PUG Challenge South Africa 2019 – Speakers BIO

Mike Fechner

Director, Consultingwerk Software Services Ltd.


Mike Fechner, director and lead modernization architect at Consultingwerk started using Progress over 27 years ago and ever since has supported Progress Application Partners and end customers in adopting the features of the latest OpenEdge and Progress releases to enhance the capabilities of existing applications. With his framework design skills he has set the stage for development of many successful OpenEdge applications.

Mike is specialized on object orientation in the ABL, software architectures, the GUI for .NET, web technologies and a wide range of Progress products such as OpenEdge, Telerik and Corticon. He is involved in software modernization projects on a day by day basis. He is a well-known and active member of the international OpenEdge community, frequent presenter at conferences around the world and is a board member of the German PUG and the committee of the EMEA PUG Challenge. He’s also a founding member of the Common Component Specification project.

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James Palmer

Senior Consultant / Database Administrator, Consultingwerk Software Services Ltd

James has been working in the OpenEdge world since 2003. He has varied experience across a variety of industries and applications as a developer and more recently as a DBA. He currently works as a Senior Consultant for Consultingwerk, a modernization consultancy based in Cologne, Germany with a subsidiary in the UK. James is the Chairman of the UK & Ireland PUG, and has spoken on a variety of topics both at EMEA PUG Challenge events, and smaller conferences in the UK and USA.

Consultingwerk – Empowering developers, empowering modernization! 

Consultingwerk supports application partners and end customers with consulting services throughout any phase of application development and modernization projects and for every period in the lifetime of a business application.  

We are a provider of development tools and focus on application modernization, application architecture, the OpenEdge GUI for .NET, Mobile and Web applications.  

Our consulting services range from coaching and mentoring, training, technology and architecture assessment, prototyping, framework design and actual software development. Consultingwerk is a founding member of the Common Component Specification initiative and a Progress Software Service Delivery and Technology Alliance Partner. 

SmartComponent Library – the Application Modernization Framework 

The SmartComponent Library is the unique framework and toolset for OpenEdge developers that combines ease of use and developer productivity with flexibility and future proofness. The Common Component Specification compliant framework provides user interface flexibility for desktop, mobile and web applications and provides out of the box integration with Telerik Kendo UI, Rollbase, Corticon, OpenEdge BPM and DataDirect OpenAccess. This year we will feature user interface flexibility and business logic modernization.

WinKit – the ABL GUI modernization toolkit 

The WinKit was designed to jump start user interface modernization of OpenEdge GUI applications and has been successfully used as the foundation for over 40 modernization projects. 

Tom Bascom

Curmudgeon, White Star Software


Tom has been working with Progress since 1987 and is well-known to the Progess community for his frequent postings in online forums reminding people that version 9 is ancient, obsolete and unsupported and that OE10 will be following soon. He also occasionally posts helpful information on getting the most out of OpenEdge – even if you are still running v9 (if you are still running v9 you should, of course, upgrade).

When he is not taking people to task for running dangerously obsolete releases or complaining about paperwork Tom is either working on developing ProTop, the Best OpenEdge DB Monitoring tool in the Galaxy, or consulting with customers throughout the world helping improve their OpenEdge system’s performance and scalability. Or he might be walking the dog. Walking the dog is very relaxing. Tom also has a fondness for a good dark beer and has been known to bite his tongue regarding the wisdom of continuing to run v9 if a nice cold porter or stout is in hand.

Why ProTop? Why White Star Software?

We’re different…we’re better

At White Star Software, OpenEdge databases are our only focus. We’ve lived and breathed the Progress DBA life for 30 years and we still love it. Our tools are built by DBAs for DBAs and when you work with us, you can be confident that no matter your needs, a senior DBA will be there to help you.

ProTop, the Best OpenEdge Monitoring Tool in the Galaxy

We built ProTop to help our customers avoid costly downtime through comprehensive and proactive monitoring of their Progress OpenEdge environments. If it’s important, our agents monitor it, while consuming an insignificant amount of system resources.

Support from the top OpenEdge DBAs in the world

You may already have an experienced team supporting your OpenEdge environments, but even great DBAs need help sometimes. From occasional questions and ad hoc support to vacation coverage and guaranteed 24/7/365 support, the DBAs at White Star Software are there when you need them.

Peter Judge

Software Architect, Progress Software US


Peter Judge is a software architect in the OpenEdge group at Progress Software, where he works on mainly integration and server technologies such as the PASOE server and HTTP client, and on the CCS and OERA reference applications.

Peter’s background is in application and application toolkit design and development, but his interests span the whole SDLC from design through to deployment, regardless of language and technology.

Peter is a regular speaker at PUG and other Progress events on a range of topics from application design and programming REST APIs to general ABL topics like performance and debugging. On most days he can be found on the Progress Communities and other discussion forums. Peter likes to make things work together, and learned nearly everything he’s needed to know about software development from playing with Lego, mainly as a child.

Coenie Vermaak

Senior Solutions Architect, Britehouse Automotive

Coenie has been working in the software design and development industry for 17 years, 10 years of which was spent working with the OpenEdge product suite, and 7 years working with Microsoft technologies.

Coenie started his career in software development, after completing a Bsc Computational Intelligence degree, as a C++ developer passionate about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  In 2008 Coenie joined Britehouse Automotive (formerly Automate) as a Progress OpenEdge developer specializing in the design and development of the Dealer Management System, which is the core product of the company.

In 2012 Coenie furthered his career as Systems Architect and from 2013 Coenie was the Systems Architect for the Application Modernization team, focusing on the following:

  •  Due Diligence of the modernization project from a technical perspective
  •  Design and documentation of the modernized application architecture
  •  Implementation of the toolset required by the modernization team
  •  Design and implementation of automated deployment system

Coenie has also been involved with the OpenEdge community by presenting numerous topics at both the EMEA and USA PUG Challenge events as well as at smaller local conferences in South Africa.

Mark Davies

Director, ProSoft – Software & Business Solutions.

Mark Davies has been in the IT industry since 1993 – spanning 26 years. He has been involved with Progress OpenEdge and related products since 1994. Mark has a passion for technology and development and has developed various applications in different technologies and platforms.

Mark is a Progress OpenEdge and Microsoft Technology Stack consultant for a number of companies with the aim to teach and help organisations to grow their own teams into new and robust technologies.

Pieter Meyer

Senior Technical Specialist – Technical Operations

Pieter has been working with Progress and their ‘continually-evolving’ suite of products for 20+ years.

He started in 1994 teaching himself to program. He developed his skill and knowledge of Progress, to soon become a very capable developer. Today he has an extensive and in depth knowledge of Progress.
He is a certified Progress OpenEdge – ABL Developer, Database Administrator and all-round solutions architect and technical consultant, … and then some more.

His knowledge and areas of expertise extends to most of the Progress OpenEdge products and he continues to strive and experiment with new technologies and techniques.

Over the years, he has done various presentations and training sessions, for both the local and international communities.

He was part of the development team for Progress Dynamics and was key to the Roundtable integration, even spending a few months at Progress in Bedford.

He has been active in the PUG Africa community from its early years and has presented at numerous local Progress Africa Conferences.
The last few years he has represented PUG Africa at the EMEA PUG Challenge, and is also a member of their committee.

Pieter has been with MIP Holdings for nearly 20 years, where he currently holds the position of Solutions Architect and Technical Consultant.

In his spare time, he either spends time with his family, or can be found on the road, running or cycling.