By jeffreyawest on Mar 04, 2011
I’m new to blogging. This is the second blog post that I have written, and before I go too much further I wanted the readers of my blog to know a bit more about me…
By trade, I am a programmer (or coder, developer, engineer, architect, etc). I started programming when I was 12 years old. When I was 7, we got our first ‘family’ computer – an Apple IIc. It was great to play games on, and of course what else was a 7-year-old going to do with it. I did have one problem with it, though. When I put in my 5.25” floppy to play a game, sometimes, instead loading my game I would get a mysterious ‘]’ on the screen with a flashing cursor. This, of course, was not my game. Much like the standard ‘Microsoft fix’ is to reboot, back then you would take the floppy out, shake it, and restart the computer and pray for a different result.
One day, I learned at school that I could topple my nemesis – the ‘]’ and flashing cursor – by typing ‘load’ and pressing enter. Most of the time, this would load my game and then I would get to play. Problem solved. However, I began to wonder – what else can I make it do?
When I was in 5th grade my dad got a bright idea to buy me a Tandy 1000HX. He didn’t know what I was going to do with it, and neither did I. Least of all, my mom wasn’t happy about buying a 5th grader a $1,000 computer. Nonetheless, Over time, I learned how to write simple basic programs out of the back of my Math book:
30 PRINT x+y
That was fun for all of about 5 minutes. I needed more – more challenges, more things that I could make the computer do. In order to quench this thirst my parents sent me to National Computer Camps in Connecticut. It was one of the best experiences of my childhood, and I spent 3 weeks each summer after that learning BASIC, Pascal, Turbo C and some C++. There weren’t many kids at the time who knew anything about computers, and lets just say my knowledge of and interest in computers didn’t score me many ‘cool’ points. My experiences at NCC set me on the path that I find myself on now, and I am very thankful for the experience.
I have held various positions in the past at different levels within the IT layer cake. I started out as a Software Developer for a startup in the Dallas, TX area building software for semiconductor testing statistical process control and sampling. I was the second Java developer that was hired, and the ninth employee overall, so I got a great deal of experience developing software. Since there weren’t that many people in the organization, I also got a lot of field experience which meant that if I screwed up the code, I got yelled at (figuratively) by both my boss AND the customer. Fun Times! What made it better was that I got to help run pilot programs in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Malta. Getting yelled at in Taiwan is slightly less annoying that getting yelled at in Dallas…
I spent the next 5 years at Accenture doing systems integration in the ‘SOA’ group. I joined as a Consultant and left as a Senior Manager. I started out writing code in WebLogic Integration and left after I wrapped up project where I led a team of 25 to develop the next generation of a digital media platform to deliver HD content in a digital format. At Accenture, I had the pleasure of working with some truly amazing people – mentoring some and learning from many others – and on some incredible real-world IT projects. Given my background with the BEA stack of products I was often called in to troubleshoot and tune WebLogic, ALBPM and ALSB installations and have logged many hours digging through thread dumps, running performance tests with SoapUI and decompiling Java classes we didn’t have the source for so I could see what was going on in the code.
I am now a Senior Principal Product Manager at Oracle in the Application Grid practice. The term ‘Application Grid’ refers to a collection of software and hardware products within Oracle that enables customers to build horizontally scalable systems. This collection of products includes WebLogic, GlassFish, Coherence, Tuxedo and the JRockit/HotSpot JVMs (HotSprocket, maybe?). Now, with the introduction of Exalogic it has grown to include hardware as well.
Wrapping it up…
I love technology and have a diverse background ranging from software development to HW and network architecture & tuning. I have held certifications for being an Oracle Certified DBA, MSCE and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), among others and I have put those to great use over my career. I am excited about programming & technology and I enjoy helping people learn and be successful. If you are having challenges with WebLogic, BPM or Service Bus feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help as I have time.
Thanks for stopping by!