“Necessity is the mother of invention.” I am a university-trained architect who in the year 2000 moved to New York and decided to build my own website to showcase my 3D rendering portfolio. Like many other young architects (those who design buildings), I was very skilled in the use of Autocad and 3D Studio Max. At the time, I had been working primarily on architecture visualization for over four years at my first startup ArquiMedia (Caracas, Venezuela — 1996-2000).
To compete in New York City, I figured that I must have a professional-looking website. Since I did not have much money, I decided to build the website by myself. I started writing some HTML code and was frustrated to see how inconsistently web browsers’ rendering-engines worked at the time. I needed a website that could reliably display my portfolio in any web browser. So, I decided to learn Flash Actionscript and create a fully animated website that would work not only online, but also offline. The code would be compiled as an application and distributed on a custom-labeled CD-ROM to potential employers — did I mention that I like to show off? Long story short, the first time that I interviewed for a 3D-guy position, I was referred to Mirek Nisenbaum (Studio Mobile, New York City — 2001-2005). Mirek was looking for a programmer to prototype some children’s games. As luck would have it, I had spent the six months prior to meeting Mirek teaching myself Flash Actionscript (by reading blogs and information that was available online) and became very proficient in writing dynamic, content-driven applications and other fun things.
Knowledge is like a snowball: Once it reaches a certain size, it is easy to keep it growing. That is what happened to me. By being exposed to challenging, interesting projects, I managed to transition to a new career as a technologist. The difference in my case is that as a classically trained architect (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela — 1989-1995), I care about the aesthetic side of technology. Dealing with multiple layers of complexity that must coexist in harmony is what I have been trained to do.
I think that there should be a different word to describe “work” when “work” is something that you really enjoy. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work on some of the coolest projects in the technology/entertainment industry. Along with many other smart people, I have been part of teams that truly brought value to the companies that I have worked for. Here are some (not all) of my favorite products and projects to which I have contributed:
New York City, USA
Created the Olympics 2010-2012 Video Architecture
Along with a multidisciplinary team, I created an alternative content delivery architecture solution. The proposed architecture was adopted to build the production system. It reduced costs and mitigated integration risks.
Architect, the NBC News iCue Download Video Player
Identified solutions to create a new video download player that reused components of the Core NBC Universal Video System. Helped the vendor and the iCue team to upgrade their product to the latest technology and accomplished the building of an industry-leading product of its kind.
Identified alternative solutions for mobile development
Using open source web technology, prototyped a mobile version of a video player that proved that NBC Universal can do mobile development in-house to save development costs. The proposed solution helped increase brand visibility by reaching out across all industry-leading smartphones.
Re-architected the NBC Universal Social Networking Products Suite
Created a visual framework that allowed to break a monolithic system into functional components that could be sold separately. This allowed clients to choose and pay for those components which were really need. The result was a simplified and efficient user experience that leveraged the pre-existing NBC Universal Social Networking Platform.
Created a modular and extensible Programming Framework
The delivered product allowed building of video players and content management systems. It reduced the development time by encapsulating functionality into portable components that were reused across different projects and businesses inside NBC Universal. Other benefits included:
Led a team of eight developers to build the NBC Universal Actionscript 3 Online Video Player
This themeable video player was built on top of the previously created framework, which was custom-branded and deployed on sites such as NBC.com, USA Networks, Syfy, Petside.com, Bravo, Access Hollywood and many others.
Managed the User Interface (UI) and Information Architecture (IA) design of the NBC Direct 2.0
NBC Direct , the NBC.com download video player, reduced the content delivery cost by 70-75 percent through usage of P2P technology. It created new monetization opportunities by playing ads while videos are watched offline.
Managed the UI and IA and prototyped the NBC Universal Media Publisher
Captured the complexity of NBCU video transcoding system (MICAH), video assets management and publishing system (VCMS), and NBC.com Video Tool and architected a simplified user interface. The solution combined all the systems in a single and modular console that users can customize, maximizing efficiency and productivity. The proposed solution achieved:
Architected and developed the Hulu Distribution Video Player
As part of the launch team of the $100 million joint venture between Fox (News Corp.) and NBC Universal (subsequently known as Hulu.com), architected and developed the distribution video player that was deployed in the websites of AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo. The main achievements of this unique product included:
New York City, USA
Architected a suite of applications to syndicate NBC Universal video content in distribution partners’ sites. Oversaw the concept, wireframes and interactive design of the company’s products. The core products included:
AOL, FLASH ACTIONSCRIPT DEVELOPER New York, 2005 – 2006
Responsible for architecting and developing web applications such as video players, media browsers, content management systems, advertisement integration solutions, and other web experiences. Some of the projects developed for AOL were:
New York City, USA
Responsible for all Flash ActionScript production and the creation of online applications, children’s games, corporate websites, interactive CD-ROMs and carrying solutions from concept to execution. Projects included:
Trained architects and architecture students in the use of AutoCAD and 3D Studio. Completed numerous visualization projects for many architecture firms. Created renderings, animations and interactive presentations for various architecture and real estate companies in Venezuela, which include: