LessThanDot (LTD) is the creation of an experienced group of IT professionals, who spent time working in different environments, with different people. Being actively involved in the internet community has given them the inspiration to develop a free online community for anyone interested in IT to share information and ideas with each other and the resident experts to help develop shared knowledge.
About the Group
But who are the people behind this group? The common thread amongst all of the LTD team is their passion for IT - in many different forms, and of course the sharing of this passion and experience with other like minded people. The combined experience of the founders is quite staggering, and is as diverse as you could imagine - from DBAs to developers, to hardware technicians, to support personnel, to analysts, project managers and architects. The founders are based all over the world, from the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the UK and the US, and are united by the powers of the inter-web tubes... :-)
A Brief History
So where did they all meet? The founders initially met in online forums and discussion groups, and gradually started to form a private group into which invitations eventually made their way to each of the members. Over a few years, this group became one of the most enjoyable places to discuss ideas, thoughts, problems, gripes and many other things that were important to the members. Unfortunately, other forums felt somewhat lacking in content, community spirit and functionality, and in the midst of frustrating quality of service from the private forum provider and with the ambition of creating a truly great community of IT people they decided to make it a reality - and build their own community.
Ethics and Ethos
It can be very hard to make everyone happy all of the time, and certainly the LTD team have found some of the IT communities to be lacking in some of the 'softer skills' in management as well as the technical functionality (and even content in some cases). To this end, we want to make LTD as open as is possible whilst still retaining a sensible order to things. Which means we want you to be a part of the community that drives LTD toward new goals and ensures that the way our community works is good for everyone within. There are many guidelines within LTD that are intended to help our users get the best out of the community, and there are one or two 'rules' too - we try to keep these to a minimum, but it's essential that we maintain the foundations of our principles. If you ever have any suggestions, simply post in our suggestions forum and we will try our best to make it a reality.
So really, LessThanDot is all about sharing - it is all about you, the community, helping each other and producing a quality environment to improve IT skills and knowledge for all those that wish to - including Students, Professionals, Bedroom Coders and more.
For the last couple of years we have also done Meet&Greets. These are social gatherings for the fans of LTD. And we took pictures.
The Owning Founders:
harleyquin (Andy Barnfather)
A software developer from the North East of England, mainly using VB6 and several flavours of SQL. He's one of the youngsters of the group at 26 and is currently working as a freelance consultant. In his spare time he plays lots of sports and also enjoys video games, live music and sunny afternoons spent in beer gardens.
Living in North Wales, UK and with a technical background in software development and various IT management positions, Damian currently works on strategic architecture projects for a large global company, particularly for systems integration and enterprise level solutions design. He is a geek at heart, and loves to experiment with all kinds of ideas and technology given the chance.
At the moment I spend a good deal of time with MS Access. I have had a variety of jobs over the years, sometimes it helps.
Howard is a poli-sci grad who fell into technology because he was too lazy to do it either manually or for more than an hour at a time. He knows just enough to be dangerous with several MS-related technologies, including ASP, SQL and .NET technologies. He is happily married and lives in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US and enjoys a wide litany of subjects including (but not limited to) history (that he is not old enough to remember), politics (watching, not practicing), chess (Chinese and Western), technology (in its various forms), science (both natural and physical) and playing video games with his son (which is a normally friendly rivalry but can get heated on occasion).
Denis has been working with SQL Server since version 6.5. Although he worked as an ASP/JSP/ColdFusion developer before the dot com bust, he has been working exclusively as a database developer/architect since 2002. In addition to English, Denis is also fluent in Croatian and Dutch, but he can curse in many other languages and dialects (just ask the SQL optimizer) He lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife and three kids.
onpnt (Ted Krueger)
Ted Krueger is a SQL Server MVP and Author that has been working in development and database administration and the owner of a successful consulting business, DataMetrics Consulting. Specialties range from High Availability and Disaster / Recovery setup and testing methods down to custom assembly development for SQL Server Reporting Services. Ted blogs and is also one of the founders of LessThanDot.com technology community. Some of the articles focused on are Backup / Recovery, Security, SSIS and working on SQL Server and using all of the SQL Server features available to create stable and scalable database services.
gmmastros (George Mastros)
George has been developing software professionally for 19 years, first for the department of defense, and then for various other companies. In 1998, George started his software company, Orbit Software, specializing in School Bus Transportation software. His specialty is refining SQL Server queries to deliver optimal performance.
Mark is primarily an ASP.NET developer and also has skills in SQL Server, HTML and CSS. He is based in the North East of England and has a 2 year old son named George. Mark is the founder of http://aspnetlibrary.com, has a blog at http://weblogs.asp.net/marksmith and is the director of http://mdssolutions.co.uk.
Paul is a SR DBA and one of the Co-Founders of LessThanDot. He has over 15 years experience in RDBMS for Financial and Manufacturing companies and experienced with AS400, DB2, Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server. Paul holds a BA in music education from Westfield State College and spent 8 years as a musician in the US Navy band. While serving in the Navy he made the switch to the IT industry. He is still very involved in music and runs a very successful wedding\Party DJ business.
AlexCuse (Alex Ullrich)
Alex is a .net and SQL Server developer from southeastern PA, where he lives with a lovely wife and a veritable smorgasbord of pets. He recently completed a masters degree in Software Engineering from Penn State. He loves mountain biking, open source software, home brewing, Syracuse basketball, and the mono runtime.
Tarwn (Eli Weinstock-Herman)
Eli delivers software and technology solutions for a living. His roles have included lone developer, accidental DBA, team lead, and even unintentional Solaris consultant once. With experience in adhoc, Lean, and Agile environments across NSF grants, SaaS products, and in-house IT groups, he is just as willing to chat about the principles of Lean or Continuous Delivery as he is to dive into Azure, SQL Server, or the last ATDD project he created.
Rick has been an application developer since the mid nineties. Cutting his teeth on software development in the military before joining the corporate world and settling in the south central Wisconsin area. Over the years he has worked extensively with VB5 and 6, VB.Net, ASP.Net, web development, database design, and assorted other hardware, OS, and network projects. Currently he is focused on solutions architecture, user interface design, and the Microsoft Silverlight and .Net platforms.
Kermit (Tahir Khalid)
Unique IT Professional with a broad range of skills and experience from various sectors of the industry from Banking, Information Technology and Services to Hospitality and the Automotive Industry.
Currently working as a Development Lead for a small Creative company (Marketing & Brand) specialising in Web Applications and Websites developed using MVC5, Bootstrap, CSS, Less, jquery using MSSQL as a data store as well as delivering solutions on top of the popular DotNetNuke platform.
Tahir also possesses a range of skills in System Administration covering both Windows and Linux. When not on his PC he likes to spend time with his children, read a good book, practice Martial Arts and keep fit.