helping out with the day-to-day operations of the manor.
Martin recommends The Invisible Computer as a great prediction of our current world of IoT, penned back in 1998. It’s also a good roadmap and philosophy to keep in your back pocket as we look to the future.