Karl Thiessen

788 Clarinada Avenue
Daly City, CA 94015
(650) 239-6798
(E-mail strongly preferred over phone)


To use my software and hardware skills in a socially meaningful way within a challenging and supportive team environment.

Skill Sets

Administrating local area networks and Internet systems since 1986.

Years of experience with petabyte-scale storage repositories and world wide web-scale crawling and data management.

Operating systems and platforms:

Also familiar with Mac OS 7 through 9, Microsoft Windows 3.0 through 7, Solaris, Dynix, HP-UX, AmigaDOS, VAX/VMS, CP/M, and assorted lesser-known systems.

Programming and scripting languages:

Past experience with C++, Java, BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN, Lisp, Prolog, and 680x0 Assembly.

Relational database platforms:

Foreign Languages:

Employment History for Karl Thiessen

Senior Testing Engineer, Mozilla Corporation, San Francisco, CA. 2/2013 to present.
Co-ordinate testing of Mozilla Cloud Services software with other teams. Develop community plans to enhance efforts of Mozilla's world-wide volunteer community in conjunction with paid contributors. Organize testing teams to take on short projects that come up outside the normal planning process. Write automated test suites for new Cloud Services products using Webdriver libraries in Python and Javascript. Co-ordinate and perform load testing and performance testing in advance of new product launches, using distributed testing techniques on various cloud-scale computing platforms, most notably Amazon Web Services.
Quality Engineer, Conviva, San Mateo, CA. 2/2009 to 12/2012.
Wrote test components in Python for an automated build/test framework which builds components in Python, Java, C++, and ActionScript. Wrote reporting scripts in Python to collate testing data for both manual testing (from Testopia) and automated testing (from the build/test system), to measure testing coverage and performance from release to release, devising metrics, tracking regressions and charting coverage of new-feature testing. Performed system maintenance and upgrades on a variety of Linux and Windows environments. Took over team leadership temporarily when my team lead took some time off for paternity leave. Performed extensive manual testing of components throughout the system, from user interface to traffic control to data reporting.
Administration Division, Artistic Solutions dba BayCon, Santa Clara, CA. 5/2001 to 6/2015.
BayCon is the San Francisco Bay Area's annual regional science fiction and fantasy convention, held in Santa Clara over the Memorial Day weekend. Over the past decade-plus, I have done everything from processing orders, doing data entry and handing member attendees their badges to designing and implementing the systems (using Tcl, PHP, Python, Django, SQLite, and MySQL) that take the online orders and print the badges to hiring people to do all of the membership registration work and supervising them while still keeping the technology running. I have been an advisor to the Board of the parent corporation of BayCon, advising them on technology solutions of all kinds.
Senior Automation Engineer, Replicate Technologies, Menlo Park, CA. 7/2008 to 11/2008.
Designed and implemented automated testing harness in Selenium, Perl and Tcl for virtual appliance using VMWare's Virtual Infrastructure and Virtual Center versions 2.5 and 3. Maintained two Virtual Center environments containing appliances to do source control, bug tracking, knowledge management, and automated testing. Assisted with network configuration and setup, and installed and configured network-attached-storage (NAS) arrays.
Scientific Programmer, Aggregate Knowledge, San Mateo, CA. 9/2007 to 6/2008.
Performed data mining and scripting tasks for groups across the organisation, including Science, Engineering, Product Management, and Operations. Designed and built prototypes of recommendation algorithms, lexical analysis engines, multi-generation scoring algorithms, and data visualisation tools. Did ad-hoc system administration on research machines, synchronising them with production servers and maintaining their operating systems. Proofread and typeset specifications to be passed to Engineering. Researched clustering and representative item schemes in collaboration with other members of the Science and Engineering teams.
Web Team Testing and Automation Engineer, Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA. 4/2005 to 8/2007.
Provided automation and testing solutions for the Internet Archive Web Team, including real-time monitoring and reporting for Archive-It, a web crawling and document retrieval application used by state, university, and national libraries to archive important websites. As of August 2007, Archive-It had over 12 terabytes of archived data -- all of it full-text searchable within 72 hours of crawling. Designed and wrote automated test harness in sh/bash, Tcl, and DejaGnu for Heritrix, the Archive's web-scale crawler, filing and verifying bugs and suggesting solutions to developers. Provided assistance to Data Repository team, testing new hardware and caring for the Archive's 2.5 petabytes of spinning disk. Tested repository software to ensure data redundancy in both RAID and non-RAID situations where conventional NAS was insufficient. Wrote and adapted cluster-management tools to automate fault-finding and maintenance tasks. Assisted with the deployment of the Archive's new Open Source Wayback Machine, which scaled to the 89 billion document captures in the Archive's web collection at that time.
Independent Computer Consultant, The Giggling Dragon, San Mateo, CA. 7/2002 to 4/2005.
Developed productivity tools and database-backed websites for a variety of clients using Tcl/Tk, Expect, PostgreSQL, AOLserver, MySQL, Perl, PHP, and Apache. Provided technology assessments, system administration, and security analysis for non-profit and small business clients. Client list available on request.
Web Development Co-ordinator, Stop AIDS Project, San Francisco, CA. 8/2001 to 7/2002.
Provided technical support services and software to the staff of a large non-profit organization, including databases (FileMaker Pro 4/5 and MySQL), mail (Sendmail and Majordomo, with QuickMail Pro and Eudora on the client side), system administration (Mac OS 9 and 10, FreeBSD 4, Windows 98, and Linux), and content management of four related websites using LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Diagnosed and corrected hardware and software problems throughout the organization. Made and implemented decisions using a team-based, consensus-oriented approach.
Search Cluster Automation QA Specialist, Inktomi Corporation, Foster City, CA. 3/1999 to 4/2001.
Reduced testing time for one web-crawling software release from two weeks to 36 hours by designing and implementing automation mechanisms for quality assurance and regression tests in Perl and Tcl/Expect on Solaris 7. Improved test coverage of search cluster automation suite code paths from 10% to 90% in 90 days. Executed those tests both before and after deployment, in high-pressure and mission-critical environments. Diagnosed and corrected problems in existing deployments in co-ordination with development and operations teams, resulting in a 30% decrease in mini-cluster down time. Collaborated with other team members to refine techniques and software used in Internet search. Designed and implemented monitoring systems in Expect and Tcl to measure and track quality and relevance of search engine databases over time.
Consulting Programmer and Systems Administrator, Anchor Tiedown Systems, Mill Valley, CA. 8/1997 to 3/1999.
Automated civil engineering tasks, reducing time required for estimates from 4 hours to 5 minutes using a combination of AutoCAD R12 and Tcl/Tk. Administrated and maintained a Local Area Network of Unix and DOS/Windows machines. Provided tools for accessing the Internet and taught small seminars on topics such as e-mail, the World Wide Web, and remote access. Drafted, composed, migrated, and published both hard copy and network documents.
Support Technician and Assistant System Administrator, AccessPort Internet, Santa Rosa, CA. 1/1997 to 7/1997.
Provided clients with technical support on Internet set-ups, including mail, news, web client, and system configurations. Performed system maintenance on a heterogeneous network consisting of Macintoshes, Windows 3.11 and 95 machines, NT servers, and Solaris servers. Troubleshot, debugged, and wrote system-level utilities and CGI scripts in Perl, C, and other languages. Maintained web servers for over 50 Virtual Server customers, and assisted in designing of customer web pages.


Tomales High School, Tomales, CA.

University of California, Berkeley (Mathematics and Music)