Quixotic Absonance

I have a passion for code. One way or another it touches everything I do and everything I'm interested in. I dream it. I breathe it. I feel alone when I am without it.

My goals are simple. I want to challenge myself. I am looking for difficult tasks; complex applications that I need to lead a team to complete.

I have a proven track record of being able to architect, implement and lead others in implementing cost-saving and revenue-bringing projects. For the last few years I have been a core member and thought-leader of the Zenimax Online Studios' web team in support of The Elder Scrolls Online. There I have created and architected systems that drive the marketing, sales and retention of millions of players.

Do you have a need for a web developer with a wide range of abilities? Video games? Artificial Intelligence? Huge scales? The bleeding edge? Beyond the bleeding edge? I am your man.

Jan 2013 → Current

  • Senior Web Developer at ZeniMax Online Studios
  • javascript html-5 php css rss mysql ruby sass git perforce jira xml ajax json jsonp confluence photoshop java memcached akamai
  • I support The Elder Scrolls Online's community site and patcher by implementing designs in HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. I also built and maintain their powerful CMS in PHP.

    Since late 2016 I've revolutionized our processes enabling us to do more, better, faster with fewer resources. I did this by:

    • replacing an aging page management system with one (based on my experience at Army.mil) that lets us rapidly iterate on ideas and build pages with minimal technical skills,

    • instituting documentation rituals for all processes that transformed tedious tasks into simple checklists

    • and by anticipating future business needs and building tools to support them before they were needed.

May 2011 → Jan 2013

  • Lead Developer / Architect at Army.mil - MPRI - L-3 / Engility
  • php mysql javascript xhtml css jquery rss xml photoshop subversion memcached limelight
  • I lead the technological vision for Army.mil, including My.Army.mil and the CORE Content Management System that drove them. We were a small (-20) team, which afforded me the opportunity to implement many of the core systems myself. These APIs and tools were then used by the rest of our development team, and also our content and design teams, to make the day-to-day operations of our contract possible.

    Tools I've architected and built reduced not only our own costs, but the costs of the over 1000 Public Affairs Officers using CORE and their 100+ websites. Saving the Army millions in hosting, developer and designer costs annually.

    Using these systems ourselves we not only were able to maintain Army.mil with this small team of content editors, designers and developers; but we were also able to manage our many Feature Sites. Additionally, we were able to create new feature sites, complete with radically different designs and automatic content from CORE, on very short notice.

    Some of the projects I was a part of in my tenure were:

    • CORE Content Management System a CMS complete with community tools that enabled the disjointed Public Affairs Officers to be able to coordinate effort, and a wigetized page management tool that enabled non-technical page publishers to be able to customize their page.

    • My.Army.mil an iGoogle like Customizable Homepage that allows users to pick and choose what Army content they are interested in seeing. This used the same underlying code-base as the page management system in CORE.

    • US Army News & Information an iPhone app, one of the first government apps. Powered by CORE and also with a game I designed.

    • Medal of Honor: Petry one of our Medal of Honor series of sites dedicated to our nation's greatest heroes. The CORE CMS powers the news and image feeds on this site, and while not my own work the 3D renders of the event were featured on the Daily Show when Sergeant First Class Petry described his experience while appearing on that show.

    Those who work in the government space understand the magnitude of these efforts and what it means to be able to accomplish this level of effort with so few people. They understand the constraints: limited hardware, limited software purchases, limited access to information, limited time scales, limited technology availability, limiting security requirements and the need to add actual security on top of those outdated requirements, stove-piping, team-splitting, 2-year leadership turnover cycles, and the determination it takes to bring the design and functionality that Army.mil brings to fruition.

    Bottom Line: The tools, practices, knowledge, creativity and experience I brought to the table saved the Army 10-100 times their investment in me.

2008 → May 2011

  • Senior Developer at Army.mil - MPRI - L-3
  • php mysql javascript xhtml css
  • See above. While my title only reflected my contribution to the team towards the end, I had always been the architect behind the CORE CMS.

    Early on, I spent most of my time changing SQL queries to reduce their run-time from 600 seconds (yes really) down to sub-second times. I also rebuilt the search to draw information from the DoD's Google Search Appliance in XML and redisplay it.

    It wasn't long before my talent was recognized and I was given tasks to architect the new version of CORE. This was a from-scratch redevelopment to fix speed, security, standard compliance and coding practices issues. (See the above 600 second queries)

2007 → 2008

  • Web Developer at NASA - Mantech
  • php mysql xhtml css cvs
  • Supported Goddard Space Flight Center's Mission Assurance directive. Built informational sites and tools for tracking hazard reports.

    I was initially brought on as a part-time employee but immediately started working full time as it became clear that I knew what I was doing. I created generic HTML+CSS graphs, new navigational elements, and even acted as designer for a variety of sites including the SMA home site. This site mirrors the style of the then-current NASA site.

2004 → 2007

  • AA Multimedia Game Design, University of Advancing Technology
  • game-design game-development games maya
  • One of our final series of classes was centered around creating a mod for an existing game as a team. The first semester had a no-show professor. I acted as the Professor in his absence. For the second semester we ditched the assigned project and instead created a Turn-Based RPG overhaul of Warcraft 3. Considering we only had 5 weeks to do it, I think it turned out extremely well.

Get 'em before they rot

Please feel free to contact me

This site was coded by hand using only jQuery, HTML5 Reset, FitText, Photoshop and Sublime Text. All designs, images, css, js, html and content were created by me, Will Brall. (over 10 straight hours, on 2/18/2017.) The moving smoke/flower background (desktop only) is 3 images using the Cicada Tile technique.

Is this site mobile friendly? Hell yeah, it is 100% responsive. It should look great everywhere. Though older browsers probably lose some of the cool stuff. Check out that page size.

Also that's me down there, that photo was taken by Patrick Slawinski whom I worked with at Army.mil back in the day.

This website was served off a Raspberry Pi 3 running a LAMP stack and sitting in my living room, though this site doesn't make use of most of that. The old one did.

If for some reason you're unable to see this site, you've created a paradox by reading this and I blame you for dooming us all. Curses.