Watts Martin’s web space

Hi. I’m Watts Martin. I’m a writer, both technical and creative, and a former web developer. I also do design and UX work occasionally.

As a writer, I write, edit and generally manage the documentation for RethinkDB, a popular open-source database. I also blog occasionally at Coyote Tracks, and I’m a published fiction author. My novella Indigo Rain won a Cóyotl Award for best novella.

As a web developer, I usually worked with PHP on the server side and jQuery on the front end. I’m also a big fan of Python, and have lately grown to like Elixir. While I enjoy keeping up with web technologies, I’m happy to not be doing it professionally anymore. (My terrible secret is that I don’t particularly like JavaScript.)


I started when the dotcom era did, at a long-gone telecom company where I became the webmaster for the company’s first intranet site. Back then, “webmaster” meant designer, developer and sysadmin. Since then I’ve worked for Netwolves Technologies, Linvatec, Illumant, and the Department of the Navy (by way of contracting for Illumant subcontracting to Secorix subcontracting to SAIC). Later I worked for a Fiji-based travel web site which seems to have folded, for Nokia, and with Jupiter, a web-based gradebook and student information system for K–12 schools. Along the way I’ve done technical writing with Global Locate (now part of Broadcom) and Cisco, and I’ve returned to that field in 2014, working with a cool startup called RethinkDB.

Unfortunately, much of the work I’ve done has been for intranets or commercial products. This often leaves me in the position of having to tell prospective clients and employers, look, I’m pretty good. Trust me.

So: look, I’m pretty good. Trust me. (Also, read my résumé.)

Some Bullet Points

  • I like web standards: valid HTML/XHTML, CSS, and Javascript that doesn’t make JSLint scream (much). These days I try to stick with HTML5.
  • I also like MVC: CakePHP at Illumant and for Fiji Island Escapes, symfony at Nokia.
  • I’m a big fan of Python, with particular love for Flask. (This web site is mostly written in Markdown, with a Python script that builds the HTML files by crunching them into Jinja2 templates.)
  • I know SQL and basic relational database design and normalization. I’ve mostly worked with MySQL but have some experience with PostgreSQL and a little experience with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. (And, yes, SQLite.)
  • If you’re into this sort of thing, I speak agile. We used a Jira plugin called “Greenhopper” for agile work at Nokia, and I’m familiar with the daily scrum and sprint process.
  • I’ve worked on some moderately large sites, most notably Nokia’s, which had multiple load-balanced servers and used PHP’s APC caching.
  • I’m a pretty fast learner and always interested in learning new technologies.

Some Anti-Bullet Points

  • As I said above, I’m more interested in writing than programming. I have been dorking around with web stuff for as long as there has been web stuff to dork around with and I’m frankly a little burned out.
  • I have not worked on huge “millions of users a day” kinds of sites. You’ll have to trust me to pick up the high-scalability stuff on the job.
  • I have not used “NoSQL” on a high-volume web site. (As of 2014 I work for a NoSQL company, though, so I would give myself a few points in that column.)
  • I’m a Mac user and prefer to use Mac development tools, but I won’t be a zealot about it.
  • I am not interested in relocating at this time.
  • If you send me a job listing that ten seconds of scanning my résumé would have told you I’m a poor match for—say, a job for a four-month contract position in Wisconsin that requires J2EE experience—you are a bad recruiter and you should feel bad.