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Sixteen years' professional research and applications development has given me a solid reputation in the world of emerging technology. I was a key member of the virtual world Second Life, Douglas Adams's start-up The Digital Village, the social software service Ning and the wildly-successful FaxYourMP and TheyWorkForYou (UK democracy projects). I have a wealth of experience in combining cutting edge internet software with solid engineering practice, and can operate at all levels from long-term product strategy to troubleshooting projects and systems. A regular writer, speaker and commentator, I'm committed to demonstrating the advantages of new technology and have built a far-reaching network of connections in the industry. I'm outgoing, a fast learner and a good communicator.
Emerging technologies: Research and consultation in open source, social software, web services, APIs, virtual worlds, web performance optimisation, web application security, developer productivity tools, identity systems, RSS & Atom, content management, intranets and marketing information systems
Development: System design and architecture, Perl, PHP,
Applications and operating systems: Unix (Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD), Windows (all versions), Mac OS, Apache HTTPD, Microsoft IIS, Apache Tomcat, SQL Server, Firebird RDBMS, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Atlassian JIRA, MovableType, MediaWiki, Bugzilla, Lundeen WebCrossing and many others
2007 — present Linden Research, Inc. (Linden Lab) Program Manager; Technical Lead; Senior Integration Architect
I juggle multiple engineering responsibilites at the Lab, ranging from being the primary director of web technology adoption across the Web Engineering group, to technical lead of ad-hoc troubleshooting teams. I provide technical leadership and consulting to all web-based social software projects, including blogs, forums, public bugtracker and documentation systems, and the new Avatars United social network. Took multiple roles (tech lead, program manager, architect) in leading and implementing key time-sensitive projects including: Introduction of VAT billing and settlement; creation of Out-Of-Office Tool, personnel directory, Distributor 2 (employee incentive & reward scheme); integration and maintenance of internal and public-facing third-party software, including Atlassian JIRA, MediaWiki and Jive SBS; optimisation, load-testing and hardening of the Second Life Dashboard; and many smaller projects. Technologies and practices which I've introduced, driven adoption of, and/or taught include Django, jQuery, Selenium, web application security and optimisation, event tracking and other reporting.
2005 — 2006 Ning, Inc. Developer Advocate
2005 Business Data Quality Ltd. Architect Developer
Architected and developed components of the BDQ data profiling product, including a rule-based data monitoring engine, multi-purpose data transformation API and a web-based issue publisher, using Perl and the Firebird RDBMS. Created and administered company intranet, including the CVS repository, bug tracker, wiki and backup systems. Instigated test-driven development routines.
Researched use cases and evaluated enterprise products for services in the Sparza platform, content management, MIS systems and CRM systems. Assisted development team with the creation of the Vacuum Cleaners Direct site. Seconded to Bright Station to research product development in Open Source, P2P and personal video recorder areas.
1997 — 2000 The Digital Village Ltd. Lead Web Developer, Web & Community Analyst
· h2g2.com, the online Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy (implemented with ActiveState PerlEx and Microsoft SQL Server, running on Windows NT)
· The design and implementation of the Starship Titanic website, online merchandise shop, and companion Starlight Lines site (implemented with Perl, Apache, Minivend and MySQL, running on Intel Linux, MkLinux and LinuxPPC)
· douglasadams.com, the official Douglas Adams site and online shop
As Web & Community Analyst:
· Developed tools for document importing, data mining and user profiling
· Created and maintained statistics intranet, reporting site traffic and forum activity
Throughout my career I have contracted for a number of organisations, including the BBC, Mind Candy, NetNames Ltd, Handheld History Ltd and Go Albert Ltd. Projects included:
· Set up and administration of CERN HTTPD web server as part of team implementing World Service transmission tables for the first BBC website (1994)
Non-profit organisations I am or have been involved with include:
I've presented at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference (ETech),
Open Source Conference (OSCON)
and FOO Camp, and had presentations accepted for the XTech and Reboot
conferences. I consulted for Disney Corp. on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
movie and its websites, and for Talkback TV on The I.T.
Crowd comedy series and DVD. I've written articles for publications
including TrustedReviews, PC
Direct magazine and the (since cancelled) O'Reilly book Life Hacks. I've
been interviewed by Wired
Podcast Network and NetSquared.
I've spoken at the ICA and UCL about online communities. I write a blog at cheerleader.yoz.com.
Interests outside of the internet include DJing, silly cocktails, hand-waving, diabolo, movies, sunny days in the park and vegetarian Indian food.
I have a full driver's license and a United States of America "H1-B" Visa that expires in 2012. I am married with one child. We have lived in San Francisco since 2007.
1993 — 1996 University College London
Computer Science B.Sc. (Hons.)
1990 — 1992 Jews' Free School, Camden, London
Three A-Levels: Physics (A), Maths (B), Economics (B)