Linkedin: james alan cobban
911-500 Springbank Dr
London, ON, CANADA
am looking for an opportunity in software or application development,
particularly as a project leader. My
unique talents are for the rapid collection of relevant information leading to
analysis and design of complex systems and products.
- Articulate. Excellent writing skills.
Good at understanding and explaining complex systems.
- Technically astute.
Quick getting up to speed on new systems and products
- Experienced with a wide range of tools
- Exceptional performer, consistently exceed expectations
- Client focused
- Speak English and French.
I have formally studied Russian, Latin, and both Modern and
Ancient Greek. I can read most European languages.
- IBM S/390 mainframe, Macintosh, Windows, Solaris, Linux
- Web Expertise: HTML, XML, CSS, JSP, ASP, .NET, WordPress
- Microsoft, WordPerfect, and LibreOffice office suites
- IMS and SQL databases
- BSc in Computer Science
major communications software product
development projects for Nortel.
Products delivered on time and within budget while designed for easy
project to define management and service delivery architecture for new
product line for Nortel. This product
line became the basis for all new data communications products.
and oversaw implementation of a major application
system at Centennial College. Clear design
avoided costly duplication of effort and facilitated a major product migration.
operational support tools for complex data
communications networks at Datacrown.
Institute of Canadian Studies at the University
of Ottawa project to transcribe the 1881 census of Canada.
- National Archives of Canada/Ontario
Genealogical Society joint project to transcribe the 1901 census.
This included giving a presentation
at Government on the Net on P3.
- Phoenix Ltd., implemented help documentation for new
release of disaster planning software.
- Ottawa Foyers Partage, training staff in use of
office software, editing newsletter.
- Web development and consulting for a multi-level marketing company, ZipDandy, focusing on using SMS marketing
- Web development and consulting for non-profit organizations.
Java, J2EE, C++, SQL, JSP, Servlets, Tomcat, Apache, Windows, Linux
Senior Architect: Nortel Networks
- Chief designer and principle architect of the
financial telecommunications product line.
That product line was directly responsible for hundreds of millions of
dollars in annual revenue for Nortel.
- Direct interaction with customers to collect,
analyze, and prioritize requirements
- Contributed to the standardization of X.25‑Frame‑Relay
inter-working and multicast on Frame‑Relay at the Frame Relay Forum.
- Recognized in industry forums such as the IBM users'
group SHARE and the APPN Implementers' Workshop (AIW, the industry forum for
SNA standardization) as a significant contributor to the evolution of IBM
networking. Sole person ever
recognized by the AIW as Most Valuable Participant, for contributions to the
specification of APPN High Performance Routing
- Mentoring internally and on discussion groups
- Maintained internal web site of training material on
data communications and object‑oriented programming techniques
- Two patents issued in data communications
Project Leader: Nortel Networks
- Leader on $11M project to deploy support for IBM financial networking
- Leader on project to define
fundamental software design for next generation product
- Liaison to project to design hardware for next generation product
Pascal, C++, Intel Assembler, MsWindows,
IBM VM, Solaris,
Software developer: Nortel Networks
- Member of major project to deploy basic support for
IBM financial networking
- Member of project to migrate inter-bank funds transfer (SWIFT) network
- Designed protocol to support point-of-sale access to Visa network
Pascal, Intel Assembler,
Software developer: Datacrown
- Developed session manager product for VTAM, sold commercially
by Datacrown and Simware. It supports secure single stage logon to
applications under TSO, CICS, and IMS/DC and Sysplex load balancing.
It includes extensive help and news facilities.
- CICS application programming for an office automation
product line, including creation of a relational database server
- Developed network operations support application for
VTAM to improve operator productivity.
- Designed IBM/SNA operator procedures, operator
- Network Control Program (NCP)
generation and VTAM configuration for first commercial SNA timesharing
network in the world
JCL, VTAM, NCP, NetView, CICS, IMS, S2000, M204
Project Leader: Centennial Community College
- Responsible for all systems analysis, application development and telecom services.
- Technical lead on migration of consolidated library catalogue of all community colleges
from UTLAS to DOBIS
- In charge of documentation standards
- Contributed to ANSI standard for PL/I
- System programming
IBM S/390, DOS/VSE, OS/VS1, OS/MFT, BTAM,
CICS, DMS, IMS,
PL/I, S/370 Assembler
Application Programmer: Centennial Community College
- Developed report generator for DL/I database,
permitting end users to perform their own reports and analysis, increasing admin
productivity and reducing requirement for application programmers
- Application programmer on student registration system
IBM S/390, DOS/VSE, BTAM, CICS, DMS, IMS,
PL/I, S/370 Assembler
BSc (Mathematics) University of Toronto
Creative Writing, Seneca
Electronic Circuit Design,
Archaeology, University of
Modern (Demotic) Greek,
University of Toronto
Classical Greek, University
Advanced Java Programming,
Language Skills: Fluent in both French and English.
For 14 years I have participated in prison
I have taught advanced word processing to disabled young people.
was editor/publisher of the newsletter of the Toronto Centre of the Royal
Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) for 6 years.
For some time I contributed book reviews to the Journal of the
RASC. I have contributed articles to a
number of newsletters of organizations, including the Ontario Genealogical
Society. Also interested in
archaeology, modern and classical languages, history, and theology.
over 20 years I have been singing with various choirs including the Ottawa
Choral Society, which performs major classical works, principally at the
National Arts Centre in Ottawa, under the direction of major conductors.
Enjoy baroque music and live theatre.
good physical condition by cycling, walking and swimming.
traveling. Adjust well to new cultures.
I have visited every continent except South America and Antarctica.
Financial Telecommunications Projects
Customer support with
computer service bureau, particularly for financial industry.
Customers included Canada Permanent
Trust. This included assisting
with installation of pilot locations and with development of initial
NCP and VTAM
definitions for SNA based financial networks
Lead programmer on
service to support SNA dependent logical unit devices, such as the 3270,
with independent logical unit switching across a packet switching
network. This required
implementing an SNA System Services Control Point (SSCP) in a
microprocessor based telecommunications switch.
Initial support was for attachment using SDLC across leased
Lead programmer on
project to support token-ring LAN attachment.
This delivered a service that permitted building a network
in which devices were attached either through SDLC, token-ring, or X.25
without regard to how the remote device or host with which they were
communicating was attached. In
particular remote devices attached across low-cost SDLC connections could
take advantage of a high-speed token-ring attachment at the host.
Such a nework could provide higher
availability than a conventional SDLC network because failures of
individual components along the network path were dealt with transparently.
Additional features included the
ability to transparently load balance access across multiple mainframes,
even at different locations. Two
years after we deployed this service the market for SDLC to token-ring
took off and our service was recognized as the “telecommunications hot
product of the year”.
Project leader for
support of SNA host-to-host connectivity.
The lead customer on this project was the Federal Reserve Bank of
the US. This was originally
designed around PU4-PU4 connectivity, but the marketplace was changing so
fast that the project was re-vectored into two services:
Basic SNA subarea node
to subarea node connectivity at the datalink level.
This supported SDLC, X.25, frame-relay, ATM and
Token-Ring attachment in the same combinations as the earlier service for
dependent SNA. This was made more
complex because IBM, not anticipating a requirement for such
interconnection, used somewhat different protocols on the five
media. Therefore the service had
to translate between data idioms as the frames passed through the network.
Type 2.1 Independent
Logical Unit session switching.
This service made every logical unit attached to the network appear
to be in the immediately adjacent node.
The network used an internal broadcast to locate the actual
attachment point of the destination logical unit.
Very high reliability was provided by
the underlying packet switched network, which would transparently recover
from failures of individual nodes or links.
A lead customer for this was Groupe Desjardins.
It was also sold to sparkasse
networks in Sweden, Norway, and Austria.
token-ring Brouter. In the early
1990's many financial networks were adding LAN type applications to their
existing SNA based services. This
project added support for IP and Netware protocols on token-ring
attachments. This is called a
Brouter because while it did not implement all of the router protocols,
it did implement enough to effectively filter traffic
to eliminate broadcasts across the network. Packets
were only forwarded into the network if the target network address was off
the local net. Advertisement
packets, which are sent to broadcast addresses, were recognized.
The first such packet was let though,
but subsequent repetitions were blocked, while the remote end took
responsibility for local repetitions.
For reliability the service permitted multiple instances to be
configured on each LAN segment, with load balancing.
The lead customer on this product was
Architect on project
to migrate network of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Inter-bank Financial
Transfers) from proprietary Burroughs implementation to X.25.
Used standard tools to formally
validate the protocol specification.
Architect on project
to add support for data over voice service for point-of-sale
authorizations for Bell-South and Visa International.
This included verifying the multi-point
polled point-of-sale protocol specification.
Architect on project
to support IBM Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN) support.
Lead customer ABSA Bank (South Africa).
implementation of remote computer labs for community college
Telecommunications services, including PBX, for community college
NCP and VTAM
definitions in first large scale shared SNA network in the world.
Development of a
support application to automate network operations.
This was required because we had one of
the largest and certainly most complex early SNA networks and IBM had not
yet delivered any automation tools.
IBM later delivered NetView product.
tools to detect response time problems before the customer reported them.
design tool. Again because our
network was so large and complex we needed to automate the network
topology definition before IBM delivered tools to assist this.
Project leader on
basic service definitions for new high performance product line (sold
under the product name Magellan Passport).
This project laid out the service and management structure
for the product.
Manager application. This tool
provided a consistent user-friendly method of logging on to the network,
hiding the complexity of the multiple applications deployed on the
network. The session manager was
capable of communicating with tens of thousands of users while maintaining
fast response. It provided
extensive on-line help to assist users in getting the best out of the
network, and delivered news on services delivered.
The session manager also secured the
network by ensuring that users could only log on to applications for which
they were authorized. It
streamlined access to individual applications by permitting the user to
select an individual transaction under an application server (such as IMS,
CICS, or TSO), rather than having to first log on to the server and then
select the transaction. This meant
the user did not have to be aware of the existence of these applications
servers as entities. In the case
where applications were distributed across multiple mainframes the session
manager also hid that from the user, seamlessly redirecting user requests
to whichever host was best suited at the moment to satisfying the
request. In particular this
included balancing TSO users across multiple hosts based upon current
load. The session manager also
simplified the administration of individual CICS and IMS based services by
enhancing them with the option to support dynamically created terminal
definitions. The single stage
logon and dynamic terminal definition features required installing user
exits in CICS and IMS. This service implemented many of the features
of the World-Wide Web as created 10 years later, particularly the use of
a text language to define the content and appearance of pages and defining
links between pages.
telecommunications suppliers (Telecom Canada)
Deployment of support
for X.25 access (NPSI, Datapac) for asynchronous, binary synchronous
(3270), and SDLC terminals.
installation of local area networks (Ethernet, Token-Ring, and Token-Bus)
definition of IP service support for new product line.
Architect on provision
of SNA services on new product line.
Architect on project
to add IP support on mobile communications (cell phones).
Reporting tool to
generate ad-hoc reports from an IMS database, reducing the turnaround time
on new reports from months to days.
system. This speeds up reports by
maintaining only active students in current database and automatically
moving them from inactive to active subset when accessed, and moving
students who have not been accessed within the past year to the inactive
subset upon demand.
tool (report of differences between two copies of an IMS database taken on
Conversion of student
records system. This was a 40
man-year project involving writing the technical specifications for the
conversion, creating a budget, and then supervising a team of 23
programmers and systems analysts for the duration of the project.
administration of SQL database for web application.
support for deployment of Model 204 and S2000 database managers in service
Development of small-scale
relational database for demonstration pilot of an office automation
product line. In the early 1980s
the only commercially available relational databases had a minimum license
fee of about $250K. In this
project we designed the office system with the assumption that it would
use a relational database to maintain central information, such as
information about users, however for the pilot we wished to demonstrate
this capability without investing in a full-fledged database package.
I provided a small package that
provided the minimum required functionality for deployment, including CICS
transactions for updating the database contents and definition.
Other Application Development
student application processing at Centennial Community College
records query system
Web site development