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Mickey W. Mantle

Mickey W. Mantle has been developing software for over 40 years, creating hardware and software products and managing development teams. After graduating from the University of Utah (where he was contemporary with computer industry notables such as the founders of WordPerfect, Silicon Graphics, Netscape, Adobe Systems, and Pixar), Mickey had his first job in 1971 developing the overall control software and real-time robotic controls for a six-acre aircraft rework facility for the U.S. Navy at Kenway Engineering (later Eaton-Kenway). He thereafter joined 3-D computer graphics pioneer Evans & Sutherland (E&S) where he coauthored the original 3-D graphics library that paved the way for Silicon Graphics's GL, which has since become OpenGL. At E&S he was a contributor to many notable computer graphics products and first started managing programmers and programming teams.

After leaving E&S in 1984, Mickey joined Formative Technologies, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with the industry's first workstations (PERQ and Sun Microsystems) dealing with largescale bit-mapped graphics for mapping and CAD applications. But his heart was in 3-D graphics, and he was hired by Pixar shortly after it was bought by Steve Jobs and spun out of Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1986. At Pixar, Mickey managed the development of all of the software for their external products, including the Pixar Image Computer, the Pixar Medical Imaging System, and RenderMan. RenderMan is the gold standard of 3-D photorealistic rendering software and by 2010 had been used on every Visual Effects Academy Award Winner for the past 15 years; 47 out of the last 50 nominees for Visual Effects had chosen Pixar's RenderMan.

Mickey left Pixar in 1991, as their focus shifted to making feature-length 3-D animated films and away from external software products, and was recruited to Brøderbund Software as Vice President of Engineering/CTO. At Brøderbund he managed a vast development organization including applications and system programming, art and animation, sound design and music composition, and quality assurance that produced numerous award-winning PC/Mac games such as Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, Kid Pix, Myst, and Living Books.

 In late 1997 Mickey joined International Microcomputer Software, Inc., as Vice President of R&D/CTO, where he managed on-site and offshore development and support for numerous Windows/Mac applications such as MasterClips and professional-level products such as TurboCAD.

In 1999 Mickey joined Gracenote where he was Senior Vice President of Development (since 2008 Gracenote has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony). At Gracenote he managed all development, operations, and professional services associated with the pioneering Web-based CDDB music information service that enables digital music player applications such as iTunes, WinAmp, Sonic Stage, and hundreds of others. Gracenote's products utilize technology ranging from Web services and relational databases to embedded systems and mobile applications, giving him a unique perspective on the wide-ranging needs of the various types of software developed today. He retired from Gracenote in early 2011 to finish this book, develop mobile/tablet applications, and consult with a variety of companies and organizations regarding the management of software people and teams.

His experience includes directing R&D teams around the world and managing multidisciplinary teams working 24/7 to deliver successful products. With experience in selecting, establishing, and managing offshore development organizations in India, Russia, Canada, and Japan, he brings insight into the challenges of managing software development using diverse staff and teams that are hours and oceans apart.


Mickey W. Mantle