Jack Warren

Jack Warren

1920 1080.png
 
 

I'm an undergrad student in Northeastern University's Honors Program with Cybersecurity as my major. My interests are information and operations security, user interfaces, and defensive design. See below for some of my past work.

 
 

Friendship House

Image 2.png
 

My high school offered seniors the opportunity to spend the last three weeks before graduation off campus working as intern to get professional experience before heading off to college. While many of my peers focused on trying to gather new skills, I found that there weren't any options relating to cybersecurity in the area local to the school. Instead, I worked with the school's administration to take on a different kind of project: providing my existing freelance skills for free to a local homeless ministry, Friendship House.

 

One of the first goals of my project at Friendship House was making modifications to the site that they had been unable to make themselves. Similar to my previous experience, the site was WordPress based, and although the existing theme was responsive and worked well, it was undocumented and used the default bright green. Despite not having access to the server back end, I used WordPress to modify the theme's CSS directly to align the colors and style to that of Friendship House's other materials.

Since a significant portion of the site's traffic came from Friendship House's own employees, they were interested in having quicker access from their mobile devices. To address this need without unneccessary work, I took advantage of iOS and Android's ability to pin website links to the home screen, adding platform-specific graphics to style the pinned icon and loading screens.

 

Graphics

Beyond simply modifying the website, a large part of my work was in updating the print graphic style for Friendship House. They had an existing logo they were very happy with, but it was made decades ago and had survived through photocopying and scanning. I used Adobe Illustrator to vectorize the logo and save high-resolution component images so that any future alterations could be made with simpler image-editing software. With the new version of the logo, I set about creating new versions of all printed materials, unifying fonts and styling in addition to replacing logos.

In addition, Friendship House has four posters that are used at fundraising events to communicate the different programs and how they connect. In the process of overhauling those posters, I visited the different locations to figure out how best to communicate the relationships between programs effectively to a wide audience of potential donors. With this information I was able to significantly reduce the clutter on the posters by making explanations more direct and accurate, allowing an increased emphasis on images showing the positive effects of the programs.

Town Square Delaware

Image 32.png

In 2016 I was hired by Town Square Delaware, a local news organization, to do a website redesign and resolve storage issues stemming from the tens of thousands of photos and years of past content on the site. The aim was to improve the site's performance on mobile devices, increase advertisement capability, and to allow continued operation without concern for the size of the site's archives. In the time since completing the redesign, I've continued working in a maintanence role, making updates to the site as neccessary.

Similar to my previous experience, the site was WordPress based. The primary obstacle in the project was transferring the archives off of the old site, because we had extremely limited access to the server and were up against a physical hard disk limit for storage space that hindered the standard WordPress transfer methods. My solution was to use SFTP to incrementally download each individual image from the server and piecing apart an SQL dump to then insert old data into the new site's content structure. The project also involved coordinating with another graphic designer to ensure the new logos were made with things like website favicons in mind.

Sanford News Network

IMG_1102.jpg

Livestreaming

Sanford News Network is the student media group that supplanted the student newspaper at my high school. My project throughout my freshman year was envisioning and building a video livestreaming system. As this was before the launch of high-quality consumer livestreaming services, the system had to push to professional-level services that expected all processing to be done on our side. The goal for the system was to have software-level control of three 1080p cameras, four other discrete audio sources, and any amount of other pre-recorded content such as ads or interstitials.

The resulting system took into account the need to balance portability with usability by students as young as middle school and durability for streaming events outdoors. Occupying a portable rack mount, the system was entirely self-contained, possessing components for wired and wireless microphones, LTE and extended WiFi range, and a display and keyboard for the computer itself. As part of the development process, I taught others how to use and maintain the system. 

I personally won an award from Sanford for the development of the system, and Sanford was recognized by multiple conferences for being the first school in the area with such professional livestreaming capabilities. I later provided recommendations to other schools on how to implement similar systems.

 

A continuing project throughout the rest of my time in Sanford News Network was the development and maintenance of a new website. The main goal was to remedy the problems of the existing site: lack of functionality on mobile devices, difficulty in adding new content, and high costs as a function of using an overpriced manager of the WordPress foundation.

The new website was built on a clean WordPress installation, with existing content being transferred over. I developed a new graphic style to unify the website and the printed materials used to advertise upcoming livestreams and worked to cleanly transfer domain names to eliminate any downtime for the site.

 

Management

Another multi-year project was the development of a meritocracy-based management system to potentially overhaul the editor and writer positions left over from the Network's past as a student newspaper. By tying academic credits to stories produced or livestreams participated in rather than simply taking the elective, the hope was that project management software could better divide up the increasing workload.

I built the system using Filemaker Pro, implementing it as a web-based application that handled basic authentication, normal student access, and privileged staff access to add users or verify projects as completed. The project ended up being unsuccessful in large part because the application was solving a problem that didn't truly exist: the system did indeed foster communication and commitment within Sanford News Network, but the group was small and tight-knit enough that the increase to those things was too nominal to be useful.