Long-form Resume

When asked for a resume, I usually submit a one-pager. Here’s my current PDF version. As that’s quite short, I provide a longform narrative below, starting from my first job down to my most recent.

This is an ongoing document. As a narrative, it’ll take a few passes to describe my background fully; as my career continues on, I’ll need to add more detail. If you’re reading this and you think I’ve left out some detail or misremembered anything, please open an issue :)

Experience

TermSync

I joined TermSync as a junior developer as my first full-time job in programming. I had been an educator in Chicago and Madison, WI, and at the time I got into programming partly out of interest and partly to support some tools I had been using to keep track of students. I learned Rails through a local Meetup led by the kind folks at Bendyworks. As I became more skilled, I decided to search for work.

At TermSync, we built a platform for accounting departments to track accounts receivable data and to communicate with their customers. The platform was build as a Rails monolith using PostgreSQL as the primary database and ElasticSearch for, you know, search. We also used a JQuery library for graphing that was common at the time. In all, it was a standard Rails application, and a good learning environment for a new developer.

I was third engineer. My boss, Nick, was CTO and cofounder; my senior colleague, Pete, is now VP at the bank that acquired the startup. Both Nick and Pete were great teachers. I was lucky to have a supportive and experienced team.

DialogTech (formerly Ifbyphone)

My family then moved back to Chicago for my wife’s work. TermSync wasn’t able to distribute its team at the time, and so they supported me in finding a new role in the city. I was quite fortunate to have their support – I still greatly appreciate it!

I landed an exciting role at Ifbyphone - now called DialogTech - on a project expanding the company’s capabilities in building interactive voice responders or IVRs. Again, I was quite lucky. My boss in this role, Stephen (we’re still good friends), is one of the nicest people imaginable. He’s also one of the smartest. I enjoy learning and he enjoys teaching, so the amount I learned in this role was phenomenal.

As the system is proprietary, I cannot write about it in detail here. From a high-level, the IVR platform was built in Ruby, interfaced with Asterisk, Kamailio, MySQL, a legacy PHP API, and a voice recognition server. It was a truly distributed system built to handle rapid scaling in phonecall volume.

My duties here ranged from developing the core Ruby business logic, to load testing the system, to implementing feature parity with the legacy platform, to building out the devops support in all environments. It was a wealth of activities and on-the-job training.

Fooda

As the IVR project came to completion, another startup approached me to help expand their capabilities. Fooda brings local restaurants to businesses through a variety of product offerings. I was brought on to expand the Delivery application – basically a version of UberEats, predating Uber’s now well-known food delivery offering.

As Fooda was a middleman between restaurants, delivery drivers, customers, and corporate sponsors (the startup spun off an internal initiative at Echo Logistics that implemented an employee lunch program), it had many moving parts. The parts I worked on handled the marketing of restaurants to users and the capacity planning of restaurants. We would notify users of daily menus via push notifications to mobile apps and via email. These notifications were linked to internal marketing tools to assess popularity of various restaurants and their dishes. The user notifications also allowed estimating potential order volume, and tracking order growth up to a stoppage point. The trick was, since drivers were assigned to pickup from a set selection of restaurants and dropoff to a set group of customers, there was a bottleneck in the prep-zone – kitchens had to have all orders ready by an exact time to ensure the delivery SLA. Recall, this was before Uber Eats, and the company had to contract drivers directly for the specific purpose of food delivery.

The application was built in Rails, with a PostgreSQL database and ElasticSearch indices. We used Jenkins and Ansible to handle continuous integration and deployment, with Docker as a standardization tool. I think Kubernetes was not yet production ready, as far as I recall.

Besides the marketing and capacity planning, one of my biggest successes here was refactoring the CI/CD orchestration to greatly reduce the AWS usage and billing. I think we saved several thousand dollars a month and many minutes of deploy-time by refactoring the Dockerfiles in particular. I recall proudly that the changes went as any good devops would want – nobody noticed anything and the SLA improved across the board.

Kenna Security

A colleague from DialogTech, Tony, joined Kenna Security, and after a few months invited me to take on new challenges at the growing startup. Kenna had just completed another investment round and had big plans to expand its team to build a security vulnerability monotoring platform.

Again we used Rails, MySQL, ElasticSearch, Redis. We also used a library called LightService to orchestrate asynchronous workers’ tasks, importing a variety of vulnerability metadata, transforming it into a common format for reporting.

I ended up working on an R&D project to predict vulnerabilities on servers based on certain proprietary inventory data. The project was moderately successful in practice. We filed a provisional patent to protect the concept, and used the relationships we forged with partner companies to expand business in other initiatives. I haven’t seen any publication about the tool being released, so I imagine it’s been shelved.

Outside the R&D project, I made contributions to the core platform as well as to open source projects used by our team.

ServerCentral

I wanted a bit more variety and exposure to the AWS side of things. At ServerCentral, I became a consultant to enterprise organizations moving operations into the cloud. I quickly gained proficency in the product suite and AWS DevOps Professional certification.

Content by © Jared Davis 2019-2020

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