One of our most rewarding projects to date was with Health Partners America. When our client initially hired us, they told us we had two weeks to make an impact in their IT department or our contract would be terminated. Well not only did we completely help their department make a complete 180 within that short amount of time, we also added numerous productivity improvements and deliverables that not only added value to the IT department but the entire company.
Estimated Project Duration: 2 Weeks
Actual Project Duration: Current
Health Partners America (HPA) was in desperate need of a system administrator, project manager and more developers in their IT department. Our goal was to provide what our client needed, within budget, and without the need to hire more staff.
HPA needed a ninja consultant and pronto! We automated everything that we could in a short amount of time and documented everything extensively. Previous developers left the company in a very poor state. HPA was left with expensive, custom, poorly written applications that ensured that only the contractor would know how to operate them, and once the contractors left, it left the company handicapped. HPA is a small company and they had unknowingly hired contractors to build systems in place that needed at least 10 additional employees to maintain and truthfully…they didn’t need any of it.
System Administration: The first order of business was moving all of their existing clients and software to a new improved server. However, before we could begin work on the effort, we had to take an assessment of all the moving parts. Currently our client had no working documentation of any of the applications used nor how they communicated with other systems on the server. Once we were able to complete the current architecture design, it allowed us to easily move to managed servers with no downtime. In addition to moving their systems to a more secure, managed, location, we also added automated scripts which allowed the team to focus less on the server and more on their work.
- Migrated over 500 live exchange sites to managed server
- Prepared infrastructure for compliance with Service Organization Control (SOC) 3 & Marsh & McLennan Security Risk Assessment
- Automated Encryption of Personal Identifiable Information (PPI)
- Documented all system administrative processes
- Automated backups on servers and to additional offsite locations
- Implemented password policies on all servers (3)
- Performed penetration testing plan to eliminate SQL injection and brute force attacks
- Wrote and implemented plans to secure data upon employee terminations
- Integrated cPanel into Slack to alert the team of security breaches and back status
Project Management: The next order of business was implementing software development processes and procedures as none were in place. After evaluating the teams current processes of development, the following processes and procedures were implemented to help the the team work more efficiently and to be compliant with SOC3 and the Marsh & McLennan Security Risk Assessment:
- Document peer review & software development procedures
- Document coding standard
- Train team members of new development processes and procedures
- Add code to Git repository using SourceTree and GitHub
- Create a issue tracking system for all code changes
- Create a team wiki for storing team tutorials and instructions
- Integrate new issue tracking system into Basecamp
Once new processes were in place, we had to ensure that the team became self-managed so that they we could implement Scrum as their preferred software development methodology.
Software Development: Once our client’s data was transferred to a more reliable server and a software development plan was in place it was time to perform code clean-ups through-out all servers and begin developing software using object oriented design (OOD).
Previously, applications were built without using OOD nor adequate documentation. Code changes that would take a few seconds if OOD were in place, would take days with the team. Not only was senior development needed, the code had to be simplified and re-written so that it didn’t require a large team to maintain.
- Develop standalone web applications as needed
- Provide back-end development for all new applications
- Add new features to legacy applications (requests from account management)
- Replace poorly written legacy applications
Coda is the primary PHP IDE for our Elite Development Team on Mac OS.
Source Tree is the primary Git repository client for our Elite Development Team
Visual Studio.NET is the primary IDE for our Elite Development Team in Windows environments.
Github is the primary configuration management (CM) collaboration environment for our Elite Development Team.
The majority of all web applications developed for HPA were created with PHP.
ASP.NET was used build the Quotit quoting engine.
Bourne was to for any server-side scripting.
Agile - Scrum
HPA currently uses only Agile Scrum for all web and software developments.
Quotit Quoting Engine Coming Soon
With the creation of the new insurance quoting engine, HPA will soon be able to accept online enrollments.
Partner Portal Coming Soon
Now insurance agents will have a more user friendly interface to manage their accounts. Developers and account managers of HPA will now have a scalable, easily manageable application that requires no additional programming or development.
cPanel Domain Registration Plugin
Account managers needed an easy way to add domains to their hosting accounts without learning cPanel. Created a plugin for cPanel that allows the automatic addition of domains when new agents sign-up for new online marketplaces.
IT Bug Tracking System
The primary project management tool used by HPA is Basecamp and although great, it did not work well for development. Created special plugins and scripts for Bug Genie that allowed integration into Basecamp.
Slack Team Integrations
In addition to setting up Slack for team collaboration, our team built custom scripts to also integrate Github, cPanel and email alert.
Custom Content Management System
Assisted development (back-end) of a custom content management system using the Laravel framework. Integrations included :
- OS Ticket
Content Management Conversion Tool
The initial content management system (CMS) needed to be upgraded and because it was custom built and poorly designed, users needed to be imported into the new system. The conversion tool was created for this purpose.
System Architecture Map
Previously, managers did not have an overview of their system architecture, now administrators have an easily updatable blue print of all servers and applications running on each server.
HPA was in deep need of documentation of employee duties as well as how-tos for various tasks performed by its IT department. Created an employee access only web application for the team to use as an online manual for all team activities.
The creation of the new exchange manager, account managers can now get an accurate report of the status of all domains owned by their insurance agents.
System Administration Tools
Multiple automated system administration scripts were completed to perform the following tasks:
- Backup Server
- Backup Databases
- Domain Status Alerts
- Lead Encryption
TORCH Hospital Map
Created a web application that users could use to search for TORCH hospitals. Tool integrated with Google Maps.
I must say this...If you get the chance to contract Sharron, do it! You will be thrilled that you did. I contracted Sharron to do mostly DevOps and server upgrades -- and Sharron made the servers stand up and dance! Sharron’s knowledge and skil...Read More
I must say this...If you get the chance to contract Sharron, do it! You will be thrilled that you did. I contracted Sharron to do mostly DevOps and server upgrades -- and Sharron made the servers stand up and dance! Sharron’s knowledge and skills in Scrum, in addition to excellent people skills, would make her an ideal Scrum Master. If you need ANYTHING, you could do no better than to contract Sharron.Read Less
I was fortunate to work closely with Sharron for over a year in a high-paced work environment that constantly introduced changes and challenges that were identified and resolved by Sharron's expertise. Sharron is extremely easy to work with no ...Read More
I was fortunate to work closely with Sharron for over a year in a high-paced work environment that constantly introduced changes and challenges that were identified and resolved by Sharron's expertise. Sharron is extremely easy to work with no matter the background, skill level, or management level of the people or teams with whom she interacts to accomplish her tasks and goals. Sharron is a problem solver and diligently works on resolutions until her customers are completely satisfied. She came to work at HPA at a time when the technical architecture was in dire need of an "over-haul" and was able to identify issues, make a complete plan of action for fixing those issues, and worked with several team members to resolve them. Sharron is a person of high integrity and strong work ethic. She is one of the best technical professional with whom I've worked. I highly recommend for any computer engineering related job. Opting for anyone different would be a mistake. She is fabulous.Read Less
I could use a lot of adjectives to describe Sharron: Diligent, self-motivated, organized, driven, or even less professionally oriented descriptions like kind and thoughtful, but no list of adjectives really compares to actually working with her...Read More
I could use a lot of adjectives to describe Sharron: Diligent, self-motivated, organized, driven, or even less professionally oriented descriptions like kind and thoughtful, but no list of adjectives really compares to actually working with her. If you are looking for someone to take the reigns and whip your system or development cycle into shape, then I guess it's a good thing you are reading this; That means you've found the profile you are looking for.Read Less