Colin Nicholls

mailto: colin@spacefold.com

 

Overview

I have over 30 years experience in the IT industry, from working in corporate teams developing and integrating domain-specific database applications, to independent consulting in data integration.

My strengths include relational database modeling and analysis; user interface design; object-oriented API development; team communication and management; and technical documentation and editing.

Work Experience and Activities

Co-CTO  at Poseidon Saltwater Systems, Inc (2017 -  )

My responsibilities include business systems database and application design; networking infrastructure specification and review; automation integration specifications and testing;  reporting and data analysis; defining and documenting team standard practices in development, source control and release management.

  

Oracle Developer / Database Team Resource Manager at EC Wise, Inc (2007 - 2017)

My responsibilities include client liaison, preparation of technical design specifications, performance tuning, Oracle database administration for client QA and user acceptance environments; defining and documenting team standard practices in development, source control and release management.

Highlights:

  • Re-engineering the build process of our client’s database tier and enabling clean automated builds of multiple versions.
  • PL/SQL development and refinement of platform APIs in the database tier
  • Performing code reviews for clarity, accuracy, and performance.
  • Repository Steward of the source control system of the database tier for a major client project, and performing release management and deployments of version updates to production environments.
  • Mentoring database team members in the US and China in technical issues, and working with Project Managers to prepare project plans and ensure that development work for our clients proceed smoothly and to schedule.

Data Integration Consultant, dba Spacefold, for Bally Technologies, Las Vegas, NV (2005-2007)

Highlights:

  • Designed and implemented a web-based portal in .NET 1.1 to show aggregated data from a variety of disparate data sources throughout the business, bringing common data together into a composite view, with expanding and collapsing regions for usability. I ported this to .NET 2.0 in 2007.
  • Update and migration of various FoxPro systems. Implementation of web services exposing these systems, and fulfillment of additional data-mining/output requirements, for external browser- and application- based clients.

Software Developer, dba Spacefold, for Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA (2003-2006)

Highlights:

  • Designed and implemented new features of Visual FoxPro 9.0, as part of the Visual Studio Data Team at Microsoft. These features include language enhancements as well as Integrated Development Environment enhancements. This work included several phases in separate engagements, culminating in SP2 in 2007.

Solutions Developer, at Acxiom Corporation, Little Rock, AR (1999-2003)

My responsibilities included working as an integration engineer in the Strategic Alliances team, working with development teams at companies looking to integrate Abilitec and the Acxiom Data Network into their products.

Highlights:

  • Presented with an Acxiom MVP Award by Acxiom’s AbiliTec Software Business unit for mentoring their team on XML messaging API issues.
  • Maintained and extended a web service engine that provides a mechanism for query and update of a hosted Oracle prospect and customer database by third-party clients using SOAP transactions, using the Tomcat servlet container and SOAP toolkit components from the Apache Software Foundation, writing the web services and multi-threaded business logic in Java 1.3.1, using JDBC and JSP pages for support and administrative functions.
  • Installed Siebel eBusiness application server and developed and documented a set of worked examples or “Labs” (using Siebel’s own courseware as a model) that walk a prospective Siebel configurator through the process of integrating Acxiom’s Batch CDI and real-time Solvitur4 Knowledge Broker XML service into a customized Siebel application.
  • Co-developed a Java console application that listened for MQ-Series messages, transformed them using XSLT into Acxiom’s Knowledge Broker XML request format, and posted the results back on to a response message queue. Used Java 1.2, IBM’s MQ-Series Java SDK, and custom Knowledge Broker toolkit code.
  • Prepared a proposal for how Acxiom could express their current and future products in a consistent XML messaging format. Although not adopted globally across Acxiom, many projects and business units in Acxiom used this document as a starting point for developing their specific XML message schemas.
  • Designed and maintained a collection of Java packages, API documentation, and examples intended for integration by Acxiom and other third party developers to easily access Acxiom’s online data products.
  • Co-created and taught a training course on XML messaging over HTTPS to a customer who wished to incorporate Acxiom’s real-time data cleansing into their application offering.
  • Implemented version 1.3 and 1.4 of Acxiom’s Data Network product, allowing real-time access to Acxiom’s InfoBase data via XML over HTTPS, using West Wind Technologies’ WebConnection and Visual FoxPro.
  • Awarded a Bravo Project Excellence award for work on the ADN Software Development Kit.
  • Designed an improved user interface for Acxiom’s data cleansing wizard. Implemented the revised wizard using Visual FoxPro, delivering a complete installation program using InstallShield.

Team Manager / Senior Consultant at Cornerstone Software, Auckland, New Zealand (1993-1999)

Highlights:

  • In addition to being Technical Project  Lead on many customer engagements, I mentored and acted as advocate for other developers on all Cornerstone projects.
  • Lead developer on Accommodata's original reservation application, taking their existing data base application and re-engineering it, eventually extending it into their first online web-based booking engine.
  • Designed and developed a client-server application that transparently switched back-end databases on a single code base using Visual FoxPro and Microsoft SQL Server. This was then documented thoroughly so that the client who had no previous experience in either platform could continue to develop and maintain the application. I presented a session based on this work at a FoxPro development conference in Frankfurt in 1998. (See http://www.spacefold.com/colin/articles/sql_backend/backend.htm)

Speaker, at Technical Programming Conferences (1995 - 2004)

I have presented sessions at many programming conferences, in the US, Germany, Australia and New Zealand:

dFPUG Visual FoxPro Konferenz, November 2004, Frankfurt, Germany
Advisor/Microsoft FoxPro DevCon, October 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada
Microsoft Visual FoxPro DevCon, June 1999 Palm Springs, California
dFPUG Visual FoxPro Konferenz, November 1998, Frankfurt, Germany
FoxTeach Visual FoxPro Conference, May 5-7 1996, Toronto, Canada
Ashpoint 4th Australasian FoxPro Technical Workshop, 1995 Sydney/Melbourne/Auckland

Technical Article Writer, various publications (1993-1999)

I have written several programming articles and had them published in technical magazines, including

FoxTalk July 1993, Pinnacle Publishing
Inside Visual FoxPro May-Aug 1996, Cobb Group
Fuchs dFPUG Newsletter 1998

Some of these articles are now hosted at http://www.spacefold.com/colin/articles/index.html.

Software Developer at Telecom New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand (1989-1993)

Responsibilities included writing requirements, business analysis, and working in teams to develop and enhance corporate in-house applications using dBase 3, FoxBASE+, FoxPro, Borland Turbo Pascal, and FoxBASE for Macintosh.

Education

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic), 1989