development. science. physics. technology.
About Myself, My Career & Interests
If you found your way here, then it is likely we have had some sort of professional correspondence. What you will find on this site is information about my career and professional experience. More detailed information can be found in the links above.
The most accurate summation about myself in a single word, techie. I choose this word specifically because there is no particular niche to it. When it comes to technology, my interests don't really fall into any specific category. Computers have always been my main passion though, and finding new ways to solve problems with computing is something I will always enjoy.
If anything, this is my tech demo, if you will. Though simple in design, this site is developed using modern web-standards with failesafes to make the site function as it does. This site also functions properly in the current browsers and those of the past. Keep reading below for further information.
Several in fact. With the help of a couple API's here, is what you will find if you decide to review the code on this page.
Notepad++, of course! And sometimes Zend/Aptana... I always find this conversation amusing. A well known Computer Science professor at UNCW Richard Buckland hit the nail on the head with his comment, "Folks are always partial to the first editor they have ever used,"
Thank you for viewing my page. I can appreciate the time it takes to look at things like this and I hope this will give you an idea of what to expect.
Tom Kisha has been in the Technical Support and call center culture since 2006, the most recent with Time Warner Cable in North Canton, Ohio. During his employment with TWC, Tom has been well received by colleagues and peers, and has been recognized for his contributions with a Mission and Values Performance Award in Q4 2011 and a nomination MVP in Q4 2012.
As a Consumer Affairs Representative with Universal Electronics in Twinsburg Ohio, Tom helped with several growing problems in the call center that was often causing agent productivity issues. First being the client documentation in disarray and unkempt. Being a call center dealing with multiple clients, each having their own way of handling certain circumstances and processes; it was often difficult to find information quickly, especially if it was a new problem. Another was simply a matter of saving keystrokes. A lot of notes left on accounts were often incomplete, or just plain missing. One of the problems discovered was a matter of having to copy/paste notes in several places, which led to mistakes and miscommunications [and sometimes customer frustration]. Tom helped create a system where notes could be standardized and conventiently copy/pasted into the areas where required quickly. This helped boost agents in-call and wrap-up times and thus generating more revenue for the call center.
Previous to Technical Support work, Tom worked for a Property Management corporation in Washington DC as a general IT assistant. It was quickly discovered that this was a quintessential and multi-faceted, blurring the lines of the scope in IT. Aside from working on projects to help manage and track certain operations in the company, there were many varied tasks that would be handled by our department from correcting software issues on workstations to troubleshooting the phone systems, as well as managing some construction and maintenance projects, and working with property inspectors from government agencies. Not to mention the occasional IT issues that would crop up with the network or the various servers used in the company for email, file sharing, RDP, backups, and security.
To kick off his career, Tom started off with a computer repair shop near downtown Akron, where the new University of Akron football stadium stands today. In the shop, Tom helped repair computer software and hardware issues. Occasionally we would get the occasional client needing help building a web-site. The owner, Steve Kelley would be responsible for design and static pages. Anything that required a server side language and a database, was Tom’s responsibility. Typically storing products in a database or integrating a shopping cart application into a web-site.
Growing up, Tom has always been a computer geek at heart. From taking apart random electronics around the home to experimenting with programming back in the IBM PC days, Tom has always had a passion for computers and technology.
Tom has always been an avid coder from the beginning. Ever since discovering BASIC code found in a 4th grade math book, and putting the code into his IBM PC to find out what it does; Tom was quickly pulled into the world of programming. From there it was on to QBASIC working on fun little projects through middle and high school. When the internet started becoming popular, Tom transitioned to Web-Development and has been with that since.
Curiosity rules in the world of Science and there is no exception here, physics in particular. Learning about the universe we live in, how things interact in space, and the theories that make things work is of keen interest. Tom has an extensive collection of documentaries and videos on these subjects. The things that really sparked these interests were various inspiring books from the younger years; the first being an amatuer astronomers guide and the Physical Science textbook from high school.
Aside from taking apart alarm clocks and stereos as a child; electronics, technology, and software have always been at the foundation of Tom's interests. One of his more memorable moments growing up, Tom helped one of his cousins build a computer (a 486 DX2). Even though the term "helped" is used loosely, it was found that this was a life-altering experience, despite it's being an ordinary computer. After watching that machine boot up for the first time and getting the 9600 baud US Robotics modem configured for dial-up to a BBS, Tom was hooked.
This is quite a bit to read and more than I was initially expecting to write, so if you made it this far, I truly do appreciate the time you took to read about my career history... Thank you!
Project Details: Time Warner Cable
Tom has helped develop several new tools for the Tier 3 Technical Support department to help streamline various operations and aid in making some of the more time consuming tasks more efficient.
The first project was to specifically help agents with schedule compliance. Due to some changes made in the way certain off-phone tasks were handled, Tom saw an opportunity to help automate the process and track schedule compliance. A system was developed where anyone needing off-phone time to work on a task would submit a form with the alloted time which was sent to a supervisor queue where it could get approved and entered into the offical schedule to maintain compliance. Reports were then generated daily to track approved entries and any missed or unreported times were handled on a per case basis. The departments schedule compliance improved by a wide margin after this system was put in place.
Another project need that came along was the Tier III Event Manager. The idea behind the Event Manager is to provide leadership with a means to track potential network issues, find a commonality between the trending examples, and get the correct groups involved to resolution as quickly as possible. The current system in place was overly complex, yet did not help provide the necessary information to find a commonality, effectively lengthening the time it takes from identification to resolution. Tom was asked to help find a way to integrate the Event Manager with other tools to be able to get all of the needed information as quickly as possible. Working with engineers and developers from other groups responsible for the development of the diagnostic tools, a system was created that could poll equipment in real-time and save that information as it occurs as a snapshot for ticket entry. When the information was added to the potential event ticket, all the necessary data could be viewed and filtered as needed. The end-user interface was redesigned so that agent could get examples to leadership with a few clicks. As a result, agents were able to get examples of issues sent to the Event Manager faster and with less effort; and leadership was able to identify problems substantially faster than before. What was once a time consuming task typically taking hours, was taking minutes, and with the simplification of example submission for agents, agent participation was increased significantly as well.
A common annoyance often found in call centers with billing systems is how notations are implemented. In Tier III, there are several templates that need to be followed. One for the billing system, another for IssueTrak, and several more for the other ticketing system used by Engineering, TOC, GNOC and the RNOC’s. In the beginning, there was a program developed by one of the agents to help others maintain the templates and provide simple forms that were then formatted and copied to the clipboard. The program was written in Python and required installation of libraries to work properly. Some workstations couldn’t even use it due to domain policies and permissions issues. With the input of several agents and leadership, a new tool was developed, building on the original Noter project. This time web-based, that provided the same functionality, an improved interface, and also some additional features that helped in agent productivity. Direct integration with the Event Manager, the ability to poll equipment for diagnostics, retrieve customer information from the billing system, along with a slew of other features.
Project Details: Universal Electronics
Tom, along with a few other colleagues experienced in web-development, created a new site where all the information can be organized and catalogued in a way that made sense to those who used it the most. Knowing the specific nuances of each client’s systems, and combining them into a unified interface, all the documentation was presented in several ways to the point where finding the correct information was quick and easy.
Project Details: Castle Management Corporation
One of the first tasks after onboarding, was that of a system that could help IT and non-IT employees with keeping track of certain equipment, tools, and supplies. As a result, a simple web-form was created for checking in and out equipment, and a tool that helped us keep track of software licenses and who’s using what software licenses. This could be done from the users’ workstation, or at a console laptop located in the supply room. This helped reduce issues with hunting things down and managing licenses with some of the specialized software that was used in the company.
Another problem facing the IT department was that of taking care of employee computer issues. The usual issues tended to be of either software, connectivity, or education related problems. Of course things got handled by the most part, but since our department was small (three of us) and we had a wide variety of things to do throughout the day, some things would slip through the cracks and caused other issues to arise [which goes without saying]. So we got together and decided to develop a simple ticket entry and tracking system that helped us keep track of all the things we need to take care of. Regardless of the number of issues in the queue, we would always manage to make sure everything got taken care of along with maintaining accountability.
One of the most ambitious projects the IT department faced was getting a surveillance system installed. Security was a big concern with the properties that were being managed by the company. The problems with crime were growing at an alarming rate, and our security staff was having a hard time keeping things quiet. This included eight SPO’s along with some off-duty police on patrols. The company has been considering getting surveillance systems in place for several years and we decided to take action. We talked with a few consultants in the city, but they were asking for too much money, for the services being offered. Our group got together with the company’s construction division and the security staff, and we decided to do it in house. Over the first few weeks, we planned out how to handle the wiring, where the cameras were to be installed, how they will be programmed, where the monitoring stations will be located, and how to implement all the systems. Our results exceeded expectations, after nine months, we had 62 cameras recording at three stations with remote management and security staff trained and working. The program was a success and we finished under budget.
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located mainly in five geographic areas — New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. Time Warner Cable serves more than 14 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services.
Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) is the global leader in wireless control technology for the connected home. UEI designs, develops, and delivers innovative solutions that enable consumers to control entertainment devices, digital media, and home systems.
Teleperformance is a global leader in contact center management providing inbound and outbound call center services throughout the country and abroad. The local Akron call center provides customer service and technical support for various markets within the Cox Communications campaign; with recent expansion to control 100% inbound call volume for the southern California High-Speed Internet technical support department.
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest general merchandise retailer with over 10,000 stores operating in over a dozen countries, employing over two million employees abroad. As a Receiving Associate, the duties required the sorting and handling of incoming goods. After all products are unloaded, they are then taken to the floor for stocking. As one of the lead Receiving Associates, worked as an intermediary for management to balance the workload of other Receivers and overstock maintenance.
Community Management Solutions (CMS) is a multi-family property and community management corporation with a small technical department responsible for the support & uptime of all technical related equipment. Responsibilities include the creation, development & implementation of [technical] services within the scope of all technical & non-technical related aspects of projects designed for increased productivity within the corporation, or for the purpose of aid in specific departments including leasing, marketing, security, development, & communications. These projects included the following listed below.
UCS Computers is a basic PC solutions provider providing PC repairs and upgrades as well as custom PC building. Support solutions also include on-site support and walk-in customers. Other services include web design and development, photo editing/enhancement/printing, and light publishing.