He gives a mean presentation. Ask him all about what he did in Seattle not too long ago!
Tell us what you’ve been working on at Connected.
I’m the Team Lead for a project with a leading audio electronics brand to build a web-scale messaging service for IoT—one that helps their devices communicate with applications, services, and each other via the cloud. A few months ago, I gave a talk at KubeCon, also known as the premier conference on Kubernetes, alongside Bose on "Our Journey to 5 Million Messaging Connections in Kubernetes”. We are currently doing some evaluations of a number of services to assist our client in making future decisions about their platform.
Last year, we helped our client with a variety of evaluations and prototypes to further their platform including, but not limited to, finer grained permissions, auto-scaling, evaluation of CI/CD in a cloud-native environment, platform tuning, and the evaluation of a number of monitoring and alerting tools for their massively scaled platform.
You definitely have bragging rights for all you’ve accomplished. Anything else you’d like to brag about?
Well… I won the Music and Math awards for Grade 7 and 8. Sidenote: I also used to make my own webcomic that I will never reveal to anyone.
Ha! We’ll get it out of you one day! Anything else?
I've given about twenty talks at the Toronto Perl Mongers meetups on various subjects as well as a talk at the Greater Toronto Area Linux User Group. Not only did I give talks, but I was also the organizer of the Perl Mongers for 3 years. It’s one of the oldest tech meetup groups in Toronto. Before I ran it, I truly never appreciated how hard it can be to run a group. It requires organization, empathy, patience, and a dogged determination to ensure you have speakers and a space for them to speak.
Wow! We really admire your dedication to the tech community. Where were you prior to joining Connected?
I’ve worked for a variety of companies, whether it was as a programmer, developer, engineer... I’ve been around. Some notable companies and work that I’ve done included my work at Canada Law Book (now Thomson Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters).
I worked on no less than 40 legal publications, converting them from proprietary typesetting formats to SGML to bring the publication fully in house. In addition to this conversion, these publications were also converted into an array of subscription-based CD research tools. I am often reluctant to toot my own horn, but when it comes to parsing and manipulating text, I haven’t met anyone with more experience than me. Over the 3 years I was there, I estimate I saved the company no less than 5 million dollars.
I also had two stints at OANDA as a Software Engineer and ScrumMaster. I worked on several projects including the design, implementation and deployment of the OANDA Exchange Rates API in response to a CEO challenge to deliver a modern API in just 6 weeks. This API is one of the core offerings in OANDA's services for business. This included the system itself, all documentation, and a number of client libraries in multiple languages (Perl, PHP, JS).
Additionally, I was a front-end dev for what was previously Intel’s Manager for Lustre, an OAMP application for the parallel distributed Lustre filesystem used in supercomputing. Just before Connected, I worked for Influitive as part of the core team who was responsible for a complex targeting system based on Drools.
Outside of my day job history, I've been pleased to donate some of my time to RethinkBreastCancer. I built a complicated online grant application process to help them qualify and ultimately choose where important funding for research into breast cancer should go. An extremely rewarding experience.
Sounds like you’ve been very busy.
You could say that again!
Now that you’re at Connected, what do you like about working here?
Our values include being smart, kind, and reliable and I'm constantly humbled by the quality of people in all three categories. Furthermore, I have never seen a company value "kindness" as highly as we do. All companies have values but Connected and its people truly live them.
Connected is working on so many incredible things with so many fascinating companies. My jaw literally hit the floor when I found out who our clients were and what opportunities we have. I was given a chance to pitch to a client a very ambitious project. A project I would never have dreamed I would have an opportunity to do. Connected and its team trusted me to do this and gave me what I needed... and we WON.
Nice. What advice would you give to someone just starting at Connected?
It's easy to be intimidated by the calibre of people at Connected (in more than just the "intelligence" category). I don't doubt many people suffer from imposter syndrome. You needn't. You are here because you are smart, kind, and reliable. We believe it. You should too. We are here for you and you are here for us. Give people a chance to prove it and you'll be pleasantly surprised. It doesn't matter if you are fresh out of school or 20 years into your career. You can teach everyone here something and they can teach you something.
Great advice! What hobbies or side projects do you have outside of work?
I am currently learning the Crystal programming language, a niche and interesting derivative of Ruby that is statically typed and compiled. I'm implementing an MQTT client and server to help me learn the language.
Sounds like work to me. Anything non-tech related?
In my spare time, I like reading sci-fi and fantasy novels such as All Systems Red by Martha Wells and Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. My puppies, wife and kids, and my Nintendo Switch keep me busy. My perennial favourite Switch game is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. And when I get the chance, I like to head up north to enjoy nature.
What product do you wish you’d created and why?
The Nintendo Switch. As someone who has a bit of a commute and small children, the brilliance of this device cannot be understated. You can play on your TV. Want to leave? Pick it up and go! Bloody clever.
We love that product too. Give us a few fun facts about yourself!
What song is on repeat while you work?
Polynomial-C by Aphex Twin
What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?
Farmhouse Tavern in the Junction Triangle. Farm to table, rotating menu, and honestly the best burger I have ever had (with a duck egg on top).
Sounds delicious! What’s your favourite place in Toronto?
Marie Curtis Park situated right by the Mississauga border. When I used to live there, I would sit by the water while I read a book in the summer breeze. It's as close to heaven as you can get.
Stay tuned for more profiles about the great people here at Connected.