Archive for February, 2010
We got a very nice mention in Microsoft’s Public Sector Weblog today!
CitySourced to Leverage Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform for their Government Customers
CitySourced has selected Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform as the foundation for their application infrastructure..
We will do a detailed blog-post over the next month or two, but below is a short one about FreedomSpeaks/CitySourced, goals to address their future needs, and broad outline of their plans to leverage Microsoft’s suite of Windows Azure services.
Background about the organization and the service – CitySourced is a real time mobile civic engagement tool. The CitySourced suite of applications has three main components. 1) The Console, which provides an administrative extranet for government agencies to manage the incoming customer support requests; 2) The Website, a consumer facing website encouraging citizens to engage with their local government as well as providing complete transparency to their government’s day-to-day operations; 3) A Smartphone application that enables citizens and residents to submit non-emergency service requests (i.e., potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) directly to their local government. The CitySourced platform presents a unique opportunity for government to use technology to both save money and improve accountability to those they govern. It also creates a positive, collaborative platform for real action. The mission of CitySourced is to transform civic engagement and enable citizens to make their communities a better place.
Here are some of the goals/drivers that led CitySourced to adopt cloud-based offering:
- CitySourced’s application utilized multi-layered architecture based on Microsoft ASP.NET on Windows Server 2003/IIS6.0 and SQL Server 2005 on three servers. CitySourced continues to get a lot of visibility in various cities around the country, and needed a plan to implement a scalable cloud based solution to handle the anticipated future demand.
- Focus was more on deliver better service and high-value features to both the government and consumer entities, so the goal was to stay away from hardware/software acquisition, management and monitoring of the infrastructure and the application.
- CitySourced also wanted to improve back-end job-processing service and log storage.
- CitySourced explored several options with the key goal being to avoid making major changes to their application code-base, in-memory cache layer and database layer.
- All of the above helped CitySourced choose Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform to host and manage the CitySourced application.
Goals & plans for Phase 1: (To be completed by March, 2010)
· Migrate the entire application infrastructure to Azure (web, cache, and databases) with a minimum amount of disturbance to their core business processes.
· Migrate with a minimal amount of refactoring to existing code (focusing on system changes, not code changes).
Goals & plans for Phase 2: (To be completed by May, 2010)
· Leverage Windows Azure Storage & Tables for more scalable storage of logs and other binary data (such as serialized hash tables and image blobs).
· Migrate their existing homegrown (and database dependent) queue workflow to Windows Azure Queue services.
· Offload jobs processing from Window’s based services onto dedicated worker instances.
Benefits & End-Result- CitySourced is confident that a cloud computing solution based on Microsoft Windows Azure will enable them to deliver better service to a broader audience (more customers) without worrying about infrastructure, software acquisition and service management.
High-Level architecture of their next-generation solution:
We were encouraged to read this e-mail from the fine folks at the Knight Foundation.
Dear Mr. Kralik – We have completed our review of your application to the Knight News Challenge.Congratulations! You have been selected to complete a full proposal.
Please remember that the Knight News Challenge contest requires several more steps before a final decision is made. This letter does not indicate that you have been selected to receive a grant.
You must complete your proposal form complying with the character limits and e-mail it along with your supporting materials by February 7, 2010.
CitySourced, a software company based in Sherman Oaks, CA has an immediate need for a software engineer. We develop web and mobile solutions that directly impact your community. Our software is based on Microsoft technologies, particularly C# and .NET. The applications we develop place a heavy emphasis on user interface and interactive graphical functionality built for the exacting needs of the consumer and government sectors. Your compensation will include a blend of both cash (yeah, money!) and equity.
If you are excited by the opportunity to have a direct effect on you and your neighbor’s quality of life, CitySourced may be the place for you. You will be responsible for the design, development and testing of new software products as well as supporting existing, released products.
Our environment is fast-paced, having product delivery cycles measured in weeks rather than months. You will not be given a 300 page specification and told to “implement this.” Instead, you will be given a general task, and it is up to you to design, validate, implement and test. If something you worked on doesn’t work, it’s your responsibility. You will be working closely with other members of the development staff to extend the core functionality, designed and implemented over the past 7 years, to power new products and take existing products “to the next level.”
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in Computer Science or equivalent work experience.
- Proven Windows development experience in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET technologies, particularly C#.
- Experience using OO methodologies in designing software solutions.
- Strong ability to analyze vague problem descriptions and formulate effective solutions. Be able to work with analyze a need and engineer a solution. Be prepared to give specific examples of this skill.
- Ability to speak and write clear English in order to create documentation as well as interact with end users.
- Sharp critical thinking skills, including systems and business analysis, problem analysis and resolution, and sound judgment/decision making ability.
- Proven ability to work in a rapid release product environment.
- Demonstrated trait of being a self-starter (this is VERY important!).
- Able to build trust within the development team by developing dependable good code.
- Know how to interact in a professional environment.
- Be able to contribute to technical discussions in a non-overbearing manner.
- Be able to see shades of grey instead of black or white when presented with an issue.
Knowledge and Skills
- Architectural, Engineering, design domain knowledge
- Microsoft Frameworks 2.0 & 3.5, C#, REST, XML, JSON, SQL Server 2005/2008
- Current industry trends in development environments, tools, and software technology
- Processes relating to developing a released software product
- ObjectiveC and iPhone development experience a huge plus!
In order to be considered for this position, include:
- Compensation requirements- Availablity and starting date
- A detailed description of your last 2 projects
- At least 3 work related references
- Describe your contribution to the project as well as your role on the project
- Provide in your own words what you see as the difference between a coder/programmer and a software engineer
- By the way, we are looking for software engineers.