A New Year and Fun New Challenges

2011 is a new year and I’m focused on some great new things.  So, I thought I post a little note to try and get myself back into the blogging groove and lay the ground work for some posts to come in the near future.

First of all, I’m working primarily for a company called SolutionSet now.  SolutionSet is the 4th largest independent marketing agency in the United States and has four divisions.  They are data, direct, local, and digital.  I work for the digital division.  The areas I focus on are Business Development, Systems Engineering and Architecture, and building up a new Ruby Web Site/Application development practice.  I’ll be blogging here and on the SolutionSet blog about my various endeavors in those three areas over time.  For a peek into this early part of the year, the kinds of projects I’m involved in at the moment are:
  • I am working with an excellent team that I have taken over at SolutionSet.  Together we are creating a more scalable Systems Engineering and Architecture practice at SolutionSet.  Every day we Architect, Designing, Building, Deploying, and Maintaining websites for our awesome clients.  We have a strong focus on systems automation using tools like Chef, Vagrant, IaaS public and private clouds, and are development excellent and scalable processes to get ready for 2011.
  • I’m working on a very exciting social media project for a major client on a project I can’t really talk that much about yet.  I can say that it has the potential to shake up the way people view and use aggregated social media data for driving core business value.  This project is interesting in particular because it’s using a very cool technolog stack.  This will be a Scala/Erlang application with a Riak datastore on the back-end.  I’ll post more about this stack in detail upcoming blog entries.
  • I’m involved as the Systems Architect and Scalability Architect for the planning, design, deploy, and on-going operations of a very large and complicated website deploying on the Terremark eCloud.  This one, if you can believe it is a .NET CMS / MSSQL server project.  It’s interesting to see how the closed source models compare to the open source models I’ve done so much work with over the years.
  • I’m doing a Scalability “Launch Rescue” mission for an up and coming geo location related service.  When they got ready to go live they found that their system couldn’t handle nearly enough load to support the current users and what their promotions and social media campaigns would bring in.  So, I was brought in by a partner to help them rework things so they can launch.  This is a pretty cool project and if they give me permission to speak more freely I’ll definitely have a lot more to say about it soon as well. I think I’ll be able to say more after it’s live.  They have a very clever idea and I think they could do quite well.
  • A little side project with a friend of mine for a developer workstation rapid application development environment with the proper tools and chef based automation for multi-public cloud deployment of a highly optimized ruby centric technology stack.  This is some seriously cool stuff and we successfully used the prototype to launch an extremely successful hyper concentrated web traffic pre-ticket sales event campaign for the Jonas Brothers last year.  The other thing that was awesome about this project was the use of BrowserMob to do some sophisticated load testing and Dynamic DNS for some serious scalability and flexibility way up the stack.

That’s just a little preview!  All in all I’m very excited and optimistic that 2011 is going to be a great year all around!  Most importantly, the array and quality of technology that is available to do things at big scale with concentrated effort and resources.  This is a sweet time to be in the technology space I think!

Lastly, I do have upcoming events.  I’ll start posting them here as well.

In summary, 2010 was a hell of a year by any measure and 2011 looks promising.

Next Weeks Event Highlights:

Engine Yard: Cloud Out Loud Podcast Interview - I’m being interviewed by Engine Yard (and am very excited to be working closely with them as a partner).  I will post/tweet a cross link when the podcast is up on the site.