Ben Overmyer

DevOps Engineer and Game Author

Résumé

The chief aim of any web technologist is to make a particular part of the web more awesome for people. Or at least, it should be. The web was built for people. For my part, I now manage a team of engineers responsible for building out performant and highly-available digital infrastructure. My history as an engineer in the same capacity and my particular talents for guiding others and seeing the big picture have led me down this path. The challenge of the continually-evolving domain of web infrastructure drives me to always be learning and sharing that new knowledge. I give presentations on new technologies and techniques I learn, and occasionally write tutorials on my personal blog.

Specialties: AWS infrastructure, high availability, continuous deployment, Ansible, Docker, IT project management, the DevOps philosophy, knowledge sharing, and leading effective teams.

Preferred Programming Languages: PHP, Python, JavaScript/Node.js, Go

Ancillary Skills: Team engagement, identifying and instrumenting key application metrics, tailoring communication of important information to different audiences

Tools of Choice: Vim, Visual Studio Code, Docker, Mac OS X, Linux, Vagrant (if Docker is unavailable)

Work History

Digital Manager, Operations at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

September 2015 to Present

I manage the operations team for the Digital department at the Star Tribune. I oversee and guide the implementation and maintenance of our digital infrastructure, as well as lead initiatives to improve performance, cost effectiveness, and general awesomeness of the same. I also handle most of the more complex engineering tasks for the operations team, such as developing new Ansible processes, writing monitoring services in Go, architecting new systems, and implementing tools for which no internally documented process exists.

Senior Software Engineer at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

September 2013 to September 2015

I worked on a variety of systems to keep the Twin Cities’ best newspaper on the front edge of the digital frontier. Foremost, I was the lead operations engineer responsible for architecting the infrastructure for the Star Tribune’s newly-rebuilt 2015 web platform.

Creative Director at Silver Gryphon Games

June 2007 to November 2014

I was co-owner, art director, layout artist, colorist, and Ingenium™ brand manager of this tabletop gaming company. In this capacity I also authored several fantasy gaming books.

Senior Web Developer at Sportsdigita

May 2013 to September 2013

For the most part, I worked on back end systems using PHP and MySQL, with a heavy dose of Symfony2 and Doctrine. I was also the core developer of a versatile survey platform, the front end of which was built in AngularJS.

Director of IT at Group 3 Marketing

August 2011 to May 2013

In addition to my duties as a lead developer, I managed the IT staff at G3M. Some of the things I did in this capacity include:

  • Reduced IT infrastructure costs by ~60% by migrating to cloud resources
  • Increased developer efficiency by introducing web-based time tracking to the IT team (and, later, the graphic design team).
  • Lead development of a web-based loyalty rewards system built on Symfony2, Doctrine, and Twig with a MySQL database
  • Introduced usage of version control (Git)
  • Reengineered legacy Visual Foxpro applications into PHP scripts and web applications
  • Designed, built, and maintained MySQL databases for client systems

Software Engineer at CHR Solutions

June 2011 to June 2011

I worked on next-gen telecommunications solutions using C# and C++.

Web Developer at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (USGS Eros Data Center)

April 2008 to May 2011

Aided in the development and design of several geospatial data delivery web applications. Reimagined, redesigned and took ownership of internal message board and other internal web-based communications projects.

Web Developer at SAIC, Inc. (USGS Eros Data Center)

August 2007 to April 2008

Developed web applications for internal use. Used Oracle Application Express, PHP, Oracle 10g, MySQL, Java, and other technologies.

Freelancer at Mana Trance Creative Services

June 2002 to August 2007

Over these six years I did freelance web design work on a sporadic basis.

Computer Technician, Marketing Director, and Web Designer at Computer One

August 2006 to May 2007

Repaired and built computers, provided extensive customer support, designed and maintained company website, designed and implemented public relations and marketing campaigns, designed and produced all internal artwork, logos, and stationary.

Level Designer at Binary Star

January 2004 to June 2004

Designed user interfaces and level layouts using proprietary software, Adobe Photoshop, 3D Studio MAX, and other tools. Acted as liaison between the coding and artwork teams.

Web Developer at Opportunity Technologies

August 2002 to November 2002

Designed and maintained two company websites, built a Flash-based virtual company lobby, and redesigned company logos.

Education

South Dakota State University

B.A., History, 2004 - 2007 (Degree Received)

Activities and Societies

  • Phi Alpha Theta
  • Japanese Animation & Culture Society
  • Medieval Society
  • Students in Free Enterprise

Massey University

B.A., Japanese, 2002 - 2003 (Incomplete)

Otago Polytechnic

B.F.A., Digital Media, 2000 - 2002 (Incomplete)

Activities and Societies

  • Anime & Gaming Organization: Dunedin
  • New Carthage

Drexel University

B.S., Digital Media, 1999 - 2000 (Incomplete)

Activities and Societies

  • Anime & Gaming Organization

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