Paid Work Experience:

Sr. Operations Analyst /Sr. Software Architect
Office of Probation Services
Administrative Office of the NJ Courts
1999 - present

Throughout the headquarters of the Office of Probation Services, as well as the field offices, I am branded as the 'make-it' guy because of my ability to provide innovative workarounds when standard procedures will not solve the problem. In recognition of these skills, I have recently been moved from a section concentrating on one sub-operation to a section that will assist all of Probation Services. Projects that have been delegated to me resulted in direct cash cost savings of over $100 million to the State, as well as reducing staffing needs by at least 4 FTEs. As necessary for a given project, I utilize aspects of SDLC and Project Management such as analysis, design, database creation, and programming - but I sometimes find that it's simply a training issue and don't re-invent the wheel with a duplicative computer program.

Examples of Problem - Solution - Result

Unaccessible data

The IT department had stored payment histories in an Acrobat format which they could not retrieve as data. The Federal Government required adjustments to all accounts and we were facing a fine of $100M if the adjustments were not made. I analyzed the structure of the files and was able to retrieve the data, providing an adjustment file in text format. The IT department used this to adjust the main computer, averting the fine..

Payments not collected

The mainframe system was unable to produce an arrest warrant suitable to the needs of 21 elected sheriffs and 15 head judges. This resulted in laborious hand-typing. I created a system to allow one-time option entry, allowing clerks to enter the ID number and interface with the mainframe to produce suitable warrants for each locale. The time to generate warrants dropped from 5 minutes to 10 seconds each.

Green-Screen Lockdown

Supervision Services runs on 1970's style terminal emulators as well as reports. To allow better caseload management, fields were specified for a juvenile report and I created a Excel VBA system to present the data in modern, filterable, and sortable manners for each office. Data is also stored in an Access database for central office research. The project was complete in 2017 and is now entering a second phase to include adult offender data as well, due to the proven ability for better caseload management.

Lead Programmer / Analyst
Dezine Healthcare Solutions
1997 - 1999

Until it was bought out by another company, Dezine Healthcare Solutions specialized in software for direct medical equipment companies - from mom-and-pop size to major multi-state operations. Our software handled ordering, inventory, insurance billing, and balance billing. Although I had never used precisely any of the languages used at the company - similar ones, but not exact matches, they hired me. They didn't regret that decision!

Specific Work Examples

Bug City

When I first started at Dezine, I was assigned to debug code that had previously been released. I was told that it was a six-month queue (and growing) based on the time it took previous developers to clear that many bugs.  I was able to clear the "six-month" queue in two months, including any bugs that had emerged in those two months.

Insurance Restructure

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services issued new schemas for Medicare billing - four different ones, each covering roughly a quarter of the US. Following their lead, many major insurance companies and state Medicaid department also changed their schemas. I was given the role of Lead Programmer with two direct reports, and took the duty of coding the actual schemas in Windows assembler language myself. Our team met the deadline for all insurers, keeping our current customers extremely satisfied and on-boarding some new customers as well.

ACSES Systems Manager (Sr. Operations & IT Analyst)
Monmouth Vicinage, Superior Court of NJ
1988 - 1997

One of the offices I converted to the new ACSES system in my prior employment was the Monmouth office. I was talking to the Vicinage Assistant Chief Probation Officer and he set plans in motion to hire me because he liked my ideas for not only implementing the new computer system but for reorganizing the Probation Child Support Unit (PCSU) as well.

Within a few years, the success of Monmouth compared to other counties was so noticeable that the state coordinator tried to get other PCSUs to hire positions similar to mine. Unfortunately, budget constraints - despite the overall cost savings - prevented most from doing so.

I revamped the office operations such that all workers were empowered in their areas of expertise; if the lowest level clerk received directions from the Vicinage Chief Probation Officer to update a financial entry, and that clerk felt there was improper documentation, that clerk was permitted to go straight to the Chief without the cumbersome chain-of-command to discuss it with him. Usually, the clerk (or investigator, or Officer) was correct, and the Chief or Assistant Chief would modify the request.

I also worked on projects for Probation Supervision Services including a special collections project and the first Megan's Law tracker in NJ, among others.

Specific Work Examples

They said What?

The NJ Division of Public Welfare issued systems instructions to users which were incomprehensible to the target audience. I stopped distribution of the originals within the Vicinage and wrote understandable, useful directives. Other Vicinages found out about it and by the time I left this position, I was faxing my rewrites to the 20 other field offices statewide!

Lighten the Load

Transitioning the office from a mainly paper-based system to a computer-based system was difficult for long-term workers. Once the office was able to get some personal computers, I was able to script routine tasks with an emulator, and produce specialized reports and interfaces as well - lessening worker keystrokes while enabling them to get more tasks accomplished.

Streamline Summonses

Although my role in the Vicinage was primarily Probation Child Support, I occasionally worked on other areas of Probation as well. The State introduced a program to collect more fines due, but did not have a system to help with it. I wrote a Windows-based system with ETL from the county computer as well as State employment and unemployment records to track payments, schedule court dates, issue summonses, and produce reports that Probation Officers could present to the Court. This put Monmouth in the lead for success with this initiative.

Operations Analyst 
NJ Division of Public Welfare

The State of New Jersey was piloting a new statewide Child Support computer system. I was assigned to the pilot program in the Burlington Vicinage of the Superior Court. Within two weeks, the site manager realized I could do a lot more than parallel data entry and I quickly moved into an operations analyst role, interfacing with local personnel and drawing up specifications for bug fixes and modifications, as well as pointing out to local management things that would need changing once the system was live.

After Burlington pilot, I was also assigned to Atlantic-Cape May, Monmouth, and Essex Vicinages, and was highly sought out by management in each locale even though my civil service title was the lowest on the conversion team. Monmouth was so impressed by my skills that they created a position for me (and Essex was quite disappointed that Monmouth hired me away in the middle of Essex' conversion.)

Stand Manager 
Six Flags Great Adventure

After several years as a line worker in Six Flags Great Adventure Food Service, I expressed a wish to department management to move into management. Within two days, I was promoted to full stand manager, skipping a step above the normal first promotion, assistant stand manager. My normal assignment was one of the cotton candy stands, with 2-5 reports and the need to train people in spinning cotton candy (a bit more complicated than most food tasks at the park.) Occasionally I was assigned to a medium-size stand (7-10 reports) or a full-size restaurant (approximately 25 direct reports and usually done by people one grade above my title.) I believe I might have moved up further, but my own talent held me back - cotton candy was an extremely high-margin product ( 98% profit margin), and finding people who could not only make it but teach others to make it was extremely difficult for the park.