IT Profile: Ken Anderson

Current Position:] Working for URL Integration out of Denver. We don’t have titles @ URL as it’s a small company with a flat organizational structure. I usually find myself doing solution architectures, mentoring developers, doing ESB/middleware work, or Java development.
IT Background:  I’m not one of those guys that picked up computers at a young age. Didn’t really get in front of a computer until my first Computer Science course at the U. of Iowa. I started doing Java web apps while still in college and spent the first few years of my career learning that trade and getting up to speed on the main Java web/persistence frameworks. Around 2006 I started getting interested in Service Oriented Architecture and playing around with open source ESBs. From then on been primarily working in the integration space designing/developing SOA solutions using related open source and commercial tools. 
Biggest Failure: Getting involved as a consultant on a very large Accenture project that had adopted a very heavy weight waterfallish dev process. Accenture wasted millions and the project was a complete failure.
Biggest Success: Project wise my biggest challenge was designing a service API for an antiquated ERP system that had 0 integration points. The API had to be accessible from several platforms including Java, .NET, and IBM mainframes. Between the number of people involved and the variety of systems the project was very complex. The project was a success and very rewarding from a personal point of view as it involved so many moving parts.
Mentor: Really hard to single out anybody here. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of smart and friendly people. If I had to pick one I would say Ian Harris. Ian was an architect I worked with at Ministry of Justice while living in New Zealand. Ian was the perfect combination of IT smarts and comedian. I really enjoyed working with him and witnessing his light hearted approach to life.
Current Book I am reading: Currently reading a depression era novel by Pete Hamill called North River. Technology wise the last item I read was a research paper written by Tom Feliz on Lightweight Software Process Assessment and Improvement.
Hobbies: Most of my free time is taken up by the three kids. I do get out for a mountain bike ride or a round of disc golf on occasion and in the fall I transform into a college football junkie.
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