Tech Cred

For all of you wondering who the $%(*& this guy is, here’s a short list of the relevant projects I’ve worked on in the recent past:

  • (2001) Designed database and wrote server-side code for’s eCommerce solution. System is (unfortunately for them) about 90% in place still today. When I left it was processing about $3.5 million worth of transactions per year. Might not sound like a lot, but most transactions are in the $20 range, so that works out to be about 500 transactions a day on average, although on large days it would easily double that. OK, not exactly Amazon levels, but we didn’t have Amazon-type hardware either.
  • (2002-ish) Designed database for’s Fantasy Source product. This was a complete ground-up CMS solution serving one of the most important online properties TSN owned at the time. No longer have the specifics on the number of users, but it was admittedly modest.
  • (2002-ish) Helped design and implement’s first Rotisserie-style fantasy game, called Draft & Trade. Subsequently took the helm of the franchise, adding features at a rapid pace to keep up with the larger companies in the space (Yahoo, Sportsline, ESPN). Largest single game topped out at about 100K registrants. Not too impressive compared to other games TSN offered (or compared to our competitors), but laid the groundwork for the next stop.
  • (2005) Designed and built’s first Rotisserie-style fantasy game, Fantasy Open (currently down for the off-season). This was the big time. Very large installation, tight deadline, lots of traffic, tons of code, little room for error. When I left the game was pulling in over 450K registrations yearly, big enough to be in the top 5 of all online baseball games. All in all, this is the system I am proudest of.
  • (2005-ish) Built a quick and dirty CMS system for the fantasy group so that they could enter in news items about players and give fantasy predictions based on that news. Turned out to be a hit and led to the hiring of an entire staff to maintain the nuggets. Not the hardest project I’ve had to solve, but fun.

Additionally, I am involved in a couple of other projects, mostly for fun.

  • – fantasy sports for the rest of us
  • twab – a plugin for the popular TiddyWiki personal wiki that adds support for a fully-functional address book.

You might be wondering what’s so tough about fantasy sports applications.  There are a number of things. First, they have high demand – fantasy sports is big business and it generates a lot of traffic, especially at a place like MLB. Secondly, it’s both read and write heavy, which is a bit unusual in terms of web applications. For instance, managers tend to make transactions, change their rosters, or send messages on a regular basis. Thirdly, because most leagues enforce unique ownership of players, transactions must be failsafe and be processed atomically in the face of any number of errors. Lastly, data corruption can ruin people’s entire season, quickly ruining the application provider’s reputation. All in all, a tough set of requirements for the average web application. I hope to shed more light on these issues as the blog develops.

Hope that establishes my cred.

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3 Comments so far

  1. Scott Morse on January 4th, 2011

    Twab looks fabulous. I am amazed you worked out all that import/export, with field mapping. And you did such thorough work on the data-entry form. Solid background, deep functionality, and polish on the top … I hope I will ever do something this well.

    I thought I would find a “master list” tiddler, an index of all addresses. I don’t see that, and there is perhaps good reason, but I may see what I create. I’ll let you know.

    I entered ‘TiddlyWiki’ in your search bar, and all I got was your Tech Cred page … which is stunning, of course … but I think you should dedicate a post to twab. This will high-light your work more. Also it will give the tiddly-ignorant a softer intro, and a sense of orientation as they jump over to tiddly-twab.

    May I suggest you

  2. Scott Morse on January 4th, 2011

    Scratch “may I suggest you”

  3. vdibart on January 4th, 2011

    Thanks Scott. Appreciate the kind words. Your idea about a post regarding Twab is a great one. Just to be clear – I didn’t write TiddlyWiki, just the twab plugin. Some other very smart people developed TiddlyWiki long before I got my hands on it. It’s a great tool.

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