Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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I'm Ready to Work for You!

January 29, 2014
New York, N.Y.

I love writing, but writing about programming has pretty much become what lawyers call pro bono work, short for pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good." Books, magazine articles, and blog entries are certainly helpful to developers, but these days writing doesn't pay very well, and can even threaten the author's long-term financial security.

For that reason, pro bono publico work sometimes needs to be balanced with pro bono privato work, and that has come to be the case for me.

The good news is this: You can hire me now to work for you!

My dream job would be the opportunity to work on a meaty touch-intensive and graphics-intensive Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application, possibly incorporating DirectX. But I'm flexible and open to pretty much anything if it fits my skills and interests. I live in New York City, so I can work on-site in the commutable area, or at my home.

Most of my programming expertise and knowledge revolves around Windows. I have experience in Windows programming going back to 1985, and I cut my teeth on Win16 and Win32. Since the early days of this century, I've focused mostly on C# / XAML environments: WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.

My greatest strengths and interests involve the user interface, graphics, media, audio, animation, text, pen, and multi-touch. I have experience in WPF 3D and XNA 3D but I'm not a gamer. I'm much more interested in the application of 3D in non-gaming applications. I've recently been coding in C++ to explore (and write about) DirectX technologies as implemented under Windows 8, including XAudio2, DirectWrite, Direct2D, and Direct3D. I've done so much C++ recently that Microsoft decided I should be a C++ MVP!

As you might deduce from my books and articles, I'm an API guy rather than a third-party libraries guy. But I know the APIs really well as writing obviously requires. Alas, my knowledge is deep rather than broad. There are immense areas of modern computing (such as web programming) that are somewhat mysterious to me. The general rule is simple: If I haven't written about it, it's likely I don't know it well. That doesn't mean I can't learn about it, but it might not be the best fit.

Because I've worked by myself at home writing books and magazine articles for many years, my management skills are rather limited. But I can certainly work for other people and with other people. I'm not a prima donna. Since 2008 I've worked about 1,400 hours on consulting jobs, split about 50/50 between on-site and at-home work. Obviously I'm highly self-motivated, I can maintain a long attention span, I'm conscientious and even obsessive (but in a good way), and I have good communication and writing skills. I'm a fast learner and math doesn't scare me.

Give me something challenging. Make me work for my pay. Let's discuss your project and what I can do for you. Send me an email at or — if you want to reach me without being surrounded by lots of spam — to an email address that consists of my full name (first and last run together) at live, round punctuation mark, com.

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