A l l e n    H o l u b

Allen is one of the country's foremost software designer-builders. He's an expert-level programmer, specializing in Swift, Java and Web 2.0 (AJAX/Cloud/Microservice) applications, typically deployed to cloud platforms. He can build highly dynamic web sites (along the lines of GMail) from front to back: both the front end (JavaScript-JQuery-Angular-HTML5-CSS3) code that runs in the browser and the back end (Java, PHP, MySQL, Ruby, Mongo, C++, AppEngine, EC2) code that runs either on your server or in the cloud.

Fully buzzword compliant, Allen is proficient in: Swift, iOS, Java, C++, C, PHP, JavaScript, multi-threading, GWT (Google Web Toolkit), GData (Google Cloud Integration), AWS (Amazon Web Service Integration, S3, EC2, etc.), JQuery, JSON, HTML4, HTML5, XHTML, CSS, CSS2, CSS3, JDO, JPA (EJB3), JDBC, SQL, JMS, JSP, JSTL, JDOM, XML, Wordpress, Spring (controller), MySQL, Apache, Tomcat, Google App Engine, EC2, Cloud Computing, Linux, Subversion SVN, GIT, Eclipse, SOA, OO, Object Oriented, Design Patterns, RUP, Agile, Lean Development.

Allen is a highly-regarded trainer and much-sought-after speaker. (See a video of a recent keynote at on the Videos page. Speaking topics range from Agile culture and architecture, and process, to Swift, OO-Design, UML, Java, C++, and computer security. He works with both startups and Fortune-N companies, and can train both small teams and entire departments if required. His Agile OO-Design Workshop and Agile Architecture class are unique in the industry.

Allen's long-running columns for Dr. Dobb's Journal (C Chest), JavaWorld (Java Toolbox), SD Times (JavaWatch), and others have been highly influential in the industry. His open-source Java threading library predated the java.util.concurrent system, and the associated book (Taming Java Threads) was one of Apress's all-time best sellers. He's written a total of ten books on programming topics.

Allen regularly speaks at major technical conferences, both in the US and internationally, and served on the SD (Software Development) Conference advisory board.

Allen specializes in helping you take your idea through to fruition. His CTO, Agile-process, and architect experience, when combined with his practical programming expertise, puts him a unique position to guide you through the quagmire of software development. He approaches agile in a non-tribal way, focusing on what will work best for your company, as compared to the dogmatic focus on a specific process (e.g. Scrum) pursued my many.

Allen can help you assemble an implementation team, and lead that team to a successful outcome. If you have an existing company, he can assess and improve both your software and your software-development organization and process.

He provides Agile coaching and design-review services, and can train individual teams and entire departments on Design, Agile process, and OO languages.

LinkedIn (with recommendations)

I'm using my LinkedIn page as a resume. Since non-LinkedIn members can't see recommendations, here's a (probably out of date) .pdf version of my listing.

A Few Recent Projects       Show all (or click arrow next to title to show that project).

Pearl.com (2012)
Principal Architect and Agile-Process consultant. Designed APIs, implemented API protypes, guided software development generally. Moved the organization from a dysfunctional Scrum shop to one that was considerably more Agile (worked with the teams, worked with individuals). Taught a series of classes and hands-on workships with topics ranging from Agile Process and Architecture, to Design Patterns, to programming (e.g.: C# multithreading). Mentored upper management, programmers, product owners, scrum masters.
Digital Ocean (2011)
Characteristic of very-short term coaching engagements, helped define processes used by a very small software-development organization, walked the team through the design/development process, and helped with initial design work.
timezer.com (2010-present)
A cloud-based invoicing service. This project is not yet deployed.

Designed and constructed a full prototype system: Google Web Toolkit (GWT), JavaScript, and JQuery on the (AJAX) client side; The Google subset of J2EE on the server side: JDO, Servlets, JavaMail, Memcache, OAuth authentication, and Google Multitenancy. System is deployed to the Google App Engine, and integrates tightly with various Google and Amazon cloud services using both Google's GData APIs and Amazon's Web-Service (AWS) APIs. Integrates with Paypal payment processing.

Designed the user interface and underlying system, applying OO principles throughout, and was instrumental in the fund raising process, writing all technical aspects of the business plan and performing a competitive analysis.

iExperiment.net (Colabrativ, Inc.) (2008-present)


A full featured Web 2.0 AJAX application that implements impressive desktop-like capabilities. The browser-based AJAX user interface communicates with a Java-based server back end (J2EE, MYSQL, JDBC, Servlets).

. iExperiment is a full-featured laboratory notebook, allowing for the capture, display, and publication of experimental data (laboratory reports). The data is "structured" in that it can be represented in XML that expresses the semantics of the data, to facility The application can function both as a public, web-based service and also as an in-house system. The user interface is unique to the application, and incorporates many custom "widgets" that improve usability.

Allen was initially brought in as a "hired-gun CTO," helping the principal through the product-definition and design phase. Working closely with the client, Allen developed the architecture of the system, set up and led the (distributed) development team, and implemented the AJAX user interface using both the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and as raw HTML/CSS and JavaScript. The back end was developed using Java and MySQL under Apache/Tomcat. The bulk of the work on this project occurred in 2009.

To see a report in read-only mode, click on the "Repository" link on the main page. You'll have to create and accont and log in to see the full editing UI.

Currently acting in an advisory capacity on the project.

JustAToDoList.com (2008)


An AJAX implementation of a to-do list. (If you go to the page by clicking the foregoing link, you can play with the list at the bottom of the main page—it's fully functional, but doesn't save your changes).

This application demonstrates advanced AJAX features. The front end is written using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) under Eclipse. The draggable tab bar, trash, and tool bar are all custom GWT-extension widgets developed by Allen, not part of GWT itself. The server side is written using JDO (J2EE) over MYSQL to allow eventual deployment to the Google App Engine. This application also demonstrates a secure plug-in login implementation developed by Allen. Login is implemented in straight JavaScript/HTML4/CSS with a Java-servlet back end so that it can easily be plugged into non-GWT applications. The Login system includes an easy-to-use GWT-integration layer, however.

Technical Background

Allen has worked in the computer field since 1979—as an independent consultant since 1983. He started out as a hardware engineer, developing robotics control systems—his first software projects were device drivers for his own boards—but the software eventually preempted the hardware. He moved into software by developing compilers and operating systems, and is now an acknowledged expert in OO Design and Process, as well as systems and application development. His software projects have included:

Allen has been an active participant in the open-source community, publishing large amounts of useful source code in books and in the various magazines to which he's contributed over the years. Much of his published code has found its way into commercial products such as the Rogue Wave C++ tool kit and the libraries accompanying the Borland C and C++ compilers.

Allen was an early adopter of Java—programming in it since 1995 (the language was released by SUN in March of that year). He also works regularly in PHP, SQL, (X)HTML/CSS, and JavaScript. Before that, Allen worked primarily in C++ (since 1991), C (since 1980), and various other obscure and now-irrelevant languages (Smalltalk; FORTRAN; PL/M; PL/1; Pascal; Modula; 8080, 8085, 68000, and TI 9900 assembler; and the like.)

Allen is one of the country's foremost experts in Object-oriented Design techniques. He has been a strong public advocate of Agile design processes, in both his public writings and in his teaching work. Over the years, he's helped thousands of programmers work more effectively by showing them "how it's done." An important part of his practice involves training, mentoring, and guidance to companies who wish to apply Object-Oriented design techniques and processes to computer-software development. These sort of technology-support services range from on-site instruction to regular design and code review.

Allen has provided consulting and educational services to many companies, both in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the country, and internationally.


Allen is a highly regarded educator. He regularly teaches in-house classes for individual companies, and has taught for the University of California, Berkeley, Extension since 1982. He's taught various topics, including Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, Java, C++, C, Compiler Design, Win32 Systems Programming, and Microsoft Foundation Class Programming. He regularly receives accolades from his students, who represent most of the major software companies in the Bay Area.

Allen is a regular presenter at both national and international conferences, including Bear Park's Software Architecture Conference, the Software Development (SD) conferences, Sun's JavaOne conference. He recently spoke at JAX/San-Jose. He served as the Security-track chair for SD. His Software-Development presentations include security talks (including a nontechnical introduction to software security), various design talks (including Design Patterns and Architecture), and discussions of specific libraries (including the Google Web Toolkit (GWT)—an AJAX development platform).


Allen was a Contributing Editor for the on-line magazines JavaWorld (Java Toolbox) and SD Times (Java Watch). He wrote the OO Design Process column for IBM DeveloperWorks and has moderated several public forums (including the ITworld Programming Theory & Practice Forum). His articles have championed the OO-design process, and have opened many readers eyes to what the term "object oriented" really means. Allen was a contributing editor for Dr. Dobb's Journal, Dr. Dobb's Sourcebook, and Programmer's Journal. His popular "C Chest" column, which appeared monthly in Dr. Dobb's Journal from 1983 to 1987, provided many people with their first introduction to C. Allen has also written for Microsoft Systems Journal, Programmers Journal, BYTE. Windows Tech Journal, Mac Tech Journal, C Gazette and others.

Allen's many published books include:

Many of his books appear in Japanese, German, and Russian translation.

Learn to Fly

Education, Etc.

Allen hold a double degree from he University of California, Berkeley, in Computer Science and Medieval-European History (or "mid-evil" history, as his D&B rating used to say). He is an accomplished composer and musician. He's also an artist, and an avid pilot (Airplane SEL, instrument-rated, commercial).