Jeff Clark - Software Engineering Leader

jeff@nothoo.com ◦ Fairfax, VA USA ◦ Remote Work

Who I Am and What I Do

If you want to read, what a much better writer than I wrote, about the ethos that I subscribe to, read Hacking is Important

The Standard Stuff

I have more than 25 years of professional experience in all aspects of software engineering. I am a former expert in writing gripping opening statements and a current Software Engineering Leader. Seriously though, I love the tactics of engineering: being in the code, solving real problems, and building software that people use; but I also thrive on helping shape the strategy and vision of small software companies and leading teams of engineers in making it all go.

Tech & Skills

  • People: management, leadership, strategy, you name it
  • Tech: many languages and platforms/stacks over the years
  • Buzz Words: SaaS, Cloud, DevOps - Oh My!

Please, No

  • security-clearance
  • dogma

Work History

VP, Engineering at Syniti formerly Backoffice Associates

Remote - July 2015 → March 2020

golang ◦ python ◦ C# ◦ postgresql ◦ AWS ◦ ElasticSearch ◦ DevOps ◦ SaaS ◦ SAP ◦ Enterprise

Lead and transformed the engineering team, culture, and products at Syniti. Bootstrapped a totally new culture centered on CI/CD, modern tooling, and SaaS. This required introducing automated testing and quality, DevOps, DVCS (git), Cloud (AWS), ...

Additionally, I owned and directed all of Syniti's overall strategic technology/architecture direction and vision.

Principal Software Architect at Content Analyst Company

Reston, VA - Aug 2012 → July 2015

java ◦ scala ◦ akka ◦ postgresql ◦ AWS ◦ ElasticSearch ◦ Text Analysis ◦ SaaS

As the one of the senior engineers and architect, I was responsible for helping bridge that tough divide between the vision of the Executives and the realities of execution by an engineering team. I also provided senior leadership through code reviews, mentoring, design reviews, and such. I was hands-on and in the code on a daily-basis. I helped the company pivot from a pure API/SDK company to an end-user SaaS product built on the AWS cloud.

Content Analyst built (was acquired) text analytics tools for working with large sets of unstructured data. The primary market is e-discovery where the tools help with many of the aspects of e-discovery (early case assessment, review, etc.). These tools are both heuristic-based (email-threading) as well as more traditional math-based analysis tools (latent-semantic indexing for conceptual search and classification).

Co-Owner/All Around Tech Guy at Behaviors for Life

Fairfax, VA - 2008 → 2012

Objective-C ◦ iOS ◦ OSX ◦ Mac

My wife and I founded a company that created software to help teach language to children with special needs, in particular Autism. My wife is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and works daily with children that have autism. She was constantly complaining about how awful it was to manually sort language cards as well as how error-prone it was. Meanwhile, a company that many love to hate and many more just love released two amazing devices, the iPhone and the iPad. Suddenly it was clear, utilize this amazing technology to solve the problems that my wife, and many like her have.

Software Architect at SOALogix

Reston, VA - 2004 → 2008

Java ◦ Linux ◦ JVM ◦ Scala ◦ Groovy ◦ SAP ◦ Primavera ◦ Enterprise

Led the technical development and architecture of a SOA-based enterprise integration tool suite that connected Primavera to SAP and other ERP-type applications. I designed and wrote the entire original code base in just under 2 months. This was made possible by abandoning the original plan of using EJBs and embracing the then brand new concept of dependency injection using Spring.

I introduced Groovy and Scala to the technical stack to solve problems with asynchronous message passing (Scala Actors) and for adapter scripting (Groovy).

The company was eventually acquired by SAP.

Software Architect at AtStaff

Reston, VA - 2001 → 2004

.NET ◦ C# ◦ C++ ◦ Windows ◦ SQL Server ◦ MFC ◦ ASP ◦ ASP.NET

Responsible for the overall technical development and direction of a healthcare scheduling application. Mentored technical staff, developed and documented the software architecture, and did hands on coding tasks. The technical platform was Windows, .NET 1.0, SQL Server, ASP, MFC, and C++

Director of Development / Software Engineer at MSI Software

Reston, VA - 1996 → 2001

.NET ◦ C# ◦ C++ ◦ Windows ◦ SQL Server ◦ MFC ◦ ASP ◦ ASP.NET

Led a department of Software Engineers, QA, and Technical Documentation specialists in the ongoing evolution and maintenance of two healthcare scheduling applications. Reported to the CEO and participated in day-to-day tactical management as well as strategic business efforts.

Led the technical effort to turn a desktop scheduling application into an enterprise scheduling application. This involved componentization of the architecture, moving to a RDBMS back-end (SQL Server), and implementing a DCOM based remoting tunnel. Also heavily involved in the development of requirements for the product as well as day-to-day coding tasks. The technical platform was Windows, SQL Server, MFC, and C++

Education & Certifications

B.S. Mathematics minor in Computer Science - Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA - 1994 → 1996

C ◦ Ada ◦ Scheme ◦ Pascal ◦ UNIX ◦ Data Structures ◦ Algorithms
  • Reluctant Student, graduated in 3 years.
  • Failed my first computer class, Intro to Computers, for attendance reasons. Had final average of 102 in the class, still was failed. Pedants are not my friends.
  • Pi mu epsilon award for outstanding achievement in the field of Mathematics.
  • Tutored in the math lab for pizza and beer money. Tutored students in many subjects, including some that I never took a class in, including Discrete Math.

Functional Programming Principles in Scala

EPFL - Martin Odersky - 2013

Scala ◦ Functional Programming

Material That Has Shaped Me

  • Effective Java: Programming Language Guide (Java Series) - Joshua Bloch - After 8 years of C++ I came to Java, on-the-job, with almost no experience with the language. I bought far too many Java books. This was the only one that ended up paying for itself, and it did so many, many times over.
  • Real World Haskell - Bryan O'Sullivan, John Goerzen, Don Stewart - Functional programming! What is this craziness? Wait a minute, why don't all my languages work this way.
  • The Joy of Clojure: Thinking the Clojure Way - Michael Fogus, Chris Houser - I never got to use Clojure like I wanted. Not being a Lisper it is a bit of a hill to climb but I love the idea of progamming with data rather than objects a-la OOP.
  • Purely Functional Data Strucutres - Chris Okasaki - Changed the way I think about immutability in conjunction with expressive and powerful programming.
  • Programming Rust - Jim Blandy, Jason Orendorff - Everything that Golang claims to be plus a real type system with generics and thus a powerful collections implementation. Yeah you have to think about ownership aka memory management but it is not that hard!
  • Rands In Repose: Hacking is Important - Tech Life A disruptive act
  • Simple Made Easy - Rich Hickey emphasizes simplicity’s virtues over easiness’, showing that while many choose easiness they may end up with complexity, and the better way is to choose easiness along the simplicity path.
  • My first computer was a Commodore 64 - this plus my dad's subscritpion to BYTE magazine forged my eventual path.