Don Pierson, San José, CA
Web site and Database Design and Development
I have been creating custom Web sites since the beginning of the Internet when, about 20 years ago, I turned my skills towards developing sophisticated relational database sites during a time when such sites were uncommon.  MySQL and other online databases did not exist so I created a relational flat-file system with a browser-based data entry form to meet the needs. As creator and Web master of, an official site for a 1950s Peruvian singer, I honed my skills by reprogramming the whole site into a relational MySQL database, which has full Web-based administration.  From a visitor standpoint, it was kept simple with an easy-to-use interface, which hides the complexity of the programming behind it. 

Since then I created many such sites on LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and many more in other programming languages and platforms.  Early on, I worked extensively using Perl, VBScript, PHP and, of course, Javascript, jQuery (and it's sister phpQuery) and others.  Some of my sites have become quite popular as they are used by people in need of help, or by their caseworkers. For example, the now-defunct (and a special touch screen version found in the Connect! Center and at NOVA), was a searchable database of health, food, shelter and other services., which is also now defunct, was a searchable database of subsidized and low cost housing.

Having many sophisticated development tools at my disposal, I can create Web or Intranet sites for most any purpose and in nearly any style.  I am one of those people who loves his work so much that I am almost constantly programming, creating new features, and even new sites such as this!  One of the recent programming projects for myself was the development of an application for use in subtitles in DVD mastering which parsed an XML file from one video application on one platform for use in authoring the DVD in another.

A good example of using creativity to simplify what would otherwise be time-consuming is the logo at the top left corner of these pages.  It is an image which creates itself entirely automatically on-the-fly from information in the site's database so any new user will have their own with their own line of text beneath.  A variety of fonts and colors can be used for the logo and I chose one to match the rest of my pages.

As mentioned, I have more than 20 years of practical hands-on experience in designing and programming for myself and others, including over five years as a professional Web developer for a local nonprofit and many other contracts.  I decided to add to my skills in the summer of 2004 by going through an accelerated certificate program at UC Santa Cruz Extension in Cupertino, California (they are now in Santa Clara, California) where I earned a Certificate With Honors in only a few months time.  Going back to school was a real thrill for me and I wish I could continue to do so.  Indeed, I hope to always learn whether by attending classes or in life.  I also attended Foothill College in Los Altos, California with the purpose of refreshing my skills in the Perl programming language, which I had not used for some time.

On a more personal level, my hobbies include audio and video editing and mastering along with producing several commercial CD and LP releases, collecting and working on vintage luxury cars such as Packard, Imperial and Cadillac, doing home construction and repair projects, collecting vintage computer hardware, electronic musical instruments such as the theremin, vintage video recorders and, of course, Web and database design.  I also have a large Polaroid camera and accessory collection with models dating back to the early '50s, some still in their boxes, and up to more modern digital versions.

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