Questions and Answers


Q: What is this site?
A: This is the "web presence" for Patrick McManus - mcmanus@ducksong.com
. I am an engineering entrepreneur and Linux consultant. I also have a technical blog at http://bitsup.blogspot.com.

Q: What is the point of the site?
A: I have a few things to share with the world. And it provides a way for the world to reach me too.

Q: Share what kinds of things?
A: I share some things I have written. Some of it is Linux code, some of it is written articles, some of it is study results, etc.. Click on the links and see for yourself!

Q: So you're an engineer?
A: Yes. I'm a software engineer, designer, architect, etc. I specialize in network and systems programming in appliance environments. I have a history of working with very young emerging technology companies. I am also an occasional writer, manager, and consultant.

Q: What kind of work do you like?
A: On the technical side I love challenges of scale. Those can be scaling up to millions of transactions every second, or across millions of users. It can also mean making a project hum in a resource starved embedded device. My best expertise is designing software for high volume networking environments. I have designed and implemented a couple of successful hardware based network appliances too. I have the aforementioned blog where I chat about some of this stuff, and there are a few open source examples on this web site. I am a good guy to call when the details matter.

Q: You said on the technical side.. how about the business side?
A: That's easy. I love the many-hats requirement of a startup. Do whatever it takes to invent the product, then build the product, then sell the product. Figure out how to scale the technology and business processes as you go along. It's that easy (and hard).

Q: I'm still confused - who do you work for?
A: Right now, I work for myself as a consultant and also as owner of PenBay Networks. Penbay develops VOIP Recorder, an add-on for users of the Vonage(tm) digital telephone service. In the past I have worked full time for IBM (via acquisition), Datapower, AppliedTheory, and NYSERNet. Check out the resume.

Q: Do you want to work for me? (aka Are you looking for work?)
A: I'm always interested in young technology ventures and am happy to brainstorm being part of them. That might mean contracting, employment, or partnership. I love creative and technologically sophisticated people. Short term contracts as well as longer term strategic relationships are possible. Send me an email.

Q: Any other pearls of wisdom?
A: I have decided that abstraction is a mixed blessing. Without it we cannot get our heads around modern systems. But it causes such insane inefficiencies sometimes. While most developers don't have to pull assembly out of the toolbox much anymore, I firmly believe a mastery of low level computer architecture is an invaluable skill when deciding what parts of a system need to be crafted in minute detail, and which should be abstracted to allow quicker development and maintainability.

Q: What the heck is ducksong?
A: Presumably, it is tuneful quack emitted by a duck for the purpose of entertainment. At ducksong.com, we know that all good things go quack!