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How
deep
does
the
rabbit
hole
go?

Currently,
I’m
going
with …

very

- Jochem,
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2017
Details: Jochem Maas
  • Email Address:
  • (Mobile) Telephone Number: [0031|0] 647 250 115
  • Skype: jochemmaas
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I have been studying the piano for about a year and a half and practice about 30 minutes a day. It can be quite frustrating ... mostly for the neighbours. I have lessons once a week with a brilliant teacher, and slowly but surely I’m starting to show signs of musical ability! I love playing and hope one day to be able to do so, my goal is to be able to play Rachmaninoff, why you ask? because it’s hard, have a listen and decide for yourself:

Excercise

I have been known to go for the occasional jog, I’d go more often if it wasn’t for the great winter weather.

I’m a bit of bicycle freak. I love mountain biking, although I think I should reclassify that somewhat because we have soooo many hills in Holland. Still, there is lots of fun to be had jumping stairs and the like, here in the 2 dimensional land of the Dutch.

I recently took up SCUBA again and passed my Open Water Diver’s training. SCUBA is fantastic, I really want to do more! During my last dive in tropical waters I saw Nemo (and mom & pop) living in a anemone ... that was mind blowing. Great Barrier Reef, here I come!

Food & Drink

I enjoy the occasional drink and just hanging out, love to go out to dinner and I’m almost always up for a philosophical or political discussion.

I like to cook occasionally, taking on a ‘big’ project, for instance a five course Christmas dinner for 12 people ... the great thing about such evenings is that you get to go all out with the ingredients, make a complete mess and then sit back at the end of it all and watch everyone do the dishes!

I like plants too, although sometimes the feeling isn’t mutual, I tend to stick with succulents and cactus’ as they are a lot more forgiving with regard to my forgetfulness when it comes to feeding & watering the plants.

Any Other Business

On a very rare occasion I have been known to paint miniatures, but please don’t hold that against me (just for the record I don’t have a train set.).

I spend a lot of time reading, I enjoy all sorts of literature but have a soft spot for quality science fiction. I also read quite a bit about spirituality and other things of that nature (you know, the kind of books they hide in the ‘fruitcake’ section at the local book store ;-). Some of my favorite authors are Krisnamurti (J. and U.), Kahlil Gibran, Issac Asimov, George Orwell, Sun Tzu, C. S. Lewis, A. A. Milne, Roald Dahl, Terry Pratchett and Neal Stephenson.

Lastly, you might catch me doing stuff that looks like work during my free time, I spend a lot of time reading about and experimenting with web technology. To me that’s not work, it’s fun, well sometimes it is work (deadlines wait for no man) but it’s still fun. Some people enjoy a crossword puzzle on a sunday afternoon - I prefer to write code.

I admit it, I’m a geek.

Mulder was wrong, the truth isn’t out there. [back]

Work

What do I do? The short answer is “I develop web applications”, to get you started below is an exhubrient rendering of some of the main tools I use as a developer (size matters).

Incidentally, the speed of the cloud animation is set to 78, and the size of the ‘PHP’ item is set to 42, I find this amusing, I hope you do too. :-)

Tasks & Projects

In the course of my work I have been known to document requirements, provide cost estimates, write functional & technical specifications, lead a team of developers and design implement & manage the release of databases, software stacks, web applications and sites.

In my time I have, amongst other things, developed two custom, extensible CMS/ORM implementations, a custom-bicycle configurator, a real estate portal, numerous online payment integrations, a white-label online ticket sales platform, an ajax calendar/planning application, data synchronisation routines and something called Banshee.

Beeldspraak BV LogoIf you would like to view a list of projects that I have been involved with, I would invite you to peruse the portfolio at beeldspraak.com.

Languages

On a day to day basis my primary tool is PHP, I have ten years of experience, and have spent quite some time training others in it’s use. I’m also very comfortable with JavaScript (technically ECMAScript) and have also been known to debug other people’s ActionScript. I dream in valid, semantic HTML. I have written recursive stored procedures in SQLƒ and know enough about bash to be scared :-).
Whilst I’m writing about languages, I’d like to say that I am interested in branching out into Objective-C, Python and C.

Silly Old Bear

Fundamentally I offer strong problem solving skills, attention to detail and an ability to see the larger picture. I can sometimes be a bit blunt. I like my code to be as neat and tidy as the designs of the pages that it outputs, I believe in doing things right whenever possible (as opposed to not caring as long as something ‘works’, sometimes budget constraints require a crude implementation - which is the right thing, only it’s grates against the aesthetic nerve of a developer!). I am loyal and I am passionate about delivering successful web applications on time.

A custom data management platform driving multiple sites (on seperate platforms) connected to a SAP backend. [back]
you should see the CSS! [back]
ƒ Completely possible with Firebird DB. [back]

Résumé

Is your web bureau the next to be added to this list? Reference available upon request.

January, 2010 ~

VERY EXPERIENCED WEB DEVELOPER

- Self Employed, Planet Earth
April, 2005 - January, 2010

LEAD WEB DEVELOPER

- Beeldspraak BV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
May, 2002 - April, 2005

WEB DEVELOPER

- Self Employed, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
November, 1999 - May, 2002

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

- Jason Geosystems BV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (became Fugro-Jason)
July, 1998 - June 1999

JUNIOR DB PROGRAMMER

- Sane Systems, Exeter, UK
Bio

I was born on the 10th of February 1977 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
I emigrated to the UK with my family in 1982 and subsequently grew up and went to school there.

I lived in various places in England during my time, including the counties of Hertfordshire, Surrey and Devon. My family eventually moved back to mainland Europe and I stayed on living and working in Devon.

Having had various part-time, summer and incidental jobs, I was offered my first real opportunity in the IT sector by the mother of a good friend of mine. The lady in question had run a successful financial software business during the 80's and wanted to develop custom financial software for the organic farm she was employed by. She introduced me to “VisualFoxPro 5.0” and challenged me to help her develop the software. We spent the best part of a year trying before deciding to cancel the project. The fact that my only previous computer experience was programming basic BASIC on the BBC Master 10 years before compounded the difficulty we had in building a complete and stable product. I was very disappointed with my failure but at the same time very grateful for all the things I learnt, the value of which I only came to realise much later.

In 2000 I travelled back to Holland in order to undergo back surgery, and afterwards decided to stay for financial reasons, quite simply, at that time, I calculated that my spending power was almost 3 times what it was in the UK.

After my recuperation I took up employment with a dutch software company as a junior system administrator. My main responsibilities centered around supporting Windows users and the related PCs and Servers. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to interact with so many gifted scientists & programmers, and I’m especially grateful for the wisdom & guidance of General IT Manager. During this time I started to develop websites as a hobby in my free time.

Having become completely hooked on web development and after having done a few small, unpaid projects with friends I decided to start up for myself. For the next few years I etched out a fairly decent living for my then girlfriend, our son and myself, doing graphic design, programming and SEO for various clients. This endeavor culminated in a freelance offer in 2004, from a multi-media company in Rotterdam, to ‘reboot’ the failed website of a major, dutch high street electronics retailer. The successful implementation of a new e-commerce website and the coupling with a legacy FoxPro2.0 (oh isn’t life sweet sometimes!) back office system led to job offer with the afore mentioned multi-media company.

It was a good offer, so I took on the position of “Web Developer” at Beeldspraak. The company grew and took on more programmers, a number moved on, and I took on the role of “Lead Developer”, essentially being responsible for all programming work that was delivered and all systems that ran in production. Amongst other things, I designed a number of custom extensible platforms developed to meet the needs of clients who maintained ongoing accounts, of which the afore mentioned electronics retailer formed a part. I acted as the last resort for any technical problem, which sometimes meant pulling all-nighters to fix some server or application - mostly I pulled it off, a great feeling!

“Beeldspraak” is the dutch word for “metaphor”, a very apt name for a company that brings sophistication, creativity and “colour” to everything they do - the thinking person’s web bureau. Beeldspraak was the place I first truly, successfully applied the skills I had spent so long developing during the preceding years, at a level that I was satisfied with. As such the company has grown from three (for a small period we were just the two of us) to 10 employees (as of 2009), something I’m very proud to have been able to help accomplish.

As of the 1st of January, 2010, I have decided to end my contract with Beeldspraak, for the very simple reason. I want to live in the same city as my sister ... she lives in Sydney, Australia.

That is my dream ... and I’m following it!

Update:
Life is what happens when your busy making other plans …

… and you can't always get what you want either (or so the song goes)!
Either way, I have come to the conclusion that emigrating to Australia is not a viable option for me and as a result I'm now looking to join a web development team in Rotterdam where I can practice and expand my skills.

My Site

Version 1.2

My site is a hand built, essentially, static show case. The intended audience is assumed to be using a browser (i.e. not Internet Explorer) with JavaScript enabled on a fast PC with a decent screen resolution (although the site still displays okay at 800*600).

My site is not something I use to actively or regularly publish content, manage a ‘presence’, sell products or anything of that nature.

Accessibility and browser backward compatibility are not a priority for my site, given that there are only so many hours in one day I focused on the quality of the content and the whizz-bang functionality. I suppose you could classify my site as somewhere between ‘experiment’ and ‘work of art’, given that we’re on the internet, it’s a work in progress.

Brief yourself

I set myself the following design brief, do you think I succeeded?:

  1. Confine all code to a single file with the exception of images and CDN derived resources.
  2. Output that validates.
  3. Be dark.
  4. Be unconventional.
  5. Offer honest, consise information about myself.
  6. Reward people who take the time to look at the details (and the title attributes) with a bit of humour.
  7. Be a little bit thought provoking.
  8. Be a little bit zen.

Actually those last two are somewhat mutually exclusive, but I think I’ll leave the paradox undisturbed.

Darkness

I’d like to explain the dark theme a little, firstly I’m rather a philosophical person and I’m a geek. Geeks often like black screens because they are less painful on the eyes (I’m writing this in WriteRoom, which gives an indication of what kind of geek I am.). A lot of geeks and philosophical-types like ‘The Matrix’ (but not the other two), I’m one of those too. I like black terminals, I’m interested in following the white rabbit to see how deep the hole goes and lastly, and most importantly, an enlightened man once explained to me, and I paraphrase heavily here, that:

The whole universe is but an illusion, and the world we see is constructed of nothing but the light of our own mind. To seek the truth one must go beyond the illusion, light is illusion, light does not exist. - w.b.

I can only vaguely imagine what he really means (yes I see the irony in the use of the word ‘imagine’), but in my limited, philosophical dream ‘dark’ is the only adequate metaphor in existence to describe the non-existence of light.

So the whole dark theme is nothing more than my pseudo-artistic attempt to express my journey for the truth. A journey which I’ve decided should take me to Australia, which in turn was, indirectly, the driving force behind creating this site.

Tech & Fun

I’ve used arbitrary but meaningful numbers where ever I can get away with it (e.g. various dimension & duration parameters), numbers like 1066, 1812, the reciprocal of φ and 42. There are also various subtle (or not) references to various things I like, like a bear might imply his preference for honey.

The site should validate, I like valid output but I can live with some flavours of tag soup, the law of diminishing returns leads me to accept invalid output if it becomes too much work to ‘fix’ an issue (assuming that the issue is not known to cause any practical issues).

The JavaScript is based on jQuery, all the animations are custom, the scrollbar thought bubbles are positions according to the viewport height and ‘yeehaw’ animation is self-generating & recursive. I’m very sorry if the color graduated text rendering nonsense turns your PC too mush.

I drew the doodle imagery myself and the background image (et al) was photoshopped together by your truly also.

Visitors longing for a taste of the red door of old are advised to disable JavaScript and refresh the site.

LinkedIn
Jochem Maas

I have a profile on LinkedIn, look:

I would have preferred to do something a little more impressive than a simple profile display widget, but LinkedIn have yet to announce a public API with which one could interact with their platform.

I did intend to dig into the JavaScript LinkedIn prodives for the 'widget' but it's somewhat obsfucated and when I originally ran it it managed destory DOM elements other than the one it was supposed to replace, fudging my HTML fixed this. It didn't seem fruitful bothering to introspect it further, much better to wait until such time as LinkeIn decide to release a public API.

Facebook

A wise man once said to me:

I am a very lucky man, I have many friends ... - b.s.

He subsequently held up his hand and extended three fingers.

I can manage to keep the details of ten's of project, hundred's of logins, passwords, URLs, scores of appointments, telephone numbers, addresses facts and more trivia than you care for, stored in my head some how.

I think I can manage three relationships without the use of a social networking platform. Don't get me wrong, I think Facebook is a marvelous application, I just don't have much of a use for it personally, at least I've lived quite happily without it up until now, who knows what tomorrow may bring.

The most interesting thing about Facebook, in my opinion, is their API. As soon as I think of an app someone has not already built (which is harder than it sounds), and find the time to write it, I will get myself an account :-).

Update:
I admit it, I got sucked into Facebook …

I lost contact with a friend of mine and after having exhausted all other avenues I caved in and signed up to Facebook ... I did find my friend (and a few others!) but admittedly I still have not come up with an app.

Blogger

Vivamus luctus feugiat consequat. Morrbi tempor arcu sit amet dolor porttitor fermentum. Maecenas laoreet justo a turpys condimentum vel iaculis mauris vulputate. Nunc viverra dapibus tortor sed tempus. In pretium varius purus, vel pellentesque nunc tristique vitae. Nullam sit amet libero lectus. Sed ut ligula metus. Sed in ligula quis tortor cursus viverra vitae ut augue. Nulla et massa elit, non ultrices purus. Aliquam posuere ultricies ante id sodales. Suspendisse feugiat felis nibh, vitae feugiat neque. Nam sed nisl vitae purus rhoncus cursus quis non nulla.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam tempus lacus sed nulla dapibus vehicula. Maecenas bibendum, quam quis porttitor aliquam, lorem est luctus massa, et ornare risus augue nec nibh. Donec vel elit lectus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, Nulla sed elit purus, eu molestie erat. Sed dictum, ipsum vel egestas cursus, dui nunc pellentesque neque, et elementum ligula dui et erat.

“I really need to get one of those intertube blogs.”

Twitter

Twitter is. There is really no getting around it for now, whether you love or hate it.

Even though twitter may have an inherently high signal to noise ratio, it's widespread use means it is definitely [becoming] a valuable marketing & networking tool in my opinion

Twitter has as many critics as fans, personally I feel that the rapid developments and seemingly steady influx new communication platforms means it is too early to call the match on what the evolution of [digital] communication will bare as the winners. I do believe that the current generation of social networking & messaging tools will tend towards a much richer, integrated fabric, with less and less emphasis on brands and applications and more and more on the communication channel.

For fun I integrated a sample twitter 'feed' showing the last 20 tweets contain the phrase “php developer rotterdam

Flickr

Because every website should have pictures of cats, if, than for no other reason than to demonstrate a trivial flickr.com integration.

Given my pro-cat-picture stance I offer the fine cat related gallery below, which per chance, also doubles up as an example of a trivial flickr.com integration.

Cats

Nonsense

Aside from all this cat nonsense, I do have an account at flickr.com but it's mostly used for [web development] testing purposes, you can find it here.

A friend suggested that it should be rabbits instead of cats presented here, he is right of course, but I just really like cats … and the axiom that every website should have pictures of rabbits just isn't true, so it wouldn't work. Besides I’d still have to find somewhere to put cat pictures.

Lastly, It's a long shot, but if you happen to be looking for cat related products why not browse my hand-picked selection from the widget above and to the right. :-).

Attribution, Kudos etc.

I am grateful to the following people and organisations for inspiration, code, images and ideas (as appropriate), that helped me to build my site.

If I have missed anybody out, please accept my apologies. I know I stand on the shoulders of giants every day and essentially the list below could stretch into the thousands of people, all the way back to Archimedes.

  • Joel Rossol

    .. for his super photo of Sydney, Australia, which I munged somewhat to fit in with my rabbit hole theme :-)
  • Roy Tanck & Amanda Fazani

    ... for their lovely “Blogumulus” 3D tagcloud, which I misappropriated in order to display some of my web development skills.
  • Dynamic Drive

    ... for their JQuery ScrollToTop plugin, which I refactored slightly (and which I failed to get to work in IE).
    [view license]
  • Stefan Petre

    ... for the help his JQuery zoomimage plugin was in writing the flickr image grid mouse over zoom.
  • Mark Perkins

    ... for bits and pieces of his JQuery URL Parser plugin, mainly the regexp.
    [view license]
  • Sergiy Timashov

    ... for one of his, seemingly thousands of, icons, which I mauled with Photoshop and used as the basis for my content panel close button. I hope he doesn't mind, I could find an email address to check.
  • LinksPlace

    ... for their yeehaw.wav file. :-)
  • Code, Content & Resource providers

    ... jQuery, Google, Amazon, Archive.org, Twitter, linkedIn, et al. for the nuts and bolts that make my site possible.