Ronald W. Heiby Professional Interests


Welcome to a page that talks a bit about some of the things that I have done in my professional career.

I have had over a quarter century of professional experience related to computers. I've done software development on small real-time microprocessors on custom boards, small micros on single board computers, UNIX systems (starting in 1982), and GNU/Linux systems (starting with Red Hat 6.1).

These days, I am looking to continue my career with a position as a lead or manager of a software development team or in technical sales support.

My résumé is available in PDF format. The PDF was generated from the original résumé in Writer format. My résumé is also available in "Word" format, although your mileage may vary. (Other formats are also available on request.) A list of my papers, publications, etc. can be found in my Curriculum Vitae.

The following is very much a "work in progress". The intention is that it become partly biographical and partly a "lessons learned" that might be of value to others.

Starting at Honeywell Avionics

My career started at the Honeywell Avionics division (which eventually reorganized leaving me in the Military Avionics division). I started out working on an inter-divisional project to produce a feasibility model of a computerized communications switch for the military. Working in the Tools and Techniques section of the Software Engineering department, I was involved with developing techniques for software design documentation and software development. Some of this was centered on the Honeywell Multics system (including a project to port the Ada development system), which today would be done on UNIX or Linux systems. I also was involved with finding and developing tools to help make the software development process more efficient. This included beginning the first evaluation projects on UNIX (both 4bsd on the VAX-11/780 and System III on the 68K).

Continuing with UNIX at AT&T

My UNIX work then included a three-year stint with the AT&T Computer Group, back when AT&T still owned UNIX. Starting in December of 1983, mere days before divestiture, my first badge said "Western Electric". Where the Bell System logo had been, someone had taken a hand punch to it, so my badge had an extra hole (so as to still be legal come January 1, 1984). Although my work started with a kernel-level interface to the proprietary 3BNET (including documenting the interface for use by other kernel modules), the bulk of my time at AT&T was in the group that supported our efforts in selling through Value Added Resellers (VARs). This work also included making presentations at executive levels and working trade shows, including UniForum and COMDEX.

Technical Sales Support at Motorola

I worked several years for the Motorola Computer Group (MCG) in a sales office. Working with salespeople, I worked to ensure that (potential) customers understood how Motorola computer products could meet their needs, and to ensure the removal of technical obstacles to sales.

Although the complexity of the products being sold by MCG provided a strong set of capabilities, that fundamental complexity also presented an obstacle to sales. Working to ameliorate this situation, I developed technology examples that could be used by customer developers in developing their own applications. These examples included both software source code and detailed documentation. Technology examples were created for several areas, including UNIX driver development and the creation of a downloadable line discipline handler for the MVME332XT 8-port intelligent serial communications board.

At my customer Bell and Howell, they were developing a system to provide the ability to present mailing piece addressing area to a human for data entry, for those pieces that failed OCR. Part of the needs of the system included much improved disk subsystem performance. For this customer, I customized the UNIX driver for the disk controller to reduce data copies by implementing DMA to/from user space, meeting their speed requirements.

One of the more involved projects involved the upgrading of CT and MRI scanners made by General Electric (GE). These systems were based upon Sun Microsystems 9U VME boards. Over time, GE had added more capabilities through more software, and reached the point where they needed more CPU horsepower. MCG had a very nice board based on the Motorola 68040 processor, but it was 6U, not 9U form factor, and had many other differences. I was instrumental in making sure that GE's needs were understood by MCG, and that GE received the information and assistance they needed to port their software to the MCG board, which MCG delivered in a custom configuration in a 9U form factor.

Consulting at SEI Information Technology

A future installment.

Entrepreneurship at Strategis

A future installment.

TelEnable Productized at Molex

A future installment.

Wireless Phone Linux Kernel Development at Motorola

A future installment.

Managing Lots of Data at Yahoo!

Just started working at Yahoo! late Summer of 2007. Yahoo! recognized the opportunity that Motorola was giving up, and hired about 60% of the engineers that Motorola laid off when they closed the Champaign design center.

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