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Been building and launching startups with Rails since 2005

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I've been building with Rails for a long time, including launching and scaling startups. I love e-commerce, platforms, payments, local businesses, and more recently been working with integrating AI technologies into products.

Construction Datafax: 2001 - 2004

My first job was at a small technology company near where I graduated high school in Central Alabama. Construction Datafax was an information company that gathered information about construction work and sold custom reports to construction contractors.

At a small company doing a lot, I was tasked with all sorts of various technical tasks including:

  • Windows NT network administration
  • Linux server administration
  • End user technical support
  • Administering weird stuff like FoxPRO databases and fax servers
  • Web, XML, and .NET development

Freelance Web Developer: 2004 - 2010

I decided to focus on web development, with Ruby on Rails as a key catalyst, using it to launch startups in 2005 before version 1.0. During this time I learned a lot about software development and building web products. I worked on a variety of projects including:

  • Building the technology for an eBay consignment store startup, including integration with eBay via APIs and a storefront module for use with in-person customers
  • A crowdfunding platform by a non-profit organization
  • A collaboration platform founded by a former Microsoft executive
  • Some projects bringing the discipline and structure of Rails to rescue PHP spaghetti code
  • A variety of other startups, e-commerce projects, content-oriented projects, multimedia, and more / Slice, Technical Co-founder / VP Eng: 2010 - 2017

In 2010 I moved to NYC where I met Ilir Sela who was starting which was later renamed Slice. I joined as founding engineer and built the product and managed all the technology for the first four years, and then as the company started to grow I stayed on through Series B of VC funding and substantial growth of the company as VP of Engineering.

This was a key time for me as building the technology from scratch and creating the team and everything was a tremendous experience. Being able to see how decisions played out over such a long time and through such scale gave me a whole new perspective on building systems and startups.

  • Full stack Rails development to build all the technology needed to launch and operate
  • Management of the infrastructure, including AWS, servers, costs, and more
  • Upon receiving VC funding, manage the growth of the team
  • Managing QA and DevOps/CI/CD processes
  • Partnerships and integrations with Facebook, Google, and other partners

Kennedy Technology Macedonia, Owner: 2018 - 2023

In 2018 I started a software development firm based in Macedonia. After working in a series of startups I had the desire to gather and train a team of full stack Rails engineers to work with. For over five years we worked on a series of projects and startups.

  • Opened a local business entity and physical office in the Balkans, and staffed it with a team that varied between 8 and 10 members of Rails developers together with a few designers and product support / QA staff.
  • Product delivery team worked together to build and launch multiple projects, including e-commerce, marketplace, healthcare and COVID/vaccination response, "headless CMS" content management systems, and internal projects.
  • Clients included startups, non-profits, and larger businesses.
  • Technologies used include Rails, Hotwire, Next.js, React, Tailwind, Git/GitHub, CI/CD with automated tests and GitHub Actions, AWS, Render, Heroku, and more.
  • We produced and participated in multiple events, some in coordination with other local organizations, centered around technology education, helping people enter the technology field, and career development.