Posts by Karl L. Hughes


This week I moved out of the tiny one-room place I’ve lived at since I moved to Chicago in 2012. The little studio in Uptown, Chicago was one of the few places I could afford when I came here right after college, and when I moved in I had just four bags of clothing and miscellaneous cooking supplies to my […]

Know Your Competition When Hiring

I was talking to a technology recruiter yesterday and he gave me a couple off the cuff statistics that weren’t particularly shocking, but were telling of the state of hiring right now: There are roughly 4 open jobs for every developer in the city of Chicago Developers stay an average of less than 3 years at […]

The Many Roles of a Startup CTO

“Chief Technical Officer” sounds like a glamorous title. It’s right up there with “Chief Executive Officer” and “Chief Financial Officer” in the pecking order of a company’s leadership, and at big organizations, it’s quite an honor to hold. At an early stage startup, I’d argue, the distinction is slightly less exciting. While I don’t hold the job […]

Creating a Tech Startup without a Developer: the Lean Way

There’s a perception out there that creating an awesome tech startup is about nothing more than making a product that by its awesome and paradigm-shifting nature will magically attract customers. For example, consider the following hypothetical, but reality-based conversation I heard recently: Would Be Founder: “I want to make an app that suggests outfits for you based on […]

Moonclerk Recurring Payments PHP Library

A few months ago I was looking into an easy way to set up recurring payments without building all the infrastructure on top of a payment processor like Stripe, Braintree, or Paypal myself. Somewhere along the way I found Moonclerk. Moonclerk is a wrapper on top of Stripe that allows you to set up recurring […]

Roadblocks to Project Estimation

Project estimation is something that every engineering manager wants to get good at, but it seems to be a problem that very few people can say they’ve mastered. I’m not here to tell you I’m especially great at estimating things (or that I even have that much experience doing it), but from the past year […]

Spring Race Season, 2015

Two weeks ago I traveled to Atlanta to do the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, and then this past week I did the Chitown Half Marathon along the lake here in Chicago. They were my first two races of the season, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since I’m a bit heavier now than […]

Peopleware: All Technology Problems are Really People Problems

One of my big goals this year is to read more (here’s my reading list and organization system), and while I’ve been mostly trying to stretch myself with fiction, I can’t help cracking the spine on a few business and personal development books as well. One of my favorites so far is Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. While […]