Resumé July 2007

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Resume and detailed Skills Table

Summary of Andy Dent

Professional Interests

Other Interests

References available on request


Name: Andrew (Andy) Stephen Dent

Address: 17 Water Crest Gardens


Telephone: 08 9203 9627 (Fax & Phone)

0416 249 271 (Mobile)


Citizenship: Naturalised Australian Citizen, dual UK Citizen holding European passport


Bachelor of Science (Curtin) in Multi-disciplinary science, majoring in Computer Science with minors in Japanese, Creative Writing and Accounting.

Industry courses in:

  1. OpenDoc component-oriented programming
  2. Usability Essentials for Rapid Development
  3. 4th Dimension advanced programming & Server API
  4. Software Testing
  5. VAX/VMS Systems Management & Systems Programming
  6. VAX/VMS Performance Management
  7. VAX/VMS Programming


Member Australian Computer Society
(on WA Branch Committee 94-99)

Member Software Engineering Forum, Engineers Australia industry-academia liason committee

Main points of Employment History including Consulting projects:

Dec 2003 to date

Senior Software Engineer

Computational Geoscience group


Andy has filled his usual roles of mentoring and providing a source of expertise to co-workers in OO design and especially complex c++ logic. His role includes architecture development for service-oriented architectures handling complex geoscience data (larger and more complex than most business SOA), as well as GUI applications in Python and C++ for scientific data presentation. He has taught XML data modelling courses and consulted in the geo-spatial information realm on architecture and scenarios for projects such as the ASIBA Emergency Services demonstrator. This full-time employment was preceded by several months contract work on a C++ scientific visualisation and J2EE database application.

Aug 2002 to Oct 2003

Multiple Platform Development

IBVA (USA) marketed a personal brainwave device which allows the user to trigger actions and view their brainwaves from a radio transmitter. The company still maintains a website but went out of business in 2004. A separate IBVA UK company sells the more recent version of the product with updated Macintosh software from the original Japanese developer. The relationship between the USA company and the current operations is unclear.

Andy was engaged initially to port some Macintosh code to Windows and this grew into writing a complete multi-platform new generation of the software. Instead of just libraries of code used by local programs, a client-server approach was taken where remote programs could register for notifications or data receipt. The server ran on Windows, PocketPC and Macintosh with clients on those platforms plus a Python and native Flash client. This project involved the combination of real-time FFT processing with graphing and push-pull client-server communications.

November 2001 to July 2002

Senior Software Engineer

SuperSoftware International Pty Ltd

SuperSoftware was an Australian startup company housed in the Entrepeneurs-in-Residence program in the WA Technology Park. They developed a Vehicle Identikit System currently being marketed to police forces around Australia and internationally. The product includes searchable vehicle databases and a unique ability for users to customise 3D models of cars to provide material for police, news broadcasts and Internet distribution. Whilst in development, the IVIS product was used by WA police to arrest suspects in two murders and in other investigations around Australia. The company failed to receive its planned initial sale from the WA Police (for reasons unrelated to product suitability or quality) and was not able to secure other sales in time to avoid exhausting its startup funding and shutting down.

Andy has been involved in all phases of product development including GUI design and programming, debugging the object-relational database and enhancing the OOFILE report writer to process images. Other important roles include mentoring junior staff and working with the CTO on software processes and architecture.

June 2001 to July 2001


Digital Voodoo Pty Ltd

Digital Voodoo is an Australian success story ó a private company based in Melbourne with approximately 20% of the world-wide market in broadcast-quality video editing cards. They are a lean operation with hardware engineers working closely with the real-time software engineers to provide drivers and visual effect plugins. Further information can be found at the web site

Andy was flown over to their Melbourne office for an urgent and successful trouble-shooting assignment in real-time image processing. Details restricted due to NDA but they are happy to be a reference site.

July 1999 to October 2001

Software Engineer

Dynamic Digital Depth

Dynamic Digital Depth is a public company with USA head-office and an R&D centre in Australia, specialising in 3D movies and other visual technology DDD markets glasses-free displays for advertising stands, converts existing movies to 3D format and distributes 3D movies via the Internet. Further information, movies and free downloads of their award-winning OpticBOOMô product can be found at the web site

Andy was initially engaged to commercialise some research software for displaying 3D movies via Apple's QuickTime format, written in C and C++.

With the growth of the Internet economy, these movies quickly became the focus of the company and the 3D movies required highly-innovative technology to protect them from copying.

Andy took a lead role in designing the consumer product to provide easy on-screen adjustment of the 3D experience, as the movies were playing, eliminating the need for a support centre.

As a widespread consumer product, the OpticBOOM™ technology he developed worked on a broad range of Macintosh and Windows computers without crashes.

His final changes to OpticBOOM were adding a serial interface to a glasses-free 3D display, allowing the user to press a 3D on/off button to influence the program. This required reverse-engineering the serial protocol of the display and writing Windows serial I/O code in a COM control.

He also ported an image-editing Java application to C++ to provide increased performance.

Other tasks undertaken during Andy's employment included acting as project manager and mentoring other staff in advanced C++ and Windows programming.

Apr 1995 to June 1999

Software Engineer &
Product Designer

Mercator Software Pty Ltd

Mercator Software is a private company leading the world in the field of Outcome-based Education. Their teacher-support software has been used as a standard in NSW and Victoria for years and is now used in other states and in the USA. They are a small company producing software for use by tens of thousands of teachers on typical school and home computers, both Macintosh and Windows. Further information can be found at the web site

Andy was initially engaged to advise Mercator on ways to improve their software process and technologies for cross-platform development. They were keen to take their existing VB program to Macintosh, due to pressure from Apple and potential US customers.

After Mercator received funding for their Mac version, Andy developed a new look-and-feel for the program and created C++ programming tools to aid in rapid development. This included a report-writer which had to match the existing Crystal Reports features.

Andy continued design work and mentored the existing VB programmers at Mercator as they moved over to the Mac project.

Andy developed Macintosh-Windows porting technology so the new Mac programs could be rapidly ported, achieving 98% code reuse of business logic and automatic generation of Windows screens. This first Windows version shipped with Win32s support on Windows 3.1 as well as Windows 95 and NT. The porting technology allowed a large program to run faster than the VB original and faster than any porting solutions previously available.

Andy's final task for Mercator was expansion of the report-writer to add XML processing, enabling an entire report to be saved as an XML document and edited within the report. Mercator now ship this as their Portfolio free document viewer.

April 1983 to Jan 1989

Applications Programmer & System Manager

Griffin Coal Mining Pty Ltd

Griffin Coal exists mainly to provide coal to SECWA in Collie. At the time Andy worked there, the head-office in Perth contained most IT functions and computers, with some technical staff and computers at the Muja mine-site. This spread of staff resulted in a complex web of computers and serial communications. Griffin changed from a public company with its own share-registry to being privately owned in the late 80's.The head office grew from 40 to 120 people and shrank back again during Andy's years there.

Andy was engaged as an application programmer to work on Nixdorf BASIC programs in the share registry, accounting and purchasing systems. He was hired based on expertise in debugging and enhancing complex software, using ISAM and direct file data storage.

Andy received additional responsibility for all micro-computer support and serial communications within the company. This included writing FORTRAN and BASIC programs to support mining engineers.

Griffin promoted Andy to systems manager and sent him on the complete range of VAX/VMS systems management and system programming courses. His duties in this role included:

After leaving full-time employment at Griffin, Andy continued to provide VAX/VMS consulting services to them and other clients.

Consulting Career

July 1989 to date


AD Software

AD Software is Andy's own company through which he performs Macintosh and Windows systems development and consulting. He has also worked as a professional trainer for Digital Equipment (VAX Systems Management) and Winthrop Technology (Macintosh and Excel). His employees have included telecommuters in the Czech Republic and local Perth programmers

Apart from consulting activities, AD Software retails their OOFILE and PP2MFC c++ cross-platform database and application development tools worldwide. Further information, and product samples can be found at the web site

Past Major Clients

Client: PrintForce Australia

Website rebuilder

PrintForce are Australia's largest Real Estate printer, printing brochures, cards, and all other materials for many agents. One part of their services is to publish all houses that they print on their website. This results in over 1,000 houses per week appearing and disappearing from the site. The site indexes houses by both geographical area and agent and requires those indexes updating rapidly ó when an agent sends an ad proof in, they expect to see the ad on the website within hours. They use Quark Express extensions to generate web pages from each ad but the updating of the site index pages is a complex and regular task.

At the time they engaged Andy, the index rebuilding was accomplished by an AppleScript which took approximately 40 hours to run on a top-end Mac. Due to the complexity of the script, it often did not complete the task and there was no way to satisfy the need for agent's desire to see the ads on the site the same day.

Andy replaced the scripted rebuild with a C++ solution that rebuilt the site approximately 70 times faster, using an ISAM database instead of scripted calls to FileMaker. The new solution also made it easy to rebuild a portion of the site, within a few minutes. The software is so efficient, the performance is now bounded purely by the speed of the disk drives running through the thousands of files.


Client: Heritage Council of WA

Enterprise-wide information management

HCWA employs a mixture of volunteer and professional staff with widely ranging computer skills. They need to answer complex queries from Ministerial level as well as public calls. Their records management workload is considerable and files move constantly. Expert users must be able to build up reports and queries but the system has to be used by casual staff with little time for training

This broad client-server database provides histories and extensive descriptions of sites, grants management and a records-management facility with bar-coding of physical files. A particular feature is the keyword searching and reporting subsystem which allows searches and reports across the entire range of information stored. The system is written in 4th Dimension (a client-server 4GL running on Macintosh) and includes intelligent barcode readers, via serial interface.

News flash Sep 2002 - called in nearly 10 years after the first consultation, the system is still going strong and only required minor adjustments to cope with changes in plugins and migration to MacOS/X. The original architecture has allowed other contractors to easily add modules and make the new data part of the overall search and reporting structure.

Client: Real Estate Institute of WA

"HomeBuyer" Magazine Page layout automation, publishing and databases.

REIWA produce their weekly magazine of home ads from members, including photographic information and house details. They group ads by agent and suburb to create the best impression of agent size and must be able to change page layouts quickly

Andy was hired by REIWA to help them print the magazine on local laser printers, rather than sending coded text files out to a printshop. The savings on this project were considerable and so they went ahead with fully-automatic page layout. Instead of an editor and assistants spending a day grouping ads by hand, Andy's Object Pascal system did it in minutes. The net saving was an entire day in the weekly magazine's production process. This system was refined and used for years until their decision to go for a wholly digital prepress colour production in-house. The magazine is now all colour but still doesn't match the flexibility of the previous layout system.

Andy also developed a distributed system (in C++) for entering and printing classified advertisements but REIWA decided that classifieds publishing didn't fit the magazine image. The classifieds system included a custom-built word processing engine to allow operators to quote on the ad lineage as they took phone entries.

Other minor tasks for REIWA were BP Fuelcard data collation and directory sorting and printing systems, written in Turbo Pascal and FoxPro (dBase).

Client: Department of Transport

Databases, Program Conversion and Terminal Emulation

At the time Andy worked with them, the department had a Macintosh on most desks alongside the serial terminals for the Pick-based administration systems. They were keen to move more people to Macintosh for the lower support costs but had to keep access to the Pick system.

Andy's first engagement with Transport was to rewrite a Macintosh terminal emulation package to the Freedom-100 standard used on the Pick system. This required huge modifications to the open source NCSA Telnet, in C.

The department later required a suite of FORTRAN modelling programs converting to Object Pascal, to port them from Windows to Macintosh (Mac FORTRAN at the time being inadequate). The ported software was of such complexity that Andy wrote an automatic language converter as well as a complete set of FORTRAN formatted input-output libraries, in Object Pascal.

Other systems developed for the department included a range of databases for; Ministerial reporting, Bikewest Cycling Hazard reports and records management.

Client: Summit Homes

Bill of Materials expert system

Summit Homes are one of Perth's largest builders, particularly in the field of extensions. They have long been users of ArchiCADô for drafting as well as displaying design alternatives to clients

Andy was engaged to help automate the gap between ArchiCAD drawing exported files and the bill of materials system.

He developed a rule-based system for taking dimensions from the drawing and calculating quantities The system was like an ultra-specific spreadsheet, including the ability to ask the user for details not on the drawing (eg: "What is the roof pitch").

Most importantly, all the rules are user-defined. Summit were able to continue refining their rules for years without Andy's further involvement, considerably increasing the return on their investment.