Software Consulting

W. J. Blackburn
Principal Consultant

Experienced Leader, Architect and Software Devdeloper with over 20 years of industry experience in software design and development, leadership, project planning, speaking and training. Strong background in the development of highly scalable Java enterprise and web applications. Experienced in the application of agile development methodologies. Strong communicator with ability to build consensus and motivate and mentor team members. Qualifications include:

  • Leadership – consistently recognized by peers and direct reports as an outstanding leader and mentor to junior team members, directly resulting in superior team performance.
  • Communication – verbal and written skills helped to raise $3,000,000 in angel funding for startup Internet Software Company.
  • Innovation – introduced Java based SOA architectures, increasing both the technical power and scalability of the product, as well as its acceptability to enterprise customers. Won awards for unique and innovative designs.
  • Responsiveness - consistently produce rapid, demonstrated progress on software projects while responding quickly to changing requirements by using agile methods such as Scrum.
  • Technical Skill – maintain extensive, expert level design and coding skills in multiple facets of enterprise Java, Web 2.0, and SOA.


Work Experience

Independent Consultant, Bay Area, CA -- October 2012 to Present

Played key roles on projects in multiple focus areas including Java enterprise web application development, financial services, Social networking and Internet advertising.

  • Advanced knowledge of Amazon AWS, including EC2, EMR, SWF, SES, S3
  • Advanced use of MongoDb as back-end data store including geospatial indexes.
  • Asynchronous messaging infrastructure with RabbitMQ/AMQP
  • Modern Java server architecture using Spring and Jersey.
  • Business analytics using Hive/Hadoop


Monitise, San Rafael, CA -- July 2009 to October 2012

Technical lead for a team engaged in the design and development of the company’s 5th generation platform for providing mobile financial services to consumers. Clairmail was acquired by Monitise, a UK based software company, in June of 2012.

  • Led the design and implementation of core system components to ensure scalability and fault tolerance for the largest financial institutions, resulting in a doubling of throughput and dramatic improvements in scalability.
  • Working directly with CTO, developed strategic architectural direction for major product components.
  • Systems featured advanced Java SOA architecture with asynchronous messaging interfaces using HornetQ/JMS and Spring/Jetty/Tomcat based backend servers using Hibernate as ORM layer.


Independent Consultant, Bay Area, CA -- October 2008 to July 2009

As an independent consultant, worked with multiple Bay Area companies. Projects included application development and web site production.

  • Lead key enhancements to a major SaS offering in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space.
  • Develop web sites for customers in communications services and retail eyewear businesses.
  • Employed full stack Java enterprise development plus HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


Clairmail, Inc., Novato, CA -- September 2005 to October 2008

As technology lead for a start-up specializing in mobilizing banking services via SMS, mobile web, and mobile native-client, designed and developed the core server platform.

  • Completed a complete redesign of core server product around SOA designs on time and on budget, resulting in better performance, more features, and improved sales.
  • Interacted with C-level management in requirements gathering and strategic product planning, helping to set successful technology direction.
  • Significant use of ESB and XML Web Services.
  • Hibernate ORM with Oracle, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL databases


Goldengate Software, San Francisco, CA -- April 2002 to September 2005

As team leader for this successful enterprise database replication software company, ultimately acquired by Oracle, was responsible for the full development cycle of the next-generation monitoring, control, and configuration interfaces to its cross-platform line of products.

  • Spearheaded the design and coding of a cross-platform, multi-threaded, configuration, monitoring and control system for the company's flagship line of database replication software.
  • Recognized for ability to lead independently and react quickly to changing requirements.


Loansoft, Inc., Berkeley, CA -- December 2001 to April 2002

Leader of an 8-developer team engaged in the design and coding of a sophisticated, enterprise scale loan origination package. Responsibilities included:

  • Interacted with customers in the deployment and enhancement of the product.
  • Implemented internal processes and controls for Quality Assurance, documentation, and customer support, resulting in improved visibility to rest of organization.


Gemteq Software, Inc., Novato, CA -- Jan 1999 to December 2001

Co-founder and primary developer at an Internet software startup responsible for the entire development life cycle of the company’s product line.

  • Directly involved in executive management, fund-raising, speaking and evangelism. Helped raise $3,000,000 in initial angel funding.
  • Built out a developer team and small IT department. Performed interview, performance evaluation, training and mentoring.
  • Worked with intellectual property attorneys on software patent applications and copyright.
  • Designed and coded award-winning versions of the company's flagship Internet research software. Led team in design of web-based version of product.
  • Managed outside vendors for graphic design, printing, and setting up wholesale distribution and boxed product manufacture.


Quickstart Technologies, San Francisco, CA -- Nov 1996 to December 1998

As a leading consultant for this leading California Solution Provider and ATEC, designed, developed and implemented enterprise-class application software for large west coast companies.

  • Team lead for several large development and deployment projects.
  • Designed and implemented a 3-tier client/server applications leveraging Microsoft technology stack.
  • Consistently recognized as a superior trainer in both Microsoft and internal evaluations.
  • Achieved and maintained MCSD, MCT and MCP certifications.


The Pacific Bank, San Francisco, CA -- April 1990 to November 1996

As a member of the MIS department for a small commercial bank, was recognized by senior management for significantly improving transparency and decision-making through development of new reporting applications.

  • Created numerous applications and databases for production and distribution of management reports.
  • Designed and coded the software to manage the incentive compensation system.
  • Designed and coded an MIS task tracking system for support calls and service requests.



Attended San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA -- with Emphasis on Business Administration, Marketing, and Finance.




W.J. Blackburn's Strengths

Maximizers have and bring to others a focus on quality. They naturally prefer working with and for the best.

People especially strong in Relator talents form solid, genuine, and mutually rewarding relationships.

People with strong Deliberative talents bring a thorough and conscientious approach to their endeavors.

People with dynamic Ideation talents are spontaneously creative and bring new and fresh perspectives. They have a natural sense of innovation that defies conventional thinking.

The genius of those with strong Responsibility talents stems from the deep sense of dedication and ownership they feel toward the things they commit to.

As measured by the Clifton Strengths Finder.