My two daughters are going to grow up in a world where the sum of all human knowledge is available in the palm of their hand. They can instantly communicate across the globe within the span of a few milliseconds. This magic box in the palm of their hand is orders of magnitude faster than the Commodore 64 I had as a child, and more orders of magnitude faster than the house-sized computer their grandfather programmed with punch cards.
And we're just getting started.
Currently, my team designs, develops, and maintains the domestic and international e-commerce sites (US, UK, and Germany), a B2B e-commerce site, company intranet and extranets, and other miscellaneous promotional sites. We are primarily a Scala shop, having "upgraded" from Java in 2011. Additionally, we are now designing for mobile first, with Skechers web traffic going from 7% mobile to over 32% mobile within the past two years.
I'm very proud of the team that I've assembled; we are extremely nimble, and very efficient at coming up with solutions for other departments — our clients. We have a unified build process with great automated test coverage, and a one-button deployment from environment to environment to help catch the relatively small amount of bugs that leak out. We consistently score extremely high in customer satisfaction and site usability, and the third-party usability firm we engage is consistently impressed with our design and overall application speed.
The new version of Heluna launched to existing clients in November of 2012, with the general rollout in January 2013. It is a self-service, extremely low maintenance web application that provides small to medium businesses with spam filtering without the need to purchase specific hardware or be in the business of filtering spam e-mails. The application is written in Scala with heavy Akka usage, and the website uses the Play! framework, all tied back to a CouchDB NoSQL database. It is deployed on AWS.
The knowledge I've gained from running Heluna has been immeasurable, and the architecture, design, marketing, and development experience it has given me is second to none. It's exciting to get feedback from clients saying that they wouldn't know what they'd do without Heluna, and their questions and input have given me a great amount of visibility into running in a startup environment.
After WoW was launched, my team worked on extremely-high-trafficked custom content management softare, and we were able to help develop and give early feedback on the CMS product that was Day CQ4 and ultimately became Adobe CQ5.
The ROSS project at Warner Music Group was a multimillion dollar content management system designed to cater to the entire WMG family of labels and artists. At a time before social networking, the WMG CMS was designed to connect fans to their favorite artists faster and provide the tools for nontechnical resources to promote WMG music.
The CMS was primarily designed around XML and XSLT, and the developers and designers did a fantastic job creating different websites based off the same datafeeds from the main system. I'm very happy with how the project turned out, given the extremely varied needs from the different labels under the WMG umbrella.
At USWeb, then USWeb/CKS, then marchFIRST, the Santa Monica office helped to create some of the most cutting-edge technology then available on the web for our clients. Additionally, we led a team at the American Film Institute Digital Content lab, which explored the developing of multiple-screen entertainment.
Our broadband laboratory helped with the SMIL standard and worked alongside both technology and media companies to further growth of multimedia content at a time when high-speed Internet access was still in its infancy. We did a terrific job of encoding data down to acceptable stream rates while still keeping audio and visual quality high, and then integrated those into client websites for — back then — a revolutionary view of the web.