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Toby Hartman: An Enterprising Engineer

Toby Hartman is in his third year as a member of the eCommerce and Enterprise Integration group led by Matt Varblow. In this role, Toby works on enhancing Advantage web capsules and also helps clients with their web pages.

Supervisor Matt Varblow has this to say about Toby: "Toby is a key member of the Advantage team. His knowledge of the software and ability to communicate it effectively are important assets to our developers and to our clients. He quickly gets his arms around complex requirements, is able to produce practical and efficient designs that meet the clients' needs, and produces well implemented and tested code."

An ideal assignment to Toby is one where he is able to create something new, as opposed to adding on to an existing feature. Toby was involved from the beginning with the Access Management and Billing (AMB) module. He has enjoyed helping it to take shape and seeing it evolve.

For the half-dozen years before joining the eCommerce group, Toby worked in the Circulation application programming group under Howie Brooks. Toby still gets occasional assignments from that group, and, according to co-worker Alan Cherney, is looked at as "the answer man" when Howie is not available.

Alan goes on to say: "Toby is a very dependable and knowledgeable 'go-to' guy for a surprisingly broad range of categories. He knows the code base very well, and always has answers. Plus, he usually has good snacks in his cube, so if you need help, don't call or email? visit in person."

Indeed, Toby's co-workers are amazed at the amount of food he can consume--especially chocolate--without gaining any weight. Perhaps it's his leisure-time hobby of Ultimate Frisbee that burns as many calories as he can consume. Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact team sport played with, well, a Frisbee. The object of the sport is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in football or rugby. Toby is on a club team and travels around mid-America to play in matches. He will compete in a tournament in Acapulco next January, his second trip there for the sport.

In addition to Ultimate Frisbee, Toby enjoys many sports including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and non-contact football. He also likes video games and spending time with friends. He lives in Ann Arbor.

Toby grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and his family is still centered in SE Michigan. He earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan, but wasn't sure what kind of job he wanted as a biologist. Toby then went on to study computer science, earning a BS in that field from Eastern Michigan University.

In his professional life, Toby has earned his Microsoft Certified Professional designation and was also awarded the highly coveted Advantage Ace Achiever Award for his outstanding contributions to ACS and our clients.
ACS is Toby's first full-time professional job, although he held a number of jobs while attending college. He can tell stories of some narrow escapes from angry dogs when he worked as an electric meter reader back then. Somehow, computer programming seemed a little safer. Rarely are any teeth involved, although the occasional growl may be heard from the programming area.

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