About Me

I co-founded Gaia GPS, and I have a son and a daughter.

I am a writer and coder, but a gamer at heart. I’ve played Poker and Magic professionally, and I am casually competitive at Go, Chess, and Starcraft 2, among many other games.

Want to play correspondence chess? Invite andrewljohnson on chess.com

Interests

Programming – I am fascinated by making things out of code. I have done a lot of practical programming for things people use, and I am most enthralled when I run into some sort of academic challenge that bounds something I want to do.

Robots & Bitcoins – These two are current interests. I’m also tangentially interested in drones and self-driving cars. These technologies epitomize “the future is now.”

Games – I was a semi-professional Magic and poker player in my youth, and have extensively studied (i.e. played) chess, go, StarCraft 2, Magic, poker, and other strategy games.

Writing – I have done a lot of professional writing, including ads for an agency, freelance game strategy articles, college news articles, and an email or two that has worked. I am working on some fiction.

Family – I have two children and two dogs, and I know kids are different from dogs, but I sometimes think of them as being the same (at least at when they are younger than a year old). I like having a big family with Anna.

Maps – I think OpenStreetMap is one of the most important movements of our generation. Go edit the map.

Music – I am very bad at the guitar. Music is one of those things I like to study because I like to listen, and because I find musical analogies in other things (as I do with games).

Bio

I was born on the northside of Houston, Texas. I went to public school through high school, then went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for college.

I have been a generalist since college. I spent 2 years studying engineering, 2 years of studying business, and in that time I was the editor-in-chief of The Tartan, and worked as a student programmer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

I have been a gamer my whole life. My father taught me chess on an airplane in 1986, when I was 4, and I played competitive chess on and off into college. I was also a semi-professional Magic player during high school and the early part of college, and I played in places such as Tokyo, London, Barcelona, Capetown, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and many other cities around the world. I was the Texas State champion of Magic at 16, and I have appeared on ESPN2 playing Magic. I have also played and studied poker and go extensively.

At the tail end of college, I sparked a lasting interest in Italian cooking, and worked my final months of school and a few beyond making next to nothing working under Italian chef Claudio Masci.

My first real job after college was working as an ad man for Elias/Savion Advertising, a boutique ad agency in Pittsburgh, PA. I left Elias/Savion to join a venture-backed start-up, SureLogic, which finds hard bugs in code. I left SureLogic in 2008 to found TrailBehind, Inc. with my now-wife Anna.

Anna and I have two children and two dogs, and we live in Berkeley. More to come.

Some Links

  • San Pablo Park – My local Berkeley blog, where I talk about mostly restaurants.
  • Gaia GPS – My outdoor software company.

I wrote these blogs in my youth… I should probably disavow everything I said prior to turning 30.