Getting To Know - Leon Fayer, Vice President

Welcome to the new OmniTI series, Getting To Know....

Here at OmniTI, we are passionate about a lot of things - our work, our culture, and our people are among some of our favorite things to talk about. We’re proud of the team of engineers that we surround ourselves with and we thought you’d like to meet them too.

Today, we’re starting with Leon Fayer, Vice President.

Leon Fayer

Tell us about yourself, Leon:

I’ve been a technology enthusiast my whole life. Growing up wanting to be a programmer may be a common thing now, but in the early 80s, in the former Soviet Union, that dream was something to strive for. Once I immigrated with my family to the United States and got my hands on a computer, not unlike many, I dove into Basic and PASCAL, ventured into C and Assembly (because like most young and naive kids I wanted to be a game developer), and fell in love with Perl.

During the early 90s, the days of the “birth of the Internet”, living in DC area, I (reluctantly) started my career in government contracting. Despite the generally mind-numbing work, surreal bureaucracy and pointy-haired bosses, I was fortunate enough to get my hand dirty with some really cutting edge projects at the time; like developing live video streaming capabilities for during the Clinton era and being one of the first people to bring fully browsable and searchable digital library online for Naval Research Lab (NRL). After the inevitable break up with government, during the first Internet boom, I went through the start-up “phase”, picking up new languages and technologies, architecting myself and leading teams through the architecture and development of some pretty innovative products. Looking back, I was one of the architects behind what is now IBM Enterprise CMS and OpenText BPM platforms.

Now (and for the past 15 years) I work at OmniTI, solving some of the more interesting technology problems. Over the years, I’ve had a somewhat unique opportunity to design and build systems that run some of the most visited websites in the world, like National Geographic and Wikipedia.

Where did you learn how to do what you do? And/or what jobs led you to OmniTI?

I have always been a very hands on person. It’s easier for me to take a piece of code apart and put it back together the way I need it, in order to learn it, then to read documentation or a book on a topic. Throughout my career I’ve built new and innovative products but I’ve also had to rewrite other people’s code as well as maintain legacy systems. That in itself taught me not to care much about technology used and concentrate on problems that need to be solved. At OmniTI we do just that, take someone else’s problems and solve them. And if there is not a good solution out there - we create it.

What is the most interesting project you have ever worked on? And/or what’s been your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

My favorite project may’ve been building a new system for National Geographic. Not only because of the pretty cool technological solution (sustaining 800x spikes of the major media site traffic on commodity hardware without a need to mass-scale), but because of the support of the long-loved brand and the ability to peek behind the scenes on content production for one of the coolest content companies in the world.

What one message would you send to an advanced alien species?

Humans are not food

If you could have dinner with one person - alive or dead, who would it be?

Not completely out of reach - I’d love to sit down with NFL’s GM and talk about contract structures, scouting analysis, team management, etc. For some reason it fascinates me.

From an iconic personality - it would be really cool to sit down for chat with a person of few words, Charlie Chaplin.

If you could use technology to do one thing it doesn’t do today, what would it be?

Holodeck. Definitely holodeck.

In closing, give a statement about why people should want to work with OmniTI

Where else can you work with people from whose articles and books you learned to design and develop systems you work on?

If you want to more about Leon or are interested in talking with him about a problem you’re facing, get in touch!