Since we launched Solstice at Demo in 2012 our engineering team has been on a real tear – releasing major new features every three months.   All the while they have been working behind the scenes on a product that will hit the market soon that I think will blow people’s minds.  Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be a software developer at Mersive. Of course it takes all the disciplines we have here to make a successful company (accounting, marketing, sales…etc.) but the core business is based on our products – which all comes down to our software engineers. That’s why this month I want to highlight one of our key employees on the product side, Scott Ruff, our VP of engineering.  His perspective may be interesting to readers as he is a die-hard software guy (started programming at age 10) who has been living in the AV space for almost 8 years.

Scott has been involved with Solstice from the beginning (he and Tolliver were behind the now infamous “make it wiggle” Solstice Demo at SIGGRAPH 2008) and his understanding of how to design a comprehensive software architecture is why we can move so quickly developing new features. His blend of technical skill, creativity, and leadership has helped translate the broader vision of a wireless accessible display infrastructure into a high-quality product available in the market today. And he continues to contribute insight and direction – as well as keep us on track when we being to stray from our roadmap. Scott and I maintain a constant dialog about a vision of the future, which may include the impossible, and finding ways to realize that vision in software.  It’s where real innovation occurs and is one of my favorite parts of working here at Mersive.

Scott

Scott biking the Rockies

So, without further ado… Everyone, meet Scott Ruff.

Where are you from?                                                                                               I’m originally from Southern CA, but I‘ve been in CO for 20 years.

What brought you to Denver?

After working at my first job out of college for four years I moved to CO seeking adventure and the outdoor lifestyle.

What made you decide to become a Software Engineer?

I was drawn to computers by a desire to understand how the early video games (Pac-man, missile command, etc.) worked. Once I got my hands on my first computer, I realized I had a knack for programming. Writing software can be very creative. You can create something from nothing but an idea.

How did you land at Mersive?

I was recruited by a former manager.

What has been your favorite project to work on here at Mersive and why?

Solstice has been fun and challenging, since it involves so many different software disciplines. I also have fond memories of an early project where we delivered a warped and blended display for the White House situation room. It was stressful and required many trips to DC, but it was exciting.

What blogs or news sites do you read religiously?

Stack Exchange

Bikepacking.net

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT SCOTT

What motivates or inspires you?

When people take on nearly impossible goals just for the challenge.

What do you geek-out about?

Software architecture, new web technologies, and mountain bikes.

Who is your technology/science hero and why?

The Wright brothers. They changed the world with their daring, ingenuity, and perseverance, and with only a high school education.
What was your first technology gadget that impacted you – one that sparked your interest in the world of tech?

My first computer, a TRS-80 color computer (back then it was special because it could display color). I must be old.

If you could only have ONE gadget, what would it be and why?

If I could have only one tech gadget it would be my MacBook. Phones and tablets are great for viewing content, but I still need a real keyboard and mouse to create things.

Did you have a nickname growing up? Want to share it? (Disclaimer: This may become your new nickname at work.)

Scotty by a few, and Scooter Ruffus by one.

Are you a coffee or tea person? Beer or wine person?

Yes, yes, yes… and yes.

If you could see any band (past or present) who would it be?

Led Zeppelin in the late 70s

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About Christopher Jaynes

Jaynes received his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he worked on camera calibration and aerial image interpretation technologies now in use by the federal government. Jaynes received his BS degree with honors from the School of Computer Science at the University of Utah. In 2004, he founded Mersive and today serves as the company's Chief Technology Officer. Prior to Mersive, Jaynes founded the Metaverse Lab at the University of Kentucky, recognized as one of the leading laboratories for computer vision and interactive media and dedicated to research related to video surveillance, human-computer interaction, and display technologies.

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