Apostate Café


  • Please download [the PDF version of my résumé][](/joshua-ellis-resume.pdf) which is kept more up-to-date than this page.
  • Visit my LinkedIn page for additional information.

IT Leadership, Project Management, Customer Delight

I believe the roles of an IT leader are to: a) wrangle people and projects in relentless pursuit of business value; b) to attract, develop, and retain excellent staff; and c) to clarify the the strategy, context, and metrics of decisions that drive technology decisions to executive leadership. My current team implements CRM-related systems, manages the deployment and operations of enterprise information systems, and handles most of the technical bits for Outreach’s online marketing efforts. I’m a published author on Perl programming, and have presented for Higher Ed Experts, the Penn State Web conference, and HighEdWeb. In my life before Penn State (and management, and kids), I spent seventeen years as an IT consultant in Wisconsin, jack-of-all-trading in software development, embedded systems, data warehousing, computer security, networking, and system administration.


For a project-oriented overview, see the [completed projects][] list.

Director of Web Strategy & User Experience and CRM, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

  • Peak staffing of 21, with $2million budget.
  • Rollout of CRM system and new course catalog.
  • Relaunch of Penn State World Campus website.
  • Introduced staff augmentation and unique cost recovery partnerships to facilitate projects.
  • Migration of web content from OpenText/RedDot to Drupal and WordPress.
  • Managed realignment of IT resources back to central IT.
  • Introduction of agile practices.

E-Marketing Manager, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

  • Leadership of 9 staff in Creative Services Unit.
  • Managed portfolio of 120 websites, e-mail marketing, SEO/SEM, Analytics.
  • Launch of Penn State Outreach intranet.
  • Worked with Director of Creative Services to organize retreats and Appreciate Inquiry sessions to bring together IT and design professionals.

Consultant, Profound Solutions, Green Bay, WI

  • Consulting and system integration with Cognos and Informatica.
  • Created unique solutions for heterogenous (AIX, Sun, Windows) BI infrastructure.
  • Custom software development in C#, VB.Net for ISO–9000 reporting.
  • C++ interfaces with Peachtree Accounting, Microsoft Office.
  • C and VB maintenance programming.

Software Engineer, Dynamic Software, Green Bay, WI

  • Embedded systems development for ARM and x86 in C, C++, Perl.
  • E-commerce systems in VB, ASP, PHP.
  • Development of OPC servers for Omron PLCs, Modbus protocol, PIC micro-controllers.
  • Computer security analysis, consulting, and qualified expert witness testimony.
  • Device driver development.
  • Published author on Perl development.
  • Custom development of add-ons, integrations, and reporting for MAS–90.

System Administrator, SiteGen, Little Chute, WI

  • Implemented and maintained a farm of FreeBSD-based servers
  • Hosting 800+ domain web sites.
  • Company bought out in 2001.

Consultant, Omni Resources, Green Bay, WI

  • C/C++ software development, Visual Basic, Delphi, PowerBuilder.
  • System administration of Windows NT, FreeBSD, HP/UX, SCO Unix, SunOS, DG/UX.
  • DBA for R:Base, Informix, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Two years as technical lead for Kimberly-Clark Corporation Internet / Intranet services team.

Consultant, MCS Automation Engineers, Little Chute, WI

  • Custom development of vertical market and line-of-business systems for small to mid-sized businesses using DataFlex 4GL.
  • Programming for specialized hardware including voice-mail cards, portable bar code scanners, and industrial scales.
  • Print shop automation.
  • Development of PostScript-based systems for symbology and package design.
  • Network administration of PCs, Macs, UNIX, VAX, Novell NetWare, and LANtastic.


Implementing Lean/Agile / Net Objectives — 2011 Finance for the Non-Financial Manager / Penn State Smeal College of Business — 2011 IT Leaders Program / MOR Associates — 2008–2009 Fundamentals of Project Management (PMBOK) / Penn State Management Development — 2007 Microsoft Certified Professional / MCP#301055 — 1996-Present


Penn State University 2006 - 2009 Liberal Arts Taylor University 1991 - 1993 Computer Science, Philosophy


IT Leadership • CRM • Web Strategy • Innovation • Design Thinking • Vendor Relations • Web Analytics • Business Intelligence • Data Warehousing • Technical Writing • System Integration • Drupal • SQLPHP • C++ • Perl

Project Highlights

Published Author - Perl Development
Contributed to the Wrox Press book Professional Perl Development (ISBN: 1861004389), on the integration of Perl with Microsoft IIS servers, and the use of PerlScript in Active Server Pages.
Served as beta-tester for the O’Reilly Perl Resource Kit: Win32 Edition. In addition, some of my Perl code was included in the first edition of the resource kit.

Expert Witness - Legal Proceedings
Served as a qualified expert witness in a legal proceeding under binding arbitration, in my capacity as an expert on computer security and system administration. Our side won. References from the arbitration and the private investigation firm which hired me are available.

C# Development - ISO–9000 Quality Tracking and Reporting System
Developed quality tracking / reporting system to integrate with existing ERP system for multi-plant manufacturer. System included ad-hoc report and view generator interfaced with Crystal Reports allowing customer to create custom reports and data views. Developed in Microsoft Visual C# for .NET 1.1 runtime.

Data Center Implementation - RedHat Enterprise Linux, Oracle, Tivoli
Setup of data center for mid-sized business. System included multiple servers running RedHat Enterprise Linux and Oracle. Primary Oracle server included high-availability clustering using SteelEye LifeKeeper. Project included primary and backup servers for multiple business units, and implementation of Tivoli Storage Manager for new Linux servers and legacy HP/UX servers.

Win32 C++ Development - Form Printing / Win32 Printer Driver
Worked on project to develop custom printer driver / port monitor to capture printed output from various 3rd-party applications, merge it with customizable user-supplied data, and regenerate output to another printer. System interfaced with 16-bit client apps for printing on Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems. Implementation included Blowfish and DES encryption of data files. Developed in Visual C++ and Delphi.

Java Development - Web Services
Developed a series of proof-of-concept applications implementing Web Services in Java. Using Apache Tomcat, Xerces, and Axis, the Java Web Services were cross-platform compatible: the same source ran simultaneously under Linux, Windows 2000, and AIX. Also developed a series of clients for these Web Services using ASP, VB6, console Java, and JSPs.

Application Development - Web-base systems
Analysis, design and implementation of numerous web-based systems: web-based security administration; shipping tracking system; usage and network statistics; web-based network troubleshooter; interfaces to legacy databases; personal web sites; custom ISAPI filters; e-commerce with Microsoft SiteServer. Development done under on Windows NT / IIS, Windows NT / SiteServer Commerce Edition and Apache on a variety of Unix platforms. Application development done with ASP and PHP.

Embedded System Development - Windows CE
Numerous projects under WinCE on Intel StrongARM platform. Developed drivers for receipt printers, card readers, and cash dispensers for use in car wash payment station. Ported Win95-based ATM system to WinCE. Developed web-based device administration system as series of ISAPI DLLs running under the embedded WinCE web server. Ported the Greenleaf Comm++ libraries, libpng, and the gzip library to WinCE.

Technical Writing - Various Systems
In addition to commercially published writing, have written both end-user documentation for the non-expert, and highly technical documentation aimed at seasoned developers. This has included user manuals, on-line help, knowledge base articles, and web pages.

Win32 C++ Development - DCOM / Industrial Control
Developed back-end system to replace existing VAX-based industrial automation system. Application written as three-tiered client/server system with a series of DCOM services, controlled by client-based Visual Basic programs, interfacing with a Microsoft SQL-Server farm via OLE-DB, with PLCs via serial interface, with numerous digital I/O points via SeaLevel digital I/O cards, and with a mainframe-based production scheduling system via MQSeries. System utilized numerous Win32 / Visual C++ technologies, including serial communication, multi-threading, ATL, OLE-DB, and DCOM.

Embedded System Development - NT Embedded
Developed software for control of automated bandsaw. Software controlled all aspects of saw operation and job processing. Developed OPC server to provide high-level interface to the bandsaw for a touch-screen HMI, built with Iconics GraphWorx32. Software interfaced to PLC, encoders, and motion control cards. Developed in Visual C++ using ATL and MFC.

Win32 C++ Development - OPC Servers / Industrial Control
Developed OPC servers for Omron PLCs, JR Kerr PIC-SERVO motion control boards, Modbus protocol, and for other proprietary hardware. Servers utilized numerous Win32 / Visual C++ technologies, including RS–232 and RS–422 serial communication, TCP/IP communication, multi-threading, ATL, MFC, and DCOM.

Web-based system development - Interface to legacy systems
Implementation of a web-based interface to legacy system operating on RS/6000. Developed a Microsoft IIS / NT-based system to interface to the end user, which then communicated to a Throuroughbred BASIC (T-BASIC) system on the RS/6000. This allowed the existing legacy system to operate with minimal changes, which opening the entire system to the web.

Web-based system development - Shopping Cart
Implementation of a web-based shopping system based on Windows NT and IIS 4.0 with a Microsoft SQL-Server 7 back-end. System allowed shoppers to order from multiple storefronts in a single shopping cart. Taxation and shipping charges were calculated on a per-vendor basis, but order could be billed as a single charge on a credit card. Integrated with UPS for shipping charge calculations and address verification, integrated with Authorize.Net for credit card charges. Developed as VBScript-based Active Server Pages.

Internet Hosting - Windows NT
Chief technician on internet services team for a Fortune 500 corporation. Oversaw implementation and operations of 30 internet sites and a global intranet: system comprised of two dozen servers, more than one million documents, and exceeded five millions hits a month. Maintained Windows NT and HP/9000 servers; installation and maintenance of Apache, Microsoft IIS 3, Microsoft IIS 4, Microsoft Site Server, and Microsoft Site Server / Commerce Edition. Administration of Usenet news server. Implementation of network monitoring and usage reporting systems. Domain name registration, IP address assignment, website creation, global WAN configuration. Monitoring, configuration and test of system security. Coordination of new site development with internal and external developers, DBAs, public relations, legal, and computer security departments. Development of software in ASP, C, Perl, and WSH. Tools utilized included ADSM, Apache, IIS, Oracle, sendmail, SiteScope, SiteServer, SQL-Server, Verity Search97, WebTrends, and WLBS.

Internet Hosting - Unix-based
Sole architect and system admin of Unix-based website hosting farm. System consisted of 700 low-volume (under 20K hits/day) web sites on nine servers, single-site high-volume (500K hits/day) dedicated servers, plus DNS and e-mail for all sites. All servers were configured with FreeBSD, ranging from 2.1.7 through 3.4. Installation and maintenance of Apache (with PHP, mod_perl, and mod_ssl), BIND, qmail, PostgreSQL, and Majordomo. Developed custom administration interface, autoresponders, bounce managers, and CGI scripts.

Security Consulting and Implementation - TCP/IP Networks and Web Sites
Consulting on computer security for Windows NT and Unix networks. Work has included securing systems, intrusion detection, configuration of firewalls, performing security audits and assessments, remedial configuration (cleaning up afterwards), preventative maintenance. Have worked with several companies to establish secure working environments. Have also worked on numerous websites to provide secure systems for collection and transmission of user information and transaction information, and to establish restricted access internet and intranet sites. Tools utilized include tripwire, natd, tcp_wrappers, CheckPoint Firewall–1, ipfw, various TCP/IP utilities for intrusion tracking, Apache and IIS web servers, SSL, SSH, and CyberCash.

Windows C++ Application Development - Tax Industry
Programming on application for preparing income-related tax reporting forms (W2s, 1099s, etc.). Product developed with Borland C++, OWL, and CodeBase, included custom form-handling library for WYSIWYG handling of tax forms. Library later spun off as a separate product.

Microsoft Access Development - Project Management
Worked on project to manage projects hours, contractors, time accounting and reporting. System implemented as Microsoft Access 2000 application. Featured import of data from Excel spreadsheets.

Visual Basic Application Development - Shipping Logistics Industry
Analysis and development of several applications for the shipping and logistics industries. These included a shipping yard management system, packaging logistics and reporting system, and an automated system for migration of Rand-McNally MileMaker routing and mileage data. These applications were developed in Visual Basic using Microsoft SQL-Server and Sybase SQL-Server back-ends.

Visual Basic Application Development - Point of Sale / Catalog system
Implemented database back-end and user interface for SKU management. Part of a complete point-of-sale and catalog system used by a professional sports team. Front end developed in Visual Basic with TrueGrid/32. Back-end developed on Microsoft SQL-Server 6.5, running on a WinNT / Alpha server.

Visual Basic Application Development - Document Management
Analysis and development of an application to create and manage executive memos. A Visual Basic front-end enabled searching, sorting, archiving, and reporting on key fields in memos created in Microsoft Word. The system allowed two-way editing of documents; changes made in Word documents would update the front-end view, and edits in the front-end would update the Microsoft Word documents. Reports would generate directly into Microsoft Word for easy editing an e-mail distribution.

DOS C++ Application Development - Tax Industry
Project lead, principle coder on application for preparing income-related tax reporting forms (W2s, 1099s, etc.). Product developed under DOS for maximum backwards compatibility. Utilized Borland C++ and CodeBase.

DOS C++ Application Development - Banking / MICR / Accounting
Developer on application for preparing and printing checks. System interfaced with Great Plains accounting system. Check printing was complete — included printing of MICR lines and RTN information using special magnetic laser toner. System developed with Borland C++.

Software Development - Symbology
Developed series of programs to generate bar codes of various formats (Code 39, UPC-A/E, EAN, Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5) and specifications, printed directly onto film on a Linotype/Hell PostScript imagesetter. Designed for use in the corrugated industry, the resulting bar code images took into account factors such as ink spread.

Software Development - Carton Layout
Developed series of programs to assist in layout of corrugated containers for art departments. Allowed artist to layout un-assembled container and create high-resolution TIFF images for proof sheets and art layout.

Data Collection - Handheld Bar Code Scanners
Developed two data collection systems for HandHeld Products portable bar code scanners. One system is used for inventory control in a warehouse environment. The other was used by a mobile sales force to collect orders and transmit order information to a mainframe.

Business Application Development - DataFlex
Implementation of numerous custom business solutions in DataFlex 4GL. Systems included accounts payable / receivable / general ledger, payroll, order processing, order fulfillment, invoicing, work-flow tracking, and inventory tracking. Systems implemented for various small to mid-sized business, including print shops, construction contractors, dental offices, engravers, photo labs and HVAC companies.

Database administration and development - Maintenance Management System
Customization of maintenance management system developed in R:Base SQL environment. Creation of new reports, modifications to preventative maintenance scheduling, addition of bar code tracking to tie work orders to maintenance and equipment records.

Computerization of Art / Typesetting Department
Oversaw automation of art and typesetting department for a die-cutting and engraving company. Provided training for typographers moving from old Lino machines and artists on Corel DRAW!. Set up network of LaserMaster workstations (later replaced by Windows-based systems).


References available on request. Experience working with clients and for companies in Education, Manufacturing, Health Care, Finance, Retail, Insurance, Printing and Engraving, Mining, Shipping, Logistics, and Engineering. Clients include Aid Association for Lutherans, American Postal Workers Union, Appature, Appleton Papers, Apptentive, Armstrong-Blum / Marvel Saw Co., Attorney’s Process & Investigation Services Inc., Cash Media Systems, Chambers and Owen, Copper Range Copper Mine, Green Bay Packers Pro Shop, Greenheck Fan Corporation, Feld Properties, Harry Rohde Management Systems, Ideal Box, IMS Health, InformEd Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Menominee Papers, Nelco Forms / Greatland, Reynolds & Company, RTP Corporation, Schneider Logistics, Schneider National, Shopko Stores, Tecumseh Products, Wisconsin Information Technology, WS Packaging Group.