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Dethe Elza


I have been programming for the web as long as there has been a web, using AJAX-style dynamic loading since 1998, and pushing boundaries of the browsers and my own creativity at every opportunity. I've worked for large corporations and two-person startups. After resisting becoming a manager for years, I surprised myself by being good at it and enjoying it. Programming is like an infinite box of Legos you can build anything with, and I thrive on introducing others to this world and mentoring other developers. I also enjoy building communities and making connections with different groups who can support each other to build great things.



  • Vancouver, BC
  • July 2015 - December 2016
  • Lead Software Developer

Team lead, mentor, architect for back-end, front-end, ops and infrastructure. Wearer of hats.

  1. Rebuild site for speedy loading and scalability
  2. Implement monetization strategy
  3. Mentoring, code reviews, lunch-and-learns.
  4. Business advising

Awesense Wireless

  • Vancouver, BC
  • October 2014 - June 2015
  • Senior Software Engineer

Back-end developer and team leader.

  1. Built simulators for a variety of data sources
  2. Recruiting, outreach, and training
  3. Client data integration work

Mozilla Corporation

  • Vancouver, BC
  • February 2014 - September 2014
  • Senior Web Developer

Front-end development for the Marketplace team

  1. Developed for desktop, Android, and FirefoxOS flavours of Marketplace
  2. Built Hub add-on for Firefox Android to add Marketplace to home screen
  3. Collaborated on the first Vancouver Mozilla Hive Network Pop-Up

Mozilla Foundation

  • Vancouver, BC
  • August 2012 - December 2013
  • Developer

Take Collusion prototype through design, development and launch as Lightbeam 1.0

  1. Hired and lead design and development team
  2. Collaborated with Emily Carr University and mentored students helping with redesign
  3. Built interactive documentary on privacy / tracking
  4. Co-taught course at Emily Carr University introducing design students to web technologies
  5. Mentored students working on Waterbear as part of Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects
  6. Mentored for Ladies Learning Code and Software Carpentry workshops


  • Vancouver, BC
  • August 2011 - July 2012
  • Director of Development

Architect, build, and manage development of a site to showcase the work of independent video artists at

  1. Developed code organization tool Obloq
  2. Developed site from scratch using Node.js and MongoDB
  3. Hired and trained development team

Kinzin International, Inc.

  • Vancouver, BC
  • September 2006 - August 2011
  • Director of Development

Manage small development team to build photo sharing site

  1. Created web-based product builder generating PNG and PDF output
  2. Built Facebook apps Are You Normal? and These Are My Kids
  3. Created several jQuery modules to support Kinzin interface

JustSystems Canada

  • Vancouver, BC
  • April 2006 - September 2006
  • Senior Technical Architect

Integrated XML-based collaboration technology (Distributed DOM) into existing xfy XML toolset.


  • Vancouver, BC
  • April 2002 - March 2006
  • Senior Technical Architect

Enfolding Systems

  • Vancouver, BC
  • March 2001 - March 2002
  • Chief Mad Scientist
  1. Founding member of company sold for $2.35 million
  2. Design and implement client-side GUI development library (Vorta)
  3. Design and implement client-server shared Document Object Model (DDOM)
  4. Design of XML content management appliance
  5. Research usability, workflow, through-the-web editing, and aspect-oriented programming issues
  6. Explore new tools, programming patterns, and integration strategies
  7. Create new project management tool for Distributed Agile Software Development
  8. Extend existing tools with new support for XML, such as adding XPath support to Zope

University of British Columbia Continuing Studies

  • Vancouver, BC
  • July 2000 - September 2002
  • Instructor
  1. Teach XML Concepts introductory class
  2. Teach Programming XML class

  • Vancouver, BC
  • June 2000 - March 2001
  • Client Lead
  1. Develop through-the-web 3D rendering technology
  2. Lead client-side programming team.
  3. Research and review 3-D libraries and techniques applicable to web pages XML-driven 3D for the web

  • Vancouver, BC
  • June 1999 - June 2000
  • Senior Software Developer
  1. Design and implement server-side Java web applications
  2. Develop e-commerce framework
  3. Supervise and mentor junior developers

Lucent Technologies

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • April 1998 - May 1999
  • Member of Technical Staff
  1. Develop software for managing telephone switches (NetMinder)
  2. Document and test Netminder software
  3. Review code of other developers

Communication Network Services, Ohio University

  • Athens, Ohio
  • August 1996 - March 1998
  • Network Software Specialist
  1. Provide university-wide network support for Macintosh platform
  2. Develop software for dial-up, residential, administrative and faculty networks
  3. Train student workers

Communication Network Services, Ohio University

  • Athens, Ohio
  • September 1995 - August 1996
  • Graduate Assistant
  1. Create Macintosh installation software
  2. Provide telephone support
  3. Document internet dial-up connection service

Continuing Education Studies, Ohio University

  • Athens, Ohio
  • June 1996 - July 1996
  • Instructor
  1. Teach introductory HTML course


  1. Methods and systems for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents
  2. Method and system for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents with unique node identifications (Pending)
  3. Method and system for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents with locking
  4. Method and system for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents with versioning (Pending)
  5. Method and system for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents with node privileges (Pending)
  6. Method and system for enabling collaborative authoring of hierarchical documents with associated business logic (Pending)


  1. Virtuous Cycles: Empowered Learners, Replicating Successful Learning Models, Creative Failure, BC Libraries Conference, 2015
  2. What to Expect After Graduation, SFU First-Year CS Students, 2013
  3. Lightbeam AMA, Reddit, 2013
  4. Lightbeam Launch Keynote, MozFest, 2013
  5. What's Next: Art and the Future Web: Teaching design students to use the web as a medium of expression, Emily Carr University, 2013
  6. Should We Teach Children to Program Computers? Rogue Curiousity, 2013
  7. Webmaker Hack Jam, Mozilla Vancouver, 2013
  8. Mozilla Foundation Projects, Vancouver Maker Education Meetup, 2013
  9. Mozilla Foundation Projects, Vancouver Library Cooperative Open Data Camp, 2013
  10. Webmaker Tools, Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, 2013
  11. Collusion Update, Mozilla Summit, 2013
  12. Collusion Overview, Mozilla Foundation All-Hands, 2013
  13. A Morning Cup of Coffee (Interative Documentary), Tribeca Institute and Ford Foundation 2013
  14. Collusion: What's coming in 1.0, Mozilla Air, 2013
  15. Waterbear: Visual Programming for the Web, MozFest 2012
  16. Waterbear: Visual Programming for the Web, VanJS 2011
  17. Introducing Waterbear, JSConf 2011
  18. Social Networking for Small Groups, Bar Camp 2008
  19. Aesthetic Programming for Kids of all Ages (pdf), Bar Camp 2008
  20. Visual Programming: Why it matters for Python, Vancouver Python Users Group (VanPyZ) 2008
  21. Other languages from a Pythonic point of view: Haskell, Ruby, Erlang, Processing (with Paul Prescod and Brett Cannon), VanPyZ 2007
  22. Take control of your computer with Python and OS X, Bar Camp Vancouver 2007
  23. Programming OS X with Python, VanPyZ, 2006
  24. OS X, Python, and Kids, Vancouver Python Workshop 2006
  25. Community Building with Blogs (with Nancy White), Moose Camp/Northern Voice 2006
  26. Using Python and Cocoa on OS X, VanPyZ, 2005
  27. Creating OS X Cocoa Applications Using XML and Python, Vancouver XML Users' Group 2004
  28. PyGame: Implementing the big ideas from little developers, Vancouver Python Workshop 2004


  1. Blockcode (chapter): Architecture of Open Source, Vol. 3 (AOSA Books, forthcoming)
  2. XML Matters: Lighter than Microformats: Picoformats (IBM developerWorks, 2006-08)
  3. XML Matters: Up and Atom (IBM developerWorks, proposal accepted, 2006-05)
  4. XML Matters: Pipestreaming Microformats (IBM developerWorks, 2006-04)
  5. XML Matters: The web, it ain't just for 2D anymore (IBM developerWorks, 2005-06)
  6. XML Matters: SVG and the Scriptless Script (IBM developerWorks, 2006-06)
  7. XML Matters: Beyond the DOM (IBM developerWorks, 2006-06)
  8. Python Cookbook 2nd Ed.: Building a Python Cocoa GUI Programatically (O'Reilly, 2005-03)
  9. Browser Evolution: Document Access on the World Wide Web (Master's Thesis 1998-03)


  1. Imagetoy: 2014
  2. Life: Conway's Game of Life in the canvas: 2014
  3. Drawing Board Revisited: Rewriting the Drawing Board app for the web: 2014
  4. Hexaflexagon builder: Web-to-papertoy tool for Open Badges: 2013
  5. Baffle: Word game for mobile browsers: 2013
  6. Paley Tiles: Animation tool based on work by Nina Paley: 2013
  7. Beehive: A simple test of hexagon web layout: 2012
  8. Everybadge: SVG demo for Open Badges: 2012
  9. Goodnight Moon: My entry in the CSS1K competition: 2012
  10. oBloq: Polyglot literate programming: 2011
  11. I Don't Stop: Experimental audio app for iOS: 2011
  12. Translink: Vancouver transit for iOS: 2008
  13. iHypno: Mind control for the rest of us iOS app, 2009
  14. Pastel Finger: Finger Painting for the iOS, 2010
  15. Waterbear: Visual programming for the web, 2011-present
  16. Living Code Weblog: My outlet for ideas, tutorials, jokes, and soapbox grandstanding, January 2001-present
  17. Sandcastle: A tool for blog-based documentation and brainstorming, 2006
  18. Conversation Networks Uploader: Pre-processor and UI for conference audio files
  19. Drawing Board: A tool for simple sketch-based animation, with SVG export, 2005
  20. Python DocUtils Project: refactored directives code, added new directives, wrote How-To for creating new directives, 2002
  21. Interactive Hotlist: An early attempt at shared collaborative bookmarking, 1997-1999
  22. FreeWord: An experimental web-editable outliner, 1997
  23. Live from Studio B: The Art of Conversation, participated as monthly guest explaining technical issues in plain language, 1997


  1. Raised over $1000 for Children's Hospital "Balding for Dollars" 2009
  2. Conceived of and implemented Distributed DOM (DDOM), 2 patents granted, one still pending on this technology, 2001-2004
  3. J. Langdon Taylor Scholarship, 1994
  4. Computer Science Club Scholarship, 1994


Ohio University

  • Athens, OH
  • M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • March 1998

Ohio University

  • Athens, OH
  • B.S., Computer Science (Minor in Linguistics)
  • November 1995


Available upon request