A screenshot of a TV screen showing a failing test of a video decoder

Hello

Headhot photo of Kris Walker

Hi, I'm Kris Walker.

I'm a computer programmer turned software engineering manager at Disney where my team builds the streaming playback technology under the hood in Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN among other Disney brands.

I currently reside in Saratoga Springs, NY. I've also lived and worked in Los Angeles, Boston and New York.

Writing

I usually write about software development and engineering management. But, I'm also interested in a lot of other things as well. Here is a small sample of what I've written. Or, check out the full list of essays to get it all.

  • The Vintage Software Engineer I tend to scoff at new things, perhaps unfairly. In my view new technology had a more significant impact on the world back when I was learning the ropes in software. New tech which is lauded as a "big deal" now just doesn't seem to have that same feeling.
  • A Winter Traverse of the Complete Adirondack Great Range I wanted to push my known limits of movement in the mountains and see what I could learn about hiking and climbing long distances efficiently through rugged terrain and terrible winter weather.
  • Solve Big Problems One thing I’ve noticed in the past decade of working with software engineers is a reluctance work on valuable problems because of a bias toward working on only the "easy" scalable ones.

More on my essays page.

Work

Although my resume / CV is posted on LinkedIn I'll try to provide a bit more color and detail here on my personal site.

  • Software Engineering Manager at Disney Media Technology and ESPN Since Jul 2018 My team builds the streaming playback technology under the hood in Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN among other Disney brands. I joined Bamtech Media as a Senior Engineer in 2018 just before it was acquired by Disney to create Disney+. I've since been through a number of mergers and corporate reorganizations where my team is now a part of the wide reaching Media & Technology group behind all of Disney's streaming content. I've been fortunate enough in that time to grow from a senior engineer who designed and built the Disney+ HTML5 video streaming engine to an engineering manager responsible for more people and technology than I had ever imagined.
  • Odd Networks: Principal Engineer to CEO From 2016 to 2018 As a big part of designing, building, marketing, and selling our nascent video streaming platform I learned the fundamentals the video streaming industry at Odd Networks. Although the startup fizzled out, the foundation for where I am now was built during this compact and intense time period.
  • MadGlory: Senior Software Engineer From 2013 to 2016 "Hero for hire" as we liked to say, MadGlory was a small software development and design agency primarily focused in the video gaming industry, but we took on plenty of other interesting projects as well. I was involved with an automated parking meter system, video streaming, Xbox applications, and an in-app rewards system to name a few.
  • Pinfinity: Technical Co-Founder A short span in 2013 I teamed up with a surgeon to create interactive multimedia text books for medical students. Although the opportunity was extremely exciting, and the technology was ahead of its time, the business flared brightly and burned out just as quickly. But, this was a really exciting project to work on.

More on my resume / CV at LinkedIn