About Me!

February 05, 2018

Husband of One.
Father of Three.
Deep Toronto roots.

My first year University of Toronto computer science tutor pleaded with me to not "waste" myself in the commerce program, but I did graduating (some time ago) with a B.Comm with a computer science minor.

After graduation, things were rather nomadic. I worked all over the place. Government, non-profit, international mega corporate, owner managed private corps. In suburban low rise buildings and in the tallest downtown towers. This phase culminated in capital market contracts at some big banks.

I've worked for some incredibly smart, savvy people. I've worked for shmucks.

My ability with the written word, my natural good looks and charm, my accounting background coupled with my tech, and always learning new things, has served me well. Project Manager, Business Systems Analyst, QA, Deveoper -- BTDT.

I got myself into Joomla over a decade ago. It was the coming thing in open source. It sat on the "LAMP" stack -- Linux, Apache, PHP, and MySQL. So I dove in. Eventually, I ended up figuring out the most popular Joomla ecommerce program -- no mean feat -- and then becoming known as a guy who could fix things. What an absolute eye opener, going from contracting to consultant. So many shysters out there. A real education. But eventually I met some incredible people - a few who are still clients. During my Joomla years, I was very active with the Joomla Users Group Toronto meet-up group.

I got involved with a new Joomla ecommerce program. Unfortunately, it had its day and then development pretty well stopped. I ended up using this open source ecomm Joomla extension as the basis for my own Joomla program. There were a few iterations and versions. I introduced a fabulous independent Joomla Framework into my development, and then released my own Joomla ecomm extension. Then, Joomla not only change versions, again, but they, again, broke backwards compatibility. It just was not worth it going back to the drawing board with my ecomm extension because I was not getting any RoI. If there was an award for the most short lived Joomla extension, or awesome extensions not released, I'd be a top nominee.

So I left the Joomla world. It was natural that I go all-in with WordPress which overtook Joomla hugely in Toronto. I knew (know) WordPress, so why not? Well, I do not really enjoy working with WordPress. So I got into web application development using the new-ish Laravel Framework. Choosing Laravel was a fabulous decision: it is terrific, the community is terrific, and it is many years now as the top PHP framework. The problem was that I had to learn web application development! Web app programming was a completely new thing, unlike what I've been doing. But I am glad that I took the plunge.

I developed LaSalle Software version 1.0 as a way to get all the basic common functions a web app needs all in one place. And done in a way that I am happy. Releasing it as free open source software, it lowered the cost of getting my clients into web applications significantly. I created an automated database form thing that drew up all the database forms automatically. The one thing about Laravel: it does not come with a blog, it does not come with an admin area, and it does not come with many other accroutements that my clients need. My Software took care of that.

As wonderful as LaSalle Software v1 is, and it is, I knew that I needed to smooth out a lot of clunky code; and, I knew that I needed to write a lot of automated tests. So last year, 2017, I set out to re-work version one into LaSalle Software version 2.0. Thus began the journey! Not simply to be re-worked, it is a from-the-ground-up rewrite using the micro services architecture.

It sure did not help that I was involved with other things beyond developing my software last year, on top of which it took a while to journey towards what version 2 should be. 2017 concluded, and I found what little code I wrote had to be trashed. Now it is 2018, January turned into one of the most distracting months in years, and I am finding that learning the API security to be a journey unto itself. Nonetheless, my research is paying off.

I organize and co-organize several local tech meet-up groups. See you there!

-Bob