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Not a resume

As the title subtly implies, this isn’t exactly a resume.

It is, however, a summary of my professional life: people and companies sometimes want to know and my aim for this document is to have a nice, centralized place I can direct them to whenever a resume, cover letter, or any other such thing is asked of me.

No way I’m using LinkedIn.

Overview

During the course of my career I have mostly been hired and worked as a backend software developer by US-based startups, my desire to get a project forward has often meant wearing many different hats: I’ve organised teams, done frontend and devops work, tech sales, business development and project roadmapping, even some social media. I’ve been lucky to avoid toilet cleaning duty so far.

I’d like to think this has given me a decent amount of perspective as a software developer, being a part of almost every stage of delivering a product means you get to experience first hand what works and what doesn’t, what can come back to haunt you, and what just isn’t worth it. I’ve had an interesting journey.

Table of Contents

Experience

After an initial stint of non-tech positions (what I refer to in my mind as “normal people jobs”) I started working at a local software company called Netgate in 2010, coding for a voice over IP solution.

I later moved on to work at a Ruby consultancy shop called Cubox (and later for Neo, after we were acquired by them) that focused on bay-area startups. Later still I worked with a number of startups directly and even set up and ran a developer/designer collective called 13Floor for a couple of years.

Now for some name dropping:

I helped build Marqeta, a technology company focusing on payment processing that went on to power the Facebook Card, I am always happy to see them doing well.

I worked at CloudApp helping millions of users share their files with the best possible experience, that was fun.

I took over as lead developer for Chefs Feed in the middle of a complete platform rewrite, we pulled through! Their amazing-looking site is still very much humming along, better than ever.

Finally, I worked on stuff for heavy-hitters like AT&T and Apple, but their NDAs are imbued with an ancient Egyptian curse which Brendan Fraser has insisted on not releasing into the world, so my lips are sealed.

Tech Stack

While I started with Python my strongest languages are Ruby and Go, yes: I’ve used Rails for a number of years and have become intimately familiar with it, although these days I prefer simpler web toolkits when given a choice.

I’ve also worked quite a bit with Lua, Shell and others, I speak JavaScript although I dream to see a world where we are all generating it (or WebAssembly) from safer languages. I fiddle around with new languages all the time for the sake of learning, the latest of these pushes is with the OCaml language - please pay me to write OCaml, or any other functional language like Clojure, I very much enjoy the functional paradigm.

I also have decent knowledge of the aws stack, since I deploy all my stuff in it: love the elastic load balancer, AMIs and EC2,I regularly use ansible for provisioning and deployment but have been waiting for an opportunity to work on a production-level docker/kubernetes/whatever container thingie deploy for a little while.

Maybe doing this as a list was a mistake, I’ve used an extensive amount of technologies in production: the major SQL databases and the nicest NoSQL ones (#TeamRedis wohoo!), provisioning/orchestration tools, JavaScript frontend toolkits like React, and I put everything in Git (and do unspeakable things to the git history when nobody is looking). I can’t for the life of me make a coherent list of them all, whenever something is needed I sit down and learn it.

I am a software developer, learning and thinking are my job.

Open Source

I love open source, few things give me greater pleasure than publishing something and have other people use it and contribute to it, the shared experience of building something in a community just because it’s cool and have that be useful to people.

Nothing beats reading code though, that’s where all the talk stops and yields to reality: you can see my code in my github page, or read a bit more about some of my projects in my blog’s Open Source section.

Technical Talks

A couple of years back one of my places of employment offered to cover the plane ticket expenses whenever we got accepted to speak at any given conference, I jumped at the opportunity and started sending out as many proposals as I could, it became kind of addictive for a while.

Presenting a talk (particularly a technical one) can be every bit as rewarding as publishing open source code, with a very different interpersonal experience typical to conferences, and mixed with an almost unhealthy amount of adrenaline from taking the stage.

I recommend giving it a try: preparing and executing talks has made me learn as much about technical stuff as about myself, as well as given me some of my best ever memories. If you’re curious head over to my talks page for some videos and slides.

Work methodology

I’ve had the benefit of working under every flavour of Agile under the sun, which allowed me to learn the (many) benefits of the agile concepts as well as the common pitfalls.

As with most things the key to making them work is flexibility and thoughful application instead of idiosyncratic adherence: adapt what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.

I can talk about that for hours probably (and not only using Bruce Lee quotes!), so I’ll keep this part short.

Contact

If you’re still reading there is every chance you might want to get in touch and discuss work stuff, here’s my email:

[email protected]

If for some reason you’re reading this in PDF or (gasp) a printout please, please go to my site and read the actual thing on the web, I will attempt to calibrate my time machine to rescue you from the eighties.

pote.io/ncv

Seriously, you don’t even have to type it: scan this QR and you’ll be there.

Thanks for staying this long!