Jon Shemitz
- the man, the myth, the soft drink
Jon, at 36 Jon, at 47  
1995 2006
I was born in the United States in 1958, in New Haven, Connecticut. My great grandfather moved his family there from the lower east side of New York after one of his sons (one of my father's uncles) was shot and killed on the street. I have no idea whether he was an innocent bystander or a crook - he could have been either or both in a family that spawned my fun-loving, echt-bourgeois Grandpa Murray and his deep red sister, Esther Shemitz, who got a bit more than fifteen minutes of fame as Mrs Whittaker Chambers.

I grew up in the woody suburbs above crappy old New Haven, going to high school at the local prep school, and then to college at the local finishing school. In 1981, I received a BA in Philosophy and moved to San Francisco.

I made cold calls to every computer company in the San Francisco phone book, and got a job writing APL in Oakland. After about two and a half years at stsc, I thought I could write a program that everyone would want to buy. I couldn't, so I didn't make much money that way, but I sure learned an awful lot while I was trying. I currently make a living as a software consultant and I've been writing about programming for over two decades now.

My Kylix book came out in December, 2001. It got some extraordinary reviews, and all in all was a real category killer in its midget category. With any luck, my new book, .NET 2.0 for Delphi Programmers, which came out in June, 2006, will do a lot better.

I planned to jump back into the contracting habit just as soon as I finished the new book, but even advertising isn't bringing in substantial leads anymore, and I'm actually applying for real, full-time jobs. Much as I've enjoyed the free time and ability to set my own agenda that contracting has given me, I've come to think that that doesn't cover the financial, emotional, and even professional costs of all the downtime. I'm getting a bit antsy, but I'm doing my best to enjoy having nothing to do, catching up on gardening and other household chores, spending time with my boys, and playing electric guitar while I grind through the recruiting machinery. (Knowing that it may be the last fallow period for a long while does makes it easier to enjoy.)

Last updated July 8, 2006