Hawthorne Mackenzie Digital

HMD is a deliberately small software development consulting agency built on the idea that it's easier to do great work when you know your clients well and work with a small team.

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Chris Crowell, President and Director of Technology. Chris is a former Director of IT at both AT&T Wireless and at Cingular Wireless. Chris began his career as a software developer and has worked in every aspect of Information Technology including analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, operations, sustainment and project/program management. As a Program Manager, he has led teams of over 100 people and managed budgets of up to US$25MM. At the director level he worked in IT Resource Management, IT Strategy, and IT Architecture. He left Cingular as Director of IT Architecture to form Hawthorne Mackenzie Consulting in 2006. He resides in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Our team consists of senior software and business professionals located in both North America and the European Union, all of whom have decades of experience and with whom we have worked for several years. Being geographically distributed helps us better meet the demands of clients in multiple timezones, and also allows us to draw on a global talent pool.

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Selected Clients

University of Minnesota Education / Medicine Design, development, and implementation of a database backed web application for tracking medical samples processed by a University diagnostic laboratory. Used by over 20 countries on 3 continents. Translated into French and Japanese, with 8 other languages planned.
Hills Pet Nutrition, Europe Manufacturing Delivery of e-commerce systems, an e-CRM database containing over 1 million records, a single sign on system, and multiple digital marketing tools. Translated into over 17 languages, including Hebrew and Russian.
Keogh Bay Consulting, Australia Public Relations Information technology strategy consulting. Keogh Bay facilitates communication between large corporations and indigenous communities in Australia. It is staffed by anthropologists and linguists and has a unique set of IT requirements.
The Water Company of Washington Utilities Design, development, and implementation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that allows real time monitoring of water utility systems on iPhones and Blackberries.
The Mark Morris Institute Non-Profit Implementation of a Content Management System to promote the Institution and an e-Commerce application to allow on-line purchase of textbooks used in Veterinary Colleges.

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Products & Services

Single Sign On Enterprise-class single sign on service for multiple web applications based on the opensource Central Authentication Service (CAS) protocol developed by Yale. In production with over 1M customer records.
Central Customer Profile Enterprise class customer database capable of housing over 1M customers in production. Includes a RESTful API for access by multiple client systems.
Content Management Management and delivery of several gigabytes of customer content.
e-Commerce Several e-commerce systems deployed based on the popular opensource Spree E-Commerce framework. Transaction volumes well in excess of 1M annually.
Workflow Custom workflow systems designed specifically for departments in large institutions. Our most recent tool is a system to manage language translations and was used to translate an application into 12 European languages. It has also handled translations into other character sets, such as Japanese.
SCADA/Robotics This tool connects mobile devices to Kepserver Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition software, which is normally limited to Windows desktops. Clients can monitor the status of remote sensors from anywhere in the world, using just their phones.
Data Mining/Analytics Analytics of large datasets.
Web Services / API Whether it's customer data, authentication, a complex algorithm, there's often a need to share data or computation across multiple systems. HMD specializes in providing secure web services that can be consumed by multiple client applications, reducing complexity and saving schedule & budget.

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Ok, now it's going to get nerdy...

We develop web applications using Ruby on Rails, with Bootstrap handling the front end, and a Mysql db out back. We use Rspec and Capybara for testing. Github is our source code repository and version control.

For mobile development, we use Xcode and Swift, which is the clear successor to Objective C. For Android, the only real choice is Android Studio with Java.

On the desktop, we are a Mac shop, and use Windows only when forced: all the major SCADA/Robotics middleware runs on Windows, not Linux. We prefer OSX over Windows for lots of reasons, not the least of which is having a powerful command line on the desktop as well as seamless switching to the same shell commands and scripts on the servers.

We host on Engineyard and have for several years. They are awesome. They take all the pain out of deployment and configuration management. Plus, they provide support over IRC, which for technologists is an amazingly effective alternative to phone support.

We monitor availability and response time with Pingdom and trap application errors with Airbrake.

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Contact Us. We're friendly.

One of the most enjoyable parts of a project is getting to know the client's business and explaining the technology choices and tradeoffs -- in a way that helps them quickly and confidently make decisions.

You can reach us via email at info@hawthornemackenzie.com or call us at 360 915 2057.

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© Hawthorne Mackenzie Digital, 2006-2014