FAQ

Who are you?

I'm a humanoid, of Northern European descent, a U.S. Citizen, a husband, a father of three wonderful daughters, and a right-wing leftist. In the world of computer programming, I'm widely-known for writing several books on software development, C++, Java, and evolutionary computing.

Why is this site called Coyote Gulch?

I like coyotes, and I used to hike in a place called "Coyote Gulch". The coyote (pronounced k-eye-oh-tee) is a medium-sized canid that ranges across most of North America; a "gulch" is a small ravine. The name doesn't mean anything; it just sounds right to me.

So what do all the lizards mean?

Much as I like coyotes and dragons, neither make good pets. I do have several lizards in my office, ranging from a fiesty iguana named Spruce to a pair of Gherrosaurus validus (an african plated lizard). You could say the reptiles have become soemthing of a theme in this household.

Why do you give away programs?

By nature, I write code; it's "what I do," both for recreation and profit. Most of the profit comes from people who visit this web site, either in the form of conversation or paid development work. I enjoy sharing what I enjoy; if other people enjoy it, too, they'll remember my name, and perhaps think of me when a paying programming project comes along. I also like to make people think, and to expand the definition of what software can do. Few motivations in life are simple; distributing "free" (as in liberty and beer) software is both an social exercise and a tool for displaying my talents.

Who do you work for?

Anyone who's willing to pay me for an honest day's work! As of 1 May 2002, I went back to writing and consulting full-time; my previous full-time project came to an end after two successful years. In the most basic terms: I develop custom software for "heavy lifting" -- data mining engines, analysis tools, and processor-side, multi-processing applications. I'll be posting more about my consulting work soon. Meanwhile, I'm pursuing several opportunities as a writer.

Do you work for companies outside the U.S.?

Yes! In fact, since 2003, a big part of my income has come from overseas — Britain, France, Poland, Brazil, Israel, Finland and elsewhere. While I only speak two languages (English and Bad English) due to a complete inability to learn other tongues, my wife is very conversant in Spanish.

Why don't you have a blog?

Surprising as it may sound, I don't have enough ego for a regular blog. I don't really think most people care what movies I watch, or my opinion of the Florida public school system, for example.

Are you the same Scott Ladd who wrote those books?

If you're talking about these books on computer programming, then I'm your man. There is a book by a "Scott Ladd" about "Computers and the Brain" back in the late 1980s, but he isn't me. At last count, I've found over a dozen people named "Scott Ladd", including one who lives only a mile or two from my current abode. I've never met any of the others, and so far as I can determine, I'm the only Scott Robert Ladd in existence.

What books have you written?

Here's a partial list; in all, I've written 17 books on topics ranging from C++ to genetic algorithms. I've written a couple of books that never saw print, even though I was paid for them; publishers sometimes do strange stuff like that. On the other hand, I'm rather glad Microsoft never published my 1989 book on QuickPascal... ;)

Why haven't you written any books since 2001?

First of all, I have written books since 2001. I wrote a book for O'Reilly; then an editor quit, the company changed direction, and the book languishes with an unknown future. Now, dragons like Sytherek may have some influence on my future literary efforts; we'll just have to see what happens.

How did you get into computers?

Way Back When (the late 1970s), my high school had a teletype connected to the Univac 1110 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The school eventually bought an 8080-based Sol II computer (8K static RAM!), which had a nifty character-based Star Trek program... anyway, soon thereafter, my parents bought one of the first Radio Shack Model 1's, which kept me hacking (I programmed it in assembly) until I entered college. While pursuing a degree in Astronomy, I did development on a PDP-11 for the Physics Department. I moved from stars and planets to bytes and compilers, taking my first professional job in 1980 as a COBOL programmer. Since then, my career has meandered from financial institutions to government agencies; from 1989 onward, I've been self-employed as a writer and consultant.

What programming languages do you use?

Almost all of them. In historical order, I've written programs in MBasic, Z-80 assembler, FORTRAN, COBOL, FORTRAN (again), Pascal, Modula-2, i886 assembler, C, C++, Java, Fortran 95, Python, and C#. My programming language of choice is C++, but I'm quite fond of Python these days, and Java has some good points, too. To quote one of my mentors, Montgomery Scott: "Use the right tool for the right job!" While I have my preferences, I'm always looking for the most powerful and flexible tool for engineering whatever comes my way.

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Scott
Robert
Ladd

Software Engineer
 

 
 

 


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All rights reserved.

The grey-and-purple dragon logo, the blue coyote logo, Coyote Gulch Productions, Itzam, SigScope, Evocosm, and Acovea are all Trademarks of Scott Robert Ladd.