My name is George White and I am a software engineer, pseudo-designer and innovation leader with over 15 years of experience. I have worked for large enterprises and small businesses, serving a variety of roles. My passion is solving interesting problems, sometimes with software, sometimes with hardware, sometimes with pictures and words. But always with thoughfulness.
Over the span of my career I have filled many roles. I have been a coder, designer, team leader, architect, systems engineer, help desk frontline support and on-call support staff. At most of my jobs, I have become the go-to guy for technical matters big and small.
I am not a manager, but I have experience managing and running teams. I have built teams for multiple purposes, including both engineering and experience strategy work. I love to teach and mentor; many people have told me that is what I should be doing for a living.
When I am not coding or designing software and systems, I am spending time with my wife and daughter, taking photos when I get the chance, and may occasionally be found staring at the sky or a tree, looking at some interesting bird.
Chief Innovation Officer
Formerly SVP, Innovation, Cantina (2013-2017)
Formerly Technical Architect (2010-2013)
I am the Chief Innovation Officer at Cantina, where my responsibilities include building and leading the client-facing innovation practice and directing internal innovation initiatives.
In addition, I continue as a principal consultant and technical architect, a role I've had since I first came aboard. I am the technical lead on select projects, and I do strategic consulting, a whole lot of sales support, speaking engagements on technology, and play the role of mobile practice lead.
I have been involved in several HTML5 native mobile application development projects since joining Cantina. My recent foci are responsive design, content and context-focused web application development, and prototyping. I am also working on evolving Cantina's capabilities in user experience and process. I am an advisor to several Cantina working groups, including the Experience Strategy, Internet of Things, Mixed Reality, Machine Learning, Agile Architecture, and Front-end Engineering WGs.
In 2018, I formed the Experience Strategy & Service Design Practice. This group is focused stragetic product and service development work, including UX research, service design, organizational change and design transformation.
Freelance Software Developer, Stonehippo Code & Consulting
In May 2010, I departed Bit Group to start my own freelance software development practice with a concentration on mobile and Web application development. Projects thus far have included:
- Development of a white-label version of a crowd-sourcing iPhone app client for a corporate innovation initiative
- Development of a children’s game for the iPhone and iPad
- Architecture consulting and Moodle platform development for a large educational publisher
As of August 2010, I have suspended my freelance practice to join Cantina.
Principal Consultant, Technical Architect, Bit Group
I served as a consultant at Bit Group, working with multiple clients and platforms.
The work at Bit Group was highly variable. My time was divided between pure coding, technical design, platform and application support for existing client applications and websites, and the occasional user experience and visual design work.
- Designed and developed a custom crowd-sourcing application iPhone application and Ruby on Rails backend for a small app developer
- Designed and developed an iPhone client for the API of a prominent Web-based crowd-sourcing platform
- Implemented multiple websites using various content management platforms and solutions
- Lead a usability study and user interface redesign for a compliance management Web application
Systems Architect, Course Technology/Thomson Learning
I began at Course Technology, an educational publisher within Thomson Learning, as a Web application developer, writing ColdFusion code. I was promoted to a tech lead position within the development group and was made responsible for overseeing all database and Web development.
I was promoted to systems architect and given responsibility for overseeing the design and development of several application platforms with Course Technology as well as supporting and implementing solutions for other Boston-area Thomson divisions. I spent a lot of time writing code in support of my designs, reviewing the code of the engineers on the team, and working with the editorial and sales teams to define the product strategies for the company.
- Designed the next-generation architecture for a Microsoft Office simulation training and assessment platform
- Built and co-managed a development team to implement the simulation platform
- Designed and implemented a single sign-on Web platform and unified grade book interface to support digital learning products
- Lead load testing and performance tuning and improvement efforts on an 1000+ database SQL Server environment and related codebase
- Designed and implemented server architecture for
- Designed and implemented code libraries to support
- Provided technology guidance and mentoring to the development team
Chief Technologist, Ember Media
I was a founding team member at Ember Media. Our focus was on multimedia development using Flash and Director for both Web and CD-ROM delivery. My role was to provide technology direction, build the infrastructure and write code.
- Developed multiple multimedia application in Flash and Director
- Video and audio production and cleanup
- Built the company Web site
- Designed and constructed a workgroup LAN
LAN Administrator, BusinessWeek Magazine
I was originally hired as a temp to work on PCs upgrades for the editorial staff in prep for moving to Windows 95. I was asked to join the Editorial Technology group shortly after my contract began.
My responsibilities included:
- Providing server, network and PC support for the editorial section of the magazine, including weekly publication process support
- Providing networking and PC support to the onsite editorial staff
- Providing support to offsite and international staff and offices
- Managing software deployments
Consultant/Technician, Dynamic Computer Maintenance
This was my first “real” job, fixing and upgrading PCs and laser printers, setting up little LANs and installing Windows upgrades and showing people how to work with Lotus 1-2-3. Good times, good times.
I was also writing software in Visual Basic and C++ for one thing or another, but nothing that matters now. Bad times, bad times.
Montclair State College – did not complete degree program
Over the course of my career I have picked up a broad range of skills and expertise. I am a generalist by nature, with a wide range of knowledge; it has occaisionally been remarked that I seem to know something about everything. I am a decent consultant and pretty good at working with people to find solutions to technology challenges.
I excel at solving difficult, hard to visualize problems. More than once I have demonstrated that I can look at a difficult software engineering or systems problem, find ways to analyze what is breaking inside and tease out the answer to fix it. This skill is a major reason for any success I have had.
I am a fast learner and a compulsive problem solver. If you put an interesting problem in front of me, I will be compelled to solve that problem. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon whether you need me to be concentrating on something else at the moment.
I am very good at systems and software architecture. I prefer to build and design systems from the ground up, but I am also good at working with—and sometimes improving—existing architecture. My experience and desire for simple, efficient systems has served me well in this realm.
I have a broad experience of software development environments, languages and methodologies. I can do the sorts of things you would expect of a competent software engineer with more than a decade of experience.
Specific languages I have shipped working production software on include:
- Ruby (Ruby on Rails, Radiant, Sinatra)
- ASP.NET (C# and VB.NET)
- ActionScript (Flash and Flex)
- Shell scripting (UNIX, Windows CLI)
I have worked extensively in a broad range of IDEs and development environments, including Eclipse, Xcode, NetBeans, IntelliJ, Flex Studio, and Visual Studio. My favorite way to code is a developer-friendly text editor (Atom is my currently favorite). I am also handy with visual design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch, although I would not put myself in the expert category. I can put together a pretty mean diagram or visual prototype in OmniGraffle or Visio (the latter only if I must).
I am not a professional designer or user experience expert, but I have filled both of those roles in a competent if somewhat workman-like manner. I dream of being a great designer but I have no illusions that will ever happen.
References available upon request.