Damien Whitten

Chief Architect at Embed Financial Technologies Inc.

Chief Architect, applying modern software paradigms to regulated finance.

Utilizing his specialist knowledge honed from over a decade of experience, Damien has created API-first, event driven and scalable solutions which solve the complex problems of modernizing traditional financial systems. Bringing a wide range of both technical and leadership skills, Damien leads by example and brings Agility and transformative communication to his teams.

Career Overview

Time Company Role
May 2020 - Present Rebase / Embed Chief Architect (Consultant)
Jan 2020 - May 2020 ANZ Bank Chapter Lead
Jun 2019 - Jan 2020 Bluebike / Duty of Care Senior Developer
Nov 2018 - May 2019 Nearmap Senior Developer
May 2018 - Nov 2018 ECAL Chief Technology Officer
Feb 2018 - May 2018 SEEK Senior Developer
Feb 2016 - Feb 2018 Third Party Trade Chief Architect
Oct 2015 - Feb 2016 Lynx IT / Tabcorp API Lead
May 2013 - Oct 2015 Sapient Chief Technology Officer (Consultant)
Feb 2013 - Oct 2015 Rebase Director, Consultant
Oct 2012 - Feb 2013 Smart Matter Senior Developer
Jan 2012 - Oct 2012 Specialist Link Principal Developer
Apr 2011 - Dec 2011 World Vision Australia Contract Developer
Feb 2011 - Apr 2011 Urban Intelligence Integration & Field Programmer
Jul 2009 - Feb 2011 Lightmoves Project Support Developer

Expertise

Technology

  • Proto / gRPC
  • AWS, Infra-as-code
  • Event Driven Micro-services
  • Docker, ECS, Kubernetes
  • Golang, Node

Key Skills

  • API Driven Product Design
  • Domain Driven Development (DDD)
  • Team Leadership
  • Developer Mentoring
  • Long-term Architectural Planning

Project & Work Experience

Chief Architect – Embed (Consultant, USA)

Dates: May 2020 - Present

Project Overview

Embed has created modern, developer-focussed APIs and portals which enable businesses to create innovative investing experiences within traditional financial systems. As chief architect, I am responsible for techology decisions and API design.

Outcomes

Navigating a complex regulatory environment, Embed successfully launched its clearing product to market on-schedule; while maintaining a developer-led focus.

Chapter Lead - ANZ Bank

Dates: January 2020 - May 2020

Project Overview

ANZx is a project to build a new modern bank within the ANZ's traditional bank brand and infrastructure. As a chapter lead within the 'Fabric' team, I was responsible for the adapter layers between legacy bank platforms and the new applications.

Technology

  • Kubernetes Microservices
  • GCP
  • Go

Senior Developer - Nearmap

Dates: November 2018 - May 2019

Project Overview

Nearmap provides aerial imagery to customers through in-house map browsers, and integrations with GIS software. Their WMS server is a legacy application which adapts the standard map tile API to an open WMS standard. To add native support for GDA2020, and to assist in migrating to a new map tiles service, major changes were required in the legacy WMS server.

Technology

  • Kubernetes Microservices
  • AWS, Terraform
  • Go

Outcomes

Due to split focus in a relatively small team, I was given full code ownership of these changes. I achieved the goal by wrapping legacy services with a new Go layer as an adapter for incoming and outgoing requests, and progressively replaced functions in the legacy codebase until there was none left, with no disruption to customer flow, allowing for the future release of GDA2020 and other new workflow features.

Chief Technology Officer - ECAL

Dates: May 2018 - November 2018

Project Overview

ECAL is an online calendar marketing platform. As CTO, I began a team and technology transformation from a quagmire of tech-debt into a planned and 'clean' micro-services architecture.

Technology

  • Docker Microservices
  • AWS ECS, Cloudformation etc
  • Go, Python, Node.js, React.js

Outcomes

  • 60% reduction in company AWS bill
  • Bugs substantially reduced
  • Implemented logging with cross-service tracing to further catch and correct bugs
  • 'Survived' major customer launches without a glitches

Chief Architect - Third Party Trade (USA)

Dates: February 2016 - February 2018

Project Overview

Third Party Trade is an API-First online securities brokerage. As chief architect , I designed and built a quality, modern API, aggregating various 'industry standard' (read: legacy) systems into a single, radically simplified interface.

Technology

  • Go
  • Kubernetes
  • React.js
  • AWS

Outcomes

Customers of Third Party Trade were able to add financial trading functionality to their applications in a matter of weeks, using the services we developed, up until its acquisition by Square Inc. My architecture is now used to power Square's 'Cash App' Investing platform.

API Lead - Lynx IT

Dates: October 2015 - February 2016

Project Overview

I was brought on to design and code APIs that would support new gambling platforms for Lynx IT's largest client - TabCorp.

The unique requirements of the project required innovative solutions to meet emerging standards within the highly regulated Australian gambling industry.

Examples of innovative approaches to meet project requirements included:

  • Nationwide event synchronization without web sockets
  • Creating micro-services to support multi-jurisdictional regulatory requirements
  • Content negotiation using a modified HATEOAS standard for future-proofed backwards compatibility

In addition to this new API providing extend functionality and improved reliability, it had to remain backwards-compatible with the existing website.

Devops

A key part of my role at Lynx IT was to design, build and maintain the development and production environments, across multiple platforms.

Regulatory constraints necessitated the use of different platforms for different aspects of the project, using both AWS and various Private Regulated Networks.

I was responsible for building a continuous delivery pipeline, designing and delivering Git workflows, as well as implementing automated testing.

Technologies

  • Node.js and GoLang
  • AWS
  • Ansible
  • Docker
  • GoCD and Travis CI

Outcomes

  • Full Continuous delivery system using GoCD and Docker
  • A series of micro-service APIs handling live draw information, placing bets and retrieving results for Keno gameplay
  • Docker as a deployment tool in the wider Tab Digital team, and provided guidance for a gradual roll-out across various tab projects.
  • Regulatory approval for new ‘baseline’ gaming components.

Chief Technology Officer - Sapient

Dates: May 2013 – October 2015

Project Overview

Employed by by Sapient to redevelop their Medical Practice Management software using modern technologies and techniques.

This project required integration with the technically outdated and under supported Medicare Australia Client Adaptor.

Forming a partnership between my own company (Rebase) and Sapient, we crafted a business model that developed a public API to address the various limitations with the Medicare Client Adaptor.

Sapient's API makes medical billing integration easy for developers and businesses. The API:

  • Removes requirements for developers to use Java6, 32 bit (or any other dependencies)
  • Allows for parallel key usage
  • Provides documentation of validation rules
  • Correctly processes validation rules
  • Has a consistent structure across all claim and report types
  • Supports asynchronous, idempotent report fetching (with call-back URLs and ‘changed since’ queries)
  • Provides primary keys to track each claim.

Technologies

  • GoLang
  • Java6
  • MySQL
  • Debian 8, Ansible, Nginx

Director, Consultant Developer - Rebase

Dates: February 2013 – October 2015

Company Overview

Rebase had been my 'side business' since 2008. In 2013, with support from Smart Matter as my first of many steady clients, I was able to take the risk and build my own company and hire developers.

Rebase successfully delivered a wide range of solutions which continue to run today, including bespoke ERP systems, BMS integrations, and the Claiming.com.au API which spun off into its own startup company, Sapient.

Senior Developer - Smart Matter

Dates: October 2012 – February 2013

Project Overview

Smart Matter (formerly Greenbox) are an ‘Internet of Things’ energy and resource management company who build intelligence gathering hardware and software which can be installed in homes and businesses to manage and optimise energy usage. Smart Matter specialise in Solar Systems, and provide end-user web portals for energy retailers.

I was contracted by Smart Matter to build all front-end components of customer portals, working with styling and designs from agencies, and building APIs to import data from Smart Matter hardware and databases.

Outside of developing software, I was contracted to formalise the team’s Agile process, and implemented a ScrumBan-like approach with rotating scrum masters, daily stand-ups, and fortnightly iterations. Most importantly, this process had a positive impact on our customer relationships and improved developer morale.

Some of the Portals I have developed include:

  • AGL Home Solar, AGL Onsite Installer provisioning app
  • ‘Flow’ community Water & Energy billing and management portal
  • Generic Solar and Energy Usage portals.

Technologies

  • Grunt, Bower, NPM
  • CoffeeScript, LessCSS
  • require.js, moment.js, backbone.js, underscore.js

Outcomes

All portals are in active use by tens of thousands of end clients each day

Based on the success of this work, Smart Matter have been contracted to develop customised energy management portals and applications for several other large customers.

Contract Developer - World Vision Australia

Dates: April 2011 - December 2011

Project Overview

World Vision's digital team pride itself on being a cost effective marketing channel for the charity, measuring its success on donation rates and child sponsorships through the website. Part of the in house web development team, I was responsible for all front-end JavaScript and assisting with .NET API development and integration.

Technologies

  • C#, .NET
  • SiteFinity CMS
  • HTML, Javascript, CSS

Outcomes

Web Standards Development:

Responding to a lack of clearly defined development standards in the team, I worked with management to design a ‘best practices’ framework that covered design, development, testing, deployment and content management. Redeveloped a number of websites

Integration & Field Programmer - Urban Intelligence

Dates: February 2011 - April 2011

Role Overview

Urban Intelligence builds and installs AV and automation solutions for residential and commercial clients. I was hired as a Dynalite specialist to program non-standard requirements in assembly code, and build custom interfaces into building management systems, way-finding installations and a touch-screen cafe table to allow customers to order from the table.

Project Support Developer - Lightmoves Pty Ltd

Dates: July 2009 - February 2011

Project Overview

Lightmoves are a specialist lighting design, control and installation company, specializing in complex ‘Dynalite’ products. The company was looking for a software solution to track customer quotes, proposals and projects by consolidating various computer-based and off-system processes.

The solution was a fully customized, hosted CRM and ERP application, based on open-source libraries and languages.

Technologies

  • Symfony2 (PHP5)
  • MySQL
  • Pronto Accounting ODBC Drivers
  • VisualBasic for Applications (VBA)
  • Microsoft IIS and LDAP servers
  • mDaemon Email Server