Hal Joshua Eisen
hal@haleisen.com     (415) 300-0425


An engineering leadership position where I can fully express my organizational skills and technical vision.


Director of Software Engineering Dec 2012 - present
Ask.com (SEM) Oakland, CA
  • Owned the technical systems which enabled over a $1MM/day revenue program and generated over 4MM visitors per day.
  • 2nd line manager, supervising the activity of 20 staff, broken up into 4 teams in New York, Oakland, Guadalajara and Chennai, consisting of a mix of contractors and full time employees performing Development, QA and Operations responsbilities.
  • Architected, designed, supervised engineering, and deployed to production a massively scalable automated bidding system which improved margins by 25%.
  • Maintained and optimized a Big Data reporting system, delivering over 10x improvement in throughput while tripling available capacity.
  • Responsible for over 100 AWS EC2 cloud servers, consisting of five Hadoop clusters, a dozen proprietary app server clusters, a SOLR/lucene farm, three MySQL master/slave clusters, with proprietary job launchers and schedulers and an ETL package.
  • Coordinated multi-functional teams to procure hardware worth more than $1MM.
Senior Engineering Manager Jan 2012 - Dec 2012
Ask.com (SEM) Oakland, CA
  • Developed K-means clustering software with Mahout and Hadoop to optimize SEM bidding strategy for a portfolio of 150MM advertisements.
  • Architected, designed, supervised engineering, implemented, and deployed to production a small scale automated bidding system.
  • Built a specialized distributed caching system containing 1 billion objects using Riak and Erlang.
  • Served as ScrumMaster.
Senior Engineering Manager May 2007 - Jan 2012
Ask.com (Back end engineering) Oakland, CA
  • Shipped business critical software implementing new features and bug fixes to the production website. Shipped new tools and maintained offline processing systems for internal customers.
  • Ported two vertical search products from Windows to Linux achieving performance improvements of 25% and 100%.
  • Responsible for the "crown jewels" NLP databases, and their daily deployment to the live production website for both domestic and international data centers.
  • Initiated and completed an end-to-end code audit and build process for a critical legacy C# and C++ software product consisting of over 1MM lines of code which had been stagnant for two years.
  • Defined workflow for processing partner data feeds and automating the population of production databases. Directed engineers to design, implement and deploy software and scripts.
  • Pioneered the use of virtualization technology in development and testing. Specified and procured hardware to support VMware. Spearheaded the process for modernizing version control systems across all engineering teams.
Founder, and Director of Software Engineering Mar 2006 - Jan 2007
Pacific Testing Systems Berkeley, CA
  • Drafted departmental budget.
  • Forecasted two year hiring plan.
  • Supervised, edited, and set vision for the Product Requirements Documentation.
  • Acted as IT Director.
Software QA Manager Jan 2005 - Jan 2006
Orion Multisystems Santa Clara, CA
  • Created and maintained project plans for the Engineering Test Department, covering the activities of nine staff. Tracked progress against the baseline plans and adjusted accordingly.
  • Designed and implemented functional and performance tests for beowulf clusters and our proprietary Linux distribution.
  • Created from scratch two different Linux LiveCDs, one with a graphical test operator interface, and another with the Orion beowulf cluster software stack. Designed, specified, and implemented a database API for storing manufacturing test data. Enabled remote database reporting for key staff. Performed pareto analysis on test data.
  • Authored and edited numerous test plans and test reports relating to both hardware and software testing. Created document templates for the business. Administered the corporate document management system.
  • Performed hiring activities, including resume screening, phone screening, interviewing, and evaluation of candidates fitness for various jobs throughout the organization.
  • Mentored staff in engineering process and in testing methodologies.
Owner Aug 2003 - May 2007
Built On Linux Consulting Berkeley, CA
  • Created business plan for a Linux-focused IT consulting practice, defining products and services offered, managing the budget, identifying target market, and strategizing methods for selling into that market. Updated same on a quarterly basis.
  • Successfully marketed and sold products and services to a wide variety of clients, including several repeat engagements. Delivered full documentation on all projects.
  • Performed server installations and emergency recoveries.
  • Installed and maintained secure e-commerce solutions, including credit card payment systems, and database-backed online stores.
  • Contracted as IT Director for three months at iCanvas.org and JustVoteNow.org. Defined network architecture. Procured servers and services for hosting with redundant fail-over capability. Installed and maintained Java-based Tomcat application server environment. Produced hourly and daily statistics and graphs about usage patterns. Installed and maintained bug tracking software and forum software. Enabled "hot" database backups using MySQL replication and rsync.
  • Served as VP for the Better Referral Network in Berkeley. Member of Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Member of the Independent Computer Consultants Association.
Software Tools Manager Nov 2000 - Jul 2002
Transmeta Corporation Santa Clara, CA
  • Directed all aspects of the software engineering life cycle process to deliver high quality software. Defined and created work-flows for developing projects and software tasks. Created document templates. Established coding guidelines. Mentored developers within the group on industry best practices.
  • Extensive project management experience. Created schedules with projects, tasks, and milestones, assigned resources to tasks, tracked progress, maintained project plans, and published project status to ensure multiple, simultaneous projects completed on time.
  • Authored dozens of specification, architecture, requirements, and design documents. Worked closely with diverse customers to define and deliver quality software products. Reviewed and edited documents written by group and department members.
  • Recruited 4 new employees into the group. Collected resumes. Designed and conducted phone screens. Organized interviews. Assessed candidates' value to the company.
  • Managed the engineering activities of 6 engineers. Evaluated performance of those engineers in relation to corporate standards. Guided career paths of engineers by working with employees to set appropriate goals.
  • Spoke at the TeamShare User Conference in Colorado Springs, CO (March 2002). Presented the RaceTrack command line tools enabling automated and other non-web interactions with the TeamTrack work-flow database. These tools were built by my group. Gave a similar presentation internally to the company.
  • Managed vendor relationships, including scheduling upgrades, reporting and tracking defects, procuring hardware and software, and acquiring contract sign-off.

Engineering Manager Apr 1998 - Nov 2000
Brightmail, Incorporated San Francisco, CA
  • Managed a team which wrote 100K lines of Perl and C code, implementing a 99.99% uptime operations center.
  • Designed and coded internal operations center anti-spam tools using C, Perl, Oracle and HTML. Provided technical and architectural leadership for software development. Wrote technical documentation used by the Engineering, QA and Technical Documentation teams.
  • Pioneered formal software engineering process with requirements, designs, code reviews, test plans and sign-off procedures.

Technical Consultant May 1997 - Nov 1997
Silicon Graphics, Incorporated Mountain View, CA
  • Developed internal web tools to support professional services group.
  • Developed content browsing tool for TV programming environment.
  • Evaluated proposals for potential project commitments.

Senior Systems Administrator Jun 1994 - Dec 1996
Ellsworth Associates, Incorporated (National Weather Service) Camp Springs, MD
  • Lead team of a dozen people in administering 200+ Unix workstations with 500+ users.
  • Assisted users on all levels of accessing the workstations, local network and Internet. Provided remote support for other branches of the Weather Service. Developed security policies. Taught classes on Unix and networking issues to system administrators and users.
  • Installed and maintained open source software on 4 hardware platforms and 6 operating systems.
  • Advised on equipment purchases totaling over $500,000.

Software Support Specialist Sep 1991 - Jun 1994
Empress Software, Incorporated Greenbelt, MD
  • Consulted on database design and implementation at customer sites. Responsible for creation of C and FORTRAN database APIs, software architecture, database design, utility development, and SQL script creation.
  • Taught classes to customers, both at remote and local.

Computer Programmer Jan 1991 - Jul 1991
Tri-Analytics, Incorporated Bel Air, MD
  • Designed and wrote, in C and LISP, a report writer engine and interface for a homebrew database. Enhanced, improved and maintained database software written in C.


Languages: C, C++, Python, Perl, Lisp, Lua, Erlang, Haskell, Go
Databases: PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Hadoop, Riak, Redis


Bachelor of Science in Computer Science     The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Certified ScrumMaster     Scrum Alliance