This page details my professional history. If you'd like to know more, feel free to contact me.
|Chris [at] TheFreyers [dot] net|
Earned a challenging position on Taleo's Infrastructure team as a Senior Engineer with architecture responsibilities. Responsible for implementation and delivery of a Blackberry mobile application offering goal management and feedback management features. Also responsible for evaluating, deploying, and load testing various service-oriented architecture components to be used in a future SOA platform.
I accepted a full-time position with Opence Inc. on March 29, 2004 to pursue leadership opportunities that were not available to me as a contractor. Opence was acquired by Convergys on October 29, 2004. Convergys' HR Management division was acquired by NorthgateArinso on June 1, 2010. I continued in the same capacity after both mergers.
I was fortunate to work in many capacities from software development, to team leadership, to product management, to research and development. I attended Convergys' Emerging Leaders program for staff development, and used the skills I learned there to great effect on both business and technical levels.
My technical work revolved around the creation of three call center products: a VOIP-based IVR1) system, a case and contact tracking system, and a payslip viewer. All three systems were used in production by multiple clients and users. Technologies included: Java, PHP, Asterisk, Oracle, MySQL, Jabber, Linux, Solaris, SVN, WebLogic, Dokuwiki, Mercury Quality Center, Microsoft SharePoint.
I was a member of the data architecture team that was responsible for the data tier of a web-based benefits enrollment application. This was an IBM environment that used DB2, AIX, WebSphere 4.0, VisualAge 4.0, and Websphere Studio Application Developer. Other tools in the environment were Merant PVCS and Mercury Test Director. The project followed the RUP methodology and used UML as a documentation paradigm. Used Rational Rose for object modelling.
The final segment of my bank employment lasted approximately 18 months. At that time, I was a Software Engineer helping to develop CreditWeb, an ASP-based web application for the bank's commercial credit centers. I had already built several websites, so my web development skills were beneficial to the project. The software replaced an aging Power Builder application. The environment included Windows 98 and NT, IIS, Visual Source Safe, Elsinore Technologies’ Visual Intercept, Dynalivery Parallel Crystal, Visual Interdev, Visual Basic, ODBC, SQL, and Sybase ASE.
The middle segment of my banking experience lasted almost two years. I changed my career direction to software development. I was unseasoned, so this job really opened my eyes to making applications production-ready. I helped develop and support a 16-bit Windows application used by commercial credit customers. It let them perform various banking operations from their offices: stop pays, electronic funds transfers, balance inquiries, etc. The development environment was Windows 3.1 and 95, Borland C++, Booch Components, RogueWave zApp Studio, Install Shield, PVCS, Elsinore Technologies’ Visual Intercept, and the Btrieve database.
The first segment of my banking experience lasted almost two years. Barnett Banks, Inc. was the holding company for the various legal entities that comprised Barnett Bank. It was also home to the company executives. I was employed as a Market Information Officer to help the bank do “whatever it takes” to keep Barnett in control of the Florida market. My previous market segmentation experience was a plus here. The technical environment was composed of Windows 3.1/95 and OS/2 workstations and a Novell Netware server. Programming environments included Borland C++, DB/2, SQL, Attachmate Extra, SQL, FOCUS, SPSS, Mainframe SAS, PC SAS, Borland Paradox, Microsoft Access, DataWatch Monarch, Data Junction, COBOL, and MapInfo.
I was hired by Humana as a Software Developer because of my database experience. I worked with the Alpha Four database and created a tool which helped the company reclaim its overpayments to participating physicians 2). The system worked extremely well, resulting in a headcount reduction of 6 FTEs3).
I earned a promotion to Computer Operations Manager and became responsible for 3 employees, approximately 300 desktops, and a raised-floor data center consisting of AIX servers, optical storage units, UPSs, and a host of telephone equipment. I spent the next several months working with this equipment, plus bix blocks, punch-down tools, a small PBX, twisted-pair wiring, and Token Ring MAUs4) and CAUs5). It was a fantastic work experience, but I realized that my passion was software rather than hardware.
I conducted demographic research using Claritas's PRIZM market segmentation product. I used it to conduct database marketing campaigns. First, I found the right type and number of customers who were close to a store. Then, I purchased addresses on magnetic tape. Finally, I had them delivered to a local fulfillment house for printing, assembly, stuffing, and mailing.
I also used a desktop database called Alpha Four to manage my campaigns. We tracked our results via codes printed on the materials we mailed. Unfortunately, the agency lost its largest client (Winn Dixie) and many people had to be let go, myself included. Fortunately, I had a niche job and was the only one who could do it. I contracted with William Cook while job hunting, which worked out well for both of us.
My second job after college was an attempt to get into the computer business. I didn't have enough experience to work as a software developer, but I could at least *sell* computers and be around the right people. This was a fantastic introduction to client management, sales leads, cold calling, and time management. I also received weeks and weeks of technical product training directly from Compaq, HP, Microsoft, and IBM. I used this time to improve my database skills (with DBase and Q&A), network skills (OS/2 Lan Manager and Novell Netware), and operating system knowledge (OS/2, Windows, AIX, and SCO Unix).
My first job after college. I went through a 90-day introduction to the Pipe, Valve, and Fitting business while located in Atlanta. Fantastic exposure to metals and refining, manufacturing processes, products and their vendors. I was trained in Engineered Products (pneumatically controlled valves, measuring devices, etc…) because I enjoyed the physics and mechanics of it.
Even though the company had a computer for creating and storing quotes, it did not handle the work I needed to do: flow and volume calculations, matching of valves to actuators, calculating safety margins, etc..). So I found myself writing Lotus 1-2-3 macros to do calculations on my home computer. Ultimately, I learned a lot about chemistry, physics, metalurgy, manufacturing, fluid dynamics, and mechanical contracting. And I really began to see the benefits of custom software.
Many of my personal interests have been recorded over time as newsgroup conversations, forum posts, letters to the editor, etc. I have attempted to catalog these messages as a running commentary on my career. While the list is not complete, it is definitely interesting. It can be found at the link below: