Details

Ken Birch
Les Iles, 2 Bruton Road
Morden sur Wandle
SURREY  SM4 5RY
020 - 8286 4074 (24hours)
07 588 650 153 (mobile)
ken.birch@kenbirchdesign.com e-mail
kenbirchdesign.com web-site

C# Web Application Developer / Architect;
Web-Site and Applications Development, with Databases;
using C#.net /Core, JavaScript, CSS, JQuery, JSON and T-SQL;
preferred locations Morden, Sutton and south west / central London.

Job Skills

Current Tech-List (overlapping periods)

Work Experience (periods may overlap)

Areas of Expertise

References

Fredrickson International Limited, part of Lowell Group

‘Freds’ is now defunct.
Waqas Salahuddin my boss at ‘Freds’, email 'waqas.salahuddin@outlook.com'; now IT Development Manager at H&T Group plc.
Jonathan Dudley my team leader at ‘Freds’, email 'jonathan.dudley@gmail.com'; now Senior Developer at Intelliflo.

Stanley Davis Group

Colin Law my boss at SDG, email 'colin.law@stanleydavis.co.uk'; still at Stanley Davis Group, 1 George Yard, City, London EC3V. View PDF reference.

Human Focus International

Ian Pemberton my boss at HFI, see attachment, email 'ian@humanfocus.co.uk'; Managing Director at Human Focus International, 41 London Road, Reigate Surrey RH2. View PDF reference.

Alcatel Submarine Systems

John Cross, Alcatel Submarine Networks, Christchurch Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0AH

Project Highlights

See web-site page for downloadable CV extract 'KB_CV_extract.pdf'.

Ken Birch Design Ltd. February 2019 - October 2019

Skills Training Exercise

To plug holes in my skill-set, I have undertaken extensive on-line training courses (W3Schools), as well as working through a number of professional development books. Skills acquired and enhanced are: ASP.net Core 2.2/3.0 with MVC web-pages, Razor-Pages and User-Identity with model-driven EF 3.0; C#.net Core 2.2 with API pages, micro-services and Angular5 SPA with Type-Script; and ‘Docker’ container implementations

Book titles:- ‘.NET Core in Action’ concentrates on the CLI and being OS agnostic,
‘Learning ASP.NET Core 2.0’, enterprise view of applications with emphasis on micro-services;
‘ASP.NET Core 2 and Angular 5’, writing a Single-Page-Web-Application, using MV* API’s in C# with Angular 5 and an Entity Framework code-first back-end;
‘Docker Tutorial for Beginners’, a good introduction to the containerisation of Applications;
and ‘Docker in Practice’, more in-depth implementations and practices, generally on UNIX machines.

A Training project to perform H&S trainee questions with graded results, using ASP.net Core 3.0, Razor-Pages, EF Core 3.0 and the User Identity sub-system with full Administrator control of Users and Roles. (see web-site)

Install New Kitchen March 2019 - September 2019

I have installed a new kitchen at my home, with a new combi boiler, floor tiles, appliances, worktops and units; Electric under-floor heating with bespoke control system. I performed all electrical wiring, with a new consumer fuse box and linked smoke alarms, all meeting 18th edition IET regs. Installed a 2-hour fire safe ceiling using double layered plaster-board and intumescing light fittings.

X-Sec Short Course February 2019

A short course in Explainable-Security, at Kings College London University.

X-Sec is a novel paradigm that has evolved from a heterogeneous research program devised and run by Prof. Luca Vigan`o and Daniele Magazzeni at Kings College. It defines a roadmap that identified several research directions. To describe the challenges of X-Sec and how they can be tackled, it considered the 'Six Ws' of X-Sec; Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Including compensation, mediation and mitigation.


Fredrickson International Ltd. October 2017 - February 2019 (Contract)

Job title: Contract Software Developer. Full SDLC in an agile environment using TFS, BDD and GIRA.

Web-Site 'fredpay.com/'.

'Fredrickson International Limited' aka 'Freds', is a debt collection agency, and part of the Lowell Group. 'Freds' is involved in the collection of outstanding debt of customers, for a number of clients.
A large number of telephone support personnel (circa 140) using the 'CFE' application, as well as a number of Administration personnel (circa 40) using the 'AFE' application. There is also a customer web-site, to allow self-management of their debt (www.freds.com). 'Freds' IT department contained over 40 personnel.
This company site-location has been run-down and closed due to business re-orientation, with all operations transferred to Leeds.

The skills involved were initially ASP.net C# MVC web-pages updating from VB6 and VB.net applications. However when it was decided to close-down Freds, I was tasked with maintenance work; mainly VB6, VB.net and SQL queries, with Unit-Tests written in C#; along with BDD, DDD, BA and architectural design. Also I modified some web-pages using ASP.net, MVC and VB.net. All the work followed the company SDLC process, loosely based on 'Scrum' and 'Agile' techniques, using the GIRA web-based workflow application.

Major Projects

GDPR Assessment and Update

Involved in Investigation of new GDPR regulation requirements, specifically Data-Retention rule implementation.

I produced metrics of current database tables for relevant system environments, in conjunction with current data-dictionary usage and DPA regulation implementation. Investigated current database stored procedures used to implement DPA Data-Retention with a view to modifying to reflect GDPR requirements.

I was responsible for the design of an augmented data-dictionary to support the expanded remit of the GDPR regarding Retention and Anonymisation. This included the updating of the current data-dictionary database triggers used to control the content of the data-dictionary to ensure the correct information is stored. The paradigm used for data-retention was re-written for greater control of data and encompass the entire company data-set (databases, spreadsheets, word documents; in both electronic and paper-based). Responsibility for identified data-sets and retention periods, linked to 'person' identity. This required data-cleaning and extensive data-entry.
View Documentation

Legacy In-House Applications: Environment Checks and Corrections.

The first phase was to modify a number of applications (8) that were in need of maintenance work in the near future, to reflect current standards. This was data storage paths, internal e-mail addresses, and database connection strings. The second phase was to trawl through all the live applications, noting deviations from current standards and bad programming practice; to help determine future work. This was in two tranches of 34 and 46 applications; a lot of these applications were run over-night, and had not been touched for years.

Client Audit Action: Arrangement Letters

A client audit reported a debt-repay arrangement letters problem, and the script used during customer calls.

There was confusion over the first and subsequent payment dates by the customer and when funds were cleared. As this was a single client, changes were made selectively. I mocked up the sub-form changes required for both CFE and AFE applications, and presented them with supporting documentation to stakeholders. This was accepted so I produced a fully working prototype of the changes to show to individual stakeholders to gain acceptance. The second stakeholder meeting agreed to my implementation, I then liaised with stakeholders to affect the completed requirement (letter production). Using VB6, VB.net, SQL and XML templates.

CFE/AFE Phone Number Kill

To streamline the control structure for deleting phone numbers, including pending lists for the auto-dialler and SMS.

The original sub-system calls to handle these processes, had a number of problems, and were spread over both a VB6 DLL and a VB.net DLL; involving duplicate implementations with subtle variations. I merged the variations and moved some functions from the VB6 DLL to the VB.net DLL; adding routines to the DLLs in a manner that meant we did not need to modify or recompile existing applications. This involved overloading the original functions with more complete versions and redirecting calls from the VB6 DLL to the VB.net DLL.

The consultations with stakeholders was fully supported by diagrams, showing the impact and envisioned solution; along with a document showing all impacted function calls in the entire code-base.
View Document, View Diagrams

Linked Accounts problem

A customer often had more than one account registered to them from different Clients and multiple debt defaults. However the system reported these incorrectly and a number of DPA and GDPR violations were reported, due to incorrect linking. The solution was in two phases, the first was an emergency temporary fix to eliminate the possibility of wrongly linking accounts that were alike but different Customers. The second phase was a complete solution to the problem, involving full consultation with stakeholders including B.A.s and higher management. This required modification of both of the CFE and AFE applications as well as the underlying supporting DLLs, this involved both VB.net and VB6 languages and SQL queries.

Other projects (sample of 3rd line support)

Fredpay alert message loop

Error in web-site logic caused incorrect display of alert-message. Discussed circumstance with reporter and derived correct logic. I modified the web-page and supporting DLL to enact, using C#.net, VB.net and ASP.net MVC.

'SQL' Error Logs

This was for any run-time errors detected; the log files produced ran to 100Mb per day. Initial investigation revealed there was a common cause to the vast majority of these entries. I found that a class instantiation included an obsolete member that was just reporting its use, no error. I removed the member from the class and the log file reduced to 1% of its former size. This change was released and the Log files re-inspected, one entry type was responsible for 95% of the remaining entries. One of four calls to a class constructor did not supply enough data in a table data-set, and the checking used was incorrect; I corrected the code paradigm and the log-entries disappeared. The log-files are now occasional run-time errors and operator finger-trouble entries. VB.net, VB6 and SQL queries.

Client Reports

A number of Reports were modified to reflect Client's changing requirements. Some simple, some more complex; using SQL queries, VB6 and VB.net code changes. These report changes included liaising with client support personnel.

W6UpdrMC application timeout runtime error

This application was suffering from an occasional run-time error due to a query time-out. I discovered the data-set was from a 'dynamic' SQL query. I rewrote the dynamic query, into two parts; an initial dynamic statement to load a temporary database, with a normal optimisable statements. The query ran 10 - 20 times faster afterwards.


Stanley Davis Group March 2016 - September 2017 (Permanent)

Web-site 'stanleydavis.co.uk/'.

Job title: Senior Software Developer/Architect. My duties also involved 3rd line support for our Users and Customer problems.

The Stanley Davis Group is mainly concerned with financial services, with over half of all the UK's Company Formations business, and a large part of UK and Ireland's Local Authority Property Search requests; also Company Secretary Support services and Over-seas Company management. The majority of the work used C#.net MVC pages.

Due to SDG's continuing acquisitions and mergers, there were too many IT people; I was made redundant on a last-in first-out basis (also my boss's project was cancelled, so he took mine).

Contact Web-Page

Produce web-page to reflect Marketing's requirement for a dedicated web-page for the capture of customer contact details. Create back-end database tables and Marketing access web-page to access stored details. Dotnet web-forms.

Implement User-Identity log-in.

Convert existing development project from web-forms to web-forms plus MVC5, and implement User-Identity log-in for new SDG web-site. Allowing Single Sign-on (SSO) for company web-sites, using OWIN / OAuth modules. Adding User roles to Identity along with specific permission handling. The Migration of current log-in paradigm data-set to new SSO / OWIN data-set; involving data conversion and cleaning, whilst still supporting previous log-in credentials. Added 'Admin' layer to new web-site, using both MVC Routing and Web-Forms Restrictions; based on User-roles.

'Company Search' Web Page

Rewrote existing VB.net web-forms page, to use MVC C#.net coding whilst updating web-service access code.

Property-Search 'Con29' Update

For Local Authority Property-Search processes, the 'Con29' question-set was changed by the Government. I modified the tightly- coupled questionnaire for this 'Con29' update, whilst allowing for both new and old processes to co-exist. This involved database table modifications as well as Word-Document Report Templates with access-as-XML VBA, that produces reports for our customers. Involvement with Stakeholders from our Leeds office via site-visits and tele-conferences, as they were the knowledge holders for the process paradigm. We met the deadline.

Property Search - Drainage and Water

Updated DWP questionnaire web-forms page to new requirements for Property-Search report; and Report Template.

Re-Architect existing 'Property Search' web-site, internal workflow intranet, and out-worker application.

Pick-up ancient code-base, circa 2004, that had been badly maintained and hacked by contractor programmers for years; and dragged it kicking and screaming into 2017.

I included the involvement of stakeholders in the design process to ensure a good fit to user requirements and business objectives, using RAD-SSADM techniques, over 4 cycles of design and deployment. The project involved C#, VB and XML legacy code combined with a number of 'free' components from yesteryear.

The initially delivered system comprised C# coding in both MVC5 and Web-form styles depending on web-page usage, with some J-Query scripts to speed the user interface, along with extensive re-design of the database system, using SQL, LINQ and EF. Design process involved guided User Workflow process control to improve automation, coupled to 'Source-Model-Object' pattern use and State-Machines. The recording of state and user interaction,along with error messages, was a requirement.

I brought this project from conception, through Stakeholder reviews of Alpha and Beta releases, to final Initial Release V1.0 and then Pilot-run with 'Live' data and External users. The upgrade was well received by all stakeholders and users as a vast improvement.

Samples of documentation

View System Diagram, View Access Diagram, View Data Diagram, View Documentation.

Modify software implementation processes to add rigour and quality assurance for the IT department.

Supported the IT department head with the introduction of proper software release control; including 'User Acceptance Testing' and 'Application Lifecycle Management' techniques. This for both new and existing projects.


Ken Birch Design Skills Training Exercise October 2015 - December 2015.

Skills Training Exercise

To plug holes in my skill-set, I have undertaken extensive on-line training courses, as well as working through a number of professional development books. This includes Microsoft MVC 5, Design Patterns / Best Practice, Entity Framework ORM, Angular-JS, jQuery, Single Page Web-Apps, HTML5, TypeScript and others.

Contract: Human Focus International

Update to some previously written web-pages converting from ASP.net Web-Forms to ASP.net MVC5, to improve responsiveness and ease maintenance; using SPA techniques. With ASP.net, C#, EF6, LINQ and MVC5 combined with HTML5, CSS, and JQuery.


Human Focus International Ltd. May 2004 - September 2015 (Permanent)

Castle Court, 41 London Road, Reigate Surrey RH2 9RJ.

Web-Site humanfocus.org.uk/CBTbyB/ (login as guest).

I had worked for this company a number of times on a contract basis, before taking a permanent job. At the time they were a publisher of 'Health and Safety' training videos on CDs with associated pamphlets and software applications; but due to changing market conditions, new business dried up and existing customers were going to the competition. I created their web presence.

I worked ‘at home’ with regular visits to the company’s main premises, combined with weekly progress reports and remote sessions by phone, ‘Go-To-Meeting’ and ‘Skype’. Earlier this year (2015) the entire development department was exported to Pakistan, and then I was made redundant; developers are very much cheaper in Pakistan.

Computer Based Training by Browser (CBTbyB)

I was tasked with creating an internet based training system that would comprise both on-line training and training management control. After some prototyping solutions and a market testing exercise, a web-application was created; this improved the company's fortunes and allowed then to expand in both terms of staff and associated revenue streams.

a) Prototype: PHP4, JavaScript, My-SQL, Dream-weaver and Flash-MX, Remote ISP (UNIX - Apache).
Produce Browser based versions of 'Health and Safety' compliance, industrial risk calculators and report generators.

b) Initial Release: Windows 2003 server, IIS 6.0, SQL Server 2000-R2 and ASP.net V2 (VB.net), JavaScript, Flash-MX, T-SQL, Visual Studio, Server Remote Control. Produce Hosted Web-Site for registered customers use, to view browser based versions of training videos and quizzes as 'Computer Based Training' for 'Health and Safety' compliance. With Manager report generation and Trainee control and editing. Produce Web-forms for the administration of Web-Site database.

c) Production Release: ASP.net V2, VB.net/C#.net, JavaScript, Flash-MX, SQL Server V8-R2, T-SQL, Visual Studio, IIS6.0, SMTP, FTP, Server 2003, XML, XSLT.
Update web site, move to own server running windows 2003 server, IIS 6.0, SQL Server 2000-R2 and MS-ASP.net V2. With enhanced capabilities including Industrial and Office Risk Management for H&S compliance; with Sponsor logo re-branding via cascading Master Pages, automatic alerts using e-mail from an XSLT template.

d) Second Release Update: new dual Servers. Server 2k8 R2, C#.net, T-SQL, LINQ, Database Structure, R-Sync, Source-Gear Fortress/Vault initiation and use.
Update web-site with move to new dual servers, web-sites and databases separated from video, image and document content. Upgraded web-pages to handle hierarchical questionnaires with e-mailed reports, and control core to ease questionnaire creation. Updated Movie Player.
Update web-site servers set-up using back-up application and co-location ISP to guarantee up-time, using 'Backup Assist' application and R-Sync communications links. Server 2k8 R2, R-Sync Implemented Work-Flow Control for some complex web-pages on web-site, using Microsoft Workflow library combined with Training Entity concepts, to solve some longstanding problems. WF-4.0

Source Control and Application Lifecycle Management

I investigated the market and recommended a product fit for the company; this involved both development and office management processes and projects. I implemented the ‘Fortress/Vault’ solution from Source-Gear, a version control, project management and bug tracking system. This involved the initial set-up and acceptance testing, followed by the training other personnel in its use.

Smart-Card Logging and Reporting (SCLR)

I created a stand-alone Windows Application to read an HFI supplied Trainee’s Smart-Card at Customer site premises. This identifying information was sent to HFI, via an HTTP web API, where it was logged, and a relevant list of Training undertaken was displayed in the Windows application. The CBTbyB web-site was extended to add External Training Certification support, and associated extra management reporting.
Smart-Cards, Win-Forms, C#.net, T-SQL, HTTP web-service.

Mobile Phone Apps - Support

A few years ago it was decided to create a smart-phone application to allow trainee's to watch the training videos on their mobile phones. I was involved in the project start-up and did the initial feasibility study; but it was decided to use developers from Pakistan to develop the smart phone applications, whilst I would develop the web-service sub-system. Added Service Oriented Architecture to web-site back-end, to support 'Workplace Observation and Training' Mobile Application; developed by in-house development team based in Pakistan. Developed test Android mobile application. Added support for Workplace Observation handling to web-site.

Smart-phone dedicated Mobile Applications for Android and IOS. I added the Service Oriented Architecture to web-site back-end using MCF, ReST and JSON; to support ‘Workplace Observation and Training’ Mobile Applications developed by in-house development team based in Pakistan. I guided the ‘Apps’ developers in the use of the web-services and gathered feedback to support the continued development of the ‘Apps’.

I added support for the generated ‘Workplace Observation’ handling to CBTbyB web-site; which was renamed to ‘e-Learning’. At the same time a number of the web-site pages were converted to use the web-services calls to reduce maintenance and update the ‘Trainee’ side of the web-site.
Web-Services, S.O.A., C#.net, HTML5-Video, T-SQL, JSON, Mobile Apps. (Android, Win8 and IOS).

Customer Facing Manufactures Information Web-Site (e-Label)

My boss went to an H&S Expo in the USA and gained some new ideas. I Project managed a new web-site for ‘e-Label’ concept, using ‘QR-Code’ images linked to ordinary mobile phones, to present customer and casual Health and Safety related information display and feedback; with loose linking to current e-Learning web-site. Subsequent expansion to use mobile ‘Apps’ handled by team in Pakistan; involved in Project hand-over.
Cross-Web-Site posting, C#.net, JavaScript, HTML5, T-SQL, JSON, Database Design.

e-Learning Web-Site Interactive Update (Hot-Spot)

I created an immersive user experience when viewing training material, involving interactive images and ‘spot the hazard’ questionnaire items. This included a designed helper web-page to compose the different types of Hot-Spot questionnaire items. I also added a customer generated, simplified versions of ‘Hot-Spots’, for use by ‘Managers’ to incorporate in their ‘Workplace Observation’ training questionnaires.
JavaScript, JQuery, HTML5 Canvas, C#.net, T-SQL, JSON data-classes.

Other

Involved in the move of all development work to Pakistan, and the web-sites move to Cloud Servers.

There were numerous other smaller projects that involved programming in C#, as well as the maintenance of the web-site, and the creation of in-house staff ‘helper’ web-pages. Most of the earlier web-pages written in VB.net were converted to C#.net as they were upgraded. A number of simple stand-alone applications were created in C# and T-SQL, but they were auto-generated with little need for extensive design; although one did use directory hard-links and soft-links to implement multiple references to the same video-clip files, without requiring duplication, combined with FTP.

Samples of documentation

View Certificate Screen-Shots, e-Label Document, Home Screen Shots, Trainee Status Document.


Human Focus - Return to Work Ltd. January 2004 - August 2004 (Contract Role)

8 Bedford Park, Croydon, Surrey CR0 2AP.

This company was an offshoot of the parent company to provide a specific service to the H.M.Gov Department of Works and Pensions (DWP). I was employed on an extendable contract basis to provide the Applications and back-end system. This was work done on an extensible contract at the customer’s premises. Interspersed with contracts for other companies via ‘Ken Birch Design...’.

‘Return to Work’ Workflow Project

Implementation of workflow system, from paper based system using Excel spreadsheet to MS-Access 97 application; from single site to four sites. System Analysis and development, with PGP encryption, and replication; using a correspondence log model. A cut-down version of R2W - Workflow system was used by co-contractor organisations, for their inter-communications with DWP via HF. Liaising with DWP staff.
Access ’97 and 2k, VB6 and Excel 2k.


Alcatel Submarine Networks Ltd, Production Office. January 1999 - August 2003 (Multiple contracts)

Christchurch Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0AH.

This was work done on an extensible contract at the customer’s premises. Interspersed with contracts for other companies via ‘Ken Birch Design...’.

Numerous Database Projects

I created and maintained various MS-Access database systems, with different levels of reporting and control, to support the manufacturing of under-sea Fibre-Optic Trans-Oceanic submarine telephone cable amplifier repeaters. This also involved the publishing of intranet web-pages for dissemination and forwarding to their customers.
Access '97, Excel '97, extensive VBA, Access 2k, VB6

  (a) Q.A. Quick Graph printing system, upgrade to previous version, with added functionality and improved design. Specifically tailored to IC production usage, but with well defined interface for use with other in-house database systems. Access '97 'Add-In' library. (Alcatel)
(d) Fibre-optic submarine cable Chromatic Dispersion and light loss, distributed database; for installation of submarine telephone cables, at Paris head office and on-board client's customer's cable laying ships. Access '97, Excel '97, extensive VBA. (Alcatel)
  (a) I.C. database upgrade and consolidate, legacy code; with improved user interface, and correction of bad design flaws and 'user' written code. Access V1.0 and V2.0 to '97; VBA, data conversion.
(b) Q.A. Histogram printing sub-system, legacy code. Improve, correct, and re-package. Access '97.
(c) Produce database for the automation of wound resistor and coil manufacture. Access '97.
(d) Automate production of reports for customer acceptance of Fibre-Optic Trans-Oceanic submarine telephone cable amplifier repeaters, RPR - CCC (Repeater Performance Report and Customer Confidence Check). Based on Access '97 database with connections to Oracle 7 database, producing paper and electronic versions of reports. Access '97, VBA, HTML.
(e)Company Intranet pages for RPR-CCC reports and data. HTML.

Ken Birch Design 1990 - December 2003 (Various Fixed Price contracts/Cost Plus contracts)

  (a) Updated CDLL database, adding functionality; with greater user guidance for clients, also including importing of raw data (.csv files) and extra graphing and data types. Access 2k, VB6. (Alcatel)
(b) Senior Technical Consultant to 'B2B - ISP' e-commerce start-up. Using RAD-SSADM techniques, for feasibility study; functional prototype; and implementation, test, and launch. SQL, VC++, MFC, WWW, ASP, Java, JavaScript. (Planet Octopus Ltd.)
(c) Modification of previous 'Cable T.V. Video Player' system for installation at 'EMAP : The Box/Kiss FM'. Design and integration of 'Video Play-list' database system. Visual C++ v5, Access '97. (IMT)

Action Time Ltd. Video tape library database, sales and production aid.

Quota Computer Associates Ltd. Provide software support for Membership system.

Bodyline Ltd. Provide technical support to start-up franchisee.

Interactive Media Technology Ltd. Cable TV Video Player, music videos, advert inserts, database.

The Convergence Company Ltd. Feasibility study, TV Broadcast plus Web-Site, 'Far East' market.

Quota Computer Associates Ltd. Video Capture OCX, Smart-Card Reader OCX, in-house databases.

Geo - Services International (UK) Ltd. Geographic data display, manipulation, contouring system.

Alcatel Submarine Systems. Test system for Fibre-Optic Trans-Pacific submarine cable repeaters.

Retail Business Systems Ltd. WinNT file conversion from AS400, for EPOS. On-site reporting.

Human Focus Ltd. Various Applications relating to Health and Safety compliance.

South Thames College. Video Edit suites and AV;helping students and staff with projects.

Centre-File, Nat. West. Bank. E.D.I. Funds Transfer, Version Control of software and documentation.

Continental Defence Electronics Ltd. Surveillance Microwave Receiver, Alarm system, MoD.

Ameeco (Hydrospace) Ltd. Software and Hardware Engineer; Sonar control systems, MoD.

Elequip Ltd., C.M.I. Electronics Div.1500 chan. system for Power Station, Sudan. Z80 F8 PLC, on-site.

Permanent

C.M.I. Electronics Ltd.Development Engineer; various control systems, Z80.