Consulting / Managing / Architect / Advocate
My previous role was as an IBM Consultant and Solution Architect (Data, AI, eDiscovery, Governance)
working on various projects for large financial and sporting organisations.
I'm used to leading delivery and leading technical direction. I will also get my hands dirty whenever I need to
(always hoping to). I'm experienced, use common sense, like to plan, like to communicate, keep things simple and
just 'get it done, and get it done right'. I feel customers like my approach to working, I always get good
I have experience of managing support and engineering staff both onsite and offshore. Recently this was as a Python
engineering project, prior to that supporting and advocating for a large big data project on the IBM Cloud (hadoop) and
also Java engineers for an MDM project including travel to India.
As well as the technical skills required to deliver, I am also used to 'how Enterprises work'. Think standard
platforms and methods, processes, permissions, design documents, integrations with data, monitoring, logging,
automation, security, Virtual Machines, cloud integration, SSO, email, linux security.
As part of my IBM labs role I was also an Advocate for IBM software products and engineering on them. I
frequently visited customers to talk about this and spoke at a lot of conferences in many different countries, had articles published, book mentions. I
also helped run open source projects on behalf of IBM as part of my role.
Over time my software engineering and general IT technical skills have been morping into the Data Engineering category.
My experience and abilities being that I can write Python and Java, understand and have engineered ETL solutions, understand SQL, have a decent level of linux skills including shell scripts, done a little automation (Ansible, Chef over the years), understand most databases, have high level experience on Hadoop platforms, can install Cloudera locally and on cloud, have an interest in Spark and have general understanding on thing's like data warehouses, data lakes (on prem and cloud). Worked with Docker and REST api's. I also have experience of working 'in the cloud' (IBM) and currently building up working expertise in AWS and Azure.
My true love, this isn't work. I've been writing code since I was 10 in some shape or form. I've been a professional software engineer, self taught, for 27 years in lots of languages and on lots of platforms. I can (and love to) learn new ones.
These day's I am more of a consultant where I do lots of different things and specialise for a few months at a time then switch to something completely different. I guess that's my skill being able to do that.
I do however have the experience to know how to switch, how to get red hot again at that dicipline and therefore how to research and do it right. I especially get very good at different discipline's again very quickly by just doing real work.
I'm used to working with Git and previously Clearcase. I also have experience of working with Jenkins for CI/CD.
The most recent of my experience. I spent most of 2019 designing and coding a Python 3 framework on RHEL Linux platform to perform data integration and automation functions across systems at a large Bank. I designed the Git processes and with others setup the pipeline through production using Jenkins. I like Python its pretty easy, it gets the job done quickly, there are many useful libraries to help you make short work of requirements and you can pull in software engineers from other languages and with leadership will pick it up quickly.
I was a software engineer (Advisory, the step between engineer and senior/lead) within IBM labs for 11 years. For most of those years I wrote Java, as well as other langauges. I love java and it really tests your thought processes and in advance design of objects, framework, TDD. It is however a difficult language to always rememember the technical explanation for stuff (unless maybe that is all you do). If I haven't written Java for awhile I always need a terminology refresher!
I have written Java for IBM software products, Servlets, Cloud based administration consoles, WebSphere based extensions for an MDM product, designed and built a gatekeeper for code updates into the cloud (allowing updates for bug fixes or releases to be turned on/off at will). I've not written Java full time for a couple of years now, aside from pet projects, so I am rusty, but eager to get back on the wagon.
Most of my software engineering has been around web servers. Whether that be Apache http or tomcat, IBM Lotus HCL (Take your pick) Notes and Domino. Web applications are my thing and I undestand how to put together/engineer solutions for frontend and backend, deal with authentication, security, accessibility, bidi, integration with database's (most). I'm no visual designer but i'm still an ace at html and css. I can steal your standard and apply it to an application.
The last few years have seen me work a lot with cloud and linux, I therefore have extended my coding skills to include shell scripting for basic tasks and automation.
Notes and Domino (Lotus IBM HCL)
The bulk of my early career was based on this product. Writing client or web applications. Engineer on the product itself (IBM Labs Littleton and Westford). Doing Advocacy, speaking at conferences, articles etc. I was one the first engineering on XPages (JSF), I wrote code that is used by probably hundred of thousands of people in their email clients, calendar, bookmarks, websites, social websites. I wrote blog software that was acquisitioned by IBM and included in their products. Lotusscript, Java, Web expert. Won a global IBM award years before working for them for an eCommerce site (one of the first insurance quotation sites to hit the internet - that's how old I feel).
Salesforce is an area of interest to me as it reuses a lot of knowledge from my "collaborative" computing experience with Notes and Domino. Certainly the low code side is a lift, improve, put in a browser from the heady days of citizen development with Notes and Domino.
It brings together the best of all worlds of business process improvement and standardisation, low code but equally pro code when needed, in the cloud and most importantly everything your business will need in one place.
You can view my Salesforce qualification progress here on Trailhead.
I spent many years working for IBM SmartCloud. This involved writing software for and supporting cloud based software (email and email admin). I had to understand the architecture and infrastructure of the cloud appliances as a new way of hosting email for customers with 99.999% availability and what that entails.
I also spent time managing the support of and advocating for a huge startup that operated in the IBM cloud using Hadoop and DB2.
More recently I have been working with and learning AWS and Azure and understand compute instance's, volume's, snapshots, S3, networking/ip's, cloud native application development and deploying environments and software in those clouds (including Hadoop based environments).
I am currently studying for AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
As part of software engineering projects, integration requirements, consultancy etc I have done a lot of work with Databases and SQL.
I'm no master DBA but have worked on creating data models, schemas, databases, tables, views, reports on DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, Postgresql, SQLite, HBase and nosql with IBM Domino (and even in the old days Access, Excel, dBase etc). I can write SQL as required and understand how to use within code or applying direct for maintainance purposes. Deeper, more complex SQL queries you will catch me on Google learning and finding out the best query to use for that requirment.
Part of my Consultancy role at IBM was around a product StoredIQ (eDiscovery). I installed and configured this product (linux containerised appliance) at various organisations and then designed data capture and analysis (regex mainly) using the product in order to assess the data landscape for GDPR purposes, data retention, mergers and aquisitions data discovery.
In addition to StoredIQ I also worked extensively with a product StoredIQ For Legal (they do connect but otherwise are completely different). I can install, configure, develop on and integrate this product in the enterprise. I can therefore write BPMN as a workflow developer and know the consult and data model required to use this product as a Legal Hold management system.
As well as GDPR projects using StoredIQ, I have also worked on Master Data Management (MDM) projects as part of a data governance strategy. I can install and configure IBM Websphere and Information Server together with MDM components. I can also consult on the data strategy and write extensions to the main product in Java. As an extension to this I can also work with IBM MQ and IBM BPM and setup the DB2 or Oracle databases.
As part of enterprise projects I have worked on I am experienced in Linux, SSO, email, Databases - Oracle, DB2, SQlite, MySQL, SQL Server, NoSQL, PostGreSQL (i'm no DBA but I know what I need to get by), networking both at a TCP level and the actual cabling, server hardware building, Microsoft Exchange