Benjamin Kahn

119 Whites Ave
Watertown, MA 02472
Profile Experienced computer programmer with success in both the public and private sector. Functional experience includes educational software, multi-user 3D environments, groupware applications, and database design.
Objective To solve problems creatively through software. (Research and Development)
Job Experience
October 2000 - Present Novell (was Ximian Inc.) (was Helix Code, Inc.) (
Positions held
Lead Researcher for the desktop Product Design Team
Project Manager
Business Development
Head of Technical Support

1995 - October 2000CyberSites, Inc. (
Positions held
Head of Research and Development
Head Programmer -- web division

Joined the Open Source Jabber Instant Messaging Project
Wrote PAM authentication module for Jabber. Conceived and managed the creation of ODBC module for Jabber. Extended the HTTP interface to Jabber to help make it a fully usable for web sites. Wrote an Open Source PHP API to the HTTP interface. Integrated Jabber into an existing web site to give instant messaging, chat, and presence which is compatible with all other Instant Messaging systems including AOL's.
Instant Messaging system compatible with the IETF's IMPP working group's initial recommendation
Designed, wrote, implemented rock solid stable, threaded, multi-platform, distributed instant message/chat system. Wrote PHP APIs to this chat system. Wrote RAGE APIs to this chat system. Wrote Python APIs to this chat system. Started downloadable client for this chat system. Integrated chat/IM system into a developing web site which is being used today.
Database work
Using the Object Store database maintained a database modification server which allowed changes from a web site. Discarded old database modification server and wrote my own which served as a database connectivity kit for the RAGE programming language. Evaluated available databases and chose Informix based on features, availability, and ease of working with the company. Helped port the object database schema to a relational schema for the Informix database. Took the Apache web server and used that to create a new database connection kit for the RAGE programming language.
The RAGE programming language
Conceived, designed, implemented, and maintained a web programming language starting in the days before Perl's web CGI functions which was used for many years by CyberSites, Inc. to write such advanced web site features as: Automatic publishing system, BBS, Instant Messaging, Individual homepages, and Private Messages. Started work on a complete reference and users guide for this language. Trained people in the use of this development tool. Coded many web applications in the RAGE language including a web page editor, templated web pages, global web site configuration changes, and a web game called S.P.Q.R. Designed and coded a subset of RAGE called RAVE which can be found in a book titled Web Developer.Com Guide to Creating 3d Worlds. Actively working toward getting RAGE Open Sourced.
Development Support Work
Helped design, and implemented company development system including CVS repository, Emacs based coding environment including custom code colorization routines written in eLISP, a bonsai code tracker, an LXR code cross reference tool, automatic code management and review system, and an advanced web based database query and discovery tool, and a code staging system which allowed for better testing. Started work on integrating CVS and database schema management. (As changes are made to SQL files, they are compiled into the database automatically.) Wrote CVS code management scripts which allowed CVS branching to working seamlessly and without trouble. Maintained Linux workstations used to keep development working smoothly.
S.P.Q.R. work
S.P.Q.R. is an online game which was originally hosted at Time Warner's Pathfinder during it's heyday. This award winning web game eventually spawned a CD game of the same name published by GT Interactive. Wrote the RAGE engine upon which all online chapters of this award winning game is based on. Designed user interface for game redesign for online chapter 3. Wrote online chapters 2 and 3.
PHP work
Extended PHP's Fast Template so that it supported Caching.
Sysadmin work
Managed UNIX web/ email/ ftp server (Linux, SGI Irix) Managed Object Store Database Monitored web site health
1995 - 1996 Globalearn (
  • Was the main engineer, programmer, and HTML coder on the Black Sea Nations Expedition. This included custom cgi's, protocol development, and page design. (This archived site is different than it once appeared.)
Mar - Nov 1995 Gateway Coalition (
  • Managed the web pages for this multi-university organization.
1995 - 1996 Gateway Labs (
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Freshman class. (Web programming, Presentation software, and 3D CAD modeling.)
  • Lab Consultant. (Answering questions and helping people in the lab.)
  • Webmaster (Designing and publishing the web site dealing with the Lab)
  • Co-system-administrator Account Creation, Software Installation, system maintenance
Summers of 1994, 1995 LEAP (
  • Summer 1994: Aid to the head of the computer center. (Teaching, buying components, repair, network admin., and course design.)
  • Summer 1995: Head of Technicals. (System Administrator for Linux box, MACs, and IBMs. Web designer. Software consultant, T1, etc.)
1990 - 1995 AD2000 (
  • Assembly and Shipping (preparing holograms for world-wide shipment.)
  • Computer Consultant/Programmer (Keep all company computers running smoothly. Also, software advisement, and authoring for company use.)
1989 - 1995 The Eli Whitney Museum (
  • Head of Computer Exhibits (design and upkeep of computer related projects.)
May 1997 - Present CBS Radio (
  • Custom job posting software for available jobs
  • Semi-automatic authoring system
Summer 1993 Shawmut Bank
  • Freelance Programmer (Wrote a program which would help the bank manage their databases more efficiently.)
1992 - 1994 New Haven School System
  • Wrote class scheduling software which assigned classes to students.
  • Helped manage computer lab.
  • Started the Lunchtime Computer Club.
1992 - 1995 Classroom Consulting
  • Worked with teachers to integrate computers in the classroom. (see awards)
Summer 1993 Choate
  • Wrote software used to teach geometry at this high school.
Private Consulting
1996 - Present Columbia University Professors
  • General system management tasks.
Core Skills
C, C++, LISP, Java, Python, PHP, Perl, BASIC, BASH, TCSH, RAGE, SQL
UNIX, Linux
Informix, MySQL
Open Source Work Jabber, RPM Explorer, Gnome, PHP Cached Fast Template, Mailcheck (no online source found)
Honors/Awards Awarded because of work at CyberSites, Inc.
  • Magellan 3-star site
  • PC Magazine Top 100 Web Sites
  • 1996 New Media Invision Award Finalist
  • LightSpeed Media: Tomorrow's Site of the Day
School Awards
  • Grant to use computers to help teach evolution and literature in a single class.
  • UNH Book Award.
College Education
Columbia University (Graduated Spring 1998 with a BS)
Major: Computer Science (Engineering)
Yale University
5 courses taken.
High School
High School in the Community, New Haven, CT
High Honors