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Work experience

Personal Projects

Syndic8 is a dynamic, database-driven web site for the headline syndication community. Implemented in PHP and MySQL, the site serves as a focal point for the community. A polling system measures responsiveness and data quality 4 times each day and publishes the results in tabular and graphical form. Full historical data is available for each news feed, as are error diagnostics. The site had 120 members and over 3000 submitted news feeds one month after the first line of code was written. Features include RSS parsing, email-based notification, error highlighting, a document repository, and an XML-RPC interface.

Developer-Books was an Amazon Associates Site implemented using PHP.

Headline Viewer Headline Viewer is a desktop client for syndicated news headlines in XML format. Composed of nearly 25,000 lines of Visual Basic, this program has had over 30,000 downloads and has received many favorable reviews. Designed and built all of the code, the backend tracking system, the web site, and the dynamic updating mechanism.

The Commentator

The Commentator is a web-based distributed facility for online document review and annotation. Wrote the code and applied it for several Vertex Development customers.

Popularity Contest Popularity Contest is a self-organizing web page generator which reorders lists of links based on access frequency.


Vertex Development

Vertex Development is a consulting company with special skills and experience in several different areas of computer, internet, and graphical user interface technology.

For Caldera, ported the Looking Glass and Looking Glass Advantage products to the Linux operating system. Added GUI and file typing enhancements. Constructed a transparent mechanism to dynamically load program code as needed

For Software Emancipation Technology, prepared an innovative 20-page white paper describing a complex software engineering tool, in 3 days. Wrote a brochure for the REENGINEER/SET product. Participated in detailed user interface design for a new product

For MTI, debugged and enhanced OASIS/RLM, an existing Galaxy application. Ported BACKUP.UNET (40,000 line Motif application) to Galaxy in less than 3 months. In a subsequent project, produced a comprehensive infrastructure design for the user interface of a next-generation enterprise backup product. Created a web-based shared editing system to allow geographically disparate offices to collaboratively edit and review a specification, then used this system to gain consensus on a complex specification.

For J.P. Morgan, analyzed on-going development efforts and prepared project development and implementation plans in London, Paris, New York, and Delaware. Each assignment involved 3-7 days of study followed by several days of writing, resulting in a 20-30 page implementation plan.

For LCC International, extended and enhanced a Galaxy-based FCC forms printing system. Improved printing performance and screen to printer fidelity. On a second, longer-term project, served as project expert in the C++ version of Galaxy. Also built a departmental web server featuring dynamic HTML generation, password protection, and complex framed documents. Build several dynamic data viewers using C++. Built a cross-platform (Windows NT and X11) OpenGL Galaxy object and constructed a dynamic 3-D terrain viewer using the object.

For Diner's Club, prepared a complete object-oriented design for an expense handling system to be implemented in Galaxy.

For Visix Software, performed research, analysis and writing to provide support for two patent infringement lawsuits. Both lawsuits were subsequently dropped, in large part due to the weight of the presentation of the prior art uncovered as part of this project.

For Software Development Magazine, researched and wrote a review of the DISCOVER and REENGINEER/SET tools. Also researched and wrote a review of the Symantec Café Java Development environment.

For Data Management Review, wrote a review of the Galaxy Application Environment.

For The Hurwitz Group, wrote a 2000 word white paper on Internet CGI programming. Wrote a 16,000 word research report on configuration management tools. Wrote a Visual Basic style and standards guide. Researched tools for software design.

For ArborText, handled integration Japanese input methods into a new product. Also providing general Galaxy advice and support. Working to add language-based access to Galaxy features in an advanced editing product. In a follow-on product, wrote the functional specification and performed all implementation and testing of a set of scripting language extensions to the Adept SGML editor. Built a comprehensive test suite for the editing extensions. Made modifications to Galaxy to support Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese characters and input methods. Added JavaBeans support to a Galaxy-based application, including direct invocation of the Sun and Microsoft Java Virtual Machines.

For the Foulger-Pratt Companies, produced an attractive and informative web site. Collected all base information, wrote content, scanned and color-corrected pictures, and procured internet services.

For Global One, produced a comprehensive strategic white paper outlining a design for a multinational groupware solution including electronic mail, conferencing, document publishing, and directory services.

For Unify, modified the Galaxy Application Environment to support input, display, and storage of Korean characters on Solaris and Windows platforms.

Apr 2003Present

Senior Manager, Web Services Evangelism

As Senior Manager of Web Services Evangelism, I managed a team consisting of myself and 3 other evangelists. Used the following tactics to create excitement and awareness for the Amazon Web Services:

  • Speaking engagements at trade shows, conferences, and user groups, with excellent feedback.
  • Blogging at the AWS blog (founder and principal contributor).
  • Webinars.
  • Developer meetings.
  • Virtual presentations in Second Life; first presentation documented here and reviewed here.
  • Designed and managed the construction of the Amazon Developers islands in Second Life.
  • Authored Host Your Web Site in the Cloud, to be published by SitePoint in the Spring of 2010.

Founded the Developer Relations Group, and was responsible for originating many aspects of the developer relations program including:

  • Developer newsletter.
  • Weekly chats.
  • Beta testing.
  • Strategic relationships with external vendors.
  • Recruiting and management of an external team.

Served as internal liaison for the production of Amazon Hacks.


Open Source Experience

Linux - Linux user since 1994. Ported the Looking Glass Desktop to Linux; maintain several servers.

Apache - Apache user since 1995. Main personal server uses virtual hosting to support web sites for 4 domains.

Apache Toolbox - Contributed patches to this development effort.

PHP - PHP user since 2001. Wrote the first 8000 lines of the implementation in less than two months of part-time work. Made extensive use of the XML and Curl extensions.

MySQL - MySQL user since 2001. MySQL is used for all data storage in The current schema includes 50 tables containing a total of 300 fields. Studied query optimization, rearranged tables and organized indexes in order to create a very responsive system.

Gallery - Gallery is a photo album tool written in PHP. Contributed a patch and authored an extension to allow recursive uploading of directory contents.

SquirrelMail - Contributed a patch which improved display efficiency on busy systems. Identified and fixed a problem which would cause an infinite loop when processing HTML mail.


Other Experience

Speaker 1984-present. Prepared and gave talks and presentations before customer and industry groups, including various XML conferences, CNET Japan, CDExpo, OpenPublish, VBITS, COMDEX, UNIX Expo, UIST, Xhibition, the Hurwitz "Application Meltdown" series, the Seattle PHP User Group, the Twin Cities .Net USer Group, and the Linux International Conference.

Program Committee Member X Technical Conferences, 1993-1995.

Editorial Advisory Board Member The X Resource, 1991-1996. Fast-turnaround review and editing of technical papers.

Advisory Representative The X Consortium, 1991-1995. Represented company's interests at this industry consortium.

Aug 2002Apr 2003

Senior Developer

Created monitoring, reporting, and tracking tools for the Amazon Associates program in Perl.

Sep 2000Aug 2002


Vertex Development

For KnowNow, developed a distributed test suite using Java and the company's message routing technology.

For etomei, lead the design and development of a courthouse automation system using Java and XML.

For eByz, served as Consulting Chief Technology Officer. Reporting to the CEO, I was responsible for defining the company's technology and working with the development team to bring it to market. Defined and assisted in the implementation of a strategy built around Web Services, and built a UDDI directory browser. Built an email-based interface to a web service using SOAP and JavaMail. Also constructed demo applications using Java/Swing, XML, and XSLT. Wrote the second-round business plan and slide presentation.

For Imprev, performed software development on a web-based application for the real estate industry. Instituted sound software engineering practices and streamlined the release cycle.

For Foulger-Pratt, revamped the company's web site, which I built in 1996.

For KnowNow, I built several Visual Basic and Java/Swing applications which made use of their Internet-scale message routing technology. The most notable of these applications was an Excel Add-In which used the KnowNow technology to implement real-time publishing and subscription of spreadsheet cells. Previous to this project, I served as Acting Vice President of Development for a period of three months. Reporting to the founders, I developed a release schedule, implemented a development methodology, and brought focus to the development process while releasing two beta versions. Prior to this assignment I developed a Windows-based proof of concept program for the company's routing technology.

For Akopia, served as Acting Vice President of Development. Reporting to the CTO, established and delivered on a multi-phase release schedule for the company's Interchange product. Responsible for all aspects of development, testing, documentation and online product delivery. Wrote architecture and product definition documents.

For Utilis, prepared an independent appraisal of the company's technology.

For jStream, reviewed and evaluated their technology and prepared a management briefing document.

For NextPage, evaluated technologies with an eye toward acquisition and then prepared a briefing for distribution to the board of directors.

For ePartners, provided independent analysis of technologies developed by their portfolio companies.

For BlueStep (formerly MyAssociation), prepared an independent technical review of the company's technology platform and applications. The review was distributed to the company's board.

Founder and developer of the syndication portal. Wrote over 77,000 lines of PHP and 65 MySQL tables containing over 300 columns. The site includes a full XML-RPC interface and currently serves information on over 400,000 syndicated XML news feeds to over 13,000 members.

Developer of Headline Viewer, the first widely released desktop client for syndicated news headlines in XML format. Composed of nearly 25,000 lines of Visual Basic, this program has had over 30,000 downloads and has received many favorable reviews. Designed and built all of the code, the backend tracking system, the web site, and the dynamic updating mechanism.

Founder and editor of the Newsfeeds weblog. This weblog spreads information about syndicated news feeds.

Sep 1999Sep 2000

Program Manager

Responsible for the architecture and detailed design of all HTML and XML editing features for the next version of Visual Basic (Visual Basic.Net) including WYSIWYG design view, HTML source view, CSS Editing, schema-driven XML validation, and IntelliSense statement completion.

Evaluated competitive products and wrote comprehensive specifications. Worked with development, quality assurance, and user education teams to plan and meet a schedule. Developed and maintained a relationship with the Internet Explorer team for the supply of dependent components. Organized and led weekly team, SWAT, and dependenent component meetings.

Demonstrated the product to internal and external groups. Prepared and presented at the VBITS conference. Designed and implemented the multiple selection feature for Internet Explorer 5.5.

Sep 1997Sep 1999

Development Lead

Development Lead for the DHTML Editing Component, Development Lead on HTML Editing on Visual InterDev 6.5, and Development Lead for the DHTML Page Designer feature of Visual Basic 6.0.


Vice President of Research and Development

Visix Software

Planned and led the development of 3 major releases of the Galaxy Application Environment on 5 platforms. Defined the product, generated a competitive analysis and built the development team. Authored corporate marketing materials including brochures and white papers. Worked directly with strategic customers to gain an appreciation for product requirements. Personally authored the Resource Manager. Designed a set of database extensions to Galaxy.

Designed and built Looking Glass Professional, a complete Unix desktop environment. Worked with OEM hardware and software vendors to customize and port the  product to their platforms. Participated in industry standardization efforts including the X Consortium, the IEEE, and the Open Software Foundation.


Principal Software Engineer

American Management Systems

Designed and built the Directory Shell, a full-featured visual interface to Unix for character terminals. Developed a complete user interface system for character terminals. Studied Unix internals. Taught internal classes on Unix and Oracle programming.


Senior Member of Technical Staff

Contel Information Systems

Developed a broadband local area network for the American Stock Exchange, including software development, installation, training and support. Internal Unix consultant.


Systems Programmer


Developed a multi-user Virtual Machine which allowed concurrent use of multiple operating systems on a single 68000 processor. Developed all system software to support a new line of hardware in support of three operating systems. Wrote disk, tape and serial drivers and hardware diagnostics.

Here's the full story on what I did.


Programmer Analyst

National Institute for Safety Research

Developed several research-oriented statistical databases and a library of screen handling utilities.



Moshman Associates

Developed an exceptionally fast 6502 macro assembler, linker, and related utilities. Assisted in the development of a travel agency automation package.


Systems Consultant

The Computer Workshop

Developed custom hardware and software packages for clients.


The Retail Computer Store

Assembled and integrated hardware and software systems.



Master's Candidate (inactive)


Bachelor's Degree

The American University

Attended two classes per semester while employed full time.


Associate's Degree


Jeff Barr in Action

My Blogs

Software Skills

Assembly Languages: 68000, 8086, Z-80, 8080, 6502, 370.

High Level Languages: LSL, C, C++, XML, Visual Basic, HTML, Java, Perl, PHP, Smalltalk-80, Ada, Self, Modula-2, PL/I, SNOBOL, BASIC, Pascal.

Application Environments: Apache, SQL, Microsoft Windows SDK, Microsoft Office Add-Ins, Galaxy, Java, Java Swing Java Virtual Machine APIs, CGI, The X Window System, Macintosh Toolbox.

Operating Systems: Windows NT, Linux, UNIX (all varieties), Macintosh OS, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows.

Development Tools: EMACS, Microsoft Developer Studio, GDB, Visual InterDev, FrontPage.


I have been in the software business since I was 16, starting out at one of the first retail computer stores in the world. As you can see from this resume, I've done all kinds of interesting things throughout my career. I've worked at startups, I've worked at big companies, and I've even had my own consulting practice. I bring a lot of energy, passion, and experience to the table. I relish jumping into new environments and new technologies with both feet, and I enjoy "living in the future," always working on the bleeding edge of practicality. I am a geek at heart and never mind getting my hands dirty. I'm not afraid to dig into kernel level source code, but I am just as comfortable traveling around the world and presenting high-level business and technical concepts to a professional audience.

Hardware Skills

Familiar with the operation of Logic Analyzers, Microprocessor Emulators, Oscilloscopes, Communication Analyzers, Logic Probes and EPROM burners.

Amateur welder and machinist.