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Module/Plugin development should always be ‘Plug-N-Play’

I’ve been developing websites (and web applications) professionally since 1995 and back in the day a lot of development was static and hard coded. When it came to doing a redesign or architecture of a website/web app it would take so much tedious work to change hard-coded content. Oooooh then came web frameworks (and CMS) which took care of so much of the standard features of a website/web app. Seems much of the developers these days still do not take advantage of frameworks and the ability to now develop features as modules/plugins.

With that said I am a strong believer that websites/web apps should be built on content management systems and/or frameworks. Let the CMS take care of the look and feel (themes), user management, meta data, website settings, menus, page types, SEO, security, login/logout/forgot password, forms, etc. The beauty of CSS if you can style just about any standard look and feel of a CMS or plugin to look as you please.

Most importantly website features (and custom functionality) these should be developed out as separate code utilizing the CMS’s module/plugin framework. So the setup of a website would/should be as easily as setting up the CMS and activating the custom features/plugins. Simple as that. NO need to configure to a server or an environment or custom server images or custom database scripts or custom anything. Just setup and activate.

How I came ooooh so close to being CTO of Acquia (Drupal)

In 2012 I was one of the final candidates for the “Co-CTO” position at Acquia (Drupal). The interview experience was grueling and intense that lasted about two months. I passed all the technical vetting (LAMP, Drupal, PHP, web architecture) and meet with the Acquia senior executives. Lastly I spent time with Dries Buytaert who is the CTO of Acquia and the Founder of Drupal. He was surprisingly younger then I assumed though was a well spoken family man who loved keeping close to the technology stack. The Co-CTO position would run the day to day strategy of the current Drupal while Dries would focus more on the new Drupal initiatives.

This was an exciting opportunity though I lost out on it due to my “limited sales experience to the other candidate“. True I am not a salesman though I take pride in that. Overall it was an experience that validated my expertise at Drupal (and PHP).

“Ashley Shades”. My bucket list goal for homeless pets

My dog Ashley (a Yellow Lab) passed three years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. I also briefly lived with a dog whom my girlfriend (at the time) adopted. The dog was adopted as an adult and I guess it had a traumatic past. The dog “Shades” (a dark German Shepard) was a sweet dog but out of the blue was aggressive and attacked my girlfriend, her mother, and myself. We tried to help the dog but in the end there was no help. Both dogs I miss and my heart aches.

I hope to one day build a sanctuary for dogs that have no home and dogs that need help and rehabilitation therapy. There is so much love pets can give and so much is wasted because there are not enough people to can provide for these wonderful animals.

In honor of Ashley and Shades… I’m going to call this pet sanctuary “Ashley Shades.”

I’ve spotted some affordable locations in Harvard, IL which is just outside of Chicago, IL and easily accessible via the Metra train. This will help people come and visit, volunteer, and hopefully adopt.

This is not a nice to have goal. This is something I’ve been actively working on and planning and hopefully will bring to realization sooner then later. Nothing would bring me more joy then to provide for dogs that just need love and attention. That I have to give.

Comcast, Partners Portal

http://www.comcast.com/

  • Redesigned corporate partners portal from the groundup (front-end and backend).
  • Migrated from static HTML to dynamic content on the WordPress framework.
  • Managed project (design and development) and deliverables.
  • 2016

My Experience with Drupal (12+ years)

In my experience I’ve found Drupal to be a highly scalable web platform. Majority of the Drupal projects I’ve worked on seem to be working on existing Drupal installation(s) that needs lots of work to bug fixes / architecture redesign. While Drupal has an intelligent MVC design… it seems most “Drupal Developers” don’t fully grasp the underlying architecture so the one-off “modules” they build are prone to conflict with other modules. Drupal is built on the LAMP stack (PHP) so you really need to be a PHP Engineer to built out good modules. Drupal has a robust administration that gives developers the ability to configure an application through a WYSIWYG interface yet too much reliance on this could cause havoc when bugs occur and the administrating developer is unfamiliar with the underlying PHP code of the connected modules/views/blocks/etc.

Here are some Drupal projects I’ve worked on:

MassChallenge.org – Worked with the CEO and CTO to redesign (backend and front-end) their website, intranet, and CMS as the existing Drupal was developed by multiple interns which caused lots of bugs and technology limitations.

ViaSat.com – Redesigned website (backend and front-end). Converted website from a custom built website to a new Drupal installation.

Verizon vCommons (Intranet) – Developed several internal social media apps to promote improved communication and collaboration for 270,000+ employees.

Verizon CAB (customer portal) – Developed a customer portal for Executives of high-end clients.

TheWrap.com – Converted a legacy Drupal environment of thousands of news articles to WordPress VIP with supporting applications in a new Drupal install.

Simplecard.com

White-label ecommerce platform for personalized direct mail print campaigns.
http://www.simplecard.com/

  • Managed design and development of product from concept to production to launch.
  • San Diego, CA.

Miva Merchant Developer Conference (2001-2003)

http://miva.com/

  • Planning and organization of Miva’s Developers Conference for the Miva Merchant ecommerce platform.
  • Managed the “Speakers” sessions.
  • Presented several sessions on enterprise ecommerce development.
  • “Product Evangelist” for Miva Merchant.
  • 2001, 2002, 2003 – San Diego, CA.

Surfrider Foundation, 100 Wave Surf-a-thon

Community non-profit organization. Protecting Oceans, Waves and Beaches since 1984.
http://www.surfrider.org/

  • Organized surf-a-thon to raise money for the non-profit organization.
  • Event = surf 100 waves in 1 day and supporters would pledge an amount per way. Donations picked up after completion of 100 surfed waves.
  • Raised money through door-to-door campaigning.
  • Helped with marketing initiatives.
  • 1992 – San Diego, CA.

Drupal, Templates / Modules (custom)

  • 12+ years experience in Drupal development.
    • 16+ years in PHP experience.
  • Created custom templates (20+) and plugins (50+) for corporations, startups, and agencies used for websites, web applications, and intranets.

TwitBug (photo sharing)

Photo sharing through email attachments.

  • Designed and developed photo sharing app from concept to launch.
  • Developed in PHP (LAMP).
  • 2009 – San Diego, CA.

Miva Merchant, Product Evangelist

http://www.miva.com/

  • Served as Product Evangelist for employer (Miva) on the flagship product Miva Merchant.
  • Worked with the development community on product education, training, releases, and development initiatives.
  • Community representative and evangelist for various company products, including providing programming guidance to community developers through forums and speaking at ecommerce conferences.
  • San Diego, CA.

San Diego Insider

Community website of events, movies, and restaurant reviews for San Diego, CA.
http://www.sandiegoinsider.com/ (website no longer active)

  • Maintenance of website, content, and infrastructure as website was acquired  by employer (Cox).
  • Integrated legacy data to existing enterprise content management systems.
  • 2002 – San Diego, CA.

Cox Communications

Third-largest cable television provider in the United States. 22,000+ employees, $9 billion dollar company.
http://www.cox.com

  • Member of the Engineering team in the corporate Marketing division.
  • Worked on improving internal web applications connected to enterprise systems.
  • Helped incorporate social media initiatives.
  • 2002 – San Diego, CA.

Avery Print and Mail Center

http://www.printandmailcenter.com/

  • Design and development of a white label ecommerce platform.
  • Launched with Avery-Dennison as first white label client.
  • San Diego, CA.

Rollerr – CTO

Live video steaming app to your friends.
http://www.rollerr.it/

  • Served as interim-CTO.
    • Previous CTO unexpectedly quit so I temporally came on-board to serve as CTO until a permanent CTO was selected/hired.
  • Collaborated with executive staff on product development (app still in development).
  • Managed team of developers and project management.
  • 2015 – Boston, MA.

Power-One Energy

Leading provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions.
$1 billion company, 3,300+ employees.

http://power-one.com/

  • Lead Engineer (PHP).
  • Development of custom Drupal themes and custom Drupal modules (plugins).
  • Integration with internal enterprise applications (web services).
  • 2012 – Boston, MA.

Interactivate, Development Tools (custom)

  • Managed product design/development of 15+ custom/proprietary tools for Engineering and Creative development processes/procedures.
  • San Diego, CA.

ViaSat, Corporate Intranet

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Design and development of companies Intranet servicing 2,000+ employees.
  • Integrated Human Resources data for employee directory, birthdays, and employee profile updates.
  • San Diego, CA.

San Diego Surf Team (Professional Surfer)

Team of professional and amateur surfers competing against other teams across California.

  • Served as Team Captain.
  • Professional surfer, competing in local/national events. Sponsored by Rusty Surfboards & Stussy.
  • Managed surf team operations, team training, event logistics, and competition strategies.
  • During my leadership the team went from being California state ranked #19 to #2.
  • 1994 – 1996 – San Diego, CA.

Varigon, Inc.

http://www.varigon.com/

  • Senior Web Developer / Designer (employee).
  • Lead and managed design of ecommerce portals, websites, print, and marketing materials.
  • 1995-1999 – San Diego, CA.

MP3 Factory Direct

Ecommerce website selling custom MP3 (HDD) Players.

  • Designed and developed ecommerce website which sold large HDD MP3 Players (well before iPods existed).
  • Used Miva Merchant as the ecommerce platform.
  • 1998-1999 – San Diego, CA.

Miva, eBay / PayPal

  • Implemented Miva Merchant for ebay.com and paypal.com.
  • Integrated backend enterprise applications for automated inventory, product attributes, payment gateways, ERP systems, and shipping options.
  • San Diego, CA.

Penguin Random House (internal)

Book publisher, 10,000+ employees.
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/

  • Development of internal web portal to manage access to internal applications.
  • Developed on the WordPress framework.
  • Developed custom WordPress themes and plugins.

WordPress, Themes / Plugins (custom)

  • 12+ years experience in WordPress development (16yrs in PHP experience).
  • Created custom themes (70+) and plugins (120+) for corporations, startups, and agencies used for websites, intranets, and secure extranets.
  • Developed several enterprise scale apps on the WordPress framework as a Content Management System (CMS).

Hype 100 – CTO

An online social audio platform where the community submits and rates their most appreciated audio/video highlights and podcasts around technology and business.
http://www.hype100.com/

  • Served as (virtual) CTO guiding the product from concept to implementation.
  • New York, NY.

SANDIOS – San Diego Online Society

Round-table and networking group for San Diego’s Internet executives, including leaders in software and mobile development.
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=136221

  • Helped organize the group from concept to launch.
  • San Diego, CA.

Kapalua.com

Real estate property management portal, events, and local blogging for Kapalua, HI.
http://kapalua.com

  • Redesigned legacy website with new a new design, marketing plan, and an improved user experience.
  • Managed development team and design process.
  • San Diego, CA.

IrvineRanch.com

Real estate property management portal for Irvine Ranch.
http://villagesofirvine.com

  • Redesigned legacy website with new a new design, marketing plan, and an improved user experience.
  • Managed development team and design process.
  • San Diego, CA.

ViewBug.com – CTO

Social networking photo sharing website with cash awards to winning contest entries.
http://www.viewbug.com/

  • Served as CTO managing development (backend and front-end).
  • Redesigned and redeveloped website from Django to PHP (Drupal and WordPress).
  • 2008-2009 – San Diego, CA.

OmPlay.org

Play therapy business website.
http://www.omplay.org/

  • Business and marketing planning with client.
  • Social media strategies to drive new business.
  • Website redesign on WordPress with a custom theme.
  • 2015 – New York, NY.

Ideablue, Client Portfolio (50+ clients) – CEO

http://www.ideablue.com/

  • Management of clients on technology, public relations, business strategies, and team management.
  • Clients included startups, corporate, agencies, universities, night clubs, and celebrities.
  • San Diego, CA.

BuzzTime Pick’Em Football

Mobile and iPhone app that predicts the outcome of each week’s pro football match-ups.
http://www.buzztime.com/buzztime-fantasy-football

  • Front-end development of an iPhone app to a mobile website.
  • Connected web services for NFL data.
  • Worked closely with creative team on design comps.
  • San Diego, CA.

ModernPostcard.com

http://www.modernpostcard.com/

  • Managed the redesign of corporate website and ecommerce.
  • Helped with hands-on development of backend and front-end coding.
  • 2006-2007 – San Diego, CA.

VEEO Manager

Proprietary ecommerce plugin for software subscriptions and plugin downloads.

  • Reporting to the CEO, managed international ecommerce development team of web designers, engineers, and QA.
  • Developed on the LAMP stack (PHP).
  • 2002 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat, Web Portfolio (100+ applications / websites)

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Established and managed new web/marketing departments.
  • Managed web portfolio (100+ applications / websites).
  • 2003- 2006 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat.com

http://www.viasat.com/

  • Redesign and development of corporate website (in Drupal).
  • San Diego, CA.

Hitachi, Web Portfolio (~22,000 websites)

$112 billion/year company, Forbes #35 ‘Largest Global Companies’ (400,000+ employees).
http://www.hitachi.com/

  • Reporting to the CIO office, established a new executive sponsored (C-level) department to lead and unify all Web IT / Marketing resources throughout all enterprise web systems.
  • Successfully accomplished executive charter to improve the online user experience and streamline web operations through cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Managed international team of architects, web developers, engineers, UX designers, business analysts, QA (team of 70+).
  • P&L forecasting.
  • 2008 – San Diego, CA.

ViaSat WebPoint (extranet)

Corporate extranet for product support and documentation.
https://extranet.viasat.com/

  • Designed and developed custom and proprietary product support extranet for military clients.
  • All code reviewed and approved by the National Security Agency (NSA).
  • San Diego, CA.

Network Mailer

Gives networked organizations the opportunity to unify the direct marketing efforts of their franchisees, retailers, dealers and affiliates.
http://www.networkmailer.com/

  • Product development of affiliate direct mail application.
  • Developed in WebObjects.
  • Managed Engineering team.
  • San Diego, CA.

Modern Postcard NEMO (ecommerce)

http://www.modernpostcard.com/

  • Automation of the ecommerce order to printing to delivery to customer process.
  • 2006 – San Diego, CA.

Modern Postcard VDP

http://www.modernpostcard.com/

  • Implemented architecture and automation of ‘Variable Data Printing’ for direct mail campaigns.
  • San Diego, CA.

Modern OOS (ecommerce)

Proprietary ecommerce and automated printing solution, branded and white label.
https://order.modernpostcard.com/

modernpostcard.com (branded), simplecard.com (white label), printandmailcenter.com (white label API).

Modern Postcard, Web Portfolio (40+ clients)

http://www.modernpostcard.com/

  • Reporting to the CIO, lead and established company’s first consolidated group of all web resources.
  • Generated 50% of company revenue ($20+ million/year in online sales) through online marketing, email campaigns, and personalized print marketing (VDP).
  • P&L responsibilities.
  • Managed team of web developers, software engineers, UX designers, QA (team of 15+).
  • Managed web portfolio (40+ clients): USPS, Avery, FastFrames, Jiffy Lube, modernpostcard.com, networkmailer.com.

Interactivate, Web Portfolio (100+ clients)

San Diego’s largest digital agency.
http://www.interactivate.com/

  • Reporting to the CTO, lead and managed all interactive media, user experience (UX), and web development projects.
  • Managed international team of designers, web developers (PHP/.NET), and QA (team of 25+).
  • Managed web portfolio (100+ clients): Sunkist, Wolfgang Puck, Jenny Craig, California Avocado, Kapalua.com, Summerlin.com, IrvineRanch.com.
    • Client websites / projects (partial list): wolfgangpuck.com, sunkist.com, kapalua.com, avocado.org, avohq.com, avocadocentral.com, lyonhomes.com, summerlin.com, irvineranch.com, jennycraig.com, johnlainghomes.com, soyconnection.com, purefinancial.com, verrado.com.

Hitachi Enterprise Portal

http://www.hitachi.com/

  • Managed customer support web systems and applications enterprise wide.
  • Designed architecture of a new web portal unifying 100+ internal applications giving customers a seamless user experience vs multiple logins/experiences.
  • 2008 – San Diego, CA.

Socialjax Framework

LAMP stack framework of reusable code for rapid application development on social graph API connections.

  • Developed from scratch on the LAMP stack (PHP).
  • Web service API connections to 27 social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Yelp, etc…).
  • Enterprise level scalability.
  • 2008-2010 – San Diego, CA.

SocialSimple – CEO/Founder

Ecommerce targeted marketing and UIX via social media data mining/analytics.

  • Co-founding CEO and hands-on CTO / CMO of a successful social networking startup.
  • Developed and engineered a high volume and “Big Data” SaaS product that personalized ecommerce user experiences (in real-time) through targeted marketing using social graph analytics and various API web services (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, Digg, Yelp).
  • SlideShare used in TechCrunch 50 => http://www.slideshare.net/jnegretti/social-simple-tech-crunch50-2008-presentation (also embedded below)
  • Hired all staff and formed a new company from the ground up (operations/facilities/finance/etc).
  • Full P&L responsibilities.
  • Investment by Golozo Partners of $2.4 million (2008).
  • Company/product acquired by NBC Universal for $4.7 million (2010).
  • 2008-2010 – San Diego, CA.

Verizon, Customer Advisory Board Portal

Advisory board portal for C-level executive clients and customers.
http://www.verizon.com/

  • Managed design and development of a customer portal for C-level executives.
  • Developed in Drupal.
  • 2010 – Boston, MA.

Verizon vCommons (Intranet)

http://www.verizon.com/

  • Managed the design and development of an internal collaboration web portal utilizing social media.
  • Implemented individual blogs for all 270,000 employees.
  • 2010 – San Diego, CA.

Verizon, Enterprise 2.0 – Chief Architect

http://www.verizon.com/

  • Streamlined enterprise web operations, technology infrastructure, and web development processes.
  • 2010-2011 – Boston, MA

Adoptive, Web Portfolio (30+ clients) – CTO

Brand management think-tank/agency. New York, NY.
http://adoptive.co/

  • Served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
  • Client collaboration and strategic planning on web marketing, technology architecture, social media.
  • Strategic leadership in the areas of technology, mobile, interactive marketing, digital media, social media, cloud computing, and industry insight into the latest trends and innovations in web.
  • Reporting and deep analytics of “Big Data” for personalized user experiences / responsive design.
  • Managed and planned all technology initiatives, strategies, projects, and resources.
  • Managed web portfolio (clients in fashion, health, and technology): Bundoo.com, Macy’s, Walmart, Coach, Komar, Michael Kors, Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Fuhrman, Virgin Airlines.

Macy’s (strategy planning)

http://www.macys.com/

  • Strategy projects and proposals to streamline in-store customer experience utilizing mobile technologies.
  • Proposals for iPad applications for users to shop in the store without physically being in the store.
  • Technology advice/direction on streamlining internal marketing initiatives.
  • 2013 – New York, NY.

DrFurhman.com

Healthy living education portal / instructional videos / newsletter.
http://www.drfurhman.com/

  • Strategic planning with executive staff on brand management/awareness.
  • Designed new back-office infrastructure to improve and streamline the POS fulfillment processes.
  • New ecommerce vendor selection.
  • Redesign of new website, design and technology.
  • 2013 – New York, NY.

Bundoo.com – CTO

Parenting website where parents can interact directly with doctors and childcare experts and get actionable information.
http://bundoo.com/

  • Design and development of product/startup from concept to development to public launch.
  • Integrated Amazon affiliate services (Marketplace).
  • Brand management on design/logo/etc.
  • Served as advisory CTO.
  • http://585k5j.axshare.com/ (wireframes to develop against)
  • 2013 – New York, NY.

Quality8 (QA)

Custom built web application to automate the quality assurance (QA) process of website and user experience (UIX) testing.

  • Developed as an ‘application’ in Drupal.
  • Connected to MySQL and Oracle.
  • San Diego, CA.

Qualcomm (app store)

http://www.qualcomm.com/

  • Developed backend web services and front-end user experience designs for company’s new phone app store.
  • Collaborated with Marketing departments on user experience.
  • San Diego, CA.

MassChallenge.org

Startup accelerator connecting high- impact startups with the global resources.
http://masschallenge.org

  • Redesigned the front-end user experience and streamlined the backend architecture.
  • Website and custom web applications built in Drupal.
  • 2011 – Boston, MA.

Wordjax (API plugin)

Proprietary tiered plugin / module with scalable API and template UI hooks.

  • Designed and developed custom framework of resuable code for rapid application development.
  • Developed as a multi-tiered ‘plugin’ for WordPress with custom API hooks into the WordPress theme engine.
  • Developed as a multi-tiered ‘module’ for Drupal.

TheWrap.com – CTO

Hollywood news magazine and website.
http://www.thewrap.com

  • Re-developed and re-designed website and CMS from Drupal to WordPress on WordPress VIP servers.
  • Served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
  • Strong collaboration with CEO, COO, and executive editorial staff.
  • 2013 – Los Angeles, CA.

Miva Now

Trial to purchase automation of ecommerce platform to 3rd party hosting.
http://miva.com/

  • Design and development of product from concept to production.
  • Development of web services connecting to external 3rd party systems.
  • San Diego, CA.

Miva Merchant (ecommerce platform)

Industry leading ecommere platform with an extendable module API. Over 400,000+ installations.
http://www.mivamerchant.com/

  • Lead Engineer and Product Evangelist.
  • Redesigned and engineered module API architecture (still used today).
  • Managed development of most features (inventory, shipping, products, themes).
  • Product used by eBay, PayPal, Foursquare, Taylor Swift, Nautica, and many more popular ecommerce websites.
  • $100 billion online sales, 400,000+ installations.
  • San Diego, CA.

GoEnnounce.com

Crowdfunding for students.
http://www.goennounce.com/

  • Technology, marketing, and business strategy planning.
  • Advised and worked closely with the Founders.
  • Project management of team developers.
  • 2013 – New York, NY.

Dropcast.us (app)

Mobile app and desktop publishing tool that lets you drop words, images, videos, and music on a map for others to discover and share.
http://www.dropcast.us/

  • Developed backend API for a location based media sharing mobile app.
  • App launched at SXSW (March 2013).
  • 2012-2013 – Boston, MA.

CleanPlates.com

Healthy foods education blog and daily newsletter.
http://www.cleanplates.com/ (new website unlaunched)

  • Existing website was developed and structured poorly by resources no longer with the company.
  • Realigned the backend architecture to accommodate a singular database of content (vs many unnecessary instances).
  • Discovered and fixed lots of security flaws in the legacy custom administration.
  • Helped with social media strategies and initiatives.
  • 2014 – New York, NY.

Uppertag – Founder

Personalized content  and targeting marketing through deep analysis of user’s social graph using data algorithms.
http://uppertag.com/ (app unlaunched)

  • Designed and development of a “recommendation engine” that analyzes a user’s social graph through complex big data algorithms, content analytics, and mathematical equations.
  • Developed in PHP (LAMP).
  • 2012 – Present.

Hewlett-Packard Helion (hpcloud.com)

Enterprise architecture of HP’s enterprise cloud services and community SDK.
http://hpcloud.com/

  • Development of HP Helion website in WordPress with a custom theme.
  • Trained marketing staff developers on enterprise scale engineering.
  • 2015 – Seattle, WA.