I am a computer professional with years of experience in a variety of programming environments, doing application architecture as well as programming for a variety of customers. I have authored a number of books on Java and many of the hottest related technologies.
I am looking for contract opportunities that will leverage my existing skills and specialties and let me apply new and interesting technolgy.
Over the last few years, I have helped a number of people create exams on a variety of topics for a variety of media. If you have written mock exams to help people study for some certification and would like to turn this material into an on-line exam, I can help you. I can also host exams on this server.
More recently, I have helped write surveys and analyze the results. If you need to do a survey with the maximum of flexibility and extract the maximum of useful information from the answers, I can help you.
Although I have written programs in a lot of different languages over the years, these days I am generally sticking to Java. The performance is good and the free or low cost toolkits, libraries, and support groups are fantastic. Furthermore, the same code runs in a variety of environments with little or no modification. I spent some time looking into Microsoft's C# language and .NET system, and have concluded there is no reason to adopt it in its present state.
Here are some of the areas where I am well qualified to conduct custom programming.
Until recently, I was working for LANWrights, an Austin based computer technology oriented writing and consulting firm. LANWrights is now a wholy owned subsidiary of iLearning, a corporation specializing in training related activities. In March, the iLearning corporation became a subsidiary of Capstar, LLC, a wholly-owned venture of Educational Testing Service (ETS). It became obvious that in that environment, any interesting programming was going to be done elsewhere, so I left. While I was working for LANWrights, that organization contracted my services to both old and new customers.
These are projects that are currently active.
I am currently working on a complete revision of the on-line exam application architecture. The intent is to accommodate a wider range of question types and user interfaces in a more flexible architecture and also give me complete ownership of the code. These links give more examples:
The business model for the CitrixXperience exams is that the author of the exams handles all financial arrangements with users, I handle validation of exam scripts and control of the exam software, while the LanWrights server hosts the servlets and data files for the actual exam. The server software is my previous edition of servlet based test administration, and is owned by LanWrights. You can start here at the CitrixXperience website to try a practice exam.
In my book on eCommerce with XML and Java I presented a system for conducting on-line surveys that can branch according to the user's answers. The latest version of this servlet is running on this site and was recently used in a survey for Certification Magazine. You can try this survey yourself from a link on my home page.
Survey answers are recorded in detail in XML format. I have written a utility that can read this record and apply full Boolean logic to pick out particular subsets of the respondents for detailed analysis. Output from this utility can be in html format (as shown in this page) or in formats suitable for use in a spreadsheet or graphic presentation program.
When I first got started with Java, back in late 1995, I became a moderator of the Java discussion group on Compuserve in order to keep up with the rapidly evolving language. Of course, Compuserve as a significant discussion center is long gone and Java discussion groups have greatly evolved since then. Now I am a moderator of a forum and a regular participant in discussions at JavaRanch, a site widely recognized for the quality of the discussions and participants. One of the great things about working with Java is the mutual assistance found in communities such as JavaRanch.
These are books and programming projects that have been completed in the last few years.
XML.com recently published my article on a class to combine multiple chunks of XML text into a single Reader.
My most recent book was a new edition of the Java 2 Exam Cram book. The previous editions, for the 1.2 version of the exam, went to multiple printings. This edition focuses on the so-called 1.4 version of the Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) exam (310-035).
The first two Java 2 Exam Cram editions were published by Coriolis, a firm which unfortunately went bankrupt in early 2002. Fortunately, Que publishing has picked up the Exam Cram books to supplement their already excellent line of certification related titles.
Another recent book is Web publishing with Cocoon published in October, 2002. Cocoon is an open source project for XML based web publications. It can be found at the Apache Cocoon Project.
The book before that, SOAP programming with Java, was published in early 2002.
The book before that is Java, XML, and eCommerce.
A review of essential concepts for XML handling with Java, with some practical examples.
All three of these books were published by Sybex.
My search engine for the National Law Libary has been on-line at http://www.itislaw.com/ serving millions of search hits per month for over 3 years. This is the latest result of my collaboration with the ITIS legal service firm in Houston, a collaboration that started over 17 years ago.
I developed on-line courseware for LANWrights, using Java servlets, HTML and XML. This courseware has been used to deliver courses on HTML, XML, and TCP/IP to students through the Austin Community College
My Java study guide books, Java 2 Exam Cram and Java 2 Exam Prep, originally published by Coriolis in 1999, were very well received. They have been printed in updated second editions ISBN 1-5888-0139-X and ISBN 1-5888-0140-3 respectively. Java 2 Exam Cram is a compact study guide designed to provide review material covering all aspects of the Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform exam. Java 2 Exam Prep is an expanded study guide with lots of example projects and mock exam questions.
My Java Certification information page at the LanWrights site was one of the first to provide on-line practice exams for the SCJP exam, and continues to draw hundreds of hits per week. The mock exams linked to that page use an applet I wrote. This applet has been used for supplementary materials in the "Exam Cram" and "Exam Prep" certification study guide books on a number of different subjects.
A FoxPro for Windows based browsing tool for a student test results database. I wrote a Windows/MFC program to convert the Psychological Corporation's mainframe data file into a FoxPro usable format while checking for various kinds of coding errors. I continue to support this program with updated databases. The Psychological Corporation is a subsidiary of Harcourt Brace and is based in San Antonio.
I provided the Austin American Statesman with indexing software and text search and retrieval software used with the "Major BBS" software to provide on-line access to legal records and the full text of the last few years of editorial content.
Psychological testing program and support software for The Psychological Corporation. This project involved converting a computer based testing program for MSDOS from BASIC to C and writing a GUI based program in C++ to manage the test records created. The GENUS graphics toolkit was used for the testing program and the ZINC GUI toolkit (C++) was used for the management program.
Perl, Pascal, Python, Visual Basic, Smalltalk, Prolog
I work out of a networked home office with a Gateway laptop running XP, an eMachines system running XP that handles this site, and a custom system running XP Pro. My Internet connection is a T1 line from Realtime. I use UltraEdit32, ANT, and command line tools for JAVA. I recently retired a dual Pentium 233 running Windows NT 4.0, but it is still available if you are trying to keep an old NT system going.
I was born in 1939 in Florida and studied chemistry at Florida State University, graduating with a BS in 1961. I married my High School sweetheart in 1959 (yep, still married!) After working for a few years in natural products chemistry, I returned to FSU to study Chemical Oceanography. Upon attaining the PhD (1971), I moved my family, now including two sons, to Port Aransas Texas where I worked at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. In 1976 I left and started doing consulting work, typically computer applications in environmental science.
About 1978 it became obvious that the microprocessor had opened up a whole new world of personal computing so I sold my sailboat to buy a computer kit. Due to the limitations of the languages then available for small computers, I wrote a FORTH language varient specifically to do indexing and retrieval of scientific references. I sold the first commercial version of the resulting program in 1979 (for $37.50 - such a deal.) At the time there was no comparable program optimized for text retrieval.
This program grew in complexity and capability. In 1981 some friends and I formed a company to sell improved versions. This company did fairly well for a number of years, but never had the marketing skills to keep up with the changing PC software marketplace. Our products of a single user free-format text indexing and retrieval system and a multi-line BBS which included free format text database capability. I also did custom programming as described above for various clients.
In 1983 we moved to the Austin area, my wife and I live in the woods north of Austin where we raise and train Basset Hounds.
William Brogden 130 Woodland Trail Leander, TX, 78641 (512) 259-1540 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Home websiteBack. Last update: Feb 13, 2004