Jordan Kasper

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Professional Objective

I seek out any opportunity in which I am given the freedom and responsibility to creatively problem-solve. Challenges of all kinds are what grasp my interest and keep me engaged. In a perfect world my career would involve a continuous stream of new and exciting obstacles, not all of which need be technical in nature.

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Work Experience

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 I decided to stay on campus and develop my programming skills. I worked the majority of my time in the Purchasing Department working on the procurement system which supported not only the 27,000 employees for our campus, but also 9 other component institutions. My main focus was web development - and I was routinely called on to develop and maintain new (then) Web 2.0 applications and to develop policies for moving the University out of the dark ages of terminal-based programs.

Looking for more diversity and a stronger challenge, I left the Univesity in 2007. My challenge was found at Blue Coat Systems developing their next generation monitoring application for large networks. The system was driven by a strong Java application which could monitor thousands of devices and provide data on their status. The JavaScript application that we developed provided views of this data in numerous dimensions along with system configuration and user management.

I have been creating web sites and applications for small to medium businesses on a contract basis since 1998. The organizations have ranged in both size and requirements, from personal sites for individuals to thousand-user plus web applications for mid-range organizations. I enjoy the relative freedom that this contract work provides, and also the opportunities to work on new ideas that it offers.

Many of my side projects grow directly out of my own need, and a lack of current solutions. My last effort in this area was TripLittle, a travel planning and organization web site which allows groups to share plans including itineraries, budgets, and even packing lists. I founded TripLittle in 2009 and am the lead developer. The project uses object-oriented PHP5 and jQuery to create a dynamic, user-experience oriented web application.

I helped a local startup, mobileCampaign, to develop its initial offering, getting the project from inception to deployment in under six months. The company, funded by JumpStart Foundry, offers small to medium businesses a way to break into the mobile marketing world without the typical high costs and time commitment.

Most recently I was the Application Development Director for a Nashville interactive agency, Ten Fast Feet, where I began and grew a dynamic development team from one to five people. We took on various projects, most involving complex UX interactions and integration with native mobile applications. My role was technical, strategic and managerial - I would be involved at every stage of the inception and development processes with clients. In addition, I was a junior partner at the agency, helping shape its future.

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Current Work

I currently seek out consulting and contract opportunities around the country, helping small companies build their products and guiding them to better solutions. I also take time to help my community better understand the technology around them by volunteering and speaking at various events.

I am the founder and lead developer on TripLittle, the most complete online travel planning and organization tool. This web application allows users to create and manage trips with multiple people, including planning an itinerary, creating a budget, and even sorting out a shared packing list.

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jQuery Plugins

My development of jQuery plugins grows from necessity. When I need a specific functionality that seems to be generic (that is, not specific to the current application I am working on) I look for an existing plugin. If one does not exist - or if the existing products seem overly complex or inadequate - then I will create my own.

I have created and currently maintain five of these plugins:

You can see descriptions and examples for each of these by following the links above.

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Areas of Knowledge

While this section changes from month to month, I would like to tell you a little about the core areas that I am interested (and thus, work) in. I am a web developer primarily. The tools of my trade (and the areas that I would consider myself an expert in) are XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript on the front end and PHP, Perl, and MySQL on the back end. I have worked in Java and Natural/ADABAS (although they are not my favorites) and I dabble in a number of other languages.

I create most of my projects with the help of frameworks which ease the workload and provide for better cross-browser (and -server) stability. On the client-side I have used Dojo, jQuery, Prototype, and a little YUI (and investigated many more). On the server I have used Apache, Struts, Stripes, and Pear (none of which I like) - and Lighttpd and Propel ORM.

Aside from those technical skills I have also studied agile methodologies, most notably practicing a modified version of Scrum with some XP thrown in. I am also well versed in web server administration and am very comfortable on Linux, Windows, and Mac.

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Giving Back

I try to give back to my community at least as much as I get out of it. The "camp" series of one-day conferences try to engage the community by offering free access to some of the great local minds across the country. I have helped to plan and run various events such as Barcamp Nashville and have spoken at some.

Open source software (OSS) provides a huge basis for much of the web today, and I try to make that environment better by providing bug fixes and extensions for some frameworks.

When I find the opportunity, I try to offer my services to organizations who need it, and who could substantially benefit from the work I can provide. I have created web sites and applications for various organizations in California, Texas, and Tennessee. In the Summer of 2010 I participated in a "Design-a-thon" which was for the benefit of a Nashville non-profit. This is a wonderful example of how a group of dedicated individuals can come together to create something extraordinary.

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Educational Background

After completing high school in Southern California with honors I attended the University of Texas at Austin. I graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a Computer Science certification.

Beyond the university I have attempted to continue my education by attending numerous conferences on topics ranging from server-side languages such as Java and Natural, to more client-side technologies such as JavaScript and Flex. I also regularly attend technology-agnostic events such as South by Southwest Interactive and local (smaller) one-day events such as BarCamp.

My ongoing learning process also involves taking short courses on various technologies and other topics and also reading as much as possible on apropos new developments in the industry.

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Instruction

While working for the University of Texas at Austin I developed and taught a series of professional development courses on web development topics. The courses included XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. These topics were provided both for professionals in other technical positions and for the community at large.

I have spoken at conferences about web technologies, standard-compliant development practices, agile methodologies, and a host of other topics. You can see some of my presentations on my blog (with slides and some video).

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Side Projects

From time to time I'll sit down and work on a side project that piques my interest. Here a few of them...

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Other Interests

Aside from working on various side projects I enjoy reading (auto)biographies, the ocasional video game, playing in the yard with my dog, and swing dancing.

You'll find me out socializing in Nashville and Memphis at various networking events - some for the professional networking and some just to see friends. I also enjoy traveling frequently to see the country and the world. Traveling abroad is core to my personal life and relaxation plan; if you would like to see a map of everywhere (almost) that I've visited, check out this Google Map.

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Resume / CV

Please feel free to use this site to explore my previous work history, educational background, and any other information you may be looking for. I do not have a downloadable version of my resume, but if you are interested in one you may want to look at my LinkedIn profile as it contains all of the pertinent information.

If you have an interest in talking with me further, you can send me an email or connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn .

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Random Facts

My favorite color is probably green, although that changes from year to year.

You won't find many pictures of me ... online or off, and my favorite comic book character is Hobbes (of Calvin & Hobbes fame). You'll find more pictures of him.

I have been with my wife for over 10 years, we met in college, and while dancing.

I have a german shephard/black lab mix named Vincent. He likes to eat sticks.

I speak Spanish, but rarely have the chance to use it... I may be a bit rusty.

I'm terrible with names, so I apologize in advance if I ever forget your name.

I love puzzles... and am a bit obsessed with solving them once I get them in my hands.

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Help

Not sure what this is? Or what to do? Well hopefully this will help. This web site is my online resume and profile. You can use the search box to ask a question and find information about me. Try asking things like "what is your work history?" or "how do you relax?" You'll see a list of topics, click on an item (or use the up and down arrows on your keyboard) to view a specific topic. You can close a topic by clicking on the "X" in the corner, or by pressing Escape on your keyboard.

If you would like to contact me, try the envelope link in the top-right corner of the screen.

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Blog

If you're interested in reading my ramblings and odd thoughts, by all means check out my blog. I'm not terribly good about updating, but maybe if you read it I will.

For the most part my blog focuses on various trials and tribulations of web development with just a hair of sarcasm and a dash of humor.

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Contacting Me

Please feel free to send me an email or connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn .

I'm currently located in Memphis, Tennessee and would be happy to meet with anyone to discuss just about anything. So what're you waiting for? Contact me.

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