Welcome

Salutations, and welcome to my humble little part of the web. Some call me Aaron, others call me Lev. My company I call SikoSoft.

Origins

I've been building web sites for over half of my life now. What began as a hobby soon became my passion, career and obsession. Starting with simple HTML, I soon moved onto PERL, then PHP. As the web shifted towards interactive interfaces, I honed my JavaScript knowledge. Today, I feel at home both in the front-end and back-end.

Evolution

My general attitude towards personal evolution is as simple as this: if you're not at least a little bit embarrassed over what you were a year ago, then you're not evolving! While I am always proud over what I produce now, looking back makes me realize how far I've come and will continue to go.

Passion

The joy of creating web sites comes from knowing that something I built is enjoyed and valued by other people. I take pride in all that I do; whether it's design or code, performance or security. Getting a page to be snappy and responsive, while retaining functionality across numerous environments is what keeps me up at night.

Skills

Photoshop Adobe Photoshop 3
CSS CSS 5
English English 5
HTML HTML/XHTML 5
HTML5 HTML5 Canvas API 4
Javascript JavaScript 5
Jquery jQuery 5
Linux Linux 4
mySQL mySQL 4
Node.js Node.js & WebSockets 4
PERL PERL 2
Perforce Perforce Version Control 3
PHP PHP 5
Swedish Swedish 3

Interests

Gaming

Playing and making games is a huge part of my life. Through the years, I've built up quite a collection. I also have a little soft spot in my heart for Minecraft. It's embarrassing to admit how many hours I've poured into my blocky worlds.

Technology

Whether it's a smart-watch or a Raspberry Pi, I love tinkering with the latest tech, and finding ways I can put technology to work in my daily life.

Music

If I need some soothing sounds to put my mind at ease, or just to get my creative juices flowing, music always comes to the aide. I'm also proud of my ever-growing vinyl collection.

Code

Unannounced Online Game

Currently I am working on an unannounced online game at Ubisoft. The bulk of my work consists of Node.js server code, though I do spend a good bit of time with web code as well. I wish I could say more about it, but I'm, unfortunately, bound by an NDA. ;P

Node.js Redis
Some Background
  • Highly scalable, distributed architecture
  • Service-to-service communication via Redis queueing
  • Utilizing Express web application framework
  • Websocket implementation on front-end

Far Cry 3®

Working directly within the Far Cry 3 development team at Massive Entertainment, I was the sole programmer of the game to web site. I wrote both the back-end code (PHP), as well as the font-end code (JavaScript). Additionally, I wrote the API which the mobile application communicated with, which in turn communicated with the game servers.

Highlights
  • AJAX-centric interface with updates happening instantly
  • Mimics in-game UI through advanced CSS & jQuery
  • Secure back-end code preventing exploiting the game
  • Web exclusive puzzle minigame earning in-game rewards

The project required me to get a better sense of splitting up dynamic and static files, to properly balance load via a CDN. A good deal of care was also put into ensuring it could manage to serve thousands of clients at once, without coming to a crawl.

FC3 - Decoding FC3 - The Grid FC3 - Loadouts

APIs

Outside of work, I have been building personal applications taking advantage of the APIs of both Twitter and Ebay.

As a Tweet-aholic, it seemed fitting to build an app to help me keep control my rate of tweeting through scheduled tweets. It also analyses the tags I flag each tweet with to get a sense of what I'm yapping too much about.

Being both a collector and a bargain hunter, I devised a tool which allows me to search 3 Ebay sites at once. Automated checks via cron with SMS notifications mean I'm informed once a record I want becomes available.

Twitter Twitter Ebay

DSX

When I find time away from work (and my many other projects) I enjoy working on an old-school, overhead RPG game engine & editor. If you grew up with classic NES games like I did, just think old-school Zelda. This engine has been my first "real" attempt at a proper game engine (not counting puzzle games).

Highlights
  • HTML5 canvas API & HTML5 audio
  • A-Star path-finding algorithm for mob AI
  • Flexible sprite visual effect scripting
  • Real-time map editor - play while building a map
  • Daytime cycle
  • Real-time 2D lighting effects
  • Select pre-defined objects & paint them on map
  • altered state of conciousness melds two worlds
DSX Editor DSX Editor DSX Editor DSX Editor

ISTiT

One of the earlier projects which helped me learn the HTML 5 canvas API was a "Tetris"-like game. I call it "ISTiT" as an acronym for "I Swear This isn't Tetris" to avoid any legal complications. ;) Once I started getting into Node.js, I upgraded the game to utilize Websockets, and allow for two-player competitive play.

ISTiT ISTiT ISTiT
Highlights
  • HTML5 canvas API & HTML5 audio
  • Node.js/Websocket competitive support
  • Highly configurable (override any coded option)
  • Finely tuned difficulty scaling
  • Powerful scoring system (chains, speed bonuses)
  • Balanced (random-weighted) algorith for piece drops
  • Hold-piece function
  • Ghost block preview placement

Theia (CMS)

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment, prior to working at Massive Entertainment, was a CMS I dubbed Theia. The CMS was gigantic in scope and became convoluted after many years of working on it. I have since ceased production on the system as of around 2010.

Theia Theia Theia Theia Theia
Highlights
  • Object-oriented PHP with mySQL
  • Plain-text, special code or rich-text editing
  • 200+ administration tools
  • 6 view types (forums, news, gallery, etc.)
  • Unmatched flexibility in permission management
  • Queued event handling for performance
  • status updates & clubs
  • multiple paralled themes

Work History

Ubisoft / Massive Entertainment
Web Programmer
Aug. 2010 - Present
Developed web-to-game application for Far Cry 3 and server code for a new online game.
SikoSoft
Web Developer
Oct. 2009 - Aug. 2010
Freelanced on a range of projects ranging from PHP development to JavaScript apps.
PHPFox
Support Technician
Feb. 2007 - Oct. 2008
Provided technical support via ticket system and helped fix and patch issues.
HSB
Summer Custodian
May - Aug. 2002, May - Aug. 2003, May - Aug. 2004
Maintenance and upkeep of housing community, consisting mainly of gardening and cleaning.
Blockbuster Video
Customer Service Represenative
Aug. 1999 - Apr. 2000
Handled cash-register and sales, maintaining store and taking inventory.
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SikoSoft