Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let myself introduce...myself.

This will be my first post on my first blog about really big databases, business intelligence, the analytics industry, and the men & women who make it all happen.   My name is Jerome,  I was born in France, grew up in NYC, did my time in Jersey and now live in Southern California not too far from the Pacific.  The dog picture on on this page is my buddy Domino.  He's a howling Canaan/wolf mix with a passion for fruit.

I've spent about twenty years in the technology field doing software development, design, architecture, management, and consulting.  I started out of College as an applications engineer, but quickly realized baking bits and messing with Turbo-C until the wee hours of the night was more fulfilling to me.  I ended up specializing in C then C++.  When Microsoft Windows 2.0 came out, I jumped on the bandwagon and never looked back.  I worked on so many different types of applications and technology areas that I currently have to look at an old resume to remember them all!

In 2001 I picked up C# and .NET when “managed code”and CLR  replaced ATL/COM/C++  and eventually became a hands-on "architect" and .NET expert.  I managed engineering teams, and thrived in “agile” environments where early  and continuous customer engagement is sacrosanct.  I ended up specializing in "plumbing" architecture by building service-oriented platforms with WCF.  I always loved to “connect the dots”.  Throughout the years I worked for dozens of different companies of all sizes in numerous industries.  Everything from tiny startups to mega corporations.  At one time, I travelled fairly often in and out of the country and enjoyed that a lot.  I once did a demo for Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart, Germany and witnessed the first SL-500 prototype zipping around on their test track.  At a Danish company’s annual sales meeting at Hamlet’s pad in Kronborg Castle,  Copenhagen,  I trained attendees in  the use of new flagship software we had recently minted in the US.  (Yes, the place is definitely haunted).  I once flew to Tel Aviv, Israel on three day’s notice to help AOL integrate their software with the ICQ team after AOL had bought Mirabilis for a half billion dollars.  In the process, I ran into the Prime Minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu, at a Knesset honor award reception for the founders.

I started two software consulting companies.  One back East in Jersey and one in Southern California.  That experience really sharpened my people and business skills.  In the process, I learned how to absorb information quickly, and separate the substance from the nonsense.  I learned how to deal with non-technical people on a regular basis (namely, those who write the checks), how to explain complicated concepts to lay people, and how to market myself in good and bad times.  I learned how to manage crisis situations.  I learned how to navigate effectively across different business areas, and understand their drives and motivations.  In two decades I learned what it takes to build software, deploy on time, manage engineering teams, drive releases, evaluate technical risk, and execute consistently.  The whole software lifecycle from concept to delivery to final payment and, hopefully, repeat business.  Most importantly, I learned how to make clients and employers happy by managing their expectations and always delivering more than promised.  At the end of the day, the software has to work, but more importantly, the client has to look good!

The software business is a tough gig, but building software is a deterministic endeavor.  Many are called, but few are chosen. Those few are smart, honest, consistent, and detail-obsessed. 

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