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IMG was the worlds largest media company, without it's own TV channel, at the time I contacted there. This was a fantastic learning role for me. I found out the secret to preventing a classic IT failure. That is, the overloaded Internet site crashing under stress. With the use of clever caching, facilitated by Akamai, and ten servers, sites such as Manchester United and City could handle 500 hits a second. That level of load often happened just prior to a football match. IMG also ran other large sporting sites such as Tiger Woods, Serena Williams and Jeff Gordon etc. These sites demanded not just high performance but also high reliability with a near 100% SLA. To achieve that, I adopted IMG practices such as the staging environment, which was an extra step over the usual development and production environment.

Content was created with custom written pages and a propitiatory CMS package. When I joined IMG the CMS application was getting a little tired and ran slowly. I created an SQL Server Stored Procedure profiling workbench. Using that I identified slowly running Stored Procedures and used the profiler to performance tune them. Re-arranging the SQL statements to perform filtering WHERE clauses before JOIN operations and using the NOLOCK hint, often made significant performance gains. Where extensive SQL operations were performed I cached the results and placed a trigger on the source SQL tables to refresh the cache as the source data changed. This worked well on semi-static data that changed only a few times a month. I also wrote Visual Basic 6.0 utilities to compare file versions on the ten servers, transfer code between servers and perform real-time monitoring of web pages with e-mail notifications. My time at IMG involved extensive work with MS SQL Server, ASP classic, JavaScript, VBScript, jQuery, Visual Basic, DHTML and HTML.