University of California, San Diego, Online Education, San Diego, CA
I am currently an online instructor at the University of California, San Diego and teach the Introduction to Programming course. My responsibilities involve developing a schedule,
recording lectures, and simplifying concepts for students of all ages. Lesson preparation
began in mid 2008 for classes starting in January 2009.
The Copley Press, SignOnSanDiego.com, San Diego, CA
When I joined the Copley Press, the San Diego Union-Tribune was migrating towards the
Ellington content management system from a solution developed in the late 90s. Many of
the existing programmers were PHP-based with Drupal CMS experience and encountered
difficulties with the Python programming language. As a programmer analyst, I mentored a team of programmers who were recently introduced to the new language and Django based
This team's responsibility involved maintaining and developing the newspaper's website,
SignOnSanDiego.com. My daily responsibilities included gathering requirements, improving previously written code, and developing new products and tools for the newsroom. One of my first products was a utility to allow editors to easily import, categorize, and publish
Associated Press stories. Eventually, I automated the entire process.
Prior to my arrival, there were crucial database queries taking 30 seconds to over several
minutes to run. I rewrote many of the queries to return results in a timely manner, most to
under a second. Among those was the entertainment portal's search query. In addition to making it faster I made the query more effective and accurate. During the San Diego fires the website experienced downtime due to the amount of nationwide traffic hitting our database servers. To address this problem, I implemented static generation. The team is now automatically generating static pages for most of their content, freeing the server's CPUs by more than 300%.
Some of my development highlights included developing a folksonomy and geotagging
solution for the editors. These tools, which includes an automated option, allows editors to
"tag" stories and display stories on a map.
Space and Naval Warfare Pacific, Department of Defense, San Diego, CA
As a scientist I mainly focused on developing, implementing, and testing User Interfaces
(Human-Machine-Interfaces) for J2EE Web-based applications. Additional roles included the work on data and business layers, SOAP-based web services, and reverse engineering external code.
Of the projects I was tasked with, the largest involved working on the Navy's official web-
based scheduling application. This project gave me working experience with Apache Struts, Java 1.42, Sybase, SOAP Web Services, and Eclipse-based IDEs. Here I also took the liberty to re-design the system to have a modern look and feel with little effort and minimal changes to the code base. The result was a fantastic looking web-site that looks familiar and commercial; pleasing developers, managers, and users.
Another main project involved developing a Web-enabling application for a legacy product
produced by another company. My role was very important as I had to reverse engineer
external code to understand the data structures as well as to gain complete read-write access. This project gave me similar working experience to the above with Java 1.5, Python, Oracle, and NASA World-Wind. Moreover, I was involved in Systems Architecture, helping develop the data schema and requirements.
Looking for full-time work
Donnie's Django portfolio
Django projects Donnie has contributed to