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Summary

I'm currently working with The District Management Council on several Rails applications that help School Districts manage their resources. I've recently switched my focus to QA with tools such as Selenium and Rspec. My current preferred set of technologies for Rails development is Ruby 1.9.3, Rails 3.2+, SQL(any flavor), git, Pivotal Tracker and jQuery. When learning Rails I initially created 9 applications to develop my skills, all of which you can see in my jQuery presentation
I have a passion for new technology and using it to provide users with practical solutions to their needs and I'm also a Stack Overflow fan as I enjoy learning and sharing knowledge!
Though I consider myself a geek, friends, colleagues and co-workers tell me that my greatest asset is my attitude and proven experience in closely working well with business users and understanding their needs well.
I currently use rSpec for Model and Controller testing, Selenium for View testing, Git for Source Control, jQuery for javascript, vim for editing and Ubuntu for my desktop (sometimes I use a Mac). My recent Rails experience adds to my 10+ years of production experience in analysis, design and development on a wide variety of platforms, databases, languages and tools for several companies, a startup and even my own company!


Objectives

To provide users with useful and innovative solutions.
To learn from others while sharing my own knowledge and skills.
To do the above in a fun, relaxed, environment, focused on the work.


Identity

Blog: http://my.opera.com/durrantm/blog/
Github: https://github.com/durrantm
Website: http://michaeldurrant.com/
Resume: http://michaeldurrant.com/resume.html
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/durrantm
Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com/users/631619/michael-durrant


Experience

Jul 2012 - Current   The District Management Council, Boston MA
Rails Developer & QA Specialist
Working on a variety of Rails applications that help school districts manage their resources and schedule their staff for both General and Special Education. Worked to develop new functionality and also to QA all development effort as the QA engineer to the company. Using jQuery, Rails versions 3.2.11 and tools such as git for the DVCS, Selenium and Rspec for testing and Pivotal Tracker for project tracking

Jan 2011 - July 2012   Boston Agile Partners, Cambridge MA
Rails Developer
Worked on a variety of client (Rails) applications, from a Hospital Survey tool to a Salesforce assistant to a Real Estate application. Worked to develop new functionality and convert poorly engineered applications to more standard RESTful simple code. Using mostly jQuery and Rails versions 2.3.8, 2.3.11, 3.0.3, 3.1 and 3.2 and tools such as git for DVCS and Pivotal Tracker for project tracking

May 2003 - Jan 2009 Children's Hospital, Boston MA
Senior Business Intelligence Developer
Developed data extracts and reports for a large number of users and departments using Business Objects, Crystal Reports with Oracle and SQL Server databases. Used Cold Fusion to voluntarily write a 'Wikipedia' like "CDD" (Common Data Dictionary) internal application for the group with an Oracle backend. Created a number of applications and reporting solutions in a number of different projects with a diverse cross-section of users and opinions, often working behind the scenes to resolve key issues.
Ran a Data Quality Group with a variety of Hospital users at various management levels to identify and resolve complex Data Quality Issues.
I was headhunted into this position by a former colleague at Children's who I had to worked with, though I was not looking for new employment at that time.

June 2002 - May 2003.  Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Lincoln MA
Lead Developer
Created, modified and maintained Cold Fusion Applications using Cold Fusion 5.0 and SQL server 2000. Designed and coded new Bug Tracking application to track all bugs and enhancements.

Sep 2000 - October 2001.  Brandstamp, Cambridge Innovations, Cambridge MA
Senior Data Architect
Created Oracle 8i PL/SQL based Cold Fusion Applications to merge data and create email campaign applications.


Education

2013, September. Passed Linux Certification at level I.
2013, August. Intermediate Rails at Thoughtbot Workshop
2013, August. Rails TDD, Rspec and Capybara at Thoughtbot Workshop
2013, January. Python, Code Academy
2012, December. Code Year, Code Academy
2012, September. Ruby bits, Code School
2012, May. Functions, conditionals and primitives in Javascript: Code Academy
2011, December. Rails best practices, Code School
2011, March. Scaling Rails at Thoughtbot
2010, November. Ruby Group Meetups
2010, September. Personal Rails App 1-6 with Ubuntu and mySQL
2010, May. Switch to Linux(Ubuntu) from Windows (3 new machines, etc.)
2010, April. Cold Fusion 9 New Features (ORM, etc.), Lynda.com.
Degree: B.Sc. (Hons) Business Information Technology Studies, Manchester University, UK


Languages & Tools

Advanced knowledge in SQL, HTML and programming practices

Extensive knowledge in Rails, Oracle, PL/SQL, Unix, JavaScript, SQR

Basic knowledge of RSpec, Ruby, AJAX, JQuery


Development

Local Rails groups East and West almost weekly with fellow developers, Subscriptions to Ruby on Rails Magazine. On-line bookmark library (ror app of course!) of scripts, examples, code & organizations Constant online training courses in new technology each month and overall I just have a huge appetite for change, learning and growth.


Interests

Antique car restoration (1956 Buick), extreme skiing, Bonsai cultivation, world travel, XML technology.