21 August 2007

About Me

Born & raised in southern Pennsylvania, with plenty of ties to Canada through Mennonite population (who all seemed to arrive in PA from the Ukraine via Waterloo, Ontario).

1983-1985 -- Lived 30 miles from the Canadian border, attending SUNY-Potsdam majoring in German & Cultural Anthropology, spent Saturday mornings watching Sesame Street in French and catching up on curling while finishing off last night's pizza. Primarily Ottawa-influenced, media-wise, listening to the BBC and CHEZ-106. Got used to snow and cold pretty quickly.

1985-1987 -- Studied in Germany, just inside the French Zone in Tuebingen. Traveled widely throughout Europe during semester breaks (as widely as the Iron Curtain would allow at that time, of course). Worked for an American translator who worked for VW and translated automotive material for Detroit. Learned enough French to say, "Je ne parle pas francais." Learned plenty of German, tho'.

1987-1995 -- Lived in NJ and Philadelphia, where I was a freelance writer/editor, and lived in northern California for 3 years, where I was Head of Documentation for a software company that built relational-database-driven desktop software. Created electronic and print docsets for DOS (it was 1993, after all), Windows and Mac versions of the product. Also contracted at Hewlett-Packard's microwave technology division, training their HR dept to transition from paper files to their international hiring database. Also wrote documentation for a hardware supplier for Intel, which built wafer handlers for silicon wafer printing, as well as medical pathology software. Worked for O'Reilly & Associates, who are based in Sebastopol, where I lived at the time. Spent a whole lot of time at the Sebastopol public library, combing through gopher servers (as the web had yet to emerge) - O'Reilly was at the time working on their "Internet in a Box" product, "the first shrink-wrapped package to provide a total solution for PC users to get on the Internet. Internet In A Box provides instant connectivity, a multimedia Windows interface, and a full suite of applications. New features in the second edition include: access to the CompuServe Network; Spry Mosaic, Mail, and News; Secure HTTP; and a Network File Manager." Blast from the past.

1995 -- Moved back to the East Coast (Boston), where I supervised staff at one of Boston's top law firms, dove into web work, starting to build my own websites on my own time -- with one of the first WYSIWYG html editors, then deciding I could write the code better myself. And I did.

January, 1997 -- signed on with Fidelity eBusiness as one of their first in-house people to do web development. Survived two full-site redesigns, directed construction of site-wide templates for componentization and standardization. Go-to-gal and general troubleshooter/problem-solver for various issues, such as "broken" back button off the login page, cross-browser compatibility, Netscape 6-related (remember that debacle?) changes to 1700+ individual web pages, enterprise-wide web development issues, returning mixed search results from non-secure and secure contexts, page optimization, code cleanup, Perl customization implementations, daily net asset value feed monitoring, online calculators & retirement/investing tools, content management systems vetting, etc., etc. You get the picture...

2000-2002 -- Developer and project manager for Search, eLearning and Knowledge Based projects, working with third-party vendors. Built front-end for enterprise-wide search engine pulling data from multiple Fidelity-owned domains and disparate data sources. Built it in Perl, parsing out xml returned by the "black box" search engine implementation. Worked with former members of Israeli intelligence for data mining projects. Development consulting for Instant Messaging implementation.

2002-August, 2005 -- Consultant Software Engineer with Fidelity Institutional (employer services), heading up web accessibility and compliance initiatives, leading client-side development for site-wide redesign of 2000+ piece self-service HR benefits management site. Oversaw efforts of developers in multiple US states & India, set and enforced standards, coded application for customer perceived response time to ensure compliance with SLA(s) for third-party vendors.

August-December, 2005 -- Technical writer with Fidelity Institutional, writing back-office operations documentation for HR outsourcing business.

December, 2005 - January, 2006 -- Built a podcasting content management system, written in Perl and PHP and some integrated Java components.

Feb, 2006 - April, 2007 -- Client-side developer for Generate, building out presentation-layer code for G2 and the first iteration of the corporate website. Also freelance web developer for several websites.

Technologies used over the course of the years: (D)HTML, C, Perl, SQL, CSS, Javascript (since 1997), Java (J2EE/JSP), ASP (classic), IIS configuration, Apache HTTP server and Tomcat, UNIX, Linux, emacs (not so much vi), DB2, PHP, Lotus Notes, graphics programs, command-line and IDE environments, Websphere, Weblogic, dotNet (@ Generate), Vignette, various content management and knowledgebase/data mining systems, etc.

Other hats:

Executive Producer & Digital Engineer for the nationally syndicated radio show "Women In Music with Laney Goodman", which you can hear on over 100 markets nationwide in the US (from the tropics -- including Guam and the Philippines and Puerto Rico -- to the tundra, reaching as far north as Barrow, Alaska, not to mention a few stations in the Aleutian Islands) -- www.womenonair.com is the url, and you can listen online through affiliates, most notably WUMB in Boston at 10 p.m. on Friday nights -- hear it online at www.wumb.org tonight!

Independent publisher with over 10 books published, to date, and a couple more in the pipeline.

Visual artist and designer -- see www.kaystoner.com for a smattering of my work. More to come. Soon.