About Dan

Last Updated: 05/13/2008

Hi. I’m Dan. I’m a 10+ years of experience technically minded developer who finds himself as an Independent Consultant in the business integration space. When I was first starting off, I found it hard to get the information I need and I spent a lot of time reading incomplete documentation and deciphering cryptic error messages. Luckily, I had a lot of bright minds in IBM that I could contact to figure this stuff out. Today, I’m the one who possesses the knowledge, and like the people who helped me before I want to contribute back to the community.

Disclaimer

This is a 100% personal blog. I’m responsible for my own words here.

Why the blog?

For a long time, I’ve been active in the newsgroups for support of WebSphere’s BI stack. The problem with a newsgroup (even more so with the small amount of traffic that IBMs forums get) is that it’s not the best place to put rants or ideas. It’s good for single Q/A and it’s not very searchable.

My hope for this blog is just to dump whatever is on my mind about my job. Sometimes I get really deep into technical issues and try to figure out the why. Other times it’s just a comment on the state of the community. It’ll tend to vary with my mood, stress level and interest in a particular topic. Notwithstanding, I invite any reader to send in a question and I’ll be more thn happy to give my thoughts.

Current

Business Integration
Newsgroup Support

I am very active in the IBM DeveloperWorks newsgroups that can be found at:

Certifications

I have the following certification designations from IBM:

  1. IBM Certified Solution Developer – WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances, Firmware V3.6.0 06/2008
  2. IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer [2007] 05/2008
  3. IBM Certified Solution Developer -IBM Certified Administrator for SOA Solutions – WebSphere Process Server V6.0 05/2008
  4. XML 1.1 and Related Technologies 05/2008
  5. IBM Certified SOA Associate 05/2008
  6. IBM Certified System Administrator – WebSphere Application Server, Network Deployment V6.1 05/2008
  7. IBM Certified Solution Developer — WebSphere Integration Developer V6.0.1 04/2007
  8. IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer – Retired 04/2007

Which have earned me the following cool certification badges:

IBM SOA Certification

I guess this might mean that I know what I’m talking about.

Career History

Perficient (March 2007 -> Current)

I’m officially a ‘Technical Architect’ Consultant for Perficient, based out of the Toronto SBU.

IBM (July 2001 -> March 2007)
  • September 2005 – WebSphere Integration Developer (WID)- SWAT Team
    • SWAT team was a highly skilled team created from the development organization designed to transfer skill to early adopters.
    • Bridged the gap between the support organization, the development organization and IBM Software Services for WebSphere.
    • Acquired deep technical skills on the WebSphere product stack
    • Brought in to deal with high pressure/visibility problem reports and crit-sits
    • Involved in travel all around the world
    • Major contributor to the internal IBM Forums for WebSphere. (It’s been a year since I left and I’m still in the top5).
  • October 2004 – WID – Integration Test Client Developer
    • Completed the entire software development life cycle for the user interface of the Test Client in WID v6.0.
    • Every milestone completed on-time.
  • June 2002 – WebSphere Application Developer Integration Edition (WSADIE) – Build/Install Team
    • Decreased build times by 78% (2 hours to 25 minutes).
    • Migrated process from REXX to ANT.
    • Enforced the development cycle and protected the integrity of the build process
    • Created RPM installation scripts for Linux Editon.
    • Migrated development teams from CMVC to CVS, substantially decreasing code check-in and merging time.
  • July 2001 – Flow Composition Builder
    • Java Developer for the editor for composite flows that was bundled into WSADIE and WebSphere Message Broker.
    • Used the GEF and EMF frameworks before they were donated to Eclipse.

Publications/Presentations

  1. IBM Redbook – Patterns: Building Serial and Parallel Processes for IBM WebSphere Process Server V6 (2005)

Right after WID/WPS was released to the public, I had the opportunity to write a Redbook for the software at the IBM site in Raleigh, NC within the Research Triangle. This Redbook primarily deals with when to apply the serial and parallel patterns to BPEL. It also goes in depth about how to actually implement the scenario end to end. I can’t really remember which of the four scenarios I was responsible for, but I know I wrote a pretty good chapter on the Test Client in the Appendix. Also, during this book, I (felt like) I was one of the first people to attempt to use the WebSphere Adapter for JDBC to connect to an XADatasource. There was a ton of low level ra.xml hacks needed to get it going at that time. Thankfully, that’s not an issue anymore.

I recommend the redbook experience to anyone who can manage to get 6-8 weeks of time. You’ll come out of it with in depth knowledge of the tool and you’ll get to see your name in ‘lights’ as an actual author. I didn’t think I’d ever be one, but I have the hard copy of that book (700+ pages!).

  • Internal IBM Presentation on Debugging in WID. (2007)

Internal to IBM, ISSW held a weekly call with it’s Business Integration consultants to discuss technical topics. I was selected to give one about the debugger that is included with WID. It was an hour long call.

  • IBM WebSphere Services Technical Conference 2007

In April 2007, I was selected to present at the conference. My topic was ‘Tips, Tricks and Common Mistakes: The Intergration Test Client’. Being on the SWAT Team, I had identified (and corrected) the use of the client client to many practitioners. In order to give this information to the masses, I created a presentation. The content of this presentation became the base for the developerWorks article below.

Education

I graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering (2001). This was the first program in Ontario where graduates were eligible to complete a Software Engineering curriculum and obtain an Engineering (as opposed to Computer Science) degree. At the time, the director of the software engineering department was the infamous David Parnas, co-author of the ‘Mythical Man-Month‘.

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