Things I’m proud to have worked on

I’ve been in software since 2005. I’ve worked on lots of things, but most of them have been things I can’t publicly share because they’re behind corporate firewalls, require special access to get to, or I’m just not allowed to share them.

You can see a more traditional resume on LinkedIn. But, there are a few things which I’m very proud to share with the world outlined here.

Creating an Engineering-Centric Culture at DEPT® Agency

I’ve made a lot of software for a lot of clients at DEPT® Agency and Rocket Insights, the Boston, MA based agency I worked for which DEPT® Acquired. Outside of that, one of the things I’m most proud of is assembling a team of top notch engineers and creating an engineering-centric culture which attracted and retained good talent.

One of the more public faces of this is DEPT®’s Engineering Soapboxes.

You can read a full explanation of what they are here, but the gist is an open source volume of seasoned developers’ takes on how to build software. I was responsible for bootstrapping them and getting the team to contribute. I contributed a few soapbox artcles as well.

You can also read my writing on DEPT®’s Engineering Blog.

Ship It! Podcast

I host and am an interviewer on many episodes of DEPT®’s Engineering podcast, Ship It!. Give it a listen!

Open Source

Wherever possible, I try to open source my work. Here’s one of the open source projects I worked on, Terraform scripts to setup Mastodon on AWS Elastic Container Service.

The MITRE@Work Mobile Application

I was an architect and product manager of a mobile application used by the entire workforce of the MITRE Corporation, which at the time was over 11,000 employees.

You can read a bit about it and see a small screenshot at StepTwo and also on Google Play.

The application was a native app for both iOS (Swift) and Android. It allowed employees to log time and view meetings on personal devices. This doesn’t sound impressive, however due to the sensitive nature of MITRE’s work for the Federal Government of the United States, being able to get this information on any device which was unprecented for the company at the time due to numerous security challenges.

I staffed the team, designed the backend architecture and contributed a fair amount of backend Node.js code. This backend system had to navigate those security challenges to pass data from an internal datacenter through the public cloud and onto employee’s personal devices safely.

Highly Available API’s at Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is not just Car and Home Insurance like the ads you see on Youtube. They have many different business units, including a huge commercial insurance business. You also might not know how big they are: They are a Fortune 100 (yes, 100 - not 500) company with over 40 billion dollars in revenue a year with over 40,000 employees at the time I was working there.

I worked on a team that supported dozens of mission critical API’s for Liberty Mutual.

The API’s we supported were critical to the copmany’s business. They were highly available and could cost millions in revenue if they went down for more than a couple minutes. And we were a small team.

I created two services in particular I’m proud of while I was there:

Mail Tracking Number API

Did you know that for certified mail in bulk, assigning tracking numbers isn’t as easy as asking the USPS for a number?

I designed, led and helped implement an API which assigned mail tracking numbers and allowed auditing of mail as it moved through United States Postal Service delivery . The tracking numbers were often used in court to provide proof of delivery for legal notices.

The design of the system had to be highly available and stand up to legal scrutiny if the accuracy of tracking was ever challenged in court.

The most interesting and challenging part of the system was making sure that unique tracking numbers could be generated from two disparate, active-active failover databases and also making sure that a regular job could run without errors multiple times a day.

The project saved half a million dollars in mail costs every year and to this day is still one of the most interesting projects I’ve worked on. I’m also particularly proud of the architecture of the system we designed.

Real Time Tax Withholding Calculator

This API took in various financial inputs and ran complex rules calculations to determine US tax withholdings. These rules were dynamic and were able to be changed on the fly in an admin interface.

I led the project and developed much of the back and frontends.

Ultimately, this system consolidated a lot of duplicated logic across multiple organizations at Liberty.

Open Sourcing Whatever I Can

I love open source software and try to contribute back whenever I can. With two kids, I don’t have much time, but what I can I put my Github profile

Though I’m not actively involved with any major open source projects, I do try to contribute the odd bugfix or even just log an issue to contribute.