About Me

Langdon White

How to reach me, my philosophy, and what I’ve contributed lately

I am a strong believer that everything can be better if more viewpoints are integrated. In this vein, I would like to actively encourage any visitors to this site or students in my classes to suggest content or, even better, add content to make this site better, more inclusive, clearer, whatever. I can’t entirely provide direct contribution access because it is based on WordPress. However, please feel free to file an “issue” in my website Github repository with comments or content that you would like to see appear on the site and I will try to make it happen. I will credit any content provided and only require that content is licensed under CC BY-SA. Now for my biography.

Langdon White is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS). He comes to the faculty with broad exposure to the software industry. Rather than only working in research and academics, he has spent his career in industry. He has served as CTO, Chief Architect, Vice President, software advocate, architect, and software engineer in a variety of types of companies, from startups to Fortune 50.

Transformation has been the through line of his career. While working in consulting for 15 years, his projects were centered on the transformation of his clients’ businesses through the use of technology. During his 9 years at Red Hat, he helped developers work with Linux more successfully. Ultimately, he realized that transformational change was required, leading to re-architecting Fedora (a Linux Distribution) for more flexibility in a containerized world. Next, he started to engage with students at Boston University.

While still at Red Hat, Langdon served as an Engineer in Residence for BU Spark! & the Hariri Institute. In this role, he spent time on campus in support of students, taught several classes providing students with real world experience in software development, and developed a course to prepare students for internships or jobs in the software industry.

Recognizing the opportunity to transform students and the software world, he joined Boston University as a Clinical faculty member and as the Technical Director for Spark! (the experiential learning unit in CDS). Transforming the software world requires increasing the diversity of viewpoints participating in software development and removing the barriers stopping those viewpoints from participating. His approach is two-fold.

First, Open Source which reduces barriers by making the creation of and access to software democratic.  To support Open Source, he uses open source software almost exclusively, contributes code and documentation where he can, and promotes its use by others. In addition, he started a free, yearly, Open Source conference, DevConf.US with support for people from all walks of life to attend and present.

Second, by teaching differently. In CDS we are experimenting with new learning models recognizing that not everyone comes to the table with the same background or goals for what they want out of computing and data science. He teaches DS-100 as a gateway course  intended to be accessible to anyone, from any background, and prepares them to leverage data science.  He has also been experimenting with new outreach methods including Live Streaming and Gamification.