Stefan Antonowicz originally got his start in archaeology, but stumbled into computers after a long love affair with video games. He has worked as a web application programmer, network administrator, and team lead for 20 years. In 2003 he started Vespa Technologies, a small consulting firm whose clients have included Marvel Entertainment,, UNITE! HERE, and Details about this work can be found in his portfolio

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Stefan J. Antonowicz


  1. Over 13 years of development experience with the LAMP toolset
  2. Leadership positions in both start-up and corporate environments
  3. Object Oriented programming for the web using PHP5, MySQL, and Python 2
  4. Linux, database, and network administration
  5. Worked in teams using Agile methodologies



Management experience in directing local and offshore technical teams --  Senior technical advice, strategy, and direction -- Lead development and programming in the LAMP stack -- Linux systems administration both “on the ground” and in the cloud  -- MySQL database administration -- Web Applications QA


PHP[3,4,and 5] -- MySQL[3.23,4,and 5] (including setting up replication and transactions) -- Javascript -- Python2 -- XML/XHTML/XSLT/Xpath -- Subversion/CVS/Perforce/Trac/git -- CSS -- Apache configuration and optimization -- Sendmail/Postfix/Qmail (include procmail configuration)  -- Linux security administration and optimization -- Perl[4,5] --  C++ and bash shell programming  

Applications and Frameworks

PHP::cakePHP -- PHP::symfony -- PHP::Joomla -- PHP::phpNuke -- PHP::PEAR -- PHP::Smarty -- PHP::Twig -- PHP::PDFLib  -- PHP::phpBB -- PHP::phpDoc  -- JS::mootools -- JS::jquery  -- JS::prototype  -- JS::scriptaculous -- Python::CherryPy -- Python::Django  -- Python::WSGI -- QA::Selenium -- QA::PHPunit  -- QA::SimpleTest



Vespa Technologies, Inc | Marlboro, NY

February 2003 - March 2006

A web technology consulting company founded to help my clients (including Marvel, Zerve, and in the following ways:

  1. Counseling  -  Helped entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground by providing technical advice and analysis, including writing design docs, staffing advice, and early stage technology plans
  2. Development - Full development in the LAMP stack, including server configuration, backend database optimization, front-end usability and design, and controller/application programming
  3. Management -  Get teams working together on their product in a "healthy" environment.  Sometimes that was "physical" (setting up a network, staging and production servers, Subversion/Trac/Bugzilla setup, QA configuration), and sometimes it was "mental" (project management, wireframes and use cases,  assistiance with defining the "process" with a push toward Agile methodologies)
  1. Oh God!  It's On Fire!!  -   Bad things happen.  I assessed the situation, owned the problem, and fixed it.

Please see my portfolio at for more details

Director of Web Technology

Telltale Games | San Rafael, CA

May 2011 - Present

Hired to bring strategic oversight of Telltale Games, including migration of legacy website to an MVC Framework as well as oversight and growth of a small web team.

  1. Grew and managed web team from one-man team to 6 members (2 senior engineers, Art Director, Jr. Designer, QA specialist, and project manager).
  2. Created first PHP-based API and web services framework for organization.  This API allowed for games to communicate to a central web service, saving off complex data around game state and pulling patches and DLC from a CDN.
  3. Implemented document-oriented database (CouchDB) to augment LAMP-based technology framework.  Wrote Python scripts to help in management of this database, including web-enabled scripts using WSGI.
  4. Converted stand-alone, Loebner Prize winning chatbot to a socket-based web service 
  5. Developed and assisted in implementation of a web development server architecture, including addition of a MySQL master/slave and an app / messaging server.  
  6. Implemented initial steps of a CI Agile strategy using Hudson

Director of Technology

Maker Media (O'Reilly) | Sebastopol, CA

April 2010 - April 2011

Hired to bring strategic I.T. oversight to Maker Media (a division of O'Reilly Media) as well as act as principal coder and implementer of all technical efforts.  Reported directly to founder of Maker Media

  1. Managed day-to-day operations of numerous web properties, including,,, and (our eCommerce solution running on Volusion).  Provided strategic technical direction to heads of Sales, Marketing, Publishing, Editorial, and directly to the Founder of Maker Media.  Wrote project specifications and handled project management through to project completion with stakeholders.  Sole technical programmer and lead on most projects for Maker Media.
  2. Transitioned the Make: Blog (5 million pageviews/month) from a legacy Movable Type install on a managed box to a load-balanced Wordpress install in the AWS cloud.  Handled server setup (2 load balancers, 4-n PHP App servers, dedicated memcache machine, and MySQL master-slave setup), data migration (using a combination of straight MySQL and Python to port data), site configuration, caching, troubleshooting, and enhancements.  Wrote numerous PHP hooks to WP core files in order to keep our content environment out of the Wordpress core.  Created a dev->staging->production environment so this could scale appropriately.
  3. Managed junior developer - upon her acceptance of another opportunity, moved to a strategic sourcing model to assist with implementation of several key projects.  Managed consultants both remotely and in-house in positions ranging from web developer to web designer to systems administrator.
  4. Implemented basic agile development environment.  Encouraged other groups to submit user stories.  Wrote, advocated, and implemented several key processes for organization to push projects through a measurable workflow.
  5. Created numerous custom-coded campaigns (Perl, PHP 5 [including CakePHP], some Python [including Django]) in conjunction with Sales to bring Make to profitability.
  6. Wired entire NYSCI campus for the World Maker Faire in Corona Park, Queens - ran cables, set up point-to-point wireless network, and configured secured nodes for paid sponsors.
  7. Voting member and participant of the O'Reilly I.T. Governance Review Board, responsible for reviewing all submitted IT investment projects and validating whether they align to organizational goals; determining relative priority and sequencing of all I.T. investment projects; and providing a forum to make decisions supporting the broader growth goals of O'Reilly Media.
  8. Helped write the Open Manual Project in conjunction with iFixit, the partner hosting our Make: Projects web assets.  oManual is a simple, open XML-based standard for semantic, multimedia-rich procedural manuals.

Director of Development / Lead Engineer

ReputationDefender | Redwood City, CA

May 2008 - June 2009

Hired as "right hand man" to CTO.  Responsible for server administration, project management, management of development team, documentation, and taking lead on programming in LAMP stack.

  1. Managed team of two senior developers, two junior developers, one systems administrator, one QA tester, and one senior web designer both remotely and locally.
  2. Worked directly with CEO, CTO, and COO to develop products from initial "brainstorming" phase to production quality code, alternating between agile and predictive methodologies where appropriate.  As company grew, became primary liaison between product management / marketing teams and engineering department.
  3. Prior to hiring systems administrator, set up and managed 15 CentOS servers, including 5 webservers behind 2 F5 load balancers, 5 MySQL databases in a master/slave configuration, and 2 media servers mounted as NFS drives in both a production and development environment. Management included setup and configuration of PHP, Subversion, Apache (including SSL), Python, Tomcat, Java, monitoring, security auditing and tightening, writing management tools in Python and bash, and building custom installs from source.
  4. Prior to hiring QA tester, set up and managed PHP unit tests over Selenium to automate testing of all critical systems.  
  5. Rewrote entire website using Smarty to free up design resources.
  6. Wrote two iterations of a home grown CMS to assist team of 13 employees in managing their client load.  Expanded margin on customers they were responsible for managing by 30%
  7.  Managed entire project process, including management of bug tracking software (Bugzilla), metrics of success in bug fixes, assisting in writing PRDs, writing wireframes and data models, setting and enforcing deadlines, and delivering top-of-the line projects on time and under budget.

Director of Engineering / Lead Engineer

GreenDimes/Tonic Inc | Palo Alto, CA

October 2007 - April 2008

Hired as Lead Engineer for extremely aggressive start-up.  Took over duties of Director of Engineering in December 2007.   Responsible for offshore team of seven developers and one project manager as well as one in-house senior engineer and senior designer.  Fully managed online assets for two facets of company ( and

  1. Got up to speed on coding and practices within one week and was able to advise Director of Engineering and CEO concerning company roadmap for Q4 2007 and Q1 2008.
  2. Managed 11 Linux boxes (CentOS and Ubuntu).  Set up development environment, managed  development, staging, and live environments, wrote shell scripts to sync and manage data between servers, interfaced with server hosting company regarding server resources and load balancers, wrote backup scripts for machines, configured and optimized Apache, PHP, and MySQL.
  3. Administered Trac and Subversion for entire organization
  4. Moved entire Engineering team away from Joomla to Smarty templates under OO PHP classes in order to address demands from management and marketing.  Took the lead on enterprise-wide engineering decisions for and
  5. Ported partially functional but non-scalable Perl scripts to dynamic Python scripts to automate internal, manual process.  This process ended up being at the core of early success.
  6. Created tools for Operations and Marketing teams to use to manage processes, produce reports, manage marketing campaigns, and aid in customer service.  Configured OTRS system for management of tiered customer support, allowing for scalability of Operations within organization.  Advised all departments on all technology aspects and made recommendations on staffing, technical issues, and methodology.
  7. Wrote technical specs based off of non-technical project documents for offshore team to use.  Created and implemented new data model and object models for entirety of organization.  
  8. Interfaced with all clients with technical questions and requirements, created a project plan for Engineering team to use, and worked with frequently shifting deadlines and priorities to deliver on-time, best of class applications.

Senior Web Developer / Executive Manager for Technical Support

Village Voice Media | New York, NY

March 2005 to May 2006

Senior Web Developer in 3-man team.  During my time there, the Village Voice website increased its traffic to 6 million visitors/month, and was nominated for its first Webby Award.

  1. Conceived of initial framework of a tag-based search method based on a theoretical "gravitational attraction" between user tagged objects
  2. Built full "adult" website for Village Voice including events calendar, image/photo upload and sizing classes, RSS syndication, and login
  3. Took over as Executive Manager for Technical Support for the annual Pazz & Jop music critics poll for both 2005 and 2006.  This poll is the largest of its kind, allowing for free-form data entry by critics voting for their favorite albums.  Rebuilt entire system to allow for greater management, flexibility, and stability.  Developed and implemented cron-based soundex and metaphonic matching of title/artist/label names entered by critics, ajax interfaces for administrators to perform on-the-fly matching of critic entries with existing albums in database, "sanity checking" to backend processes (bringing error rate of entries to zero), and "advanced" searching to augment existing GSA integration.
  4. Heavy re-configuration and integration of SugarCRM (an Open Source CRM tool similar to SalesForce) into existing corporate structure.  Rewrite was entirely in OO PHP and JSON.
  5. After failure of sync'ing between different web servers, wrote Python-based tools to send failure and usage alerts to management.
  6. Part of two-man team that added photo gallery functionality on website.
  7. Configured headers in website to obtain low-hanging fruit for SEO. Configured GSA and modified XSLT for displaying Village Voice search data. Three months after configuration was completed, saw a consistent increase in web traffic by 25%
  8. Introduced concept of Podcasting to organization.  Recorded two podcasts a week (Michael Musto, Robert Christgau) using SoundForge and Audacity.  At the time, the podcasts generated roughly 10% of the traffic to  


Web Developer

Kessler Medical Rehabilitation, Research, and Education Corporation | West Orange, NJ

October 2001 - April 2004

Sole PHP developer on team consisting of designer, project manager, and Director of IT.  Created library of reusable PHP code for organization, including a login class, session/state management, static page generation from dynamic content, MySQL abstraction layer, ad rotation, complex page counter and click-thru tracker, meta-tag editor, a spidered "screen-scraper," and specialized code for three different projects.


Digital Engineer

Lucid Marketing | Allentown, NJ

April 2000 - April 2001

Sole technical employee in one-to-one strategic online marketing company that included eHarmony and Buena Vista Interactive as its early clients.  Technology lead on all projects and sole web desiger for all clients, including the first website for  As Digital Engineer, I spearheaded an early LAMP implementation two months after my arrival.  I developed and coded a company-wide intranet (including calendaring, timecard, file sharing, and a message board) linking California with New Jersey, and created a customer-facing, password-protected extranet to allow clients to view progress on production schedules as well as upload assets.  Finally, I acted in my capacity as a “jack-of-all-trades” to perform other activities, including wiring the office for network and phone, fixing compatibility issues in CSS files for other clients,  porting Coldfusion applications to ASP, and implementing and running the Delano Velocity Suite to manage online campaigns.

Senior Help Desk Analyst

Sarnoff Corporation | Princeton, NJ

April 1998 - April 2000

Employed as one of two Tier 1 Help Desk employees (involved in problem recognition, research, isolation, resolution, and customer follow-up) supporting more than one-thousand clients running Linux, UNIX, Mac, and PCs.  After 6 months, solely responsible for technical support of 800+ users when other help desk person quit. Received awards for exceeding goal set forth by IT Director to resolve more than 80% of all calls placed and for revamping the IT Core website, and was promoted to Senior Help Desk Analyst within ten months, at which point I managed a staff of three Tier 1 employees and coordinated with several Tier 2 employees

Additionally, I coded the internal help desk management system (PHP over Oracle running on Linux) and later integrated internal PHP sites with Remedy® SMS.  I served as customer liaison to Sarnoff Technology Ventures Group, making sure appropriate computing and network access was available to engineers in different Sarnoff “incubators”.  During my time at Sarnoff, I received my MCSE + I and Dell Certification (Desktop, Workstation, Laptop, and Server).  Finally, I assisted in punching down, running, and setting up cable and PC installation for three month roll-out that moved over 800 users to a PC-based Windows environment


  1. Several articles for Make: Online (
  2. Confessions of a Conflicted Mac User"  Village Voice Screens 06.15 (,antonowicz,72773,28.html )
  3. "Feed Your Head: Parsing RSS Feeds with PHP and PEAR" International PHP Magazine 03.2004
  4. "Cleaning Up With SOAP: Parsing SOAP with a PHP Client" International PHP Magazine 04.2004


Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ

1997 B.A. (Anthropology/Archaeology)

cum laude graduate, Henry Rutgers Scholar