Nicholas A. Vargish

Silver Spring, Maryland; Washington DC metro area

Summary: Twenty years of Unix development experience; twenty-five years of Unix systems and network engineering; twenty-two years of professional Internet experience.

Goal: Long-term position performing software development or systems engineering, in an environment encouraging skill growth and original problem solving.

Employment History

IT Specialist
December 2002 -- present
US Government Printing Office
Washington, DC
Develop and maintain applications as a member of the Graphic Systems Development Division. Significant projects include the introduction of Subversion-based revision control and the development of a browser-based front-end for repository and user management; and the transparent integration of bar-coding software into the mailing workflow that is saving the GPO many thousands of dollars per year in mailing costs. Design and implementation of browser-based SQL-backed applications using web application frameworks, including an incident-reporting application, a stock tracking and ordering application, and a role-based authentication system. Develop business process models to represent production tasks and implement them in process modelling software, towards the development of a site-wide manufacturing workflow system. Also provide technical expertise for units working with full text indexing software. Understanding of XML, SGML, Perl and a general knowledge of Web-based services, CGI form processing, and related technologies has proven essential. Communication skills, adaptability, and willingness to self-motivate are additional aspects of this position.
September 2008 -- November 2008
GetReal Consulting, Inc.
Rockville, Maryland
Integrate customer's health database application with Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health medical record systems. Written in PHP with a MySQL database backend, the customer's application is an easy-to-use Web 2.0 system for entering health information such as medical conditions, physician information, and current medications. Work involved extracting the information from the MySQL database and exporting it into Microsoft and Google's offerings via web services, as well as the importation of data from these third-party sources back into the customer's records. Authentication, synchronization logic, and validation against standard medical databases were essential aspects of this work. Coordination with a Bangalore-based team that specializes in .Net development was integral to the success of the project.
September 2002 -- March 2003
iNetXperts, Inc.
Rockville, Maryland
Work with a variety of customers to develop requirements and implement solutions to a number of system and software engineering needs. In addition to technical challenges, maintain a positive and professional relationship with customers, developing business opportunities as customer needs grow. Projects include Unix email system redesigns with spam mitigation features, virtual domain support, pop before SMTP, account information stored in SQL database, and other enhancements. Member of development team for a voice over IP application, specifically feasibility study and adaptation of Win32-specific code to Linux and Macintosh OS X.
Senior Software Engineer
December 1999 -- September 2002
NFR Security, Inc.
Rockville, Maryland
Design and develop security software for NFR Security, a leading provider of intrusion detection systems. Projects include architecting and writing the core software for the Secure Log Repository appliance, a Unix-based syslog and event log aggregator, as well as managing the team of developers that brought the final product to market. Performed lead engineer role on Unix side of a host based intrusion project, including APIs for core functionality, XML document type definitions describing the data the system would handle, and interfaces to existing product lines. Develop SQL database back-end for packet and other sensor data in PostgreSQL on Unix platforms, including Solaris and Linux. Replace DES with AES in various communication components, write installation and configuration scripts for many Unix products.
Consulting Software Engineer
June 1999 -- December 1999
TMSI/Fannie Mae contract
Washington, DC
Consultant with the Event/Fault Management department of Fannie Mae, whose primary task is enterprise-wide system and event monitoring. The core engine is Tivoli, with many in-house modifications, which interfaces with their Remedy-based trouble-ticket system. The main project is the development of software to translate Tivoli configuration files into human-friendly HTML pages, so that system monitoring parameters can be reviewed by support and engineering staff. Additional work involved the development of a forms-based system so that departments can request additional monitoring or change existing services. Writing additional system monitoring scripts was a peripheral duty on this contract.
Consulting Engineer
December 1997 -- June 1999
ATR/Federal Reserve Board contract
Washington, DC
Consulting at the Federal Reserve Board, Information Resources Management division. Specifically providing Unix engineering and administration support to the records project. This project involves the conversion of paper records into electronic formats, primarily through the use of scanner and OCR technology. Record and database storage comprises many hundreds of gigabytes, and scanning is deployed on a number of systems, making the work both interesting and challenging. Streamlining and documenting maintenance procedures, such as serial terminal service for dedicated RAID farms, is a component of the contract. Intimate knowledge of Solaris, TCP/IP networking, and process-flow scripting are integral skills in this role. Also provide support on Year 2000 testing projects.

Applicable Skills

Unix Variants and Environments
Linux (including RedHat and Ubuntu); Apple Mac OS X; Solaris/SunOS; BSD variants; AIX; X Windows (including Gnome, KDE, OpenWindows, and CDE); Bourne shell (including ksh, bash, zsh); C shell (including tcsh).
Other Operating Systems
Apple Mac OS 9 and earlier; MS Windows (9x, NT, 2000, XP); PalmOS; MS/PC-DOS; VM/CMS.
Programming and Scripting Languages
C; C++; Python; Ruby; Perl; PHP; Java; JavaScript; sh; Tcl and Tk; Lisp (including Scheme and GUILE); Smalltalk; FORTH; various BASIC dialects; Pascal; some Intel and Motorola assemblers.
Applications and Tools
PostgreSQL; MySQL; Oracle; Informix SQL; SQLite; Various SQL access libraries; Eclipse; OpenOffice & LibreOffice; awk, sed and the usual Unix tools; various Windows and Macintosh applications.
Markup and Publishing
Web2Py; Ruby on Rails; Web application frameworks; XML; XSLT; SGML; BPMN 2; HTML (including CGI and forms); TeX and LaTeX; nroff and variants; OmniMark; Apache; Emacs and/or vi.
Network and System Services
qmail; sendmail; Apache httpd configuration; Usenet news; various Unix backup strategies; ftp administration; Tivoli; TCP/IP network and host configuration; System V and BSD print serving; care and feeding of cron; NFS administration; DNS/BIND configuration.
Security Systems and Tools
various security tools such as TCP Wrappers, Crack, and tripwire; NFR intrusion detection products; PGP (various flavors); ssh installation and configuration; packet capture and decode utilities; familiar with cryptographic theory and protocols, some implementations.
Hardware Experience
Intel/AMD PC hardware; Sun Sparcstations and Sparcservers; Apple notebooks and desktops; DEC Alpha systems; Cisco routers; Ethernet cabling and hubs; Annexes and other terminal servers; modem racks; various printers especially Hewlett-Packard and Apple laser printers; SCSI devices.

Educational Background

Singapore American School
Republic of Singapore
August 1983 -- June 1987
High School Diploma, National Merit Scholarship Finalist

University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
September 1987 -- November 2005
BA Philosophy

U.S. Citizen
References Available