Kiffin_2010_200x200.png Kiffin Rex Gish
Advanced Software Development and Scrum Specialist
kiffin [dot] gish [at] planet [dot] nl

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Have worked for many years in a number of computer industry branches and built up a solid career based on a sound technical background. View myself as young at heart, willing and enthusiastic, with a drive to work with others in a close-knit, hard-working team environment. Enjoy complex challenges where a proper balance between the technical and commercial dimensions makes or breaks a successful product roll out. Have coached and inspired teams of international developers, thereby familiar with the cultural differences and team dynamics that go together when delivering quality products which must meet high expectations of demanding customers. Born and raised in the States, have lived in the Netherlands for nearly thirty-five years, own a Dutch passport, and can speak and write Dutch fairly fluently. My wife is from Holland, we have raised four kids, we own a brown Labrador Retriever, and our home for the last twenty odd years has been in Gouda. Am a fanatic golfer always trying to improve myself, in more ways than one.

  • Team and project management
  • Coaching and training
  • Software development (SDLC)
  • Agile and Scrum
  • Continuous delivery and DevOps
  • Client/server architecture
  • Web-based products
  • Linux, Apache and MySQL
  • Release management
  • Perl (OOP) and C/C++
  • Java, JEE and XML
  • MVC JavaScript, jQuery and REST
  • Ember.js, ExtJS and Backbone.js
  • HTML5 and CSS3
  • Ruby and Ruby on Rails
  • Erlang and Elixir


Gishtech in Gouda

Independent Consultant (Freelancer)
April 2016 - Present

I provide professional consultancy on advanced software development, methodologies, tooling, people and processes. Pure front- and backend development from user stories and software programming, through testing, deployment and after-care. HTML, CSS, JavaScript (jQuery, Ember, Express. and Node), Ruby on Rails, C/C++ and Perl. Linux, Apache and MySQL. Agile, Scrum or just plain hands-on roll up your sleeves and get the job done.

Blokker Holding in Amsterdam

Release Manager
May 2015 - November 2015

Defined and tracked process for delivering quality products according to deadlines. Worked closely with Nextail in planning of product roll-outs that was essential in meeting high expectations in the retail segment. The E-commerce backend was based on IBM WebSphere which provided a unified platform for store chains falling under Blokker Holding (Blokeer, Xenos, Intertoys, Leen Bakker, Bart Smit and Marskramer).

Zarafa in Delft

Development and Release Manager
January 2014 - January 2015

Was responsible for the development, quality assurance and release management of all of the Zarafa open source email and collaboration software products. The ZCP platform provided an advanced middleware solution based on Linux as a viable replacement for MS-Exchange. Introduced a more agile software development process pipeline based on Scrum and Continuous Delivery. Web-based client is a single-page application using a bespoke PHP/MAPI protocol. Teams located in Holland, India, Germany and Brazil. International partners and customers. Man management, monthly one-on-ones, job evaluations, coaching and training. I get a thrill from motivatig and inspiring a team of enthusiastic technical experts to achieve excellence. Relevant languages: C/C++, Python and MVC JavaScript.

Manager Development
December 2011 - January 2014

Built up a software development factory to support a product suite of advanced web-based content platforms for government, municipalities and provinces. Involved with streamlining the software development processes, as well as the overall process improvement for supporting other departments and external technology partners. Provided second line support to the help-desk with maintenance and trouble-shooting, functional and technical application issues. Built from scratch a new professional software development environment based on agile and Scrum. Relevant languages: Java, JEE, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails.

Nokia (Navteq) in Frankfurt

Development Team Manager / Lead Engineer
December 2010 - July 2011

Responsible for the search and geocoding development team which designed, built and deployed an advanced web-based map services platform for international customers wanting to leverage their presence in the location based services (LBS) arena. Ramped up an international team of software developers using Agile and Scrum, continuous delivery and test driven development, a key focus being man management and agile coaching. Relevant languages: Java, JEE, Lucene, JavaScript, C/C++.

Head of ICT
April 2009 - November 2010

Responsible for infrastructure, maintenance and support, and new development activities. Migrated legacy systems to a modern high available hosted infrastructure. Web-based computer mediated therapy via the Internet using the Perl web framework called Catalyst, JavaScript (jQuery). Worked closely with expert psychologists in designing and implementing the next generation flag ship therapy product. Designing, implementing online screening surveys and scoring methods/models for treatment protocols, using OO-Perl and Template::Toolkit and open source tools.

Team Lead Dynamic Content & Publishing
May 2007 - March 2009

Responsible for an international team of software engineers designing, developing and rolling out a robust and highly scalable LBS (location based services) platform. In addition to providing geocoding, mapping, HD traffic, travel advisor and POI capabilities, we built a web-based route planner for showcasing the extensive TomTom product portfolio on the company web site (, which received very positive reviews worldwide. Based on agile software development (Scrum), using JEE, Spring, C/C++, Perl, Apache, JavaScript, Ajax and JSON. Did man management, recruitment and bi-yearly reviews. Created from scratch and instructed inhouse Scrum trainings for developers and project leaders.

Team Leader Development
June 2006 - May 2007

Management of the development team consisting of 10+ software and test engineers whose task was designing, implementing and testing the Equipment Control System (ECS) for the Euromax project, a new and highly automated container terminal in the Rotterdam Maasvlakte. Based on a zero-configuration Holonics architecture using CORBA, C/C++, Java, Python and Unix shell scripting in an object-oriented distributed environment, Linux/Unix on Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise. Development methodology was RUP.

Demon/Thus PLC in Amsterdam

Team Leader Development
April 2004 - January 2006

Managed and coached a medium-sized development team of 6-10 software engineers. Products included VPN Connect, 3rd party XML-interface, Telco-Telco migration, ticketing tool for support, and an improved Webmail and self-service page for customers. Gained new insights into the design of data-base driven sites (Perl-DBI), mainly for UNIX-like environments. Also had experience developing web applications based on Web Services (SOAP and RPC-XML) architecture, and acted as liaison project manager for organizing and tracking outsourced develop work via third parties. Acquired some experience with UML 2.0 using Enterprise Architect for requirements, use cases, data models, etc. Required knowledge included: (X)HTML, CSS, Javascript, Perl/CGI, Template Toolkit, Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Bugzilla and other Open Source tools.

Gishteq in Gouda

IT Consultant (freelance)
October 2002 - Present

As owner and principal consultant of my own company called GishTeq, my goal is to provide independent consulting services to companies developing and deploying e-business solutions. Project management, web site analytics, business process improvement, as well as web design, implementation and deployment. I was an official reseller of the Webtrends product. Required skills included: C/C++, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Perl and CGI, Apache Server, Visual Basic, Java and XML for the Windows/UNIX environments. Here is a list of the most important freelance projects that I did:

  • Seeas BV in Haarlem
    Perl developer
    November 2009 - April 2010
    General support and customer tailoring of OTRS, an advanced open source ticketing request system. Perl, JavaScript, jQuery, Ajax, MySQL under Ubuntu Server.
  • Pace Micro Technology PLC in Leeds UK
    Lead Software Architect
    April 2006 - May 2006
    System architecture design for the mobile PVR2GO product line of TV-centric multimedia devices, IPTV, specifically the portal interface based on web services.
  • Blinck International BV in Amsterdam
    Team Manager Development
    February 2006 - March 2006
    Management of the development team designing, developing and extending the interactive mobile messaging platform based on premium short messages.
  • Telfort in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost
    Senior Perl developer
    February 2004 - April 2004
    Designed and implemented an SMS gateway written as an OOP Perl daemon acting as a large account via Universal Computer Protocol (UCP), connecting an CMG SMS Center to the Telfort Service computer network.

IQUIP (Sogeti) in Reeuwijk

Sr. e-Business Management Consultant
September 2001 - September 2002

Responsible for general consultation at IT-companies in The Hague and Rotterdam areas, focusing mainly on E-business with expertise in wireless telecom, mobile applications and back office integration. Served as project manager for the tracking and oversight of various i-mode Services activities at a major Dutch mobile telecom operator. Reviewed and analyzed the eTOM (Telecom Operator Map) business process model to see if this standard framework could be used for customers in the business of service providers, eg. telecom, utilities & other communication and information companies. Restarted and gave new life to a telecom interest group in order to assess the current situation and prepare a roadmap for the future. Other activities included commercial assistance for presentations, definition of a eTOM service portfolio, support for a Visual Basic Training, creation of "blended" self-study modules for the learning institute, the design/maintenance Telecom Knowledge Group intranet site.

June 1997 - August 2001

Project Manager Partner Program
November 2000 - August 2001

Overall coordinator responsible for the definition, implementation & completion of the global (content) partner program, goal was to strengthen CMG's position in the business of wireless end-user services. Based on business development research, a number of companies were selected to participate, based on their core technical as well as business competence. Through a certification process, the objective was to assist customers like mobile operators, Internet and Application Service Providers as well as large enterprises with the creation of business solutions. Through the successful creation of a global partnering framework, the project was already expanding beyond the initial WAP Service Broker product to include the other telecom products like the Short Message Service Center, Cell Broadcast Center and Mobile Email.

Management Project Office
November 1999 - October 2000

Responsible for the implementation of the Management Project Office (MPO) within the development department, covering all phases from Plan of Approach, to implementation and acceptance. International roll out to other companies in Ireland, USA and The Netherlands. The goal was to set up a uniform, self-contained project office infrastructure for tracking and oversight, management reporting structure and a historical database. Based on the advanced planning tool Project Scheduler 7 (PS7). I also designed and implemented a time-registration interface between an Oracle database and the planning tool based on Visual Basic 6.0 Used MS-Access extensively for the definition and support of a historical database, metrics and resource management. Our team was successful in creating a support structure for the training, coaching and general trouble-shooting of (junior) project leaders and their team members.

Team Manager
December 1998 - October 1999

Managed the Value Added Services Platform (VASP) maintenance team of 23 internal consultants and subcontractors. Man management tasks included regular job controls and yearly reviews, coaching and training, as well as career planning issues. I was an active participant of the weekly management meetings, including personnel rankings and policy making. Also took part in recruitment activities. Staff training involved organizing technical workshops with external third parties, and running the CMG Telecom Academy together with our business partner Global Knowledge Networks, which was a specific 3-month training program for recent graduate students and joiners unfamiliar with telecom.

Project Leader
June 1997 - November 1998

Was technical lead for a team of 5 developers designing, implementing and testing the components for the Value Added Services Platform (VASP) under Unix with an installed base worldwide for major telecom operators. Supported applications for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems using Amarex Voice-Mail service APIs. Brought to completion a one-year 'Unified Messaging' project with Ericsson for their Intelligent Network interface (NIP), culminating in a successful three-week acceptance program at their test facility in Karlskrona, Sweden. Expertise in Unix and C, MS Project, System Architect and INAP protocol API using Ericsson's Portable SS7 stack.

RAM Mobile Data in Maarssen

Project Manager / Application Engineer
May 1994 - May 1997

Provided technical support and consultancy of mobile telecommunications at various customer sites in the transport, public services and e-mail market segments. Gave advice and supervision during development of third-party applications, mainly for the expansion of existing networks and client/server systems to a (Mobitex) wireless environment. Acquired knowledge of communication software using C/C++ APIs for Unix, MS-DOS, Windows and Visual Basic. Expertise was in the analysis and optimization of network connections, e.g. packet-switching networks and modern telecommunication protocols. Did trouble-shooting of X.25, TCP/IP, AT, gateways and client/server architectures, especially under Unix and Windows. Supervised the testing and analysis of software with the objective of successful certification of communication products for Mobitex.

Uniface BV (Compuware) in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost

April 1992 - April 1994

Team Leader
January 1993 - April 1994

Was responsible for the administration and supervision of progress within the Desktop Group development department. Scheduled and monitored all project activities using planning tool MS Project. Reviewed the quality control of deliverables according to internal requirements. Fostered the contacts between departments and external customers. Did management and supervision of software programmers across a number of GUI platforms. Lead and inspired the developers via weekly meetings and bi-yearly evaluation reports. Ordered and regulated the necessary hard- and software. Expertise was in (protected mode) MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2 Presentation Manager, Motif, OpenLook, C and Assembler. Also provided technical support, bug fixing and Uniface enhancement work, and I was fellow-designer and developer of the OS/2 2.x GUI driver ported under the Workplace Shell.

Software Engineer
April 1992 - December 1992

Did customer support and handled problem reports for a wide range of software problems, and if requested, implemented enhancements and customer wishes to the existing Uniface 3GL engine. Followed maintenance of current code-lines and the specified improvements via code walkthroughs. Specialized in MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2 PM, C and Assembler. Ported various TCP/IP and database drivers for Windows and MS-DOS, including low-level debugging of Windows and (DOS extender) protected-mode driver DLLs. Gradually grew into a junior project leader and developer for porting the Windows GUI driver to OS/2 PM.

System Engineer
March 1988 - May 1992

Did application design, programming and testing, drafting, and analyzing system requirements. Designed information systems in cooperation with customers, acceptance tests and user system documentation. Was member of Electric Paper Facility team under the Megadoc Project, specializing in the analysis and development of image processing and text viewing applications and DLLs. Using the Unix utilities LEX and YACC, implemented an MS-DOS redirector via NETBIOS. Designed and developed a compiler for Remote Procedure Calling (RPC), a device driver SCSI controller for WORM disk drives, and an Optical Media Manager for administering and controlling Optical Disk Jukeboxes. Expertise was in UNIX, C and C++, and Fortran, VAX/VMS, Assembler, MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2 PM.


Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Drs. Physics and Computer Science / 1983 - 1988

Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA
B.S. Biology / 1975 - 1979

Salinas High School in Salinas, California, USA
High school diploma / 1972 - 1975

Born and raised in sunny California, came to Europe as an adventurous backpacker and ended up staying in Holland.


Good fiction (psychology, history, philosophy and computer books), watching film classics, (modern) classical music, rock-and-roll, and country, programming for fun, jogging and cycling. Often get carried away playing on my laptop into the wee hours of the morning thinking that I'm some kind of future-famous web developer. Am captivated by the latest improvements of Internet and computer technology, never too old to learn new stuff. Greatest passion is the honorable game of golf (handicap 4) which I play passionately at competition level. Live life like it's a round of golf and play golf as it mimics life.


This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

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