Dwins’s Weblog

one year at topp

Posted in Bio by dwins on October 7, 2008

So, it’s been a little over a year since I started working at The Open Planning Project (and I just had a birthday too).  Seems like a decent time for some retrospection.

Thirteen months ago, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be doing at TOPP.  After my interview I was told I’d be working on OpenCore, the software that powers openplans.org, but when I showed up, it turned out that I was actually working on a different project, in a different language, in a different stage of maturity, in a different development style.  We don’t even use the same bug tracking software.

I’ve had some projects that have gone well, others that seemed underspecified or overscoped (not an exclusive or, mind you.)  Things that seem worth mentioning include regionated KML (aka Vector Superoverlays), a framework for REST plugins to GeoServer, and one such plugin that marks the beginning of exposing GeoServer’s data in a RESTful hierarchy.  Maybe less exciting are an authentication plugin that lets GeoServer work as part of an OpenCore site, a largely neglected REST API for manipulating GeoServer’s configuration programmatically (hopefully I’ll be able to give this some love soon), and the foundations of a slick new administration tool for GeoServer.

When I started, I knew a fair bit about the semantics of Java, 2d and 3d graphics, networking, HTTP, XML, and the basics of comp sci (algorithm analysis, computation theory, exciting stuff like that).  Since then I’ve dealt with databases a bit, dealt with a couple of specific applications of HTTP + XML, sort of grazed python once or twice, hung out with experts in tons of fields, and even done a bit of user support on the GeoServer mailing list.  It’s even gotten to the point that you can google things other than my name and have me show up early in the results, how cool is that?

Places I’ve gone ‘on business’ include Victoria, BC, Bolsena, Italy, and Needham, MA.

I also kind of randomly started the TOPP Talks project, so that’s neat.

All in all, it’s been a pretty exciting year.  It’ll be interesting to see what goes down between now and next September.


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