Welcome! My name is Justin Miller and this is my personal website. I live in Portland, Oregon, USA with my partner Jessica.

I’m a maker, programmer, photographer, and traveler. You can read more about my current and past projects or some of my recent inspirations.

This site is my “digital hub” (to borrow a term), a place to collect thoughts, media, history, and other digital miscellany. I hope that you enjoy it.

Popular is of course a relative term, but I’ve worked on a lot of tech over the years, some of which is or was fairly widely used or known, especially in open source circles. And I’ve changed up my areas of focus a few times, too.


Some themes have emerged in my life as my family, work, location, and opportunities have changed.

Maintaining perspective

A core experience that has greatly shaped my sense of work and life balance, lifelong learning and excitement, and taking and offering opportunities is the fact that I became a widower in 2016. In many ways, I try to keep my late wife Michelle’s memory alive in the world by remembering and acting on her attitudes and perspectives.

I am also a survivor of infant bacterial meningitis and sepsis, which means that I’m extremely fortunate to be here today, especially without major complication. I never forget it.

Growth through learning

I’ve been working full-time in tech, mostly with open source software, since the late 90s. I’m very proud of the fact that I self-taught in my career after buying my first modern computer in college, co-founding a few startups, and eventually dropping out of engineering school to spend more time in a self-directed environment. You can read more about some of that in this post about my computing history.

In recent years, I’ve moved more in the direction of hardware, making, and art, whereas most of my previous career was in pure software and systems.

Culture and diversity

I grew up in an economically depressed coal mining region in Appalachia, the grandson of farmers and steel workers, in a hard-working family, which taught me many lessons and for which I am eternally grateful.

I am the first in my family to even come close to finishing college, and with a lot of hard work plus trial and error, I have been able to achieve a comfortable life where I am lucky enough to essentially have my pick of interesting work.

I’ve become a lover of big cities, diverse culture, and wandering the wider world, but in many ways I’m still a small-town country boy at heart.

Work as fulfillment and impact

It’s been a big personal challenge for me to navigate the change from work as purely economic to work as creative fulfillment and on to, hopefully, work as a way to make an impact, something that I hope to do with this site.

Giving back

Along the way, I’ve come to realize that although I’ve got much to be proud of, I’ve lived on the easy setting, so I try to remember that and to pay it forward when I can, whether with time, money, or just a helpful hand.