My programming experience spans the last 30+ years.
In high school, I learned the absolute basics on a TI-99-4a, Commodore-64 and a variety of other small computers. In college I worked on a whole host of main frames, mini-computers and PCs. These systems include the early Intel PCs, IBM 370, DEC PDP-11s, and many other systems by Apollo, Gould and Hewlett Packard. The programming languages used on the platforms were Basic, Pascal, C/C++, Assembler, FORTRAN and various scripting languages. Every system had its own operating systems; I spent most of my time on MS-DOS and UNIX class machines.
After college (1987):
I went to work at NEC for their telecommunications division working in Melville, New York and Irving, Texas. There I coded on platforms like NEC Astra, NEC PBXs, larger PCs, Sun Work Stations, etc. I continued to hone my programming skills on all these systems. The first major commercial programming project was for the redesigning the NEC Maintenance Administration Terminal (MAT) for the NEC PBX Switches. That platform was written in Basic and had little ability for network expansion. My project was to move the MAT from PCs/Basic to UNIX/C platforms. I wrote the very first C program that connected to and programmed the NEC PBX systems.
After NEC, I worked for Lee Data in Dallas working on a database synchronization program for the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies. Here we would download the entire data set from more than twenty Bell facility databases into a Sybase database running on a Pyramid Unix mini-computer. In the beta trials alone, we were able to save one company enough money from the analysis of one central office to pay for the entire project.
In 1990, I went to work for American Airlines to work in the Operations Research Division. I worked on a Yield Management system for Annett Airlines of Melbourne Australia. My job was to build a real-time database synchronization platform between the MIPS workstations and the IBM mainframe. It was here at American Airlines that I first discovered a 3-node BBS network called MatchMaker BBS. I had been looking for a side business to earn additional income that would eventually be a full-time business.
In 1991, my partner and I developed an airport ground tracking system for the FAA. It was an X-Windows/Motif touch screen system completely written in C using any UNIX platform with a SQL relational database. The project sales cycle spanned 10-years and ended on September 10, 2001.
During the early to mid 90’s at MatchMaker is where I developed much of my Internet and Web skills. By 1992, we were a full 15-city connected private network. We were also handling Internet email via a UUCP interface to larger university systems.
In 1994, I left American Airlines for contracting opportunities on various projects. One such project was the Sprint Voice-Fone card. Many people remember this product from the commercials with Candice Bergan saying “you can hear a pin drop”. I worked on a C++ middle-ware platform for applications and call processing system interface.
In 1995, we started developing a static web interface for the MatchMaker cities. In 1996, I made Matchmaker my full-time business. By the end of 1996, we had a fully interactive web site for MatchMaker that would work in conjunction with our dial-up and text based interface.
When MatchMaker was sold to Lycos, most of the Matchmaker.com intellectual property was also conveyed in the sale. As a result, we had to design and code from the ground up a core software platform for the development of our current projects. That platform is completely written on a LAPP (Linux, Apache, PHP, Postgres) platform. The PHP language is almost identical to the C language with considerable extensions built in for Web applications. Our applications use this platform with HTML and all its formatting and scripting extensions. Collectively, all of this software allows us to develop web applications rather quickly.
Technology and Networking:
As MatchMaker.com formed and grew, I was forced to design and implement an ISP/CSP IP network to keep up with demand. In 1995 the Internet network began with 1 T-1 and expanded to 11 T-1s routed to 6 different upstream providers in the first 24 months of operations. Due to the overwhelming traffic, these T-1s were replaced with 6 DS-3 fiber circuits as soon as they became available. This massive growth forced the development of flexible and scalable network architecture. This design included all the physical and logical components of the network, as well as encompassing specific tasks including: contract negotiation, local loop provisioning, port configuration, IP setup, BGP routing policies, testing and performance optimization. This network hosted over 120 servers delivering over 6 Million web page views per day.
The IP network design for MatchMaker.com was years ahead of the industry standard routing protocols. As a result I was forced to develop a routing model/tool to optimize the content delivery for Internet traffic. These tools assisted a networking engineer in building the routing tables for a gateway router before BGP was able to calculate these factors. This product, for which I have retained the intellectual property rights, enabled me to tune the BGP tables and set the routing policies across diverse networks.
In addition to creating the web sites themselves, I developed a set of tools to submit web pages to the Internet search engines. This tool set helps a web master score high relevancy within the search engines for specified topics and keywords.
I have a unique talent of being able to quickly prototype solutions to critical business problems. This helps the business team make informed decisions more rapidly, staying ahead of the competition. My experience allows me to come up with unique and effective engineering solutions to solve real business problems.
In 1990, When the Internet and e-commerce was still in its infancy, MatchMaker.com was performing Internet email and online financial transactions before most people even knew how to log on to the Internet. The amazing success of MatchMaker.com literally created the business case for other companies to enter the online dating market.