Michael D. Spryn
Helping design "products which understand people"


My multidisciplinary background has given me a strong empathy for the user and has prepared me for positions that require new and creative thinking, and the ability to learn new things.

I've worked for some well-known (and not-so-well known) companies
Burroughs (now Unisys), Sperry Univac Defense Systems (became Unisys then Lockheed Martin), Nortel Networks (formerly Computer Consoles, now Volt Delta), Omnicad (defunct), Video Memories, Optimax
in a variety of positions
sales support, customer support, programmer, systems analyst, designer, developer, tester, technical writer, webmaster, trainer, project lead, manager, usability engineer, consultant, videographer, video editor, owner, animator, database administrator
covering a range of applications
banking, military, graphics, office-automation, telecommunications, audio-processing, education, optics
involving a collection of computer systems
Burroughs, Univac, DOS, Unix, Mac, PC, proprietary
using various development environments
Fortran, COBOL, assembly language, C, C++, object-oriented, web/HTML, Flash, Cinema 4D (C4D), Final Cut Pro, Sountrack Pro
including several assembly languages
Intel, Motorola, Zilog, pipeline, proprietary
and a couple of databases
FileMaker Pro, Oracle
on a wide span of hardware configurations.
embedded, real-time, microprocessor, mini-computer, personal computer, mainframe
My side interests reflect a similar pattern.
magic, scuba, amateur radio, stunt kites, geocaching, home-automation
I serve at our church (Calvary Chapel of Webster) in different capacities.
audio/video support, database designer/maintenance, webservant, planning, cliche-hunting

Throughout my time in the different companies and positions, I always championed the user. My coworkers refered to me as a user evangelist. I have developed a strong interest in a user-focused approach to the design of systems and processes. "Take care of the users and they will take care of you." My expertise and passion is to serve the user. The "gift of observation" is how one co-worker described one of my skills. This includes not only the awareness to recognize existing problems but to anticipate them as well.

In my Nortel Networks division, I campaigned successfully for the creation of a Usability Engineer position, which I then assumed. Making use of accepted procedures for user & task analysis (including contextual studies, card-sorting, focus groups, and prototyping) I contributed to a variety of telephony-related projects. User interfaces included audio, workstation, PC, Web, and PDA. I promoted usability within the division through meetings, classes, consulting, and a Web site.

I also like to think outside the box.

I participated in various grassroots innovation efforts. I introduced my Nortel division to videography by volunteering to capture employee technical talks on tape for archival in the company library (producing over 85 videos). I helped design and establish my division's first Intranet Web site and championed the creation of a creativity conference room. As a volunteer mentor for a FIRST Robotics Competition, I provided rules & strategy guidance to a team of high school students. A database I produced for that effort was shared with and used by other teams across the nation. I introduced Optimax to FileMaker Pro with the creation of a Human Resources Management System, Training Management System, and other databases.

I hold a BS degree in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University.

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Last updated January 30, 2009