Stephen Lau

Stephen Lau

Staff Software Engineer & Tech Lead, Google Glass at Google

Oakland, California (San Francisco Bay Area)
Computer Software

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Stephen Lau's Overview

  • Staff Software Engineer & Tech Lead, Google Glass at Google
  • Senior Software Engineer & Tech Lead, Google Glass at Google
  • Senior Software Engineer at Rdio
  • Independent Android Developer at stevel

500+ connections


Stephen Lau's Summary

Experienced software developer and developer community evangelist. I've been involved in many different projects at many different scales from technical development & evangelism from systems to desktop to mobile.

Along the way I've open sourced an operating system (OpenSolaris), created a developer community from scratch and shipped cutting-edge features in a web-integrated desktop media player (Songbird), built mobile apps from the ground app (Rdio's Android & Windows Phone apps), and am now building the future (Google Glass).

My languages and runtime expertise have encompassed kernel/systems code, HPC and multithreaded programming, desktop software development in C++, web code in HTML/JS, and mobile hackery in Java/Android/C#/.Net.

Stephen Lau's Experience

Staff Software Engineer & Tech Lead, Google Glass


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; GOOG; Internet industry

October 2013Present (1 year 1 month) Mountain View, CA

Glass Applications Technical Lead. I help make Glass shiny.

I typically prototype features, demonstrate feasibility as a shipping feature, and then build up teams to implement them through to production, acting as a technical lead for the teams and features. This includes projects/features such as:
• MyGlass Android app - Built the app from the ground up, and had a hand in implementing almost every single feature of the app.
• Hangouts/Video Calls - Lead the team implementing this, working with third party vendors, the Hangouts infrastructure and media teams throughout Google, and built most of the client/UI facing code.
• Music Player - Built initial prototype, then led a team implementing this all the way through to production in <3 months.

Additionally, as one of the original software engineers on the product, I leverage my expertise across the entire vertical Glass software stack to continue to optimize, debug, and fix issues from platform/framework code, media encoding/decoding, Bluetooth, audio, to Android client/UI code. I'm comfortable working almost anywhere within the Android stack.

I'm skilled at leading teams, and working with other teams both inside and outside of Google to coordinate and get software features and products shipped on-time to customers.

Senior Software Engineer & Tech Lead, Google Glass


Public Company; 10,001+ employees; GOOG; Internet industry

June 2011October 2013 (2 years 5 months) Mountain View, CA

One of the first members of the software team that prototyped and built Glass from the ground up. I worked all over the software stack, prototyping, building, hacking, and helping grow the team from 5 to 100 engineers.

In the currently shipping product I’ve built the Settings UI, designed the setup flow, prototyped the initial Bluetooth headset work, built the initial client work to upload videos to G+, playback of videos via the Timeline, and investigated and fixed numerous wifi issues.

In previous iterations/prototypes of the software, I’ve built entire UI flows, implemented video recording, hacked on many messaging features (Gmail, text messaging, Gtalk), and helped prototype entire UIs that, while never ended up shipping, did influence UX decisions and led to future UX direction.

I was also one of the two software engineers that helped pull off the Google I/O Glass stunt demo that launched Glass to the world.

Senior Software Engineer


Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Music industry

June 2010June 2011 (1 year 1 month) San Francisco, CA

Responsible for building Rdio's Android and Windows Phone apps.

Independent Android Developer


Self-Employed; Myself Only; Computer Software industry

September 2010May 2011 (9 months) Oakland, CA

Built two Android apps:
• ConnectIn - Support syncing/integration of LinkedIn contacts into the Android contacts database. View activity stream, status updates, and send/receive InMails.
• GestureLock - A replacement lock screen allowing users to define gestures to unlock & automatically launch installed programs.

Software Engineer & Developer Advocate

Pioneers of the Inevitable (Songbird)

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Computer Software industry

October 2007June 2010 (2 years 9 months) San Francisco, CA

Simultaneously built out Songbird's open source developer community as well as doing major feature development.

• Project managed the successful release of Songbird 1.4.3
• Lead developer on the complete re-design of the Songbird UI.
• Lead developer on major shipping features showcasing service integration & media web mashups: SHOUTcast Internet Radio, Scrobbling + Radio, mashTape, & Songkick concerts integration.
• Developed CDDB Lookup (via Gracenote) as well as working on various device sync features and issues for MSC/MTP device support.

• Led the build-out of the Songbird Developer Centre wiki.
• Developed marketing campaigns for developer outreach & growth.
• Authored many of Songbird's developer articles, tutorials, and code samples/recipes.
• Presented at various open source conferences to evangelise the Songbird development platform.
• Worked with Songbird's BD to help close partner deals & conduct technical presentations/training.
• Was instrumental in closing two of Songbird's largest partner deals.

Board Member

OpenSolaris Governing Board

April 2007April 2009 (2 years 1 month)

Board member of the OGB: the elected board to set direction and lead the OpenSolaris open source community.

Member Technical Staff, OpenSolaris Engineering

Sun Microsystems

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ORCL; Information Technology and Services industry

July 2005September 2007 (2 years 3 months) Menlo Park, CA

Contributed to engineering efforts, governance, leadership, and community evangelism/outreach for the OpenSolaris project. Lead the project to convert the OS/Net (core kernel, libraries, and commands of OpenSolaris) from an internal Teamware-managed source gate to an external Mercurial repository, one of the critical steps in the open sourcing of the OpenSolaris source base, including developing and porting the tools used by OS/Net engineers.

Solaris Kernel Test Developer

Sun Microsystems

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ORCL; Information Technology and Services industry

June 2003June 2005 (2 years 1 month) Menlo Park, CA

Test developer for Solaris Kernel projects: CPC (CPU Performance Counters), CMT (Chip Multithreading), NUMA/MPO (Memory Placement Optimisation), and Intrd (Interrupt Redistribution).

Developed random QE tools (dashboard for project/staffing matrix, assertion report generator, etc.)

Software Engineer

Quantum Magnetics

October 2002March 2003 (6 months) San Diego, CA

Quantum Magnetics has now been acquired by GE (General Electric) and is now GE Infrastructure Security

Ported existing landmine detection systems software from QNX 4 platform to new QNX 6 Neutrino platform. Re-wrote IPC to use new message passing primitives. Setup CVS repository server, & converted software engineering process to use revision control.

Software Engineer

Ricoh Silicon Valley

Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; Information Technology and Services industry

June 1999September 2002 (3 years 4 months) Cupertino, CA

Helped develop open source Server Side Markup Language (OpenSSML). Embedded PHP, Perl, & Python function calls within OpenSSML, as well as integrating namespaces into one managable namespace. Fixed bugs & created new features for beta release of eCabinet product.

Developed KDE & GNOME (Linux) development tools (in C & C++), as well as developing C/C++ code for a web-driven user interface (CGIs, & their corresponding libraries).

(note: these were summer internships over successive years)

Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Defense & Space industry

June 2001June 2002 (1 year 1 month) San Diego, CA

Developed & optimized software for the GSTAMIDS counter-landmine warfare project using C/C++. Performed research for a parallel clustering implementation of the GSTAMIDS project. Built eight node cluster running Red Hat Linux 7.2 to research clustered computing.

Stephen Lau's Education

University of California, San Diego

MS, Computer Science / High Performance & Parallel Computation


Graduated via the thesis track with a concentration in High Performance & Parallel Computation. Thesis research focused on overlapping computational threads with communication proxy threads in multi-threaded systems to achieve higher speed-up.

Activities and Societies: Tau Beta Pi

University of California, San Diego

BS, Computer Science


Activities and Societies: Tau Beta Pi

Stephen Lau's Additional Information

Stephen Lau's Skills & Expertise

  2. Perl
  3. Solaris
  4. Linux
  5. Open Source
  6. Java
  7. Android
  8. C++
  9. Windows Phone

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