What is it?
This highly interactive Hill Holliday business card generator was built as a landing page for the ads (full page takeover and normal banner) that Boston.com hosted for this honor.

How was it made?
The "What Could You Do" landing page was built in Flash with a non-flash JavaScript (utilizing jQuery) backup for mobile devices. The Flash is awesome; the JavaScript is awesomer! Really, give it a try on your iPhone, Android, or iPad!

What is cool about it?
The JavaScript alternative to support non-Flash devices is particularly neat about this project. A lot of work was put into seeing just how closely the look and feel and functionality could match the Flash version. And it turned out amazing!

What did we learn?
We realized that being voted the top mid-sized company to work for in Massachusetts, AND being a digital agency, we should really kick the digital up a notch. That is why this application is so highly interactive. We also couldn't ignore the need for mobile friendliness these days. That is why the JavaScript goodness of this project is a lesson for future work, demonstrating just how cool things can be without Flash.

What did I do?
For this project I acted both as the QA Lead as well as a technical lead/architect.
  • Not only provided QA coverage, but also worked with team to develop non-Flash experience.
  • Made sure that senior management was aware of the hard work, overtime spent, and amazing results produced by the project team.
What is it?
The Coach of the Year program spans the entire college football season, from pre-season in August to the winner announcement in January, and has a total of six different phases. Each phase requires significant updates to the site and requires down-to-the-second zero-downtime timing for updates.

How was it made?
The site is largely built in C# .NET with a SQLServer database backend. There are some significant Flash components including banners that visitors can share in a variety of ways, such as on Facebook and their own sites. There are also a variety of database switches to control various functionality including the third-party site survey and states of the site throughout each phase of the program.

What is cool about it?
There are several really cool things from the 2010 Coach of the year season. The last phase that announces the winners has a very impressive non-Flash backup for the highly-interactive Flash announcement. Perhaps the most impressive feat for the 2010 season is the zero-downtime record for the site. All of our database and code migrations for each phase were conducted in a fashion that allowed for zero-downtime. In addition, we had no unplanned site outages and only a single 10 minute planned maintenance window after the program concluded, when migrating to the hibernation phase hardware and applying Microsoft Windows updates.

What did we learn?

What did I do?
For this 6 month long project, I acted as the QA Lead (managing multiple QA resources as well as performing hands on testing) as well as a technical lead/architect.
  • I conducted code reviews and SQLServer stored procedure reviews to identify and resolve issues with our vendor.
  • I created and enforced a system of checks and gates in order to control dev to test migrations and go-live migrations. This eliminated the previously encountered problems of not knowing what codebase existed in which environments.
  • I enforced the use of issue tracking for all requests and bugs (we logged and resolved a total of 746 tickets over the course of the 6 month program!).
  • I managed additional QA resources (freelance and intern) to ensure complete QA coverage during each phase.
  • I worked through issues with survey vendor Factor TG, including code reviews of their Javascript and very in-depth cross-browser testing. I advised analytics about the statistical significance of their results based upon issues with the survey on different browsers.
  • I suggested the use of and ensured the proper implementation of database switches to control risky third-party code and phase transitions (last two phases and live winner announcement).
  • I worked through implementation questions and issues with CBS Sports for live winner announcement. On the day of the live event I worked through last minute issues with our vendor, suggesting implementation of quick fixes, and switched states of the site at the appropriate times.
  • Championed, managed, and verified the proper execution of several zero-downtime migrations for each of the six phases plus minor builds.
  • For 6+ months: 0 unplanned downtime; only 10 minutes of planned downtime. Previous years suffered from [sometimes significant] downtime, particularly from third-party code.
What is it?
The Responsibility Project is "a place to think about — and discuss — what it means to do the right thing."

How was it made?
A custom Content Management System (CMS) was built using PHP, JavaScript, and CSS. There is a MySQL database backend for managing the content and site relationships.

What is cool about it?

What did we learn?

What did I do?
What is it?
Hill Holliday hosted Boston's Social Media Club's Flying Cars event. We developed a mobile site which acted as the support backbone for the event.

How was it made?
The Flying Cars mobile site was built using PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The entire site was built with a MySQL database backend that allowed for the easy addition of new polls and answers, as well as storage of the responses for real-time tallying and display. There was also an administrative dashboard built with switches for easy choreography during the event.

What is cool about it?
The use of mobile site as the support backbone for an event was an exciting if not nerve wracking challenge. It was very interesting to have attendees vote on polls during the event at appropriate times and then tally and display the results in real-time. It was great to successfully support such a challenging and interesting event. It was particularly rewarding to see how interactive we were able to make the event, truly drawing the attendees into the discussions and allow for the panelists to respond based upon the opinions of the audience.

What did we learn?
Databases are a wonderful way to allow for the creation of polls and such, as well as tracking and displaying real-time results. Switches are an amazing way to coordinate an event using such a site. People seem to feel more involved in an event when they can interact with things such as real-time polling.

What did I do?
What is it?

What is cool about it?

What did we learn?

What did I do?
What is it?
The Spin To Win Facebook application supported a Chili's sweepstakes campaign. Facebook users could spin the slot machine and be randomly paired up with someone from their friend list. They could re-spin until happy with the pairing and then invite that person to join them at Chili's. After sharing their results to Facebook, each visitor could signup for a sweepstakes for weekly drawings of Chili's gift cards.

How was it made?
This Facebook game was built with Flash and PHP with a MySQL database backend. The application used Facebook APIs to access the visitor's friend list (with profile pictures).

What is cool about it?
The coolest thing about this project was definitely the sheer number of users! For the just under 10 day run, we had a total of 78,482 unique users; 54,112 sweepstakes entries; and 35,401 email opt-ins for the Chili's email club!

What did we learn?
This project highlighted the need to properly anticipate issues with third-parties (vendors and platforms), plan for anticipated capacity, and to properly educate internal and external folks about the implemented solutions.

What did I do?
For this project I acted both as the QA lead and a technical lead/architect.
  • I conducted in-depth code reviews (PHP) and advised the vendor on changes to make to ensure that business rules would be followed.
  • I conducted in-depth database schema and MySQL reviews and advised vendor on changes to make to ensure that business rules were followed and to improve performance.
  • I created a live stats page, including number of app users, sweepstakes entries, email opt-ins per hour and last 24 hours, to help project team gauge effectiveness and determine if performance/stability issues existed.
What is it?

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What did we learn?

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