Ben Hekster
PO Box 391852, Mountain View, CA 94039-1852, USA

Extensive professional software engineering experience. Master's Degree cum laude in Electronic Engineering. Ability to learn rapidly, excellent object-oriented analytical and design skills. Creative, hands-on, and outspoken; able to assume any additional responsibilities as needed. Outstanding spoken and written communication skills; very effective in cross-functional and customer-facing roles. Fluent Dutch and English speaker, varying degrees of German, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian, and Arabic.

Seeking a challenging position in team leadership, architecture/design, and development; in high-performance/low-latency computing; C++, on Unix, Win32, OS X, or cross-platform.

Canadian, Dutch, and United States citizenships.


Programming languages: C++11/14/17, C99
Scripting languages: perl, bash
Operating systems/Platforms: Unix (Linux, Solaris, POSIX; Xlib, X Toolkit), OS X (Cocoa), Win32
Protocols: TCP/IP (Open Transport, WinSock, sockets), Universal Serial Bus (USB),
Development tools: GNU (gcc, autotools), Xcode, Visual Studio, Mathematica
Databases: MySQL, SQLite, BerkeleyDB
Documentation tools: Sketch app, TeX (XeLaTeX, amsmath), Adobe Illustrator, FrameMaker, Microsoft Office


September '17 - current

FogHorn Systems, Sunnyvale, CA

As Principal Staff Engineer, contributed to the maintenance and development of the company's industrial internet-of-things (IIoT) offering. Over time, assumed team leadership and management responsibilities (hiring/reviews), coordinating the activity of remote and off-shore team members. Solidified the use of Scrum process by establishing stand-ups, demos, grooming, and planning.

Proposed, designed, led, and contributed significantly to the Streaming API and ‘edgification’ initiatives which provide a Python-based API to real-time streaming analytics and transparent machine learning (ML) model transformation, supporting TensorFlow, TFLite, TVM, and OpenVINO; using C++ code generation based on XSLT.

Drove performance optimization of the company's domain-specific language for real-time stream analytics processing, leading to three orders of magnitude speed improvement and at least one order of magnitude reduction of memory footprint. Proposed and drove JSON to Avro migration, improving performance by multiple orders of magnitude.

May '13 - September '17

BlueKai (acquired by Oracle), Cupertino, CA

As Principal Software Engineer, acted as team lead and designer/contributor of a low-latency cluster-distributed graph database in C++11 under Linux and OS X. Cluster supported in excess of 290 k/s operations at sub-millisecond latency; features included statement-level replication, transparent cluster rebalancing. Implemented front-end UI using a custom nginx module with XML/XSLT. Extremely reliable: never suffered a crash in production.

Designer of the ID space architecture which enabled the integration of dozens of independent ID types within the BlueKai ecosystem. Represented BlueKai's privacy/opt-out efforts within the larger organization.

Spearheaded the use of the Scrum process and continuous integration, code reviews, bringing in QA as an integral part of the development process.

Contributed to the development and maintenance of the group's flagship pixel server; ported the Linux server to Xcode/LLVM. Conversion to autoconf and support for multi-platform builds. Developed line-of-business tools under OS X/Cocoa.

Initiated and led off-shore greenfield development project.

March '09 - March '13

DigitalGlobe, Walnut Creek, CA (headquarters in Longmont, CO)

As Senior Software Engineer, led development using a full Agile methodolgy of large-volume advanced geospatial image processing (GIS) system written in C++ and Java and using GPU-based image processing. Conversion to an autotools-based build. Implemented clustering under Moab/TORQUE.

Led a team using an Agile 'lite' methodology to develop and operationally maintain a cluster-based geospatial image processing application, written in Java and C++. Overcame significant technical challenges in refactoring a legacy code base and the organizational challenges of leading from a remote office while simultaneously meeting quarterly commitments to our government customer (NGA). Coordinated cross-functionally and with subcontractor. Managed the orderly shutdown of the program.

Developed a Win32/Linux cross-platform GUI in C++ for viewing extremely large GeoTIFF and ENVI images.

Team leadership role included Scrum master duties and writing and delivering performance reviews. Assumed office management responsibilities including supply ordering, maintenance coordination, and regulatory compliance.

May '05 - September '08

SS8 Networks, Milpitas, CA

Principal Software Engineer responsible for development of electronic surveillance and lawful interception of communications (wiretap) products. Served as project architect and team lead in the development of a three-tier network management system for these products, using a MySQL cluster architecture. Oversaw the off-shore outsourcing of development.

Contributed significantly to the implementation of this system, writing the front end based on Java Swing (JFC) and parts of the C++ tiers.

Developed multiple High Availability (HA) solutions using Veritas Cluster Server and Veritas Storage Foundation, with SAS storage arryas.

Assumed system adminstration tasks, including Solaris 10 JumpStart and Sun Studio 11 installation, OpenGrok Apache/Tomcat, and Solaris 9/10 deployment. Deployed Subversion source code management system. Developed extensive Acrobat documentation using Structured FrameMaker and Illustrator.

October '03 - September '04

CaseCentral, San Francisco, CA

Software Engineering Manager responsible for the design and very closely involved with the implementation of a Linux/C++ Windows/Visual Basic document base normalization service, involving text and metadata extraction, document dedupliation, and data warehousing to SQL Server and MySQL data bases. Led a small and focused team of developers to a successful high-reliability and high-performance cross-platform and distributed service using CORBA and ActiveX, capable of processing 1 TB of documents per day. Designed, installed, and maintained a Linux computing infrastructure (NIS/NFS), bug tracking system (Bugzilla), and intranet.

October '01 - June '02

Minds and Technologies, Palo Alto, CA

Software Engineer for Internet Explorer browser bar ActiveX controls on Win32, capable of streaming capture and playback of audio and video to and from remote servers. Produced a small-footprint, low-latency, and responsive multithreaded client on Win32, using WinSock and DirectShow.

Februrary '01 - March '01

XDegrees, Mountain View, CA

Contractor for MacOS port of peer-to-peer file sharing client, in the process developing a POSIX abstraction layer.

August '00 - December '00, San Carlos, CA

Contractor for implementation of sparc/x86 Solaris/Linux C++ client-side e-commerce solution, using Web browser and console user interfaces.

March '00 - April '00

Contractor for design of cross-platform client-side e-commerce solutions.

February '00 - March '00

iHello, Sunnyvale, CA

Contractor for development of real-time speech signal processing application, cross-platform Win32/MacOS C++.

February '98 - December '99 (Release Software), San Carlos, CA

Project Manager for deployment of Release Software and Preview Systems Electronic Software Distribution technologies, coordinating engineering, production, sales/marketing, and quality assurance departments.

Engineering Manager for SalesAgent, MacOS/Win32 Electronic Software Distribution and trial software.

Senior Software Engineer, development of internal production tools under MacOS C++. Development of MacOS-based FTP server and Unix-based ‘vending machine’. Managed and implemented cross-platform localization of MacOS and Win32 C++ software in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.

March '97 - December '97

BackWeb Technologies, Ramat Gan, Israel

Senior Software Engineer, development of the Java (Swing) version of the BackWeb Internet ‘push’ client. Design and cross-platform implementation (MacOS, Solaris, and Java) of the BackWeb Interapplication Communication Protocol. Development of Macintosh-based content development and scripting tools.

January '97 - March '97

Kinetica Internetting Solutions Ltd., Herzeliya, Israel

Consultant, development of an Oracle data base and Web site. Analysis and preparation of proposals for Internet projects.

January '94 - January '97

Odyssey Interactive Multimedia, Herzeliya, Israel
Plastronics Ltd., Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Project lead for multimedia titles under Macromedia Director.

Internet engineer and project lead of children's educational Web site for IBM's multimedia group (Linux, Perl), as well as system administration functions (Linux) and maintenance of company's intranet services.

Software Engineer, development of the Macintosh versions of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky multimedia titles, including localization of multilingual versions in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Development of multimedia authoring tools.

Professional interests.

High-performance/low-latency computing, networks, human factors, and user interfaces. Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).


2021-current Undergoing ground and flight training for Private Pilot certificate (PP-ASEL).
2021 Amateur Radio Technician Class license.
2021 Prototyping hardware design and firmware implementation of bare-metal ARM flight simulator radio ‘comms’ panel as a USB device and X-Plane plug-in. Evaluating STMicroelectronics STM32 series as a lower-complexity alternative.
2020 Hardware/PCB design and firmware implementation of bare-metal ARM MIDI translator using Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832.
2017-2019 Writing solutions manuals for the mathematics textbooks A First Course in Graph Theory using Mathematica, and Differential Geometry using LaTeX.
1999-2005 Developed a 100,000-line C++ application framework for cross-platform (MacOS, MacOS X, Win32, linux, Solaris) application development.
2005, 2000 Port of GNU Linux/Solaris/embedded cross-compilers and linkers to MacOS CodeWarrior graphical integrated development environment.
2003 Developed a USB driver for Logitech QuickCam Web camera for MacOS.
2003 Web-published a solutions manual for the group theory textbook Abstract Algebra.
2003, 1997 AppleTalk Filing Protocol File System (afpfs), network file system kernel module for mounting AppleShare volumes on Linux.
1993 UpToDate, a file synchronization utility, in the process also translating a localized Portuguese version.
1990 Cher, an AppleShare file server for pre-System 7 Macintoshes.

Other interests.

General aviation, linguistics, pure mathematics. Member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).



San Mateo College, CA

Standard Arabic II, III.


UC Berkeley Extension, CA

Russian I, II, III; Portuguese I, II, III.

August '96 - August '97

Tel Aviv University, Israel

Hebrew language 3-5 (gimel-hey); Enrolled in Master's degree program in Pure Mathematics.

November '92 - November '93

University of Twente, Netherlands

Enrolled in PhD degree program in Computer Science; research in compiler techniques for advanced programming languages.

August '86 - August '92

University of Twente, Netherlands

Master's degree (cum laude) in Electronic Engineering, minor in Computer Science and additional Pure Mathematics components. Grade point average 8.1 (>95th percentile). Thesis in reflective object-based compiler architecture, design of a pure reflective object-oriented language, Grunt-92, and the implementation of its compiler/interpreter.

June '90 - January '91

Apple Computer, Cupertino-- Macintosh System Software department

Internship, development of an Installer script development tool (Object Pascal).

August '89

University of Oulu, Finland

Internship, implementation of a bulletin board and file-exchange system for PC clones (Turbo Pascal).

Extracurricular activities.

Chairman of the student association's Scandinavian Exchange Committee, responsible for organizing student exchanges with universities in Finland and Sweden.