kentdorsey.com

Kent Dorsey, IT Architect

Career Profile

Strategic Enterprise Architect with an exceptional history of leading the turnaround of underperforming IT projects and strategies. Key player in organizational change. Strong background in enterprise infrastructure and architecture. Experience migrating legacy operations to J2EE, Apache, WebLogic, Oracle, Solaris, and Linux. Currently focusing on Spring, Hibernate, Caching, Security, Messaging, and Web Services. Excellent hands-on development skills. Over sixteen years of success in meeting critical software engineering challenges.

Enterprise Impact

Drives organizational change through high-impact enterprise strategies and practices:

  • Improves enterprise IT strategies and practices for client engagement, project methodology, architectural governance, enterprise documentation, infrastructure migration, development team evolution, and IT support.
  • Aligns IT with business strategies through agile methodologies that leverage business and technical architectures, information workflow, use case analysis, and risk assessment to verify fitness-for-purpose.
  • Stabilizes ad hoc support operations by clearly defining the boundaries and responsibilities of project and operational teams, while progressively injecting fitness checks earlier into the project lifecycle.

Leads the turnaround of failed and blocked projects through progressive management techniques:

  • Facilitates realistic project planning based upon time-boxed delivery of incremental functionality, centered on use cases, prioritized by business criticality, and driven by technical and organizational risk.
  • Revitalizes software engineering teams through the introduction of agile best practices, including team programming, test-driven development (JUnit), repeatable builds (Ant, CVS), standardized environments, automated integration (CruiseControl), team testing, and continuous customer collaboration.

Drives the architectural evolution of mission-critical systems, architectures, platforms, and components:

  • Product lines built upon service-oriented enterprise architectures and open source frameworks (Struts, Spring, Hibernate) that are secure (Kerberos, X.509), scalable, extensible (component-oriented), interoperable (XML, JMS, Web Services), manageable, and serviceable.
  • Mission-critical systems built upon robust multi-tier hardware architectures that are 24 x 7, high-performance (multi-processor, server farms), failover-enabled and load-balanced (F5 Big-IP), shadowed, and recoverable.

Personal Style

Rapid discovery of key issues underlying intractable problems. Inspires teams to strive relentlessly towards success. Enjoys strategic collaboration, brainstorming, and mentoring. Exceptional group analytical ability. Strong advocate of openness, transparency, and accountability to balance strategic vision and pragmatic need.

Key Results

ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT HISTORY: Overview of high impact results that effected change to the software development processes of the enterprise while simultaneously delivering architecture and software solutions.

Nov 05 – Present

Fresenius Medical Care North America, Lexington, MA
Consulting Software Architect / Health Care Services

Currently providing consulting services in support of world-class clinical services offerings, focusing on enterprise architecture, J2EE architecture, and intensive hands-on application development, while supporting the aggressive adoption of agile management and development practices.

Jul 01 – Nov 04

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Infrastructure Team Leader / Student Information Systems IT

The student information system at M.I.T faced a crisis: The client-server application platform lacked scalability and maintainability (SQL*Forms, OpenVMS, CGI, SQR, Tru64, ad hoc practices). As architect and team leader, drove departmental strategic planning and the successful migration to a J2EE enterprise computing strategy and IT services framework. Created a common project methodology (use case centric, risk-driven). Designed, planned, procured, installed, configured, deployed, tested, and managed a modern and flexible SOA platform (Apache, WebLogic Server / Portal, Hyperion IS / SQR, Oracle, Solaris, Linux).

Nov 99 – Dec 00

Painted Word, Cambridge, MA
Engineering Architect / Enterprise Intelligence Applications

Painted Word needed a cost-effective web applications strategy to enhance enterprise intelligence offerings to Fortune 1000 clients. As J2EE architect during a strategic transition from products to services, developed an MVC application framework that served as the cornerstone for a highly successful thin-client web applications strategy (UNIX and Windows platforms) and several million dollars in core revenue.

Key Results

SOFTWARE ARCHITECT HISTORY: Overview of high impact results that delivered architecture solutions within the existing development processes of the enterprise while simultaneously delivering software solutions.

Oct 96 – Jul 99

Comverse Network Systems, Wakefield, MA
Consulting Software Engineer / Telecommunications Messaging Service

Comverse provided messaging systems to telecommunications companies worldwide. As architect and team leader, delivered a common codebase with hard real-time messaging and on-demand account migration for 24 x 7 distributed UNIX platforms, essential to primary revenue contracts (e.g. $70 million).

Sep 95 – Sep 96

Fidelity Investments, Vantage 20/20, Boston, MA
Consulting Software Engineer / Financial Instruments Database Services

The Vantage 20/20 project to synchronize legacy brokerage systems to a UNIX / Oracle platform had been blocked by data integration issues for a year. As analyst and developer, resolved core issues through the redesign of the broker data model, data house-holding processes, and daily round-trip database synchronization. Set new standards for virtually 100% code coverage, while piloting Oracle Designer.

Jan 94 – Sep 95

TRW Koyo Steering Systems, Vonore, TN
Consulting Software Engineer / Industrial Manufacturing, Accounting and Operations

TRW Koyo is a joint venture between American and Japanese companies. Streamlined and enhanced the corporate accounting and operations system. Developed extensions to system under Oracle 7 and Novell 3.11. Coded module interfaces in Oracle SQL Forms 4GL and PL/SQL and support programs in Microsoft C or Oracle Pro*C with embedded SQL.

Feb 91 – Jan 94

Independent Consulting, Dallas, TX and Knoxville, TN
Consulting Software Engineer / Independent Consulting Services

Configured general accounting and business software for PC systems. Developed EDI system for accounting software remote site synchronization. Provided general computer hardware and software support for UNIX and PC systems. Integrated DOS, UNIX, and Macintosh network systems.

Nov 89 – Feb 91

Gleim Publications, Gainesville, FL
Systems Analyst / Book Publishing, Accounting and Operations

Managed programming team and lead coding of RDBMS project. Database developed in Unify RDBMS under SCO UNIX. Designed and coded human interface in Accell 4GL, project modules in Accell 4GL and UNIX C.

Key Results

SOFTWARE ENGINEER HISTORY: Overview of high impact results that delivered software solutions within the existing software architectures and development processes of the enterprise.

Nov 88 – Nov 89

Computer Control Systems, Lake City, FL
Technical Support Manager / Software Tools

Provided time-critical support for international and domestic software developers. Trained support personnel. Revised user manuals. Provided time-critical bug fixes and product enhancements for developer sorting, b-tree indexing, and database utilities. Products coded in assembly language for DOS, OS/2, Novell, and other PC network environments. Products coded in C for Xenix.

History

Detailed employment history.

Nov 05 – Present

Fresenius Medical Care North America, Lexington, MA
Consulting Software Architect / Health Care Services

Currently providing consulting services in support of world-class clinical services offerings, focusing on enterprise architecture, J2EE architecture, and intensive hands-on application development, while supporting the aggressive adoption of agile management and development practices.

Jul 01 – Nov 04

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Infrastructure Team Leader / Student Information Systems IT

The student information system at M.I.T faced a crisis: The client-server application platform lacked scalability and maintainability (SQL*Forms, OpenVMS, CGI, SQR, Tru64, ad hoc practices). As architect and team leader, drove departmental strategic planning and the successful migration to a J2EE enterprise computing strategy and IT services framework. Created a common project methodology (use case centric, risk-driven). Designed, planned, procured, installed, configured, deployed, tested, and managed a modern and flexible SOA platform (Apache, WebLogic Server / Portal, Hyperion IS / SQR, Oracle, Solaris, Linux).

The following strategies, projects, and operations were advocated, created, and driven into practice through the combined efforts of the infrastructure team under my leadership and direct hands-on participation.

Enterprise Strategies:

  • Developed IT strategic vision for SSIT and drove key departmental objectives including improved client engagement, business-aligned development, validated and reliable applications, scalable and maintainable application architectures, and robust infrastructure operations.
  • Collaborated on client engagement strategy to drive entry into risk-driven project methodology, improving the accuracy of project definition, sizing estimates, and yearly resource budget planning. Improved client relationships and project predictability through shared business and technical perspectives, agreed project roles, risk assessment, use cases, transparent business-aligned development efforts, and time-boxed delivery.
  • Injected IT architectural governance strategy into the full project lifecycle through well-defined engagement points for infrastructure team guidance, facilitation, contribution, impact assessments, and alignment reviews.
  • Defined enterprise documentation standards and practices for project engagement and definition, use cases, test cases, technical documentation, support requests, and maintenance agreements. Mentored project teams; created, reviewed, and audited documentation artifacts, as needed.
  • Brainstormed development team evolution strategy incorporating expert mentoring by external project leads. Deployed best practices, such as team programming, test-driven development (JUnit), repeatable builds (Ant, CVS), standardized environments, automated integration (CruiseControl), team testing, and continuous customer collaboration. Defined project skill sets in line with methodology, drove J2EE training.
  • Designed IT support strategy that clearly defined workflow between external clients, application teams, and infrastructure team. Improved prioritization and turnaround of requests. Addressed root causes of production instability by progressively injecting fitness checks earlier into the project lifecycle over time.
  • Created and drove infrastructure migration strategy to begin transformation of SSIT from a legacy client-server workshop to a modern business-aligned operation built upon enterprise architecture best practices.

Infrastructure Projects and Operations:

  • Designed phased infrastructure migration strategy to move the legacy MIT Student Information System applications from a client-server platform (SQL*Forms, Pro*C and SQR Batch Jobs, OpenVMS, Netscape Server, CGI, Perl, SQR, Tru64, Stored Procedures, Oracle 7, Solaris) to a modern enterprise application and services platform (Apache, WebLogic 8.1 Server / Portal, Linux, Oracle 9.1, Solaris) with best of breed components (JAAS, Struts, EJB Stateless Session Beans, POJO business logic, DAO, Hibernate, Quartz, WebLogic Workshop) integrated with the MIT infrastructure (Kerberos, X.509, Roles DB).
  • Created identical SOA production and integration tiers featuring failover, load balancing, and SSL acceleration via mirrored F5 Big-IP and CISCO appliances fronting a dual-NIC network composed of WebLogic 8.1 Server and Portal farms across 6 IBM 335 2 CPU (RHEL 2.1 Linux), Oracle 9.1 on SunFire v1280 4 (of 12) CPU, Hyperion IS 3 on SunFire v880 2 (of 8) CPU, and 1.2 TB mirrored storage.
  • Achieved 24 x 7 mission-critical production platform designed for a 4-year lifespan with standby Oracle 9.1 instances on alternate same tier machines and physically distant integration tier machines. All systems selectively recoverable from nightly Tivoli online backups against SAN storage with offsite tape archives.
  • Built application platform foundation to support migration from client-server product lines to enterprise architectures and services. Collaborated with application teams to spin off standardized J2EE architecture, application development kit, and development tier environment featuring common scripts for automated builds (Ant), deployment (WebLogic), change management (CVS), and integration promotion.
  • Managed day-to-day operations involving 50 servers supporting legacy, enterprise, and infrastructure applications. Services included account management, connectivity, printing, data feeds, change management, software configuration, data restoration, systems monitoring, and troubleshooting across all tiers and user communities (students, staff, developers). Collaborated with IS&T on OS, network, and hardware issues.

Nov 99 – Dec 00

Painted Word, Cambridge, MA
Engineering Architect / Enterprise Intelligence Applications

Painted Word needed a cost-effective web applications strategy to enhance enterprise intelligence offerings to Fortune 1000 clients. As J2EE architect during a strategic transition from products to services, developed an MVC application framework that served as the cornerstone for a highly successful thin-client web applications strategy (UNIX and Windows platforms) and several million dollars in core revenue.

Enterprise Strategies:

  • Championed use case centric design to manage user expectations, requirements and development schedules, resulting in lightweight methodology initiative based on the Unified Software Process.
  • Introduced senior consultants to the concept of a scalable architecture-centric application development methodology, leveraging the Painted Word Java Framework.

Engineering Projects:

  • Developed the Painted Word Java Framework to enable rapid development of enterprise intelligence web applications. This framework directly supported a scalable development methodology.
  • Served as project manager and architect for update of MochaBlend Java API middleware server (RMI) to support Hyperion Essbase 6.0 OLAP database API.
  • Designed strategic plan for component development practices to support future projects at Painted Word.

Revenue Generation:

  • The ability to develop thin-client web applications, utilizing the Painted Word Java Framework, was crucial to the business development of the majority of consulting engagements for year 2000.
  • Sale of the Painted Word Java Framework source code resulted in a monthly revenue all-time high.
  • Completed proof-of-concept thin-client web framework for enterprise intelligence applications with web developer under extreme deadline. Demonstrated to the Hyperion CFO, resulting in consulting contract and numerous business development opportunities, including Hyperion application manager project.

Consulting Projects:
Provided architectural continuity and project support across all phases during several challenging transitions of engineering management as Painted Word moved from a product focus to a services company.

  • Executive reporting application for major defense contractor:
    • Actively worked with technical architect and team members during inception and elaboration phases to develop general application architecture and best practices for separation of presentation and business logic.
  • Thin-client replacement for Hyperion application manager:
    • Enhanced framework with external configuration and object store mechanisms.
    • Trained Hyperion personnel on-site in California on framework development techniques.
    • Reviewed architecture change to Java front-end leveraging XML over HTTP from thin-client front-end to enable more robust user interface. Change mid-project was possible due to MVC framework architecture.
  • Worldwide planning solution for storage market leader:
    • The technical architect of the first project was on this team, and knowledge had been successfully transferred during that project, so the need for framework support was minimal, illustrating its viability.

Mentoring:

  • Actively mentored, trained and supervised new web developer for several months to improve HTML, CSS, *Java*script, debugging, and general professional skills.
  • Actively mentored, trained and supervised new senior consultant for several months to raise knowledge of Java and J2EE architecture and to improve debugging skills.
  • Built extensive collection of technology knowledge resources and web links in knowledge sharing tool.

Engineering Improvements:
Researched, evangelized, mentored and actively applied the following technical topics during year 2000.

  • Design: general object-oriented concepts; MVC separation of business logic, presentation, control; server-side design patterns; framework design for white-box and black-box extensibility
  • Java: use of reflection and design patterns in framework; threading model; J2EE technologies
  • Methodology: use cases; idioms to enable flexible requirements change and code refactoring; continuous testing to validate development schedules; architecture-centric design methods

Oct 96 – Jul 99

Comverse Network Systems, Wakefield, MA
Consulting Software Engineer / Telecommunications Messaging Service

Comverse provided messaging systems to telecommunications companies worldwide. As architect and team leader, delivered a common codebase with hard real-time messaging and on-demand account migration for 24 x 7 distributed UNIX platforms, essential to primary revenue contracts (e.g. $70 million).

Oct 98 – Jul 99 Japan Wireless Release Digital Messaging Network Project

Technical Lead, Platform Group: This effort required a port of the Digital Messaging Network (DMN) product from the Americas codebase to the Japan Wireless Release (JWR) project. All coding done using gnu C and C++ for SCO *UNIX and Univel targets under SunOS ClearCase.*

The DMN component implemented a distributed architecture to support real-time messaging services between subscribers on networked voice services systems. Each system was composed of a network of up to dozens of UNIX machines, intelligent switches, and several Windows NT servers. The DMN component was implemented using distributed database and application server architectures.

  • Led the platform group DMN team through all phases of the development cycle from requirements to deployment. Coordinated DMN issue resolution between all groups in the release. Mentored programmers unfamiliar with the DMN architecture during all phases.
  • Analyzed existing product limitations, and designed solutions for the system requirement requiring 24 x 7 hard real-time operation. Unlike previous projects, JWR required real-time lookup of remote subscriber information prior to message authorization.
  • Completion of this effort enabled DMN in the JWR releases for the first time, and satisfied an absolute cornerstone requirement for JWR, enabling the largest company contracts of the fiscal year. Only team to finish on time within the release.

Technical Lead, Workflow Design: This effort involved the design of a workflow to integrate DMN and Remote Subscriber Migration (RSM - see earlier assignment) for JWR 2.

  • Coordinated efforts of all development groups in the release for this design.
  • Identified strategy to integrate process workflow in both products with minimal impact on existing code. The impact of all code changes for each group had to be examined, including administration, application, and platform areas.
  • Completion of this workflow eliminated a customer-visible call outage window during RSM setup, a mandatory requirement. This design specification was the first in the JWR release to cross all development groups, and it set a new standard for cooperation between groups.

Systems Architect, Platform Group: This effort involved an architecture analysis to identify key failure points and bottlenecks of DMN data flow to improve call load performance in JWR.

  • Initiated the idea for this architecture analysis effort and worked closely with the JWR platform group to quickly integrate results concurrent with analysis. This focused the performance testing and enhancement efforts to rapidly zero in on suspect bottlenecks and processes.
  • Mapped industry standard design patterns to existing codebase to derive a component architecture model of the system.
  • Utilized a pipe and filter model to find bottlenecks and enable measurement of system resource usage and process behavior at boundary limits of all operations.
  • Completion of this analysis and integration of the results eliminated several customer-visible system lockups that were occurring under peak-hour loads.

Troubleshooting, Real-Time Systems:

  • Provided on-call support to field engineers in Japan to isolate defects and recommend workarounds involving the DMN and RSM products.
  • Worked closely with Development QA to design and perform test cases, reproduce defects, trace defect causes, and implement fixes.
Jun 98 – Sep 98 Bell South Subscriber Migration Project

Software Engineer, Platform Group: This effort required a port of the Subscriber Migration (SM) product from the Bell South legacy codebase to the Bell South COA GR0.3 project. All coding done using gnu C for SCO *UNIX and Univel targets under SunOS ClearCase.*

The SM component supported the movement of subscribers between co-located platforms, and was the ancestor of the Remote Subscriber Migration (RSM) product worked on in previous assignments.

  • Reverse engineered workflow and supporting processes from hundreds of pages of obsolete documentation and legacy code. Added support in underlying code to migrate subscriber features added in COA GR0.3.
  • Supervised QA personnel to test and revise workflow in progress.
  • Completion of this effort reduced subscriber service interruption during SM by over 75%, streamlined a 5-day operational process to 3 days, and condensed field operations documentation by over 75%.

Technical Writing:

  • Filled customer requirement to revise legacy workflow documentation from a nested hierarchy of hundreds of steps to a simple linear progression optimized for field engineers. Documentation changed from practically unusable to elegant.

Troubleshooting, Real-Time Systems:

  • Worked closely with Development QA to design and perform test cases, trace defect causes, and implement fixes, with customer present in lab.
  • Assisted customer to reproduce field environment and perform customer acceptance testing in lab.
  • Supported field engineers during initial live deployment.Bell Atlantic
Oct 96 – Mar 98 Bell Atlantic Remote Subscriber Migration Project

Systems Architect, Platform Group: This effort required a new design of the migration engine for the Remote Subscriber Migration (RSM) component of the Bell Atlantic ANP GR0.2 project. All coding done using gnu C and C++ for SCO *UNIX and Univel targets under SunOS ClearCase.*

The RSM component supported real-time migration of subscribers between networked platforms, typically for movement to a new system release, without interruption of service. This process was transparent to the subscriber, triggered on-demand through subscriber service requests or queued by a background daemon.

  • Worked with platform group RSM team to analyze and design solutions for cross-platform subscriber database translation needs, network protocol enhancements, integration issues surrounding destination platform real-time subscriber database updates, and failed operation recovery issues.

Software Engineer, Platform Group:

  • As developer of the core migration engine, a table-driven finite state machine, implemented engine routines and the underlying library code needed for real-time cross-platform database record translation.
  • Assisted in the design of user interfaces and their integration with the migration engine.
  • Re-factored all network protocol code in applications and daemons across product codebases.
  • Completion of this component resulted in a new shared codebase with a core migration engine that could be easily extended across projects. This went on to become the baseline RSM code for all future projects in the company.

Technical Writing:

  • Set new standards for analysis and design documentation at the company during rollout of ISO 9000 compliance. Coordinated team efforts on these documents.
  • Responsible for the bulk of the largest, most accurate, and most useful functional and design specifications produced at the company.

Process Engineering:

  • Performed exhaustive post-mortem analysis of all major defects in RSM for traceability and specific recommendations for methodology improvement.

Troubleshooting, Real-Time Systems:

  • Worked closely with QA on RSM field systems to trace defect causes, and implement fixes.
  • Key member of an emergency bugfix team for Digital Messaging Network (DMN) component across multiple project codebases.
  • Key resource for tackling bugs at remote customer sites and labs.

Sep 95 – Sep 96

Fidelity Investments, Vantage 20/20, Boston, MA
Consulting Software Engineer / Financial Instruments Database Services

The Vantage 20/20 project to synchronize legacy brokerage systems to a UNIX / Oracle platform had been blocked by data integration issues for a year. As analyst and developer, resolved core issues through the redesign of the broker data model, data house-holding processes, and daily round-trip database synchronization. Set new standards for virtually 100% code coverage, while piloting Oracle Designer.

Business Analysis: Identified and analyzed all Fidelity business processes that affected the NCIP database.

  • Worked with Fidelity business units to develop business process models using Oracle Designer*2000.
  • Identified legacy broker data quality issues, and advised responsible business units to take corrective action.
  • Created NCIP data control and validation process for NCIP datasets supporting all Vantage projects.
  • Designed process to synchronize broker data between relational and non-relational (legacy) systems.
  • Resolved fundamental data issues that had stalled the NCIP Broker release since October 1994.

Software Engineering: Created client-server code to support the database models and business processes developed in earlier stages of the NCIP project for deployment in the Common Order Processing (COP) Engine release. Coded in Lucid C and Oracle Pro*C under SunOS ClearCase and Fidelity Summit-D methodology.

  • Developed and tested client-server code for Oracle connected Tuxedo servers to support Windows and UNIX clients. This code enabled access to the NCIP database, and the synchronization of broker information between Vantage (relational) and legacy (non-relational) systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform concurrent research in CASE tools while delivering projects on schedule.
  • Developed Tuxedo API coding techniques to achieve virtually 100% code coverage for the release. This level of coverage had been heretofore unknown and was achieved in record time.
  • This release achieved closure on the broker data phase of the project, which had previously failed.

Database Analysis: Modeled broker data for Non-Customer Involved Party (NCIP) project, part of largest Oracle database ever constructed at the time.

  • Created entity-relationship models for NCIP using Bachman Groundworks and Oracle Designer*2000.
  • Supported multiple releases of the NCIP data model and version controlled the underlying dataset.

Jan 94 – Sep 95

TRW Koyo Steering Systems, Vonore, TN
Consulting Software Engineer / Industrial Manufacturing, Accounting and Operations

TRW Koyo is a joint venture between American and Japanese companies. Streamlined and enhanced the corporate accounting and operations system. Developed extensions to system under Oracle 7 and Novell 3.11. Coded module interfaces in Oracle SQL Forms 4GL and PL/SQL and support programs in Microsoft C or Oracle Pro*C with embedded SQL.

Feb 91 – Jan 94

Independent Consulting, Dallas, TX and Knoxville, TN
Consulting Software Engineer / Independent Consulting Services

Configured general accounting and business software for PC systems. Developed EDI system for accounting software remote site synchronization. Provided general computer hardware and software support for UNIX and PC systems. Integrated DOS, UNIX, and Macintosh network systems.

Nov 89 – Feb 91

Gleim Publications, Gainesville, FL
Systems Analyst / Book Publishing, Accounting and Operations

Managed programming team and lead coding of RDBMS project. Database developed in Unify RDBMS under SCO UNIX. Designed and coded human interface in Accell 4GL, project modules in Accell 4GL and UNIX C.

Nov 88 – Nov 89

Computer Control Systems, Lake City, FL
Technical Support Manager / Software Tools

Provided time-critical support for international and domestic software developers. Trained support personnel. Revised user manuals. Provided time-critical bug fixes and product enhancements for developer sorting, b-tree indexing, and database utilities. Products coded in assembly language for DOS, OS/2, Novell, and other PC network environments. Products coded in C for Xenix.

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