[sysadmin] Skills

Simon Kershaw simon at kershaw.org.uk
Fri May 22 21:52:25 UTC 2015

Since 1986 I've been involved in the internals of database systems -- I first joined my present employer in 1986, left in 1992, and rejoined in 2007. I'm okay with xml, and used to be able to do things like xslt and xpath. My main programming expertise is in C and C++, though these are getting rusty especially the subtleties of C++. I'm old enough to have learnt to programme in Fortran, and my team are still responsible for a good chunk of Fortran code. I've been a Unix user since 1984 so am competent at Bourne and C shell scripting and their successors. I've never written a Windows bat script. Once upon a time I was fairly competent at raw PostScript. 

Since 1995 I've used html, css, JavaScript and the like, including Ajax. I've helped install, maintain and run Movable Type (for Thinking Anglicans) and Drupal (for littlegidding.org.uk). And MySQL, learnt with Perl, largely to implement the NRSV at bible.oremus.org and the Daily Prayer site that is layered on top of it. Some of this also uses Mason -- a Perl-based templating system. I'm tolerably competent at designing relational db data models and the sql queries that go with them. Perl and JavaScript are pretty much the only languages I write these days (though I still code review C, C++ and even Fortran at work). But I wouldn't call myself a power user of JavaScript.

I can largely handle DNS stuff, managing mailman, writing crontab files etc. At home I run a small Mac network including a Snow Leopard server VM. I've done quite a bit of typesetting using InDesign, including about a dozen liturgical books. (Typesetting was a skill that was common to several of the SoAJ founders. As was a love of Eric Gill typefaces.)

Like Derek, I'm quite good at text scrubbing and manipulating text into database-able structures. Favourite tools for this are emacs and Excel. 


Simon Kershaw
simon at kershaw.org.uk
Saint Ives, Cambridgeshire
Sent from my iPad

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