CTO, The Graide Network
I joined The Graide Network's leadership team to help refine a messy MVP and kickstart the engineering team. We went through all the initial infrastructure must-haves - automated testing, continuous integration, version control, uptime monitoring, backups, etc. - and began building a grading and feedback platform for our hundreds of student "Graiders" to use.
Since then, I’ve implemented processes and hired two more engineers to work with me on the product. We’re rapidly expanding across the country, and after raising over $1mm in 2018, we recently delivered our 1,000,000th piece of feedback given mark.
Head of Engineering, Packback
In 2013, I became the first engineer at Packback where I hired and managed my first engineering team. We went on to raise money from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank, and grow the team to about 30 people by the time I left.
Along the way, I started figuring out how to hire engineers, build distributed scalable software, and work with founders to learn what customers need and how we can deliver best. I was part of the leadership team during a major pivot, and helped establish the company’s core values.
Director of News, Uloop
While I was studying Mechanical Engineering at The University of Tennessee, I started a student blog. In addition to managing the editorial process and content calendar, I wrote all the code that powered the CMS.
Failing to make a sustainable business out of that venture, I joined Uloop, a college classified ads website to integrate my knowledge of content with their expertise in online marketing. I ended up recruiting and managing over 500 college student writers across the country, and building a gamified newsroom in Wordpress to help motivate and focus our efforts.
It was an interesting experience as my job was a blend of technical, editorial, and recruiting, but I learned a ton about being part of a scrappy startup.
In 2018, I started speaking at conferences and ended up creating CFP Land to help other technology professionals find public speaking opportunities.
After building an email list of over 2000 technology conference speakers, I’ve been working on making the project consistently profitable by selling Pro Memberships and Sponsorships. I keep a log of my progress on Indie Hackers.
In 2018, I was invited to help co-organize the monthly PHP User Group here in Chicago. My primary role is to find and maintain sponsors to cover the location and cost of food at the events, but I've also spoken at the event and helped coordinate our annual Hacktoberfest event.
In 2017, I got really into learning Docker, and ended up writing a short ebook for PHP developers who want to get started learning it. It's available on LeanPub today.
Around the same time, I compiled the Side Project Marketing Checklist, and it went viral. Check it out for ideas to promote your startup or side project.