Jim Bumgardner


"A master innovator and multi-disciplinarian" -- Shamal Ranasinghe - Topspin Founder


To continue to develop amazing web software that makes people drop their jaw in wonderment.


My main area of interest is creative coding - specifically: Computer graphics, digital audio, Computer music (especially algorithmic composition), info-viz and physical computing.

I have considerable experience in front-end programming, application programming, microcontrollers, social networks, interactive TV, computer graphics and computer music. I am proficient in HTML5 / CSS3, Javascript/JQuery/Bootstrap, Python, C/C++, iOS/Objective C, PHP, Processing, Java, C#, Perl, Flash AS2/AS3, Ruby and numerous other languages. Unlike many developers who are specialists, I am more of a generalist: I prefer working with a few different technologies simultaneously, and discovering interesting ways to combine them.

I have worked with Arduino, Raspberry PI, Unity, Django, Flask, Open Frameworks, Cinder, OpenGL, WebGL, OpenCV, DMX, MIDI, Max/MSP, Ableton, ChucK, SuperCollider, Pure Data, RFID and many other technologies.

I currently hold 7 US Patents, and 9 European Parents.

You can see some software I've written at WheelOf.com, Krazydad.com, and JoyOfProcessing.com.


Senior Principal Software Engineer - The Walt Disney Company, 2010 - present

I am currently doing a wide variety of front-end and production software for Disney, using mostly HTML5/Canvas, Javascript/JQuery/Bootstrap, Unity, Arduino and Python/Django/Flask. Most recently, I've been working out of Imagineering R&D, on alternate-reality games, Arduino LED & sensor control software, Maya/MEL automation, Entertainment show control for guest-interaction kiosks, production pipelines, audio engineering, music arranging and production, MIDI playback and control software and OpenGL rendering. In prior years, I helped develop a number of social media applications for Disney Interactive, including Facebook apps, and Twitter visualizers. I wrote the web video player for the revamped Disney.com website, and a number of in-house applications for Disney Interactive Labs.

Lead Technologist - Topspin Media, 2008 - 2009

I left Yahoo! Music to join this pioneering music 2.0 startup, run by former Y! Music head Ian Rogers. I've worked with both the product and engineering groups to innovate and develop software, specializing in data mining and social network APIs. I've written scripts to mine data from 20 different online sources, and implemented Topspin's unique Dashboard. I invented and implemented "Topspin Rank" (patent pending) - a unique metric for measuring the online presence of a musician. I helped Topspin innovate the way its widgets are shared on various social networks. I made the coolest Topspin-themed screensaver on the planet.

Senior Front End Developer - Yahoo! Music, 2006 - 2008

I worked with a great team of front-end developers on Y! Music's home pages. Early on, I created a tool for generating numerous kinds of buttons with anti-aliased text, using GD, so that we could internationalize the pages more easily. I developed a new music lyrics site, creating a secure renderer for lyric content, and took over the upcoming concerts pages. I'm the sole Flash developer on the team, so I also maintain the various Flash "jumbotrons" on the site. For the past year I've been using my mashup skills to specialize in off-network apps for Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. I implemented Y! Music's Music Video application for Facebook.

Principal Software Engineer, Aptiv Digital, 1998 - 2006

Aptiv, a software provider for Interactive Television, was formerly Pioneer Digital Technologies. I worked on Interactive TV / Settop box application design and coding. I worked here continuously except for a two year stint at Pittard Sullivan. I was often assigned to spearhead new products, which were then passed off to other programmers after a one to two year incubation process. These pioneering efforts include "Passport Echo", Aptiv's first DVR offering (for which I designed the scheduler and other critical DVR features), Aptiv's first interactive program guide for Motorola set-top boxes (written in C and Assembler), Aptiv's first Java offerings, and a number of games and channel apps. A number of my DVR innovations at Pioneer/Aptiv were patented.

Author - 2005 - present

I am coauthor of the O'Reilly book Flickr Hacks (I wrote the more technically demanding chapters involving Perl, PHP and Flash coding) and the author of Building Tag Clouds in Perl and PHP.

I am currently writing a book on the Processing language for No Starch press.

Part Time Instructor, 2000 - present

At Art Center in Pasadena, I taught one or two evening and weekend classes each semester until 2007, including beginning and advanced Flash classes. I've also taught classes in video game design, digital audio, Lego robotics and multimedia interface design. Most recently, I've been conducting Processing workshops at Crash Space, in Culver City.

Website Proprietor, 1996 - present

I blog and publish puzzles at Krazydad.com, and generate income from a motley collection of personal websites, including Krazydad.com, JoyOfProcessing.com, Wheelof.com and jbum.com.

Part Time Consultant, 2001 - present

I developed the softare for a Kiosk / Video-Karaoke recording studio. I developed one-off C++/OpenGL and Flash applications for various clients, including Ogilvy+Mather, and IBM. I also construct puzzles for various publications, including three books of puzzles for Ulysses press, and the Funnies Extra syndicate.

Newtown Arts, 2009 - present

I am on the board of this Pasadena based arts consortium, which brings cutting-edge media, music, dance, performance and visual arts to people in the San Gabriel and Los Angeles areas.

Musician, 1999 - present

I play and write music for the piano, and occasionally perform. I play keyboards for The Retrofits, a progressive/pop rock cover band. I sing Baritone with the Ha'Penny Singers, an a capella madrigal group.


California Institute of the Arts, Music Composition, 1980 - 1984

I studied electro/acoustic music, audio engineering and video production.