Hello, World!


I'm a backend software developer in Portland, Oregon. I've been working in Ruby (mostly Rails, mostly on the back end) since 2006. I have Opinions about automated testing, refactoring, and (code) design. (Hint: they mostly align with Sandi's.)

Over the past decade or so, I've become rather specialized in cleaning up "brownfield" Rails codebases so they can be sustainably developed for years to come. After 16 years, I've seen (and committed!) most of the common Rails blunders, and I love helping people learn how to recover from them. Bring me your legacy code!

Attention, Recruiters: PLEASE READ THE FAQ.

While I try to reply to all inquiries, my time is limited, and I have stock answers to the most common questions. It'll save us both some time if you go there first before emailing me.

What I'm Looking For in 2023

The short version:

My Backstory

I stumbled into a programming career by way of Microsoft Access 97. After a few years building tools for small workgroups, I went back to school for a computer science degree. I graduated cum laude from Portland State with honors from the CS department in 2007. Since then, I've mostly been writing web applications using Ruby on Rails, specializing primarily in back-end work. All along, I've found a great deal of satisfaction in automating drudge work so people can spend more time doing interesting jobs.

I've greatly enjoyed mentoring in various forms: onboarding an experienced software developer who was new to Ruby and web development; advising code school students; helping out small groups in "single serving" environments like user group meetings or training workshops. At larger scales, I've also done a bit of public speaking, made a screencast or two, and written a rather popular site about version control software.

Me, Elsewhere

I used to be a regular panelist on the Greater Than Code podcast, so you'll probably learn a few interesting things about me by listening to that. :)

Most of my work lives in private Git repositories and secured Rails applications, so my public GitHub profile is rather sparse. I also have a profile on LinkedIn.

That said, these GitHub repositories will give you some idea of some of the more memorable and/or amusing things I've written over the years: Hypercuke, Cordon, Memonymous, Medievalistic, Ladd's Graph, Scotland Yard, and HighlandAR. (And yes, that last one is a joke.)