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Herb Gilliland

Software Architect, Product Developer, Scientist, Author, Artist and Entrepreneur

Work experience


Director of Software

PieceMaker Technologies Inc.

Lead software developer and department founder for a 3D printing-on-demand startup.  Instilled various values into the company and provided insight beyond software into business operations, hiring practices and team-building.  Managed over 1M lines and authored more than 250k lines during tenure.  Position began as a User Interface developer using WebGL to create product mock-ups to assist fundraising at early stage. Licensed personal work in a ground-up custom OpenGL video game engine (for Windows, in Visual C++) to the company, then built a software-driven experience on top that won awards including the Best in Toy Fair 2016 from Popular Science.  Developed complex cloud-based systems for providing real-time metrics using LAMP stack, tied into a multi-device deployment integrating 3D printers, Windows PC Kiosk with WinTouch device, Ingenico card reader hardware and 3rd party middleware for handling SMS.  Lead IT deployment, cloud infrastructure initiatives and purchasing for IT.

Sep 2013Nov 2013

Web Developer

Opus One Interactive

Consultant and developer of a CodeIgniter-based contract management software for the music industry.

Sep 20102012


Ganos LLC

Founded in 2010, Ganos LLC is a brand warehouse with many alpha-stage products for the web.  Herb brought 3 years of work and research to Ganos LLC and is the majority stakeholder in the business.  He is partnered with Woody March-Steinman and Bryan Berns.  They operate the start-up as an incubator for online brands.

May 20082011


Ecere Corporation

UA/QA position developing a programming language and SDK.  Aside from consulting on the eC language and its features, while reporting bugs and issues, Herb developed the Open Art Engine component that enabled functionality for time-based interactive animation with motion tween.  Other features included an OpenAL class framework for real-time audio mixing.



PickPark LTD

PickPark LTD, a business social website, was cited in Germany as one of the hottest German startups in 2007.  Clients included hundreds of companies including Airberlin and other firms in Europe, Asia and the US ranging from startups to established brands. Implemented multi-language content management enhancements (internationalization), built enhancements for a social network for companies, as well as online video tutorials to provide support.  Developed an advertising engine built on top of the OpenX advertising network, developed in PHP using the LAMP stack and the OpenX API.

Nov 2012Jan 2013

Developer (Contractor)

Garrigan Lyman Group

PHP developer under contract developing sites in Drupal, Wordpress and others for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies.

Mar 2011Aug 2011



Co-developer, corporate Intranet, Zend Framework / MVC, PHP, Linux, VMWare.  GUI, databases (Postgres, MSSQL), CSS/HTML/JavaScript and jQuery.  QA/UA.  Trained employees.

Mar 2008Dec 2008

Lead Investigator, Postdoctorate Research

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Lead programmer of the Avenzoar Digital Pathology Tool, a specialized image analysis solution that examined ultra-high resolution images and determined an appropriate diagnosis for cancer.  Research was done in a team, and was postdoctoral research. This position involved problem solving, programming in C/C++ and OpenGL.

Mar 2007Sep 2007

Technical Writer

Provost Systems

Technical writer who developed 10 software manuals for a southern California educational software company that is a competitor to blackboard.  Herb also provided ancillary support as a quality assurance analyst.

Jun 1998Dec 2004

Various Positions, Software and Web Design

Carnegie Mellon University

Held various positions at Carnegie Mellon from 1996-2004.  Project assistant for the Nine Mile Run Greenway Project, hosted at CMU's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.  Working there as an undergraduate, the NMR project interfaced with the mayor, community representatives and developers, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers. Media Designer for the Electrical and Computer Engineering School.  He also held a number of student jobs, including gallery assistant, cartoonist for the school newspaper, radio show host and web designer.

Worked for a CMU spin-off called "Grand Illusion Studios" that commercialized Mike Christel, Don Marinelli and Scott Stevens' Synthetic Interview product.


Sep 1996Dec 2005

Bachelor of Science

Carnegie Mellon University

INTERACTION DESIGN (self-defined major)


Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Herbert Gilliland is an entrepreneur, scientist, artist and musician who spends most of his time developing software for clients and for his indie game studio, Lost Astronaut Studios.  He plays the electric guitar.

An early experimenter in digital video technology, Herb has worked for a variety of companies, academic institutions, law firms and charities both in the US and abroad.  He has brought his software skills and creative insight into various fields, including biomedical, data processing and visualization, 3D printing, electronics and multimedia.

As an academic, Herb spent time engaged in self-directed interdisciplinary exploration.  He studied a self-defined degree, which helped bring Interaction Design to Carnegie Mellon.

Herb spent 13 years working in food service and was apprenticed to a professional chef for 2 years, and also worked briefly under Yves Carreau, earning himself the accolade of accomplished foodie.

His hobbies include walking stick crafting, backyard mycology and astronomy, hiking in nature and study of Earth history, including human history.  He likes listening to baroque, blues and jazz while programming.


Skills include: HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL/MSSQL/Sqlite/PDO, Linux, Windows, C/C++, OpenGL, OpenAL

Adept at using Photoshop, Illustrator and Open Office, Microsoft Office 2016.  Some experience with earlier versions of Adobe Premiere / Digital Video

Other explorations: Compiler development, Morphology Analysis (Image Analysis), Data Processing, Data Analysis/Visualization, Programming Language Design, Tools Development, iPhone/iPad, (OpenGLES), Processing, Audacity, FLS Pro, Voice Acting, "Special Effects", 3D Engine Development, GLSL


A Universe of Interactions, H. Elwood, Z. Borlja, 2008.The Adventures of George and Herb, H. Elwood with Save the Rhino International and Turgwe Hippo Trust, 2007.

Beginning, H. Gilliland, 1994, 2005.

Clifton McGill Photo Essay, C. McGill, H. Gilliland.  STUDIO for Creative Inquiry 2000.

[Ctrl]SPACE, The Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, MIT Press, 2002.

Goto, R., Bingham, B., Collins, T., et al Ample Opportunity: A Community Dialogue/The Nine Mile Run Greenway Project. STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998.

iSee and the Effects of Surveillance on Public Space, Institute for Applied Autonomy, 2003.

The Mod Archive, Amiga music preservation, Fledge/, 1996.

New Beginning, H. Gilliland, 1994, 2005.

Omnicircus CD, F. Garvey, H. Gilliland, 2000.

Online Creation, Chris Woodward, Herb Gilliland, 1993-2006.

Only in New York, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, August 2005.

Project Club/ESCAPE ONLINE, 1999-2002, Platform Digital LLC, 2000.

Polymorphic Server-Model for Multi-modal Agents, ISAL/ECAL, International Conference for Artificial Life, 2002.

Sight of Stillness, Carolyn Speranza, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 2002-2003.

Transforming Nine Mile Run: Final Report, T. Collins, R. Goto, B. Bingham, R. Pell, H. Gilliland, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University 2000.

Unauthorized: IAA Field Operations Handbook, Institute for Applied Autonomy, 2009.

Game Design Experience

Since mid-2006, I have spent time self-teaching myself game engine development on the Microsoft Windows platform.  I started with libAgar on Linux, but later moved to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, and recently have ported my work to VS2015.  Through this exploration I have interacted with a variety of industry professionals in the computer graphics industry, spent countless hours developing and refining over 1800 interoperable classes in C/C++ for Visual Studio.  My experience includes a wide range of Desktop, Web and Mobile: driver middleware libraries, multithreading, rendering techniques in OpenGL, binary file support, textual file support including writing my own JSON handling classes, extensive support for OpenAL the open audio library. 

Beyond the low-level hardware support libraries, I have also spent a great deal of time exploring, implementing and inventing new animation tools, image analysis, procedural rendering, game development tools, level editors and interactivity.  Under the shingle "Lost Astronaut Studios", I have in production two green-lit titles on the STEAM platform.  I have written 2D gaming engines, 3D object customization editors and modeling programs, combining a variety of techniques exploring many aspects of game design.  Though too numerous to list here, some of the topics have included procedural generation of geometry, color manipulation, particle systems on both the GPU and CPU side, 2D and 3D fonts, in-game dialogue systems, questing systems, level advancement, reward systems, collision systems, and audio APIs.

Production Samples

Code Samples and Relevant Links

The best way to view sample animations is to visit the Lost Astronaut Studios official Twitter profile @LAGameStudio available at and view the Moments on this profile that debrief the progress made in various timelines for Lost Astronaut's current project, Fringes of the Empire.

To view code samples you may view my github at

I personally recommend taking a closer look at the github repositories for  ZeroTypes library and the Page Framework which demonstrate my depth of knowledge in both C++ and the LAMP stack.  To see GLSL examples and GML, view my repo for GML-Pro, an extension library for GameMaker I wrote that is growing in popularity.