About Boyd

Hi. I'm Boyd.

I'm a software developer (as opposed to computer scientist or programmer) and manager of engineering teams. I have strong opinions on how to manage technical people, focus on what your customer needs (vs. what you want to build), gaming, platforms, the softare industry, and more. I hope to write about some of that here.

Engineers are defined by what they've built, so here is a list of some things I've worked on. Or you can read my LinkedIn profile.


Present, Independent Stuff

I recently left Microsoft and am currently working on whatever is next. OMG. Writing code every day and exploring ideas is fun. As things mature, I'll be more open about what I'm doing.

2011 - December 2014, Xbox One and Xbox 360

Lead the team that wrote all the software that runs on the box that isn't a game. This includes the kernel, OS, UI, Kinect, TV, and more. Also includes the past few years of the Xbox 360 OS. I may not be an expert in graphics, but I sure know people who are! I designed the shape of the core architecture at the bottom of the OS and I am extremely proud of it.

2013 - Present, SilkWords

When my wife, Keri, had an idea for a startup providing interactive literature aimed (mostly) at women, I volunteered to be the IT guy. This turned into writing a website from the ground up in Ruby on Rails. My role is purely technical support.

2009 - 2011, Advanced Media Project

After XNA, I had the opportunity to work directly with Ray Ozzie, who is awesome, and research/prototype advance media platforms. Sadly, most of this is still secret and I can't talk about it.

2004 - 2009, XNA

I love XNA. I got to found, layout the guiding principles for and lead the entire XNA project. We set out to open up gaming consoles to independent game developers and opened up the Xbox 360 to everyone. Although XNA itself is no longer in development, it's influence is heavy on everything from Xbox One's design, to MonoGame to Unity.

2000 - 2004, Xbox Live

In 2000, I joined the Xbox Team and got to found the development team for Xbox Live. The mission was simply, "Go figure out what the ethernet port talks to", and turned into Xbox Live. I lead all development of the service from datacenter design, to game features, to security to network protocols, and more. That was fun.

1999-2000, Application Center Server

Worked as a lead on datacenter management tools. Enough said.

1996 - 1999, IIS

After working on desktop publishing tools through the early 90's, I decided that the web was going to be big. So I joined Microsoft to help build the web server IIS. I wrote code that shipped in IIS 3, 4 and 5.

1990 - 1997, Zephyr Design

Coming out of college, I decided that I didn't like the idea of working for a 'boss' (still don't) and founded a small startup called Zephyr Design, which made desktop publishing tools. Mostly we worked with Aldus PageMaker and were one of the leading additions makers. This was before the web took off - so imagine me running the shrink-wrapper while watching movies in the apartment... Those were the days.

1986 - 1990, Dynamic Simulator

While attending Mechanical Engineering school at the University of Wisconsin, I cut my teeth writing code by building a pretty full-featured graphical multi-body, multiple-degree-of-freedom dynamics simulator. Must have been OK as it won first place at the Engineering Expo and I sold licenses to multiple universities...