john-sierraI’m John (at right, on Netherlands TV)1. I’m a writer and app software engineer. I grew up in Southern California and I’ve worked in Northern California as a programmer and journalist.

I now live and work in London, where I am interested in finding new clients to make computer applications for.


My programming experience stretches back to my youth, during which I was obsessed with Commodore Amiga computers and earned extra credit from a kind math teacher after he discovered I had spent his trig lectures writing games on the class’s VAX mainframe about dudes with swords fighting wizards.

Lately I’ve been working the most with iOS (Swift 3, Objective-C) and modern JavaScript. I also do stuff with Unix, Web servers and databases.

I build, document and advise clients on how best to implement:

* Modern JavaScript applications (Node.js, React Native, etc.) and interactive features
* Phone apps (Swift, Objective-C), lately ones with swipey user-matching screens
* Databases (MongoDB, Firebase) for providing realtime info or syncing stuff between apps
* Friendly UIs for talking to creaky old data collections
* Custom software for radio hosts: paywalls, chat rooms, live Internet broadcasting

Podcast paywalls and software for podcast hosts

Tech portfolio here (2017 version coming soon); drop me a line for rates and estimates. No job too small (or large).


In between things I have written these books, as well as articles that have appeared in The New York Observer, The Guardian and other places.

Kearny’s Dragoons Out West: The Birth of the U.S. Cavalry (University of Oklahoma, 2016.) A piece of untold Western history, co-written with my dad!

Bad Moon Rising (PoliPoint Press, 2008.) This book is based on one of the first viral video scandals. (Journalists and researchers: Please see the FAQ).

Other Writing

Been working on some other writing projects, some of them interactive…and coming soon.


1 In 2016, my wife Mary and I accidentally ended up on an Amsterdam TV news crew’s feature about growing enthusiasm for Dutch track and field (at about 1:10).