Cleve Littlefield
clever dev codes

var blog = [code, nerdery, travel, shenanigans];

I was born in a log cabin; it was a dark and stormy night... a cry rang out... a woman screamed.

Just kidding, the rest of this bio may be a let down if you were drawn in by the intro.  My name is Cleve Littlefield and this is my blog site.

Obsession

I discovered computer programming in high school, and immediately my life got flipped, turned upside down.  I have tunnel vision when I am passionate about something, so computers became my obsession.  I saved up money to buy computer books every month and then worked at a computer shop for parts to put together a home PC.

While in high school I met a local renowned Ophthalmologist, you know as kids do.  We partnered up and created some great software, award-winning even... that only a handful of docs ever bought.  We did not know how to sell 30k a pop software to small practice doctors, especially when they had to install a server in the late 90s/early 2000s.

Life in my home town of Las Vegas was pretty crazy back then. I would typically wake up around 1 PM, go to work, work for 12-20 hours, then repeat, and sometimes see a movie at 1 AM or hit the all-night all you can eat $1.99 buffets.

During that time, being 16 and trying to hire developers was pretty tricky, so I quickly learned to hire for potential and then train people up, which inspired a life long passion for helping inexperienced developers grow. 

Time at Microsoft

One of my employees went to work for the Microsoft mother ship (we were an all-MSFT shop) and convinced me to join him.  Leaving my company was a big deal, I had been doing it for ten years, I was the head honcho and already mentioned my crazy Vegas life. 

It was also a gamble as I started as a contractor and wasn't sure if I could hold my own at that level.  At 25, I moved to my first real corporate job at my dream company. 

My first few jobs at MSFT made perfect sense for me; I was a developer and then a dev lead.  I was successful, built some cool stuff that had a significant impact, a global audience, with a large scale (for the time 😉).

After that, a few of the leaders I trusted started pulling me into new roles at Microsoft, where I had no prior experience... from PM Lead to Test lead and then architect.  So now I have this crazy resume full of all kinds of broad experience, so I got that going for me, which is pretty nice.

I got to travel to India and Germany and so many other places for work, just look at the Microsoft shill below...

India during the time of Microsoft.JPG

Agility

I became obsessed with Agile and have read most of the major books on the subject, from all perspectives, and some of the more obscure ones, and tried out applied those principles through trial and error through half a dozen teams now.  I love teaching agile though I never went the full coach route.

On becoming a jerk

I was so obsessed with a series of projects that I became an abrupt controlling know it all bad guy.  The skills and direct approach that had previously led to success and rewards were now backfiring big time and slowing my career trajectory.  I had to work to become more introspective and do a better job listening to others. 

To be honest, even though I have toned down considerably from my extreme jerk phase, I still struggle with this, and if I am not actively working on it, it is oh so easy to devolve back to my former wicked ways.  I hope to share some of that struggle here from time to time. 

Are you the hero or the villain of your own story?

Marriage and adventures begin

My jerkiness was probably at least partially turned around when I met my beautiful wife. We got married in 2011 and started many travel adventures.

She is a lifestyle documentary photographer; check out her fantastic work is at https://ashleylittlefieldphotography.com/. You should hire her.

honeymoon in venice.jpg

London Calling and then the World

I moved with my wife to London through a Microsoft transfer. It went... how do you say... not well.  But London was great for a year! I got to work with people in London, Prague, and Estonia and travel throughout Europe.

Despite all our traveling, my wife had a crazy idea.  We then took the bold choice to leave Microsoft and travel the world. Following in the travel footsteps of my travel agent grandparents. 

It was not all play; I was doing freelance contract work along the way to pay the bills.  We hit six continents and 24 countries in 15 months. 

Some example adventures during our world tour

  • I was advanced certified scuba diving in Indonesia

  • We saw the pyramids and I did scuba in the red sea in Egypt

  • We watched a penguin migration in Australia

  • I went cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa

  • We worked at a farmhouse in Slovenia

  • We did a safari in Kenya

  • We photographed hippos in Botswana

  • We trekked through the Amazon in Peru

  • We learned to cook Italian with a grandma in Italy

  • Overall we had far too many adventures to prattle on about here.

RANDOM TRAVEL PHOTOS!

Up close with a giraffe in Kenya.jpg

Travel in Belgium.jpg

YA YA ARRIVES

After five years of trying and two miscarriages, our little Ellie came into the world.  She is precocious and adorable and so, so smart. As you can see, having a child has not slowed down our travel too much.

GRATUITOUS FAMILY PICS!

Baby ellie in Portugal.jpg

too cool for school ellie.jpg

Disneyland with the Family!.jpg

If I only knew, that's what you're into

In my spare time, I unsuccessfully try to learn Ukulele. I am an old school fan of all things Marvel, DC, comics.  Oh yeah, and I am getting healthy again, I recently lost 140lbs.