Resumé of Bret D. Whissel

bret at bretwhissel dot net
Software Portfolio

Professional Objective

I wish to work in a research environment, specializing in computer programming and computer resource administration. Though I have extensive skills and experience as a system administrator, I am most engaged and productive when I am solving problems by writing and improving software.


Bachelor of Arts: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Major in Computer Science, minors in Music and Mathematics. Distinctions include the Dean's List, enrollment in the Honors program, and a Certificate of Computers in Music.

Note: The FSU Computer Science Department now offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a reduced math emphasis. In contrast, my B.A. is the equivalent of the Bachelor of Science with additional courses in humanities and languages.

Completed coursework toward a Master's Degree in Computer Science with interests in Real Time Systems, Neural Networks, Artificial Intelligence, and Speech Recognition.

Personal Description

In short, when it comes to computer-based issues, I am a problem-solver. I am adaptable, I love to learn, and I am tenacious, all of which make me well-suited to becoming quickly proficient in technically challenging and changing environments. I am most productive when faced with a new challenge, especially if the solution requires programming of some sort. I am a self-acknowledged computer geek/nerd/dweeb, but I hide it well by possessing a decent sense of humor and diverse interests in addition to being intelligent and personable.

Language and Operating System Proficiencies


  • C/C++/CWEB
  • PostScript
  • Java
  • SQL (database)
  • 80x86 Family Assembly


  • Perl
  • Python
  • C-Shell/Bourne Shell
  • Scheme/Elisp
  • Make

Meta Languages

  • Lex/Flex
  • YACC/Bison

Web Technologies

  • CSS
  • AJAX, JQuery, JSON
  • JavaScript
  • Drupal (CMS)
  • PHP

E-Mail Technologies

  • Sendmail/Postfix
  • Cyrus/Dovecot/UWash IMAP
  • Procmail
  • mbox/maildir formats
  • SpamAssassin/DCC/Razor
  • ClamA/V
  • MailScanner/MailWatch
  • Maia Mailguard

OpSys, Windowing, Widgets

  • Linux/Unix (SunOS/Solaris)
  • X Windows/Gnome/GTK
  • Windows (Server and Desktop)
  • Mac OSX
  • Android

Text Processing, Applications

  • TeX/LaTeX
  • Docbook
  • SGML
  • lilypond
  • Excel
  • PostgreSQL/MySQL
  • The GIMP/Photoshop
  • Inkscape/Adobe Illustrator

Professional Experience

Information and Technology Services, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Position: Technology Specialist, Unix Team
(November 2015 -- Present)

  • Install, configure, upgrade, and monitor FSU infrastructure Unix/Linux servers
  • Develop scripts to assist with monitoring and daily tasks
  • Assist with optimizing server loads and debugging operations
  • Provide support to other ITS teams as needed
  • Campus-wide author/maintainer of LaTeX macros for FSU thesis/dissertation production

Department of Computer Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Position: Manager of System Administration
(April 2013 -- July 2015)

  • Supervise up to 15 students and full-time staff
  • Advise and oversee purchases of technology products
  • Establish policy and procedures pertaining to IT operations in cooperation with faculty
  • Maintain firewall, routing, and switching infrastructure (Cisco) with multiple VLANs
  • Manage mail server and spam filter, installed new mail server
  • Wrote parser and Java modules to optimize student shift scheduling
  • Wrote user database/application for managing card swipe locks
  • Wrote application to screen-scrape student registration data to create student login accounts
  • Re-wrote application for student login accounts to use new student registration information
  • Wrote application to print mazes for student projects
  • Led department's website re-design project (in progress)
  • Manage servers providing student programming resources and departmental infrastructure
  • Installed new server OSes, configured and integrated with department-wide authentication
  • NFS client/server debugging and performance tuning
  • Wrote scripts for user account creation, management, and upgrades
  • Manage property inventory
  • Upgraded student computer lab
  • Active Directory management
  • Secure Certificate management
  • Wireless LAN management

Department of Meteorology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Position: System Administrator
(June 2001 -- April 2013)

  • Designed cloning system for rapid simultaneous workstation updates over network
  • Deployed department-wide LDAP authentication mechanism
  • Campus-wide author/maintainer of LaTeX macros for FSU thesis/dissertation production
  • Project manager for computer classroom installations
  • Coordinate the support and networking of over 400 machines
  • Respond to the computing needs of 250 faculty, staff, and students
  • Plan and deploy hardware and software upgrades and replacements
  • Monitor network and machine security
  • Configured e-mail server, providing secure IMAP, SMTP, and web access
  • Designed and implemented two departmental websites
  • Managed software licensing and compliance
  • Maintained real-time meteorological data ingest and distribution
  • Taught FORTRAN and computer use to Meteorology undergraduate students
  • Wrote software for managing a local weather-forecasting contest
  • Designed hash-table file format for simultaneous read/write access via NFS

Mesoscale Meteorology Group, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Position: Assistant in Research
(June 1989 -- May 2001)

  • Programming:
    • Created a language to generate flowcharts
    • Algorithms to discern meteorological features for NEXRAD radars
    • Programs for gridding NEXRAD radar data
    • X window environment for the development of hurricane-related algorithms
    • Database and statistics-gathering routines
    • An algorithm to convert fax images to efficient PostScript (now part of libtiff/fax2ps)
    • Programs producing population density maps from census data, with tornado correlation
    • A "pretty" printer/reformatter/indexer for FORTRAN language programs
    • MIME-enhanced GUI e-mail reader
  • Writing, Presentations, and Demonstrations:
    • Technical reports describing newly-developed radar algorithms
    • An article for the pre-prints of an international meteorological radar conference (co-author)
    • Software demonstrations for National Hurricane Center and NEXRAD Technical Advisory Committee

Up With People, Tucson, Arizona
Position: Production Assistant -- Music
(July 1988 -- April 1989)

  • Planned and executed rehearsals for band, soloists, and chorus of 120 college-aged students
  • Critiqued and refined over 70 performances of a 2-hour musical revue in six countries
  • Maintained synthesizer equipment and sequencer programming
  • Taught seminars in vocal techniques and synthesizer technology

Center for Music Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Position: Computer Software Specialist
(February 1982 -- July 1988, excluding IBM terms below)

  • Programming:
    • Graphic system for motion analysis
    • Keyed data storage/retrieval system using B*-trees
    • Music synthesis and a music language compiler
    • Calendar management and programming aids
    • Character set design and printing utilities
    • Neural network simulation
    • Inter-user communication facility (similar to news groups)
  • Teaching:
    • Survey of Computers in Music: an introduction to programming in C
    • Advanced C Programming for Musicians: algorithms
  • Writing:
    • User's manuals for programming utilities
    • An article on terminal emulation for the C Users' Group (now C/C++ Journal)

IBM, Boca Raton, Florida
Position: Computer Programmer (temporary)
(January 1984 -- June 1984 and January 1985 -- May 1985)

  • Programming:
    • Time management/leave time scheduler
    • Systems Network Architecture (SNA) implementation for Series/1 under EDL
    • Test programs for a new operating system
  • Other:
    • Published an article on melody programming in assembly language for the IBM PC
    • Presentation on the time management software for department managers
    • Telephone support technician for PC customers

Activities and Memberships

Community Involvement: Composer/accompanist for a community children's chorus; accompanist for high school musical productions; music director/actor/accompanist in community theater musical productions; substitute organist/pianist/choir director for area churches; member of Tallahassee Community Chorus; former accompanist for Tallahassee Civic Chorale; former volunteer at Leon County's Adult Education Center.

Faith Presbyterian Church: Deacon; Member of Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, and Adult Ensemble; substitute organist and choir director. Group-study leader. Accompanist for youth and children's choirs, children's choir director, and chaperone for several youth activities. Participant in inner-city mission trips to Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Adult Sunday School co-leader. Served on Congregational Care committee, Commitment committee, Community Outreach committee, Habitat House committee, Music committee, and Organist Search committee.


  • Florida State University Chamber Choir
  • Montreat Worship & Music Conference Faculty 2005, 2006
  • Montreat Worship & Music Conference Planning Committee 2016
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon -- Computer Science Honor Society
  • Up With People International Alumni Association, Board of Governors
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • American Guild of Organists (inactive)
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (inactive)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) (inactive)
  • FSU 20-Year Service Commendation (2010)
  • Everyday Hero Award, Up With People International Alumni Association (2003)
  • Guardian Ad Litem Exemplary Service Award (1993)