My Résumé

About Mark Bereit

I help businesses develop high-technology products. My primary focus is on software and hardware development, particularly in embedded systems where these disciplines closely interrelate.

Since 2010, I've been working for Cheetah Technologies, L.P., most recently in the role of Manager of Embedded Development. From 1998 to 2010, I was the Director of Product Development for IRIS Technologies, manufacturers of video technology products for non-technical users. Prior to this I was for six years the principal of a technology product development consulting business, "Breakthrough Designs."

I first programmed a computer in 1977. Since that time I have acquired many technical skills, usually self-taught, have learned numerous important lessons the hard way, and have struggled, reasoned and experimented my way through the ever-changing technology landscape. Through this exploration process I have gained a considerable depth of understanding of how and why technologies work. That understanding has provided me with frequently unconventional viewpoints on the strengths and weaknesses of many often unquestioned technologies, tools, processes and mental models. Happily, I keep getting paid to do this.

Now and then I get the standard conversational question, "What do you do for a living?" My brief answer is that I'm a "computer engineer." Some people know what that means or at least can guess; others assume it's "technical" and don't pursue it. A few ask what that means, so I give the slightly less brief answer that I do computer programming and electronic hardware design. If the eyes haven't glazed yet I may add the part about how many embedded devices are in our modern lives requiring a mix of these functions.

Occasionally I have to be careful, though, to not accidentally pass myself off as an Engineer with a capital "E." I do not in fact hold an engineering degree, and some people who do hold one take offense at others claiming this title. I can sympathize with the viewpoint, just like anyone who calls himself or herself a "doctor" had better have an "M.D." tacked onto his or her name. I can often get away with "computer engineer" because comparatively few schools offer that specific degree, and most of the computer engineers I know have a different degree (if any). But in any case, what I do involves the creative imagination of what might be possible, expressed in the cold hard reality of what can be constructed: part dreaming, part art, part science and part technical implementation. That's engineering.

Product development starts with a creative dream, it ends with a lot of technical implementation, and there are lots of interactions along the way between the areas of user interface design, designing hardware, designing the software, building prototypes, testing the circuitry, writing code, testing it all, creating documentation, marketing, selling, manufacturing, order fulfillment, shipping, supporting the end users... and all the while collecting those ideas that are the dream for the next rev or the next product. I work with all of this. Which is useful, because it all matters.

But yes, "computer engineer" is a shorter answer.

I enjoy what I do. God has blessed my lfe with a loving family, good friends and good teachers, who have supported my pursuit of what is technically possible... and more importantly, what is ultimately worth doing.