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What was your connection with Randy? What was the business context (project duration, colleague/supervisor etc)?

Randy and I first met when we worked together as contractors and colleagues at Kibble & Prentice in Seattle WA between August and October of 2006. We hit it off right away as we were both passionate about SQL Server, detailed analysis and business automation. After that contract ended (with a success-party), Randy hired me as a consultant at his own corporation (YD Pages, Inc.) between May and August of 2007. We have fondly kept in touch over the years.

What areas of strength were brought to the role?

In my opinion, I am the most impressed with Randy's incredible skill of automating computer processes batch / shell / SQL / Script - you name it. At Kibble & Prentice, he took the roles of Build Master and Senior Data Analyst. He had automated the entire build process and made all of it "push the button, watch it work flawlessly" kind of stuff.

At Kibble & Prentice, we were tasked with replacing the central business-critical computer system in the company. The pressure to succeed was enormous. I was basically in charge of all Crystal Reports development, and Randy was in charge of all things SQL, including a thorough analysis of the legacy system and the design of the new system. Because Randy was in that position, the entire roll out of the new company-wide software went entirely without a hitch! This made it one of the most successful efforts of high magnitude and complexity that I have ever seen in my career of 30+ years.

When I worked for him in 2007, he was an excellent customer who gave me exact specifications for the software product he requested. He accepted my finished product and reviewed my code with grace and praise. What are the professional development areas? What could he improve on? Randy is my go-to guy for answering any deep-dive SQL Server question. There are very few people on earth with Randy's depth of knowledge in Windows and SQL Server automation. He has worked on those scary-deep teams at Microsoft developing internal software. How can I improve on that?? I suppose he could probably use more patience with people who are less ethical.

Communication skills (interpersonal communications, writing skills etc)?

Everything Randy has sent to me exhibits meticulous accuracy and skilled communication. He also shares my skill of communicating with end-users, and teaching new skills to developers who need to come up to speed on best practices. His code is succinct, thorough, and pragmatic. He is a gifted teacher and mentor. Over the years, he has taught me how to go from "cowboy coder" to a serious senior developer and process analyst who can develop production-ready code for Microsoft and Puget Sound Energy.

Collaboration and Teaming (is he a good person to have on the team, do other people like working with him, etc)?

Randy exudes energy and infuses high morale into the team. His laugh is so contagious, and he digs into his work with excitement and all of his energy! He can often be intense and passionate about his work. I think he is an incredibly fun person to be around! I have seen some people put off by this intensity, and misread this as arrogance, so he may take some "getting used to". He will not only succeed in his role in the dev. team, but he has likely been in most of the other roles as well, so he is a great one to collaborate with at any level. Overall? In a phrase, he is an "Intensely skilled and very fun Automation, SEO and SQL God". You can't go wrong hiring him.

If given the opportunity, would you work with Randy again?

Count me in, anytime!!

Sincerely,
Shaun Merrill


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