About

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I’m Alex Payne. I go by al3x online, hence the weird domain name. I’ve been writing here for many years, much longer than the trimmed-down archive covers.

These days, I spend most of my time writing fiction. I also support a variety of non-profit organizations, campaigns, causes, and early-stage businesses.

Before focusing on writing, I worked in tech. At age twelve, I was too young to legally hold a work permit for my first software development internship; I hid when customers came by the office. My career from then on was enjoyably all over the place. I stuck my fingers into the blackened innards of the American financial system as co-founder and CTO of Simple, an online bank. Before that, I was one of the first employees at Twitter, where I did all sorts of things on inadvisably few hours of sleep, most notably getting their developer platform off the ground. Over the years, I pushed tech efforts forward for political campaigns, non-profits, unions, startups, a defense contractor, and open source projects. I coauthored Programming Scala for O'Reilly Media, started the Emerging Languages conference, presented at events around the world, and taught at Recurse Center and Turing School. I was a founding board member of Business For A Better Portland, a progressive business association.

I currently live in Portland, Oregon with my wife, Nicole Brodeur, two cats, an anxious pit bull, and a rotating cast of foster dogs. I’m interested in political economy, animal rights and welfare, philosophy, the arts, and systems of all sorts. I enjoy playing odd records for people, getting better at drumming, yoga, zazen, travel, and moderate doses of the outdoors.

I grew up just outside Washington, DC. I've also lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. The Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto at dusk is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.