Sunday 23 January 2011

Strictly Software - Online CV

Are you looking for an experienced Web Developer with 25 years experience?

If you are a company or individual that requires an experienced systems developer for bespoke development work on websites, databases, scripts, plugins, bots and security then you should consider contacting Strictly Software for a formal quote.

Over my 25 years of development experience I have managed to acquire a wide range of technical skills that are very relevant in today's fast moving Internet world. A search on will return many examples of my work from my publicly available free online tools and popular blog articles, to a number of popular WordPress plugins.

My skill-set covers everything from large scale database design, development and performance tuning to website development, auto-blogging, user tracking and black or white hat SEO techniques. A non-inclusive list of my skill-set is listed below.
  • Database development and administration using MS SQL 6.5 - 2012 and MySQL.
  • Performance tuning including index optimisation, query plan analysis and caching.
  • Development of relational database systems, real time systems, EAV hybrids and systems built partially with automated code.
  • A good knowledge of system views which I have used to create a multitude of scripts to help locate, update and port data and clean up systems that have been hacked with SQL injections.
  • Automated reporting, analysis, diagnosis and correction scripts.
  • Front end development in C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Java, VB, VBA, ASP Classic and Server and Client Side JavaScript on a number of commercial and personal sites as well as a number of intranets.
  • Cross browser script development and the use of unobtrusive and progressive enhancement scripting techniques.
  • XML, HTML, XHTML, RSS and OPML parsing.
  • Web 2.0 development skills including RPC, RESTful methods and good knowledge of the issues surrounding internationalisation and multi byte character sets.
  • AJAX, JSON and using Object Orientated JavaScript.
  • Intermediate CSS skills and good DOM manipulation skills.
  • Good knowledge of writing bots, crawlers and screen scrapers.
  • Experience of hooking into popular API's such as Twitter, Google or Betfair.

Not only have I developed a number of useful PHP plugins for Wordpress including:

  • Strictly AutoTags, an automatic tagging tool that uses keyword density and HTML tag analysis to find appropriate words to be used as tags for articles.
  • Strictly Tweetbot, an automated content analysis plugin that uses OAuth to send tweets to multiple Twitter accounts.
  • Strictly System Check, a report plugin that checks for site uptime and runs a number of automatic fixes depending on identifiable problems.

I have also created a number of web tools using PHP which included:
  • Super Search - An anonymising search engine that allowed you to search the top 3 search engines in when one of my proxies was stopped however it was a test to prove it could be done and I used my own language that I had created called SCRAPE.
  • MyIP - A browser connection analysis tool.
  • WebScan - A tool to scan a webpage and find out key info such as malware, trackers, outbound links, spam ratings, DNS checks and much more.

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As well as purchasing these PRO Twitter plugins I have numerous free to use plugins and scripts, tools, and online programs that let you do all sorts of things like HTML Encode JavaScript and De-Compress multiple times packed code using Dean Edwards packing code mechanism.

I have also worked on a number of client side tools based on JavaScript and AJAX including my Getme.js example framework which I use alongside Sizzle for DOM manipulation.

I have personally identified a number of major problems with the common frameworks such as JQuery and Prototype which is why I do not use other peoples code unless I am required to and I have wrote a number of articles about these problems which can be found here:

I also specialise in writing tools for automatic HTTP parsing and screen scraping and have build a number of objects in C#, PHP and Javascript to enable me to scrape and reformat articles on the fly. I used to actually have a fully automated business which randomised data to create seemingly specific emails, and I created a brilliant looking website that hooked into Betfairs API to show recent results, upcoming races and market price. I also showed Racing information and news articles obtained from various sites using my own SCRAPE BOT and had fully automated daily optimisation and maintenance as well as SEO optimisation and automatic advertising when new articles were imported, optimised before Tweets and Facebook/LinkedIn/Tumblr and other social medsia posts were automatically sent out to bring in traffic.

As someone who has to maintain a system that has millions of page hits a day I am constantly engaged in a battle between malicious bots and users who are trying to either hack my system or steal content. Therefore I have built up quite a large amount of knowledge on the best practices when it comes to identifying and preventing bad users and this information also comes in use when I have to make automated requests myself.

I have also written a number of articles on the topic of bad bots and scraping as well as how a bot should go about crawling a site so that it doesn't get banned including writing an example C# object to parse a Robots.txt file.

I also run a number of personal sites that have increased my own personal knowledge of successful SEO strategies and I have authored a number of articles about tips and tricks I have come across that help in this regard:

As well writing over 100 technical articles for this blog I have developed a number of popular and useful tools such as:

  • Twitter Translator - One of the first sites to offer translation of Twitter messages on the fly in all the languages Google Translate offered. This had to be shut down due to Twitter changing their open API to a closed OAuth system.
  • HTML Encoder and Decoder - This very popular tool is based on a free object I have created that allows users to HTML encode and Decode in Javascript. Unlike similar scripts my tool handles double encoding which is a big issue when you are handling content taken from multiple sources that may or may not have been merged with other content or already encoded.
  • Javascript Unpacker and Beautifier - This popular tool is used by myself and many others to reformat compressed or packed JavaScript code and to reformat it into a readable format.

I used to have an APACHE server which I don't have anymore unfortunately as is had a a number of great tools and other sites including my own URL Shortener, a Spam Checker and a Pirate Bay Proxy checker script which used to be easily accessed on my site which due to unfortunate circumstances, was moved to a French hosting company, OVH, who have blocked the owner from accessing it.

Due to crazy circumstances my site was hosted, along with it's SSL certificates on their server, which held a horse racing site I part owned along with my own site. The horse racing site got sold, the owners built a new site on a different server but they cannot stop OVH from charging them monthly fees for Windows/SQL Server/Hosting etc due to a change in their login process where they now require people to login by accessing a link sent out to a specific email address. 

I have no access to the address, nor do the new owners, as the old owners deleted it and it cannot be recreated. Trying to speak to OVH just results in them saying that they cannot change the email due to EU Data Protection laws. So this company is paying a huge monthly fee to keep a server running which only hosts my own site that I cannot even access to add a new SSL, or move the DB and code to another webserver. So that is why you don't get an https version of my site at the moment!

I used to work at a well known UK software development company based outside London.

I worked for this company for 11 years and during that time I was the architect of 3 versions of an award winning job recruitment software product. The software I developed ran over 500 different job boards and consists of custom code (client and server) that was written from the ground up using Microsoft technologies.

The generic codebase I have created and the back-end management system that controls it allows for extremely fast production times. Also because of the generic design the main time delay between specification and deployment for each new site is actually the front end design and not the database or business layer development as it usually is with other systems.

I actually automated the process of creating a new site so that the non techies who do the project management could easily follow a stepped process to create a new job board by filling in a series of forms. These forms asked for information such as the new URL, site name, any existing site to copy their settings and categories from, as well as a site to copy the design from which could then be changed.. 

I then automated the process of creating new database records, copying data from existing sites to the new one, updating IDs and linked lists, building text files such as ISAPI rewrite files and constant files, setting up folder structures and even creating the site in IIS so that at the end of the process there was a fully functional new site ready to be tweaked by the "colouring in" people e.g the designers LOL.

Using a mix between normalised relational structures and EAV for custom requirements alongside automatically generated de-normalised flat tables and matrices for high speed searching, the system I created perfectly straddles the sometimes problematic trade off many developers have to make between quick development, good solid design and high performance.

The skills I have learnt developing this software has proved that is possible to maintain high traffic systems on Microsoft architecture utilising legacy technologies such as ASP Classic along with a number of .NET web services and console scripts to send bulk emails out, handle incoming spam mail, importing jobs by XML and many other external tasks. 

By developing this system I learnt the following skills and techniques such as:
  • Database performance tuning.
  • Application layer performance tuning.
  • Developing highly secure websites.
  • Automated traffic analysis and real time logging, visitor fingerprinting and automatic banning techniques.
  • Object orientated and procedural development methodologies.
  • Caching, Minification, compression and other optimisation techniques.
  • JavaScript widget development, including a custom WYSIWYG editor, my own framework and many animated tools including geo-graphical searching using Googles Map API and our own data.
  • Automated tasks to report, analyse and fix potential issues.
  • Good coding practises including limited 3rd party COM object use, object re-use and other well known but sadly untaught tricks of the trade.
  • C# .NET coding for various external scripts that vastly sped up processes such as bulk maling job alerts to thousands of users when compared to old VBScript techniques.
  • Use of NoSQL DataBase's such as DTSearch for indexing our jobs and CV's and providing a fast search of the files using their COM interface.

A cursory look over this blog and my very old site (which I cannot actually access anymore due to the OVH server issue mentioned earlier), will show you the wide variety of skills that I am trained in and hopefully the depth of knowledge that my articles and examples deliver prove that I know what I am talking about.

If you are interested in learning more about my work or are looking to hire someone for web or database development then you should contact me for further details.

If you are interested in having a performance audit on your legacy systems before considering whether to rewrite or tune up then you can also contact me at the details provided in the contact link in the footer.


Alistar Reeves said...

Wow! You really had good skills. I really like what I read in your post. I think you are really smart. Keep learning and more power to your job hunt. :)

GRP IT Solutions said...

Great CV - You seem like just the kind of person we would like to work with our new start up company.

We are going to be specialising in linking social media to the way recrutiment agencies work to cut out the middle man and hopefully make websites who engage with us profits for doing so.

I will email you the details.

James McDonald said...

I hope you are being paid big bucks by your employer because with your skillset you sure should be.

I have trouble just keeping up with one programming language PHP but C#, VB, ASP and PHP kudos to you!

seo reseller said...

What a nice online CV hope you luck in you future. I suggest you can start you own company and be the CEO

Dark Politricks said...

Oh I wish it was so easy to set up a business as a one man band. If anyone has any work they need doing (PHP, C#, JavaScript, ASP, WordPress plugins) etc. Then let me know. I won't be charging £750 a day to customers as my ex boss did that is for sure!

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