Brad Hamilton - Generalist   

High School “Over-achiever”

After bringing home a report card with two C’s and a D in sixth grade, my folks forced me to develop healthy study habits.  By the end of eighth grade I was getting straight A’s and did so throughout high school.  In addition to athletics, being class president, and yearbook editor, I graduated as valedictorian and was accepted to the engineering programs at Cal Poly (SLO) and UC Berkeley.

Product Safety Engineer (IT Generalist)

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, I went directly to work at Underwriters Laboratories as a Product Safety Engineer.  I remained at UL for seven years conducting product safety evaluations on a wide variety of Information Technology products.  This position frequently required on-site investigations, so I conducted many domestic and international business trips which included going to Japan and Taiwan more than 15 times.

After leaving UL, I worked in the product safety field for two more years, first running the product safety lab at a local third party testing agency, and later opening a west coast office for a similar company based in Texas.

Dot-Com “Start-up” (Technology Generalist and “many hats”)

In 1997 I became the sixth employee at BetaSphere Inc., a technology start-up that provided out-sourced beta testing programs.  My primary job was program manager. I ran beta testing programs for a wide variety of hardware, software, consumer, and commercial products.  As the only engineer on staff other than the two founders, I handled most of the more technical beta programs.  And, as the sixth employee of a company that grew to 120 employees in the four years I was there, I was also responsible for many other job duties.  With the IT guy, I built the LAN (Local Area Network) in the new office.  I managed the database of beta testers, and eventually wrote the specifications to have this proprietary application rewritten by an outside software development firm.  I co-wrote the manual for the Program Manager position and trained many of the new employees.  I purchased nearly 100 PCs and configured and installed them for new employees.  In the final months, I was managing a team of software developers building our 3rd generation enterprise application, a feedback management tool for running beta programs.  I was laid off in March of 2001, when the Dot-Com bubble burst.

A new path in the Financial Industry

Disillusioned with the employment cycle in the tech industry I began to look for other means of income.  In 2003 I got my California Insurance License, and in 2004 I obtained my FINRA Series 6 and Series 63 Securities Licenses.  In 2005 I bought a book of business from a retiring couple that included about 130 clients, but had less that $8 million dollars in assets under management.  As the recession began in 2007 these assets shrank substantially.  To this day, I provide superior client service to this client base, but the trail commissions barely cover the required Errors and Omissions insurance.  As a teacher rather than a salesman, and due to the investment environment caused by the great recession, I have not had much success bringing in new money.  Thus my financial advisor business is a serious part time job that is not generating any income.  However, I have invested so much in the effort, and after eight years I actually have some experience and expertise. I am not completely comfortable giving up the practice at this time.

Musician/Teacher/Leader/Non-Profit Founder

I am also a lifelong musician.  Since college, I have played professionally in a number of different bands.  I produced a commercial record (CD) in 1997.  Since 2001, I have taught Brazilian Samba Drumming.  Working with dancers I have run a Samba School that provides drum and dance classes year round and also performs at a variety events ranging from large parades to private shows, corporate events and weddings.  The group inherited an existing non-profit corporation that became dysfunctional due to irresolvable personnel issues.  In 2007, we renamed the group and formed a new non-profit corporation from scratch.  Creating the corporation was relatively easy.  Obtaining tax-exempt status from the IRS required a much larger effort.  I was the main individual responsible for accomplishing that goal.

Along with one other principle officer I continue to drive this organization, which we have built up to be one of the strongest Samba Schools in the SF Bay Area.  As CEO I conduct board of directors meetings twice a year in addition to teaching the classes and managing the performance component of the group.  I am paid to teach classes, and I receive a modest stipend from our paid gigs.  However, this endeavor constitutes another part time job that does not generate substantial income.

Event Management/Production Work

During the last decade I have also taken other odd jobs as they were available.  I have done substantial production work in the entertainment industry working for the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and many other similar events.  I have worked as stage crew, stage manager, and sound man, among other roles.

Graphics Production/Artistic Director

For a short period, I was doing contract work in graphics production.  I have considerable skills, but not expertise working with the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and In Design).  I have acted as artistic director for most of the custom graphics created for the Samba performing group (Costume Graphics and Flyers).

Real Estate Investor

For two years I owned investment real estate and worked in a variety of environments in the real estate and alternative investment arenas.

Webmaster/Web Developer/Content Creator

I have owned domains and maintained web sites for more than 15 years.  I recently completely rebuilt our Samba School’s web site bringing it up to date with the latest Internet features.  The new sites were built using content management systems (Joomla and Wordpress).  Although I have done programming in school, I am not a “coder” and thus would not be a suitable candidate for a web developer.

Summary and other skills

Together, all of this experience makes me a true “generalist.  I have substantial experience in a wide variety of fields and with a wide variety of technologies.  It appears than most positions in the technology industry now require incredible specialization.  Most job opportunities contain lists of very specific areas of expertise (i.e. 3-5 years direct experience) which a candidate with such a generalized background does not match.

Since last November, I have been volunteering as an exhibit explainer (docent) at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.  I am passionate about The Tech’s mission and really enjoy the role of teaching and inspiring the public about technology and the history of technology.  I believe that I would embrace a job at The Tech with a drive and passion similar to that which motivates my involvement with my Samba School.

For more details of my qualifications and experience, please review the following resources.

Experience List

List of Technologies

Teaching Experience

Project Management Example (Project and Event Management)


For examples of my web development and writing skills please see these two web sites.  I am the site manager and the primary content creator of these sites.

Additional Writing Samples (Editorial)