To build long-term relationships with compelling people and businesses as a web applications engineer, particularly within LAMP environments.
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My career as a professional application engineer began as a developer creating databases for the US Navy and continues through two decades to my current position as a Zend PHP Certified Engineer working in Drupal. What follows is a brief explanation of my accomplishments in each of the roles I've filled over that time.
My initial work at Forum One focused on providing multiple clients rapidly developed solutions to complex issues, ranging from simplifying a non-maintainable contextually responsive Hero Blocks system into a single terms-driven module, or adding/extending features of a data-reporting API, or maintaining and expanding an AWS lambda functions, or implementing from scratch secure file transfer protocols between disparate servers/clients. My proficiency and utility landed me a position with the highly demanding HRSA support contract, where I continued to create custom solutions ranging from a fluid organization charts system, to a highly dynamic US Map module (providing multiple means of linking or popping up info for states and/or regions), to creating a simplified system for narrowing down and viewing specific health statistics from a massive dataset, ... and that list goes on for a while. The work there was diverse, interesting, and challenging, and required "Public Trust" clearance.
Worked with small team to rapidly implement every aspect from the QASE site, focusing particularly on integrations with third-party vendors (video, payment gateway, etc.), on executing design decisions made by core team, and on mentoring team members.
My initial tasks at New Target consisted largely of rapidly developing simple solutions for a variety of client needs and debugging existing projects, but I shortly moved on to work developing a complex Drupal based CRM from scratch for a high profile AFL-CIO affiliate, with my primary responsibility being the design and creation of “Data Exchange” (a complex and flexible system for rapidly collating data from disparate sources and making the same available in various forms) and with implementing a complex and highly responsive SOLR data store serving as the backbone for the CRM. I transitioned slowly out of this project, working part time and as needed to help spin up new resources and troubleshoot any particularly complex issues.
My work at Phase2 is diverse and engaging, with projects ranging from the NCAA's upgrade from Drupal 6 to 7, to maintaining and expanding The Nation's web services, to building out the Georgia Tech Authorities' mult-site Drupal installations, to building out complex interactions on Rad Hat's new corporate site, to building and maintaining projects for drupal.org, and a metric whack of others. In order to overcome the limitations of a client's hosting provider, I created a “Nutch for Drupal” module that incrementally crawls sites on cron and creates stubbed nodes, and which rewrites that content's URL to the external address when they're indexed in to SOLR.
The "Rich Experience Development" (that being the "RED" in the title) that I performed was centered on the analysis and coding of complex LAMP applications required by our enterprise level clients (Sony, MTV, College Humor, etc.). Most of the work by my team was conducted in the Drupal CMS, requiring a wide range of expertise both within and outside of this CMS. These include deep module development, complex Apache SOLR integration, and various highly customized theme work; e.g. I'd implemented Sencha Touch as an extension of the base theme system for a Fortune 100 client. Additional duties include team leading and training, occasional work in QA, technical documentation, database development, and various other technical tasks. I began that post as a telecommuter from the States and subsequently moved to Nova Scotia to continue the work on-site before transitioning back in to telecommuting.
Initially hired on to supplement the core team, my work at Consumer Search so far includes creating a custom SOLR interface in node.js, planning and implementing migration processes between various versions of Drupal 6 and 7, designing and creating numerous administrative and customer facing interfaces, and many other tasks.
I began this contract as the sole engineer responsible for the Travel Group sites (e.g. www.caribbeantravelmag.com, www.destinationweddingmag.com, www.spamagazine.com, etc.) but on my second month was asked to train an in-house Java developer as my replacement and became the Drupal engineer for the fast-paced Bonnier Marine Group sites (e.g. www.boatingmag.com, www.flyingmag.com, www.sailingworld.com, etc.). When tasked with re-creating a Java-based search UI in Drupal for use in a specific site search, I took my usual "re-use focused" approach and constructed a generic and highly configurable node-based module, which now can be used by other teams to configure and implement similar search interfaces with ease.
Lead a three-man team in the rapid implementation of a complex, highly professional, time sensitive, user-interaction-oriented, Drupal-based website: www.warrior.com. Per my contract, my team completed phase one of the project, designed and began the implementation of the second/final phase, and successfully handed this off to the in-house team to complete.
I worked in a key role on the Web-Dev Team, recoding our core product from an old 'web 1.0' status into a dynamic and well-designed 'web 2.0' application, simultaneously upgrading its functionality as per design specifications and customer demands. I then accepted the opportunity to work several months in the Implementation-Consultant Team (IC) in order to learn how that side of the business operates, and realized that the in-house tools available for completing that work was substandard and inadequate. With this in mind, I proposed the implementation of an Internal Tools Team, and became a founding member of that group.
There, I applied my newly gained IC knowledge to design, spec, and build internal-use applications. What tools already exist had been created in a catch-as-catch-can method, resulting in a disregard for standards and maintainability. By carefully designing Wiz (Workforce Injected Zend [Framework]), I created a highly flexible foundation upon which to build all other WorkForce internal applications going forward; Wiz cares for all common functionality (e.g. LDAP login, ACL, layout, menu, user settings, etc.) freeing designers and developers to concentrate on core functionality without being bogged down by mundane details.
After scrutinizing the core business processes of this telecommunications services company and their "Toolkit 2" project, I designed and coded "Toolkit 3" to handle their specialized needs. This application tracks order fulfillment processing from initial customer contact through each step of its processing up to final verification and issue closure. Part of the design challenge was creating a system that allowed internal developers to code proprietary processes and attach them to steps in the tracking system such that any errors were handled and reported gracefully.
My primary task here lay in recovering the "Coverage For One" project, which had previously been contracted for completion with an outside vendor. After evaluating the code and finding it non-OO, non-secure, buggy, and poorly-conceived overall, I elected to write the application from scratch using the original specs and a strict OO / MVC design. I completed the code ahead of schedule but still finished my contract by implementing new feature requests. The new "Coverage For One" tool simplifies the complex business rules of Michigan Blue Cross / Blue Shield, questions potential customers about their insurance needs, analyzes their answers, and branches to appropriate options that guide them to the product that best suits those answers.
In this role I was a member of a small team building Site Turbine, a suite of web-based modules for extending customer websites. When I joined RainStorm, the team was working hard to finish various core modules before a promised release date. I assisted this effort by developing the online shopping cart with its configurable payment gateway and also completed various small and non-related projects. Upon finishing the base set of modules, we implemented the solution with many customers and the Site Turbine project continues to perform very well in the marketplace.
While completing my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, I worked on several internal-use and customer-facing projects, including a bibliography parsing and cataloging system, a public use guide to the attractions on Maine's Ice Age Trail and a database front end providing the ability to make complex queries against the "Old Weather" dataset (weather entries transcribed from old journals spanning the late 1600s to the early 1800s).
Here I developed the Data Interface Module for ProFund SeQuel, ADS' core "fund-based accounting" application. This module allows data to be mapped into or out of its databases in controlled and auditable processes. Upon rolling out the change, our sales team reported unexpected success signing customers who were currently using a competitor's product.
ASP, Visual Basic (6.0 to .net), VBA, SQL, Access, Source Safe, Crystal Reports, IIS, Technical and Business Writing
Designed and developed various in-house data storage and querying tools for the sales and development teams.
Visual Basic, Access, VBA, SQL, MySQL, Technical and Business Writing
Migrated existing PL/B (a COBOL-like language) data management system to Visual Basic and Access.
PL/B COBOL, PL/B DB (indexed files), IBM AIX, ColdFusion, Visual Basic, Access
When this paper products distributer unexpectedly lost both its long-time network administrators it became my task to keep the servers and their various interdependent operations up and running until replacement administrators could be hired. Though unfamiliar with the operating systems or their processes, I was able to keep their network running smoothly for the term of my contract, performing minor updates and repairs as needed.
Unix, Linux, PICK (AIX), Access, Visual Basic
While completing my Associate of Science in Computer Science, I developed an incident tracking database for the Security Office at the Illinois Veterans' Home. I also installed software, network and phone lines, and hardware for NT and WANG servers as directed by the IT Manager.
Access, Visual Basic
Also while completing my Associate of Science in Computer Science, I worked for the Computer Services department performing all manner of maintenance tasks. Notably, I rewired the entire main campus during my stay, replacing the old coaxial cable with with Cat-5, running fiber optics between each of the data centers, all resulting in a dramatic increase in network throughput for students and faculty.
Unix, Routers, Hubs, Switches, Cat 5, Coaxial, Fiber Optics
Upon being assigned to the Spear, I reported to Deck Department and found them maintaining all of the personnel records, watch bills, and other paperwork by hand or typewriter. When my computer skills became known to my officers, I accepted the opportunity to shift to an administrative position and shortly developed a personnel information and qualifications database in MS Access and automated much of the day-to-day running of the department.
Access, VBA, Word Perfect