Experience & Skills

Here’s a list of my work experiences, fun projects, and other skills I’ve acquired.

Freelance Software Engineer / Computer Scientist

I’ve been freelancing since June of 2010.  I love it.  Here’s a list of some of the things I do as a freelancer, and some things I’ve done as personal projects / just for fun:

  • Design, implementation, and maintenance of web-scrapers.  Usually, this means write them, and fix them whenever the site changes the slightest little thing.  I generally do these in Java (sometimes BeanShell), but I’ve been toying with Python (scrapy) lately, too.
  • Linux administration tasks.  Software installs, to firewall configuration, writing init and cleanup scripts, making sure servers don’t run out of disk space and die, troubleshooting frustrating (and interesting) kernel bugs.  Mostly Ubuntu and CentOS, with a sprinkle of Fedora in there too.
  • WordPress administration and theme tweaking.  Migrated a handful of blogs into a multisite to standardize configuration.  Troubleshooting slow page loads with cachegrind is a frequent item on my to-do list as well.
  • Drupal.  I have ventured deeper into Drupal than any sane man should care to.  Seriously, though – I know Drupal.  I spent a few months learning the ins-and-outs of that CMS.
  • Web application stack setups and troubleshooting.  I could probably set up Apache/Nginx + PHP-FPM + MySQL/PostgreSQL + [insert your favorite CMS] in my sleep at this point.  Note: I got into Nginx in the first place because my old VPS was light on RAM.  It was an interesting experience.
  • Various issue tracking setups.  I’ve set up installs of Trac, Redmine (my favorite by far!), mediawiki.  That sort of thing.
  • Ruby on Rails.  I finally fell into the group-think and decided to learn Rails (and Ruby).  I haven’t spend a huge amount of time with it, but I’m comfortable saying that I don’t regret it.

Maintenance Engineer / Team Lead

I had a contract job with a defense sector client that lasted for about a year, from July of 2009 to June of 2010.  It was a blast.  Some of the things I did there:

  • Maintained web applications for internal use.  Most of these were Struts running on Glassfish, but some of the work was ColdFusion.  I have to admit I prefer the J2EE apps.
  • Developed and wrote test plans, peer-reviewed code, and handled change requests in a very rigorously formalized environment.  Got to flex my TDD muscles with jUnit.  In any event, we really didn’t have many regression bugs.
  • Led a team of maintenance engineers doing the above.  Mostly, my Team Lead work consisted of meetings, paperwork, and balancing the workload of my team.  It was a fun experience.

Software Engineer

This was my first job out of college.  I was working for (now hold on, it gets confusing here…) Knowledge Computing Corp, which was purchased by i2 group, which was then purchased by IBM.  I worked there from 2005 to 2009.  During my time there, I spent most of my time working on the COPLINK application suite.  It was very rewarding work, knowing your efforts helped the cops take some very unsavory people off the street.  Anyway, while I was there:

  • Worked on the Mobile and Visualization components of the COPLINK suite.  Mobile is pretty self-explanatory: it was basically a slimmed-down interface to COPLINK for mobile devices.  The Visualizer was the really cool project – it lets cops see how criminals are related and how closely they’re related.
  • Worked on a few other fun bit-projects, such as an automated 6-pack/9-pack lineup generator, and a fingerprint recognition (which used off-the-shelf Microsoft fingerprint readers) component.  The fingerprint recognition work was arguably the most fun I had at that job.

Departmental Network / Computer Support

I worked for the OB/GYN department at the University’s Medical Center while I was in college.  Most of what I did was centered around keeping the network running, ordering new machines and other gear for the doctors, setting up VPN connectivity off-site.  Run-of-the-mill system administration tasks.  Did a lot of coding in PHP on this job.

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