I wrote my first program when I was about ten or eleven - a lotto number picker in GW-BASIC. I started programming for money at fifteen - websites, a Lotus Notes-based work tracking system for a waste company, even a web search engine for the Irish Government's fledgling website, where I was known onsite as "the kid".
Since then, I've worked for and founded startups. My first full-time job (while still attending university "full-time") was as the first employee of a network management startup, which was later sold. I've since started two of my own - one that does enterprise search and tagging, and one that does network troubleshooting software.
Andrew Duffy's Professional Experience
Part of a small new performance engineering team. I will be building automatic stress testing tools that will become part of the continuous deployment pipeline.
The hardware load balancers team in Amazon manages the devices which handle virtually all traffic to and from Amazon’s retail sites and S3 along with traffic between internal services.
- Designed and developed a distributed service to provide near-realtime status for every load balanced service instance in Amazon.
- Redesigned and reengineered a complex service for allowing safe deployments that had proven incapable of scaling horizontally at the 50% per year required for an Amazon service. This is used by most teams in the company and has clients installed on tens of thousands of machines.
- Transitioned from an unmanaged development process to an agile process inspired by Kanban cards.
Data Fusion (http://www.datafusion.ie/) was formed to further develop and market software acquired from another company that optimises online research into people’s assets and behaviour by law enforcement or the financial industry.
- Designed and helped implement a series of enhancements to an existing online research workflow system. This uses a web-scraping tool called Denodo to normalise the search experience over multiple hidden-web data sources and creates auditable research files on each target.
- Designed a graphical tool to explore connections between passengers on incoming flights in partnership with ARINC. This was built upon the output of an innovation partnership with the TSSG in Waterford Institute of Technology.
- Maintained and added features to a legacy custom work tracking system implemented in Java, JSP and XSLT.
- Managed a small development team using Scrum, and outsourced development for an EU project.
DANG Networks (http://www.dangnetworks.com/) was founded to develop and sell UltraView, a network management dashboard that uses NetFlow and SNMP and is designed to incorporate other data sources to eventually compete with market leader SolarWinds Orion. The product was launched in May 2010 and has achieved some success in the market.
- Designed the product and managed its development.
- Developed the NetFlow and SNMP data collection and aggregation engine. This presented a significant challenge due to the huge amount of information – NetFlow in particular accounts for every flow of traffic across the router or switch and often amounts to tens or hundreds of gigabytes per day.
- Hired an intern programmer and a junior developer and oversaw development of the front end.
- Handled payroll and HR.
- As company secretary, worked closely with the VP of Business Development to prepare documentation for an external investment.
I carried out a detailed usability analysis of NetFlow Auditor from IdeaData Pty. on behalf of Atlantic Business Development Corp., a reseller of the product. Following submission of the analysis most of the highlighted problems were fixed.
I started Simiolus to develop and bring to market Kyral, a knowledge location and sharing tool built on full-text search and collaborative tagging. After the product was successfully deployed with its first trial user I put it on hold to focus on DANG Networks.
- Designed and developed the software; challenges included designing a user interface to express a complex concept to non-technical users, and dealing with the diverse range of unusual document formats found on old corporate networks.
- Contributed bug fixes to the open-source libraries Lucene and PDFBox.
- Carried out all company administration – book-keeping, accounts, payroll, VAT, returns.
- Hired and managed an intern programmer.
Following Crannog Software's acquisition I remained at Fluke Networks for a year where I continued to develop NetFlow Tracker and worked with a team in the USA to integrate it with a new distributed management system.
Crannog Software was formed in 1998 to develop and market innovative network management software in competition with several huge market leaders. I was the first employee and later became a shareholder. The company was acquired in early 2007 by Visual Networks (http://www.visualnetworksystems.com/) which still markets NetFlow Tracker.
- Designed and solely developed NetFlow Tracker, a system for analysing network traffic by receiving and processing NetFlow and sFlow information generated by routers and layer 3 switches. The release of NetFlow Tracker in 2004 marked a turning point in the company’s development, allowing revenues to double year-on-year for the three years to 2006, when the company came 13th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. At acquisition over 70% of the company’s turnover was comprised of sales of NetFlow Tracker.
- Designed the management portal OneView; ResponseWatch, a simulated response time management tool that uses Cisco's IPSLA; and PFR Manager, a tool developed in partnership with Cisco to manage a new performance-based dynamic routing technology.
- Designed and developed the network management server for NetWatch and a generic reporting system for ISDNwatch, both earlier products in the company’s portfolio.
Dublin Waste was a waste removal and processing company based in Dublin that was acquired by Greenstar in 2003.
- Developed and maintained an order tracking and work assignment system for Dublin Waste, written in Lotus Notes to take advantage of its built-in replication. Switching from paper to an electronic work tracking system allowed the company to grow its turnover from under £1m to over €5m.
CMOD (http://ictprocurement.gov.ie/) is the Irish government’s central IT service.
- Developed and maintained a web search engine that was available on the government’s web site for over two years. The system was written in Java and used modest hardware to index and search about one gigabyte of text.
Andrew Duffy's Education and Qualifications
Bachelor/Degree - Computer Applications
Andrew Duffy's Additional Information
Good espresso, good food, working out to keep in shape after too much good food.
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