ACEP team welcomes Will Fisher as the cyberinfrastructure lead

Will Fisher
Photo by Yuri Bult-Ito/ACEP
Will Fisher is the cyberinfrastructure lead at ACEP.

April 5, 2024
By Yuri Bult-Ito

New ACEP member Will Fisher’s primary job involves helping build and manage the cyberinfrastructure — information technology systems that provide powerful and advanced capabilities — for ACEP. He works on developing systems to manage hybrid infrastructure that includes on-premises, commonly referred to as “on-prem,” and cloud-based computing resources.

Fisher has experience with automation pipelines and infrastructure as code, or IaC. Data pipeline automation is the process of automatically managing and orchestrating the data flow (including data collection, process, transfer and intervention) between systems. IaC is an approach to managing and provisioning computing infrastructure, by writing code to describe the infrastructure you need and using a tool to automatically provision it.

With his experience with automation pipelines and IaC, Fisher is working to help lower the cost to manage ACEP’s cyberinfrastructure as ACEP builds out more research support systems that span from on-premise systems at UAF to multi-cloud environments, to field and edge deployments across Alaska.

“Will is one of the best developers, software and cyberinfrastructure engineers I've ever worked with,” said Dayne Broderson, administrator of the Alaska Regional Collaboration for Technology Innovation and Commercialization, or ARCTIC, program at ACEP and who is also on ACEP’s data team.

“He has a fantastic ability to understand and develop simple solutions to complex problems.”

Fisher comes to ACEP with over 15 years of experience in software development and infrastructure management. During his senior year as a computer science major at UAF, he started a company to develop point-of-sale, or POS, software for a local business. A POS system, whether for physical or virtual point of sale, is a combination of hardware, software and payment services that businesses use to make sales. Fisher’s enterprise expanded to cover several franchise stores across the U.S. and eventually even into the EU.

He then worked at the UAF Geographic Information Network of Alaska, helping to develop web-based applications for managing the large catalog of satellite and other geographic information system, or GIS, data sets that GINA uses. A GIS consists of computer hardware and software that store, manage, analyze, edit, output and visualize geographic data.

At GINA, Fisher also worked on developing an automated satellite data processing system that helped to reduce processing time of the raw satellite data into products available for users to download from hours to just 10-15 minutes.

Fisher moved to Seattle to work for Progress Chef, an information technology and services company. He was part of the Customer Success and Engineering teams that helped their enterprise customers support and manage large-scale systems both in the cloud and on-prem.

Loon Lake at night
Photo by Will Fisher/ACEP
Nature photography is one of Will Fisher’s pastimes. He captured the moon and serene surroundings in the evening at Loon Lake in Soldotna in 2022.

His company closed its Seattle office when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Fisher moved back to Alaska. He is excited to work at ACEP to exercise his skills and help develop and shape a DevOps — an approach that unites development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams to enable organizations to deliver products quickly and continuously.

“I’m also happy to have the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with the next generation of students here,” Fisher said.

Since being back in Alaska, Fisher has been enjoying with his family what Homer has to offer — its community and views as well as activities such as fishing, camping and nature photography. He also enjoys working with and developing home automation systems and microcontrollers.