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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Alpha Software goes to the dogs

We made the official announcement today in a press release that Clifton Rabins, my dog, is Alpha Software's newest hire. After accompanying me to the Alpha Software offices most days, we decided to put Clifton's natural talents on the books! Read on to find out what role Clifton will play as Director of Sniff Testing. Now Clifton can contribute to the bacon I bring home throughout the year. ;)

One-year-old male Irish Setter charged with evaluating each new version of Alpha Five and ensuring it passes the sniff test

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Alpha Software is going to the dogs with its newest hire. Over the past year, the company has responded to increasing demand of its Alpha Five Web database development platform and changes in the marketplace with several strategic additions to its staff. Today Alpha Software is proud to announce a doggone good hire: Clifton Rabins has been brought on as Director of Sniff Testing.

Clifton joined the Alpha Software family in 2009 and became eligible for employment when he reached the one-year mark—or would that be the seven-year mark? Anyway, in his new role, Clifton will be the final step in Alpha Software’s rigorous quality testing process. Finished code will be presented to Clifton for a sniff test. If he wags his tail and licks the USB stick, the software will be ready to ship. However, if he pushes it away with his nose, it will be put back in the quality testing process for some serious debugging.

In addition to his sniff-testing responsibilities, Clifton will ensure that no competitors get near the development team while they’re working on proprietary Alpha Software intellectual property. He’ll also help sustain the company’s internal green initiative by making sure no pizza is wasted during meetings.

Up until now, the sniff testing program has been led by Dave McCormick, Director of Communications. However, in a blindfold test it was recently discovered that Dave could not smell the difference between a potato and an apple. Therefore the decision was made to remove sniff testing from the scope of his responsibilities and provide that to an actual canine. As most readers probably know, canines are ideal for sniff testing because their sense of smell is 100 times greater than a human being. Also, when the job opening was posted internally, Clifton was clearly panting for the job. We decided to throw him a bone and hire him.

“Woof,” says Clifton Rabins, when asked about his feelings on his new job.

Richard Rabin, Co-Chairman of Alpha Software, agrees: “We’re tail-wagging happy to bring Clifton on board. We look forward to him helping us maintain the utmost quality in Alpha Five. While other application development products might truly stink, our customers can rest assured that every version of Alpha Five will smell and perform great.”

Clifton is the most recent in a string of hires recently made by Alpha Software. For example, Martin McSweeney was hired in October to lead Alpha Software’s business development efforts in the U.K. He’s been providing support and resources to developers in the U.K. and Europe who are migrating from alternative database system to Alpha Five. Dr. Martin Heller joined the company in February as VP of Technology and Education. Since then, he has expanded the level and quality of resources available to Alpha developers with innovations such as “Alpha Five Version 10 Web Applications: The Tutorial,” several white papers, Alphapedia, and more. Jeff Kalwerisky joined Alpha Software in 2008 as Chief Security Evangelist and has been counseling Alpha Software’s customers, VARs, and partners worldwide on application security, compliance, privacy, and governance.

For reporters interested in interviewing Clifton, please contact Richard Rabins at We can set up video or in-person interviews at any dog park in the Boston area.


Since 1982, Alpha Software has been providing developers with award-winning tools that make it easy to build business applications. Today over 1 million developers and tens of millions of users rely on Alpha Software’s Alpha Five. The company is privately held, and based in Burlington, Mass. Alpha Software can be found on the Web at The company’s blog is located at

for Alpha Software
Alicia Buonanno, 610-228-2096


Tim Kiebert said...

Hilarious. I love it. Congratulations Clifton on your new appointment. Does this mean we now submit our bug reports to Clifton? Or does he guarantee no bugs?

Richard Rabins said...

Glad you liked it, Tim. The only problem is that if you submit bugs to Clifton, he has a tendency to first sniff and then eat them!

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