Curriculum Vitae of Alex Bennée
I am a software engineer with 18 years experience in industry, mostly at Lead or Senior engineer level. I'm well versed in the breadth of FLOSS technologies often associated with the GNU/Linux platform. I am comfortable working with both web and GUI applications development. My core competencies are in embedded system and kernel engineering. I am a pragmatic open source advocate and contribute to several open source projects in both professional and personal capacities. I also share most of my personal code and maintain a few small open source projects.
I have a strong track record in development and successful project delivery. I am well versed in hardware development and have taken a number of heterogeneous embedded platforms from conception to manufacturing. I have an excellent understanding of a range of telecommunication and network protocols.
Architectures: 6809, 68k, PPC, x86/x86-64, SuperH, SPARC, ARM Platforms: Embedded Linux often with FPGA or ASIC support hardware Tools: Emacs, GNU (gcc, gdb, make, autoconf etc.), (D)VCS (git, cvs, subversion), Cross-compilers, ICE’s, scopes and logic analysers, Continuous Integration (buildbot, Jenkins)
November 2013 to Present
Senior Software Engineer
November 2011 to November 2013
Head of Software/Principal Software Engineer
Reporting to the Head of Engineering I'm responsible for a team of engineers maintaining all software elements (FPGA, Embedded and network management) of the VectaStar product. My responsibilities include balancing the demands on the team of supporting existing customers, improving the quality of the code base and developing new features. I act as a primary contact to the rest of the business for software related matters. I continue to contribute to the code base as a developer. I have responsibility for rolling release candidates and together with the Head of Quality sign-off the final releases for general availability.
- Successfully secured revenue from key customers by ensuring bugs affecting them were speedily addressed.
- Introduced processes to move the department from the unstructured start-up approach to a more mature organisation along Agile principles.
- Introduced Buildbot to the organisation to defend the many build configurations of the unified code base.
- Built a Jenkins server which tracks the main development branches and runs unit and system-wide tests to give an indication of the health of the code.
March 2008 to November 2011
NMS Software Engineer
I joined the company to design and build their Network Management System. This involved taking their existing element management software (EMS) and combining it with long-term monitoring and fault finding and analysis tools on a customised distribution of Ubuntu. The final product is sold as a pre-configured server which can be plugged straight into the operators NOC. Although my primary role was supporting the NMS platform I also got involved in kernel work and system bring-up for new products.
- Configure, adapt and customise OpenNMS for monitoring point to multi-point wireless networks.
- Modifying existing GTK based tools for configuration and setup of the Wireless network environment to work on the NMS platform.
- Combining existing tools with OpenNMS framework and linking together with scripting and web interface.
- Built a fresh SDK and RootFS for our next generation controller platform
- Ported our internal ATMoE driver from the old 2.4 based platform to 2.6
January 2005 to March 2008
Lead Software Engineer
I was the Product Lead for the development of a SPARC/Solaris to x86/Solaris dynamic binary translator. I previously worked on the development of the SPARC/Solaris to x86_64/Linux translator. Work included:
- Technical planning and leadership for the products I was responsible for
- Development of new features including leading the work on Precise Exceptions for our SPARC subject translators
- Representing the company at various technical conferences, tracking trends and delivering presentations
- Code baseline duties including integration, testing and QA activities while rolling project releases
- Mentoring activities including helping fellow engineers solve problems
Braddahead, St Helens
September 2002 to January 2005
Senior Code Hacker
I worked as the principle Software Engineer of a venture capital backed startup developing next generation Digital Video Recorders for the security market. I was responsible for the software architecture as well as a large portion of the in house code base. The product is an embedded Linux system which took advantage of open source software to provide non-DVR functionality. Braddahead completed a successful exit in July 2004 when it was bought by Baxall Ltd.
- Software system design and architecture (in close co-operation with the hardware team)
- Writing boot code to bring up hardware and the Linux Kernel
- Writing kernel drivers for the frame-buffer, IDE, and DMA hardware
- Modifying existing drivers to fix portability issues with networking, SCSI and USB subsystems
- Writing user space drivers for the custom DVR hardware including frame capture, display and compression
Marconi Communications, Liverpool
January 1999 to September 2002
Software Team Leader - Line Systems Development
While I was a team leader I led a variety of embedded line card projects. I was involved in a large number of process improvement activities as well as contributing my engineer experience.
- Project planning and management for both green field and support work
- Preparation of estimates and risk assessments for business review
- Project maintenance, including prioritising and allocating work
- Experience liaising with groups such as System Design, project management and customers.
December 1997 to January 1999
Software Engineer - System X Line Card Development
I started in the department supporting the existing Basic Rate ISDN line cards at the tail of the "Home Highway" development and went on to work on further line controller developments.
- Received an Individual Contribution award for my work fixing several high profile field problems
- Implemented several major modules of line card as well leading integration and boot-code/OS
Barcrest Ltd, Ashton-under-Lyne
November 1994 to December 1997
Software Engineer - Video Game Development
I worked in a department that produced Video Gaming software for various Casinos and other high stakes markets. My work included included analysis, simulation, implementation and testing of gaming software and ensuring it was compliant with the regulations.
The Technology Partnership, Cambridge
July 1994 to November 1994
I was taken on a short-term contract to develop an experimental teaching aid for the deaf. During my time there I became involved in a variety of other projects including writing software to drive some prototype industrial hardware.
University of Manchester - BSc. in Chemistry
My final year project was a computer based analysis of Transfer RNA.