Hi, I'm Derek Brooks aka broox, brooks or brooksy

I'm a 36 year old midwestern American who enjoys engineering, traveling, partying, and extremish sports.


I grew up in the rural town of Port Byron, IL and moved to Mount Vernon, IA for college. After that, work brought me to Des Moines, IA (with a 15 month stint living in Chicago, IL).


I've been married to my college girlfriend, Kari (Reynolds) Brooks for 12 years. Together, we have a house and a dog.


I graduated from Riverdale High School of Port Byron, IL in 1999 then went on to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA. I graduated Cornell in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science.


My early jobs consisted of pizza places and hardware stores. In college I began promoting an awesome shoe company and got really into web dev, sys admin, and technology in general.

After college, I took a job as an Application Developer for the Research Information Management department at Pioneer Hi-Bred International (I basically wrote research software for bio-chemistry scientists).

Eventually, the corporate development environment got a bit boring so I spent some time as a Software Engineer for a small web development company called Red 5 Interactive and then a Senior Application Engineer for an awesome little San Francisco based startup called Dipity.

After all of that, I spent 16 months as the lead engineer of voter contact and protection at Obama For America, where I built software with a team of baller engineers to power President Obama's 2012 campaign.

The Obama campaign led me and a few of my colleagues to build a company that would eventually be acquired by PayPal/Braintree.

I'm currently at PayPal working with some awesome folks to research and shape the next generation of commerce.

More info and a portfolio available at http://www.broox.com/work/


Music is a pretty huge part of my life. I have a super hard time not listening to music.

I'm really into to hip hop, club music, metal, ghetto rap, hard rock, punk, horrorcore rap, electro, and even some pop. The only things I'm not into are pop-country, newish pop-punk, and folky "dave" type-o-stuff.

I'm also a huge fan of live shows. Here's a list of some of the concerts I've been to recently.

I've been listening to a lot of Kanye West, Insane Clown Posse, Kid Cudi, The Offspring, and Ghostland Observatory over the past month.


TV hasn't been hooked up in my house since 99. I do have a 100" screen in the basement... but it's only for movies and social video gaming. I don't have channels.

I don't really watch as many movies as I'd like, but I still love movies. Comedies, gangster, action, mysteries, and definitely skate/skatish type videos.


My wife's books dominate the storage in my house. I really hate reading; it's not good for my A.D.D. and I feel like most books are as much of a waste of time as television. ;)


I love traveling but have barely made a dent in all the places I want to visit. So far, I've been to 16 countries, 2 U.S. islands, and 31 of the 50 united states. Here's an old map I made of my travels.