contact Me

Email me using the form to the right, or send me a message on twitter @kvangork

Modesto, California
United States



Consulting for Engineers

Kirk van Gorkom

The market for custom iOS development is nearing the end of its gold rush phase and the time for mature consulting companies has arrived. Many of us engineers have had great success starting small businesses in this forgiving environment.

We have lots to learn.

I've been making mistakes and building skill at running an engineer's business for a few years now, and hopefully sharing a few experiences will help you improve your work.

Big thanks to Saul Mora (@casademora) for recording the audio and Matt Martel (@mundue) for taking some photographs.

You can view my slides and notes here, and listen to the full audio at NSBrief.

The presentation was only planned for 15 minutes, but ran nearly an hour due to audience participation and questions. I'm expanding and refining my thoughts through a series of blog posts called Consulting Lessons, Learned by an Engineer


Making Apps That Don't Suck

Kirk van Gorkom

UX Basics for Enterprise GeoNerds

Presented at the 2011 ESRI Developer Summit in Palm Springs, CA.

For too long, GIS developers have been laboring under a terrible legacy of enterprise app design. These unwieldy applications have drained many a young geographer of their passion, but in recent years a small movement has emerged to challenge the status quo. Many of us are so immersed in the technical challenges of “just making it work” that we assume all that touchy-feely stuff is solely the realm of designer magicians.

The good news is that it isn’t magic. This presentation will cover the basic goals and mechanisms of User Experience (UX) design with a focus on how they apply to typical GIS apps on the web and mobile devices.

If you have any input at all into the design of the apps you build, your enlightened ideas will have a positive impact on the final experience. We’ll also cover a few strategies for subverting the dominant paradigm at your organization. Soon you’ll be leading a guerrilla band fighting for UX wherever a piece of software cries out for the better experience we all deserve.