Project Work Experience:
Below are descriptions of some of the projects I have worked on. My primary role on these projects was athe lead architect, analyst, programmer, or project manager. While not every project I have worked on is covered here, this gives a good overview of my IT experience.
Reverse Publishing Feed from CareerBuilder:
Problem: CareerBuilder had become the enterprise help wanted classified solution for the Cincinnati Enquirer. A system needed to be set up to run featured jobs as a special section in the newspaper. No system existed for this purpose however CareerBuilder did have an API which would allow partners to download help wanted ads.
Solution: Develop an application to download format and send the XML from CareerBuilder into a Text Table that then could be formatted in Adobe InDesign.
Technology: Apple Script, Shell Scripting, XML, Adobe Applications, CareerBuilder API
Cost Savings: estimated, $10,400/yr. based on the time it would take an individual to manually format data from CareerBuilder, given they had the knowledge to utilize the API.
Repagination System for Online Newspapers:
Problem: Issuu is an online publishing solution for magazines and newspapers. The Community Press Family of Newspapers wanted an online presence on The Issuu Website based on the actual paginated and printed pages, and did not want to have to employ individuals to manually publish these sections.
Solution: Utilize the existing weekly archive of stored pages, to build a PDF based on the actual paginated pages sent to the presses. The repagination system must rebuild the sections of the newspaper based on section name and page number.
Technology: AppleScript, Shell Scripting, Adobe Acrobat, FTP
Cost Savings; estimated $400,000, according to sources this process is still running today. This number is based on approximately 10 years that this process has been running.
Redeployment of Fingerpost Systems for A.P. ATOM Webfeeds:
Problem: The Associated Press’ aging satellites would no longer be viable technology and would not be replaced. A.P. ATOM Webfeeds would replace the old satellite technology and a sunset date was given on the existing A.P. Satellite Systems.
Solution: Transition the Fingerpost Servers to utilize Webfeeds by opening the ports on the switches to allow access to the internet, install updates to the servers patch and reprogram the Fingerpost Systems to utilize the Webfeeds.
Technology: FingerPost Systems, Perl scripting, CCI- NewsDesk, Sun Servers, Solaris, Oracle, Dell NAS
Cost Savings: $100, 000 estimated on cost of annual support, and new equipment.
Avid MediaNet Video Editing System:
Problem: Video Editors were running out of storage space on their systems and due to the amount of data written to external hard drives by the Avid XPress Pro Video Editing Software, some of the external drives began to fail causing the loss of data and time to rebuild the projects.
Solution: Install a system which would allow for the editing of multiple simultaneous projects and a storage array which would eliminate the possibility of data loss.
Technology: Cisco Network, Windows Server, JBOD Array, Avid MediaNet, Apple Desktop Systems
Cost Savings: $10, 000+, the main savings in this case was time and frustration over lost data and projects.
CCI NewsGate Server Upgrades
Problem: The Cincinnati Enquirer had purchased Two NewsGate Systems, one for the Cincinnati Enquirer and one for the Cincinnati Post. The purchase of separate systems was part of a Joint Operating Agreement between Gannett, the parent company of The Enquirer and Scripps Howard the parent company of the post. At the end of the JOA, Scripps decided to discontinue production of the Cincinnati Post. The Post Servers would no longer be needed, but the hardware available could be used to upgrade The Enquirer’s Systems.
Solution: Move the CPU cards from the SunFire V880’s no longer in use to the Enquirer Production systems. Perform Diagnostics on the cards to make sure the cards meet manufacturer specifications. Bring in Sun Support for the upgrades.
Technology: Sun SunFire V880 Servers, Solaris, Unix
Cost Savings: $600,000 on server upgrades.
CCI system analysis and vendor co-ordination:
Problem: Users on the CCI Newsdesk System were experiencing periodic systemic lag during heavy use of the publishing system.
Solution: Triage and diagnosis of the slow downs, and present a solution to the editorial department.
Technology: Unix performance monitoring, co-ordination with vendor CCI.
Cost Savings: Undetermined, while this project was successful in determining why the system was running slow, the solution presented proposed to upgrade hardware and CCI Software. This issue was solved by migration to an enterprise publishing system. I received an award and bonus for my work on this project.
NAS System Deployment for Digital Collections Archive:
Problem: The Enquirer’s Digital Collections Archive was running low on storage and due to budget restrictions funds could not be allocated to upgrade the system to new servers. However a lower cost solution was viable.
Solution: Deploy a primary and backup network storage solution, which could then be expanded if needed in the future.
Technology: Red Hat Linux, Digital Collections, NetGear ReadyNas
Cost Savings: $150, 000, cost of servers, setup and upgrades, and potentially lost data, or data recovery.
Off-site Backup System:
Problem: The Enquirer has many MacOS Servers some running customized applications developed in house. There is no backup solution for these applications should a server crash.
Solution: The office in Northern Kentucky has a server rack with open space. This is a good opportunity for an offsite backup of the critical data and applications developed in house.
Technology: Cisco Network Hardware, NetGear ReadyNas, Shell Scripting
Photo Routing Application:
Problem: Gannett Co. is moving photo toning for print reproduction to a regional toning center. The Cincinnati Enquirer will need to move all color correction and photo toning to the toning center.
Solution: An attempt was made to utilize supplied FTP software to move the images for offsite toning, however this software was abandoned as problematic, causing production issues, delays in press start times and high numbers of calls for tech support. An in house solution was developed for this process.
Cost Savings: $150,000+ software costs, on call support, and lost production deadlines.
Claims Automation for Software Testing:
Problem: Manual claims testing requires data mining and data preparation, which slows the claim entry process and can cause the software test team to fall behind on the test schedule.
Solution: Develop a tool which would allow the testers to collect test data in a spreadsheet, which would then automatically be used to load that claim info into the Claims System.
Technology: Visual Basic, Microsoft Excel, Window OS, IBM Mainframe, Attachmate Extra Enterprise, OLE
Cost Savings: $100,000+ cost saving over the life of this solution, also considering the cost of moving projects to a later release due to missed deadlines.