Who is Justin Klein?

A 35-year-old contract programmer and world traveler based in Los Angeles, California and Kyoto, Japan.
Born in LA in 1982, I got my Computer Engineering degree from UC San Diego in 2004. After graduating, I moved to Kyoto for a semester at Ritsumeikan University - but that semester quickly turned to a year, which turned to a second year in Japan working as a Nintendo game programmer. Since leaving that job in 2007, I've been coding independently on various projects from remote locations around the world.
This site was originally created to keep in touch with friends and family during a brief stay abroad, but as life has continued leading me on distant and unique adventures, it's grown into a fairly continuous narrative - of all the experiences, people, and places I encounter along the way.
If this is your first visit, I suggest starting off with some of the "Featured Posts" in the rotating banner on the main homepage here. Although my writing - both in terms of style and of content - has changed pretty dramatically over the years, those articles should give you a fair idea of what I'm about.
In general, the blog's timeline is composed of three pretty distinct periods - first as a student in Japan, then as a video game programmer in Japan, and finally as an independent backpacker/traveler. If a particular section doesn't interest you, you maybe surprised at how different the others are.
I've also posted some videos here (my personal favorite is Fourteen Months in Japan) and photography here (although the vast majority of photos are spread throughout the blog posts themselves - so if you have an interest in i.e. Brazilian Carnaval, those photos can be found within the Brazil posts).
Professionally, most of my work consists of application development across a range of industries - US Government contracts, bioinformatics research, geophysics, real estate, and of course video game development. I also do a fair bit of web programming and have created many tools and applications for personal use. If you're interested, summaries of some of my larger projects can be found on the projects page here.
Personally, most of my non-technical hobbies involve some form of physical outdoors activity. In addition to weight training since High School, I've been a PADI certified diver since 2006, surfed since college, and taken countless long-distance bikerides and hikes across the globe. I also have interests in digital photography, electronics, and foreign language. I'm fluent in Japanese, understand a bit of Spanish, and have recently taken up Mandarin Chinese.
And I guess that's about it. I hope you enjoy reading about my travels - comments / suggestions / complaints are always welcome. And if you have a moment, please sign my guestbook - I always love to hear who's been peeking in. Especially if you're an old friend who I haven't heard from in years :)
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