Portfolio: Yadda-Yadda-Yadda


Education & Training Education & Training

TrainingTraining people how to use computers and particular applications has been ongoing work that I have been involved with. I get a great amount of personal satisfaction training people in web and desktop publishing as I put a great amount of value in helping individuals express themselves through such mediums. In addition, as a web application developer it is important that my final deliverable includes training on the given solutions I produced for them. Some recent highlights of my computer training work include:

  • As coordinator of QPIRG at Concordia University, I provided ad hoc technical support for people involved in creating web-site and print media related to public interest campaigns we were involved with. I also ran numerous workshops on everything from HTML & web publishing, desktop publishing, and graphic manipulation.
  • A major component of my work with CAP in South Africa was focused on computer literacy training. I conducted basic one-on-one computer training with staff—many of whom never had access to computers previously. I also ran a small introductory course on web publishing for a staff member and Intern in tandem with the development of the CAP web-site.
  • I ran a weekend workshop for a Johnson State College faculty member as well as members from the Vermont community media organisation. The workshop provided an introduction to web publishing, as well as email security.

Tools for ChangeThe Tools for Change: Activist Education Series was a series of low-cost, skill and knowledge building workshops and lectures which I organised for QPIRG at Concordia University. It was directed at mostly the student milieu, but included the wider community of Montreal. It sought to promote "active citizenship" by offering seasoned activists and concerned citizens skills in community organising and knowledge about current issues our community faced. My two year long coordination of the series included the organising of over 24 events.

8th Continental Conference on Social EcologyThe 8th Continental Conference on Social Ecology was a three-day conference focused on the theme of Social Ecology and Education. It featured a wide array of presentations, workshops and panel discussions examining the role of education and educators in addressing key contemporary social and political issues. The event attracted well over 200 participants from across Canada and the USA. I was one of the main organiser of the event, overseeing logistics, inviting speakers, and fundraising.

New SchoolThe New School at Dawson College is a CEGEP (upper High School) level alternative school based on the principles of humanistic education. Since the New School opened in 1973, it has provided a place of learning where students are encouraged to assess and meet their own individual academic, personal and social needs.

For the Fall 1997 semester, I co-facilitated a course on "Social Change and Grassroots Organising." The course explored different theories of oppression, visions for a new society, and political activism. As a co-facilitator, my responsibilities included:

  • facilitation of the group process, with emphasis on student centred curriculum development and implementation;
  • skill and resource identification and fulfilment;
  • peer guidance;
  • preparation and delivery of class lectures / guided discussions.

The class drew allot of interest from the student body, resulting in the largest enrolment of any class offered. In the end, the class received good reviews from the student

Misc. Events OrganisedBetween 1997 and 1999 I organised several dozen events, either independently or through associated organisations, on topical social and political issues. Here is a summary of some of them:

  • Liberating Media: A weekend of workshops on culture jamming, media, and community democracy with Toronto's Media Collective and Beverly Naidus.
  • Biotechnology Halloween Nightmare: A Halloween panel discussion and party on biotechnology with Chaia Heller, Brian Tokar, and countless Montréal performers.
  • Anarchist Economics: A teach-in with Jon Bekken of the IWW on visions for a libertarian economy.
  • Anarchism in America: A screening of the film Anarchism in America and discussion.
  • Ecofeminism NOW!: A screening of the US documentary on feminism and ecology.
  • Ecofeminism 2001: An introductory lecture on ecofeminism with American author and activist Chaia Heller.
  • No Masters! No Gods!: A book launch and performance with writer, cabaret artist & frontman for Rhythm Activism, Norman Nawrocki.
  • Ecology of Everyday Life: A book launch and talk with American author and activist Chaia Heller.
  • Ecology of Everyday Life: A lecture with author and activist Chaia Heller on her resent book.
  • Thinking Forward: A lecture with Michael Albert of Z Magazine on his vision for a democratic economy—participatory economics. This event attracted several hundred participants, featured simultaneous translation, and was broadcasted live over CKUT radio.
Leadership & Management Leadership & Management

Apison CommunicationsApison Communications is a full-service design and development firm, located in beautiful Pictou County, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Apison offers web-based content management solutions for business professionals, and the real estate industry. I was hired by Apison the spring of 2006 as Programming Manager, and am responsible for heading programming initiatives as well as filling the role of system administrator.

IgnitionWebHigh-Touch Communications is a leading North American branding + web firm, offering its pièce de résistance web platform called IgnitionWeb. I was hired by HTC the summer of 2005 as Senior Programmer, where I was responsible for heading programming and the programming team. Some of my work highlights at HTC include:

  • Overseeing the development and deployment of IgnitionWeb 3.4 – a major milestone release including WYSIWYG content editing, as well as major code and SQL performance optimisations;
  • Auditing Unisource.ca, a multi-million dollar B2B web site, for performance bottlenecks and implementing sweeping code and database performance optimisations;
  • Integration of IgnitionWeb for several clients including Dynaflair Corporation, Trueline Valve Corporation, JC-TL, JC Fábrica de Válvulas;
  • Migration of CVS + Bugzilla source control management system to Subversion + Trac;
  • IgnitionWeb 3.x and 4.x development roadmap;
  • Development of Quality Assurance program
  • Payment gateway integration for Hourglass time tracking and project management software suite.

HTC was a great place to work at with their dynamic team and exciting projects. Because of family commitments, I left HTC to move to Nova Scotia

Le ChateauIn my current employment role I am lead PHP programmer, developing a large scale corporate Intranet which integrates legacy systems and new web application solutions for over 300 users and 150 stores across Canada and the USA. My work on the Le Chateau Intranet began with a complete code audit and eventual redesign of the application architecture. In addition:

  • I implemented globalisation features to the company Intranet allowing applications to work in multiple languages;
  • trained developers in the application architecture;
  • introduced a source control management system;
  • and implemented a coding standard to enhance our team based development environment.

Lastly, I play the role of the resident researcher in Free and Open Source Software for the web environment, making recommendations on viable solutions to the various problems we need to solve.

Mom and PopWorking under the name Mom & Pop Media, I started my freelance web and print design consultancy upon return from my stay in South Africa in 2000. Through Mom & Pop I offer a range of services including:

  • Web and email hosting services;
  • Web design;
  • Web-site maintenance;
  • Web application installation;
  • Email campaigning;
  • Custom web application development;
  • Print design (newsletters, pamphlets, posters);
  • Server administration and maintenance;
  • On call technical support.

In fact, many of the projects listed throughout this portfolio are Mom & Pop projects.

Besides taking care of service delivery, and the mundane tasks of accounting and sales, I also maintain a dedicated Red Hat Enterprise Linux server, running CPanel.

In late 2004, I stepped back from the company substantially and took on a partner who now is the business lead.

Institute for Anarchist StudiesThe IAS is primarily a grant-giving organisation for writers. Each year the IAS awards $8000 USD in grants to authors promoting critical scholarship on social domination and the reconstructive vision of a free society. The IAS believes this theoretical work is of great importance to informing activist practises, just as practise inform theory. As of 2003, the IAS has funded over forty projects by authors from countries around the world, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Nigeria, Germany, South Africa, and the United States.

I took on the Directorship of the IAS as a contractor between 2003 to 2004. My responsibilities included:

  • fundraising;
  • book keeping;
  • Board of Director coordination;
  • managing the grant program;
  • promotion;
  • production of a newsletter;
  • and many other day-to-day operations.

Institute for Social EcologyThe Institute for Social Ecology is an independent institution of higher education based in Plainfield Vermont dedicated to the study of social ecology. The ISE offers year-round interdisciplinary studies to guide social change.

I worked steadily for the ISE from 2000 to 2003, but have been involved with the ISE since 1997. My work with the ISE primarily revolved around media coordination, but also included on-going work on organisational development—with emphasis on strategic planning. I also contributed towards developing the ISE's fundraising program.

As media coordinator, I was responsible for the development, design, and production of all of the ISE's Internet presence, as well as much of the print media. This included editing two monthly electronic newsletters. I was also responsible for overseeing and implementing the ISE's "Media Strategy" in conjunction with staff and the voting membership.

Social Ecology Speakers BureauThe Social Ecology Speakers Bureau brought together some of the most influential activists and educators working with social ecological. The SESB speakers were available for lectures and workshops, and covered a wide range of issues, including globalisation, politics and activism, biotechnology, feminism, community development, ecological design and more.

I founded the SESB along with the ISE in early 2000, and I continued to coordinate the project until 2003. As coordinator, I promoted speakers, organised several speaker tours, and booked numerous individual events. The SESB proved to be an invaluable asset towards the promotion of the ISE.

CAPThe Community Arts Project is a South African organisation dedicated to providing people-centred education and training in the visual and performing arts. CAP works with youth and unemployed adults and is committed to promoting the arts for community development. Historically, CAP was integral to the anti-apartheid movement.

I worked for CAP for a 5 month-long internship at the beginning of 2000. As an intern, my responsibilities were wide ranging. I developed print and web media to promote the organisation in general. I also designed all promotional material for a CAP production for the 2000 Grahamstown Standard Bank National Arts Festival.

Along with media work, I helped the organisation devise a strategic planning process and facilitated many sessions with the staffing body in implementing it. I also conducted computer literacy training with staff.

QPIRG at Concordia UniversityThe Québec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia University is an umbrella organization of students, community activists, researchers and educators dedicated to research, education, and action. QPIRG's goal is to sensitize the community to social and environmental issues concerning Montréalers while promoting active citizenship.

I served as a co-coordinator for QPIRG from 1998 to 2000, but was involved with the organization as a volunteer since 1996. As a coordinator, my responsibilities included:

  • volunteer recruitment, training, and retention;
  • coordination of the resource centre (acquiring & organizing material);
  • media & P.R. (production of promotional material—print and web, maintaining public relations, and media training);
  • coordination of an activist education series;
  • financial coordination (overseeing accountant's work, acting as the primary financial resource person for the organisation, and overseeing the collective budgeting process);
  • fundraising;
  • overseeing the yearly strategic planning process;
  • providing support and training for the Board of Directors;
  • and office organisation.

The Association d'espace de l'espace libre et imaginaire is a not-for-profit corporation devoted to the upkeep of the historic 2033 St. Laurent. This Montréal building is home to the Librairie Alternative Bookshop, a bookstore devoted to issues of labour, ecology, feminism, sexual identity, and social justice.

From March 1997 to mid 2000, I served as the president of the association. My duties included:

  • overseeing building maintenance;
  • overseeing the budget;
  • coordination of communications between tenants and the Board of Directors;
  • ensuring that the association maintains its charter.

Librairie Alternative BookshopThe Librairie Alternative Bookshop is collectively owned and operated, non-profit bookstore. Based in Montréal, Canada, the bookshop considers its self to be part of the larger social change community. Dating back to 1974, the bookshop grew out of the antinuclear and peace movements of the time.

I served as a collective member from February 1997 to January 2000. My responsibilities included:

  • participation in the collective process (group facilitation and consensus decision-making);
  • stock maintenance and ordering;
  • accounting (bookkeeping, banking, upkeep of accounts, and budgeting);
  • cashier (handing cash transactions and balancing daily receipts);
  • training of new volunteers;
  • dealing with customers in a friendly and courteous manner.

Food Not BombsFood Not Bombs is a community based organisation dedicated to the combating of poverty through direct action food services. There are over 175 autonomous chapters sharing vegetarian food with hungry people, protesting war and poverty throughout the Americas, Europe and Australia.

During the Spring of 1995, I co-funded the Montréal chapter and worked on developing the organisation until September 1996. During my involvement, my work focused on:

  • volunteer recruitment and coordination
  • participation in the collective process (group facilitation and consensus decision-making);
  • co-ordination of food pickup and delivery;
  • establishment of links with local organic farms;
  • preparation of a weekly vegan meal;
  • networking and coalition building;
  • development and presentation of educational workshops on non-violence and food politics;
  • publicity (print material);
  • media relations.

Skills / Tools

Software Project Management

I have played a leading role (or in many cases the lead role) in many web development projects. My involvement in software management consists both of managing project deadlines and budgets, and also managing project code.

Managing project code, both within a team or independently, I use the Open Source industry standard CVS to track changes, easily deploy / upgrade software installations, as well as handle multiple development branches. More recently, I have been dabbling with Subversion in combination with Edgewall Software's Trac.

Tools of choice:

  • Cervisia is an excellent CVS client GUI, but TortoiseCVS when on Windows;
  • Chora or CVSTrac for repository browsing;
  • Netoffice for project task, time-line, and client management;
  • Wiki for project documentation.