ZCS

Zane Shannon

I’m a generalist.

A creative, entrepreneurial, engineer with a fierce joie de vivre. I love the unfamiliar, processes, and people— they’re fun! New > old. Spin is my superpower. Meticulous organization is my vice. I’m usually laughing with a group.

I’m just gonna be authentic and vulnerable

I know that’s unorthodox. I hope it’s okay with you. I think it’s the right thing for me. I’ve done it before.

I believe

  • Every single person has equal worth
  • Feelings are the core of our human experience
  • Emotions have a single interface called “stories”
  • Our culture’s relentless bias towards the rational-analytical tragically suppresses innovation
  • We can build software tools that help us connect more deeply with our humanity

For almost all of human history, our species has failed to cooperatively produce a paradigm that approaches a fair game everyone gets to play. Everyone loses when we fail to integrate everyone’s talents into our world.

The American Experiment has always been tumultuous, and it’s moving (far too slowly) towards a more perfect union. There’s nothing more quintessentially American than the paradox built into believing society’s on the verge of regression, and yet freedom is the key to a better tomorrow.

The solutions to problems create new problems and the future absence of current problems creates space to discover new problems. Things get a lot better, a little worse, and it all feels bad.

The past is pitiful, the present’s a work-in-progress, and the future’s bright.

I’m interested in

I’m learning about storytelling techniques, building tools that make amazing storytelling accessible to everyone, and designing authentically emotionally honest organizations.

I’m available part-time for contract software engineering engagements. I’m extremely good at illuminating technical decisions so they’re tractable for non-technical people, and honed that skillset over six years running a consulting business focused on building production-ready prototype web and mobile apps. I really enjoy working with Swift for iOS, Ruby on Rails, or Javascript ES6 (Serverless or React). I will not work on projects that involve Java, C#, PHP, Python, or MongoDB.

If you’re into those things, please reach out! I answer every email I receive.

Who I’ve been

Ever a generalist, I’m deeply addicted to optionality, and like many addictions, mine has led me to do some surprising things.

Like my mom, growing up in a rational-analytical household taught me many things in life yield to reason with enough effort. My sister and I earned pocket-change by calculating change due faster than the cash register whenever our mom transacted commercially. I spent hours on my own revising designs and coding my third grade class’s intranet website, broke the algorithm for an online CPG sweepstakes that earned sixth grade me a C&D from Evian’s attorneys, and finally got expelled from seventh grade for distributing my own (unfortunately offensive) rap mixtape online. The worst heartbreak I’ve ever experienced I earned by enthusiastically responding to my beloved’s emotional calls with tight analytical refutations (sorry,----!).

Like my caregivers, growing up part of a community taught me generosity as default. I’m proudly an engaged empathetic listener, an enthusiastic cheerleader, and a deliberate judge. I’ve received untold help from unrecognized people and won’t fail to appreciate how favorably fortunate has smiled upon me. Maya Angelou said it best: “your crown has been bought and paid for, put it on your head and wear it” (this is really hard for me). My candle’s flame exists to light others’ candles.

Like my dad, growing up in New Orleans taught me to enthusiastically feel love for life. I get covered in sauce at mealtime, dance (poorly) when there’s music playing, shout loudly about my teams at sporting events, laugh from my belly anticipating a punchline, and cry buckets when things don’t work out in my communities, for my friends, or for my family. I fall in love easily: with plates of food, lyrical cadences, cozy ambiances, surprising conclusions, and especially with curious, confident women.

I’ve been a visual fine-artist back to my earliest memories. Computers have been a constant companion. Epicurean pursuits have been the dominant pastime of my adulthood. My iTunes library’s 25,000+ songs, I’ve attended hundreds of concerts, and I love every genre of music except metal variants. I’ve visited 25 countries across four continents. I spent ten years learning French, followed by ten years forgetting French. I’m very easy to get along with (I think).