After a stint as the administrator for a small ISP in 1996, Brendan worked as one of the first web developers in Australia, at web publisher and development house Sofcom (now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as Software Communications Group Ltd), building database-backed sites for the Melbourne Festival of the Arts, Hoyts Cinemas, Greenpeace Australia, the Sofcom TV Guide and Sofcom Shopping Mall, and others. Brendan worked in Perl, Java and Cold Fusion on Solaris, Linux and NT platforms during this time. Highlights at Sofcom include launching the first Australian eCash site in conjunction with St George Bank.
In 1998, Brendan joined John Fairfax Publications, Australia's second-largest print media company, as Online Editorial Technology Manager, responsible for the technical sides of all editorial sites in the Fairfax publishing group, including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review newspapers, and other specialist sites for sports, money and technology. As Fairfax spun off its online arm into f2 - Fairfax Interactive Network, Brendan grew his editorial technology team to include up to eight developers, building the network of editorial sites to over 15 (out of a network of over 30) and the traffic on the editorial sites to well over one million page impressions per day.
During his time at Fairfax and f2, Brendan developed his specialised knowledge in Web content management systems. One of Brendan's main tasks was implementing and rolling out the FutureTense Content Server product (now called FatWire Content Server, after a number of takeovers).
As the second customer of Content Server (after Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive), Brendan trained at FutureTense in Boston, and was a beta-level tester for many components of the system. After starting a user mailing list, since taken over by Open Market, he became well known in the Content Server community, contributing code and advice to the rest of the user base including New York Times, Financial Times (London) and dozens of other news and content providers. Due to this work, Brendan was invited to speak at the Open Market Technical User conference in May 2000.
Highlights of Brendan's time at f2 include building Australia's first WAP news service (in association with Optus Communications), and acting as development manager for The Sydney Morning Herald's Sydney 2000 Olympics site, which received over 3 million page impressions per day during the Olympics and was regarded as the best Australian-built Olympics site, winning the prestigious Walkley award for Online Journalism in 2001.
Realising the need in the marketplace for skill in content management systems was growing, Brendan left f2 in late 2000 to start Clueful Consulting, Australia's first consultancy to specialise in Web content management. Using his skills in requirements gathering from editorial staff, project managing large-scale content-based site development, and architecting sites based on a third-party content management system, he feels he has a lot to offer any company that wishes to implement a content management system -- or make the most out of the one they've got.
During his time at Clueful Consulting, as well as helping clients choose, build and maintain content management systems and other Internet development, Brendan also helped the general community through writing Open Source software, such as Perl modules to support NewsML and NITF, two news syndication and metadata languages used by Reuters, Agence France Presse and Yahoo among others. Brendan is also working on other Perl modules and Java code to contribute to the worldwide Internet publishing community.
Brendan also became a certified technical consultant in both the Open Market Content Server and Interwoven TeamSite content management systems.
In March 2002 an ex-colleague from Fairfax told Brendan about a job going at the British Broadcasting Corporation, overseeing the technical side of a large-scale content management procurement and deployment exercise. Finding the scale of the project a challenge, the return to the media industry refreshing, but the relocation to London a bit cold, two years later he's still there, currently titled a Technical Architect in BBC New Media's Infrastructure group.
Brendan visits and speaks at conferences and seminars on content management, online publishing, XML and the Semantic Web, as well as vendor-specific conferences and trade shows. Occasionally he contributes articles to online journals and has recently contributed to a book, yet to be published.