my name is James Kan and this is my life

About Me

Hi! The name is James. I am currently working as a specialist in Asset Management at Unison (a power distribution company in New Zealand).

When the IT side of the brain is not being used, you may sometimes find me working as a locum pharmacist or writing a speech for the next Toastmasters meeting.


Nov 2018 - Present
Asset Management System Optimisation Specialist
As an AMS Specialist, I work closely with different stakeholders in the Asset Management (AM) space. My three areas of contribution in AM include Performance Evaluation, Continual Improvement, and Internal Audit.

My responsibilities are as below:
  • Practise and provide AM guidance
  • Develop and maintain in-house applications
  • Collect and perform data analytics
  • Coordinate and follow up with meetings
Nov 2016 - Nov 2018
Asset Intelligence Software Developer
As a developer, my role is around Decision Support System (DSS), a project started by the Asset Intelligence team in 2016.

The concept of a generic decision support system (DSS) is based on harvesting and analysing business data so that business information can be derived in order to make the relevant decisions. An example is Countdown collects customers' shopping habit (data) and analyses the data to determine the purchasing choices (information) so that the planograms can be re-arranged to promote certain business objectives (decision).

DSS is about harvesting data from the wide range of sensors installed at various points of the electricity grid system so that relevant information can be compiled. This allows optimisation decisions to be made in the interest of the company's vision.
January 2017 - Nov 2018
Software Developer
I first started as a Test Analyst at RxOne, with a focus on writing test cases to validate development progress. In the latter few months, I took on further responsibilities as a developer to migrate existing UI elements into the new WPF framework.
NOW Internet / EIT
Jul 2015 - Nov 2015
Student Lead Developer
I led a team of five student developers to create a customer portal for NOW Internet. The scope was initially front- and back-ends, but due to a change in circumstances, it was later reduced to front-end.

As the team leader, I learned how to delegate sections of the projects to my teammates and how to keep track of their respective progress. As a student developer, I learned the art of "two-way traffic" between my team and the client.

Although the deliverable was not implemented as NOW Internet's replacement customer portal, the experience has given me insight into the "real world" and shown me the difference between being a programmer and a developer.

The deliverable was formally accepted on the 3rd of November 2015 by NOW Internet, with 96% being the final score.
Andrew Spence Pharmacy
2012 - 2016
Community Pharmacist
I have been working as a sole-charge pharmacist at Andrew Spence Pharmacy in Napier. Similar to my previous employment, I oversee the running of the pharmacy as a whole. My responsibilities involve counselling patients on new medications and ensuring understanding with present medicines, blister-packaging medications for patients where medicine-management difficulty arises, dispensing and checking prescriptions and providing health advice as required.
Tamatea Pharmacy
2010 - 2012
Community Pharmacist
I undertook my internship at Tamatea Pharmacy in Napier in 2011 and continued my employment as a pharmacist in 2012. As part of the daily running of the pharmacy, I was responsible for dispensing and checking prescriptions, counselling patients, giving health advice, helping patients to manage opioid addiction and blister-packaging medications. I was also involved in the Medicines Use Review programme, whereby I paid a visit to selected patients in residence to review their medications and answer any queries they had. The range of activities involved has developed me into an “all-rounder” pharmacist.
Sunshine Pharmacy
2010 - 2012
Online Pharmacy Manager
I was appointed as the webmaster of Sunshine Pharmacy, an online pharmacy based in Gisborne, New Zealand. This position involved updating the database every fortnight, optimising the website's layout, and promoting its SEO position on Google and other major search engines.
Grafton Hostel
Computer Technician
I worked as a part-time computer technician at Grafton Halls of Residence in Auckland. My responsibilities included troubleshooting computer and network problems. I enjoyed the challenges this brought and the opportunity to work with a variety of people.
New Zealand
2009 - Present
NZCRS Webmaster
I am the webmaster of the New Zealand Controlled Release Society Local Chapter (NZCRS) website, whereby I ensure the web pages are up-to-date with the latest content. This includes upcoming NZCRS workshops, notices, and minutes from meetings.

This year (2016), I rebuilt the website using Foundation and AngularJS, giving a modern impression to a now responsive single-page application (SPA) website.
University of Auckland
2009 - 2010
Summer Research Student
I worked on a summer studentship research project at the University of Auckland. The objective was to investigate the risk of prostate cancer based on the patients’ genetic makeup and dietary intake. Findings were submitted to Discipline of Nutrition and Cancer Society of New Zealand at the University and presented at Nutrigenomics international conference.
School of Pharmacy
APSA Webmaster
I established the new Auckland Pharmacy Students' Association (APSA) website in 2009 and was subsequently appointed as the association's webmaster. The major roles I undertook included website administration, liaison with the publication managers, and troubleshooting of technical issues that the association faced.
University of Auckland
2008 - 2009
Summer Research Student
My summer studentship research involved a project at the University of Auckland, in which the susceptibility of enlisted patients to glaucoma was investigated based on their genetic makeup. Findings were presented and accepted by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University.
University of Auckland
2007 - 2009
UALUG Webmaster
During the two-year tenure, I was the web designer and the webmaster for the University of Auckland Linux User Group website. My responsibility was to update the web pages as required.
Howick College
2006 - 2007
Ingham House Webmaster
I was the webmaster for the Ingham house, whereby I played a role in re-designing all the web pages and updating the website on a regular basis.


  • 2014

    Graduate Diploma in IT

    I scored straight A+ for all completed papers, with 94% being the average score. The papers accomplished are as below

    • Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
    • Advanced Object Oriented Programming
    • Business Application Programming
    • Special Topic Programming
    • Project Management
    • Information Technology Management
    • Database Management Systems
    • Database Administration
  • 2007

    Bachelor of Pharmacy (upper second-class honours)

    I studied a variety of chemistry, biology, medicinal science, pharmacology, pharmaceutical, pharmacy practice, and law and ethics papers at School of Pharmacy (The University of Auckland). For my elective subject, I pursued the Introduction to Computer Science paper and achieved an A+


Available upon request
inbox [at] james.kiwi.nz

Essential Skills

ASP.Net Core
Entity Framework
Angular 7

Life Skills

Pharmacy Practice
Running a meeting
Managing expectations
Problem Solving
Public Speaking
Dry Sense of Humour
Wet Sense of Humour
Teaching / Mentoring
Business Management
Playing Ukulele
Salsa Dancing
I see
I know a bit



Paper co-published

Karunasinghe N, Han D, Goudie M, Zhu S, Bishop K, Wang A, Duan H, Lange K, Ko S, Medhora R, Kan S, Masters J, Ferguson L. (2012) Prostate disease risk factors among a New Zealand cohort. J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics 2012 (5), 339–351 | DOI: 10.1159/000346279


Road Cycling
Critical Thinking

What am I doing these days?

I have taken on an additional role as a Project Manager at Unison. Currently (re-)learning the ropes of a PM and what it means in the practical world.

When I am not messing around with coding, you can find me doing a bit of cooking or out cycling on the road in Hawkes Bay. As a proud lycra warrior, I have cycled from Napier to Mahia (170km) in September, stayed a night there, and cycled back to Napier the next day!

Profile photo credit goes to Tsumei.com

Pro Bono

Tongan name correction (29th - 30th October 2016) - While visiting a close friend of mine in Tonga, she described her pharmacy dispensing software automatically capitalises the first letter after an apostrophe (exa'Mpl'E) for Tongan names. I developed two solutions to the problem:

  • Existing records - Upon doing a bit of user interview, I discovered Tongan names typically contain multiple apostrophes in the names (e.g. Tu'i'onefoa, Ha'ato'ou). A C# program was written, where it uses entity framework to retrieve values that contain a capital letter immediately after the apostrophe in either the first names or the last names. The values are then populated as checkbox texts, giving the user the choice of ticking the appropriate names and changing them into Tongan format (e.g. don't change O'Connell). MetroFramework was used for the purpose of aesthetic compliance with Windows 10.
  • New records - I implemented an SQL trigger that screens the insertion of new patient records for the presence of the "apostrophe - capital letter" combination. On top of that, I create a user-defined function that changes the casing of an argument into Title Case (Proper Case). With both mechanisms in place, a new patient's first and last name records are now appropriately "case-d" depending on the spelling.