I’m an engineer. I care about working on projects that are meaningful.
I've written a lot about building products for the web over the years. A representative sample: Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Real-time Analytics, Choose Boring Technology, and Ship Small Diffs.
I've talked at quite a few conferences, including Warmgun, Lean Startup, OSCON, Velocity, and Crunch. My most popular talk is Data Driven Products Now! I've also produced a longer-form version of it with O'Reilly.
I'm a Principal Engineer at Mailchimp. My focus has been on team leadership, experiments, analysis, analytics, cloud strategy, and building the big data UFO.
I cofounded a startup with Marc Hedlund and Coda Hale. It was a continuous delivery platform for AWS. It didn't work out, but we all joined Mailchimp together and begat the internet some decent blog posts.
I spent a little over a year at Stripe. I mostly worked on business intelligence, data warehousing, ETL stuff, and operational metrics.
I worked at a startup with some of my colleagues from Etsy. Originally an advertising platform product (essentially, Etsy Search Ads as a service), it has pivoted and is currently a testing automation tool. I am still with Simon as an advisor.
When I started at Etsy there were less than 20 employees, and when I left there were over 600. My title when I left was Principal Engineer. I was the second most senior individual contributor (just behind Rasmus Lerdorf) on a team of over 150 engineers. At various points I managed small teams.
I think of my experience at Etsy as being divided into two relatively distinct epochs.
Etsy's engineering founders left along with most of the team at the end of 2008. Those of us who remained spent the next few years getting in front of our scaling problems. I paid down technical debt and worked on infrastructure and ops projects.
I helped Etsy migrate from a monolithic database to MySQL shards. I wrote core libraries to support this. I wrote a functional test suite that was critical for our reliability until our production monitoring caught up. I was heavily involved in converting our development process to continuous deployment.
By 2010 it was possible to build features for the website again. I led a small team that built Etsy's activity feeds, which have since become Etsy's homepage. I am proud of how well my original architecture scaled up without much maintenance.
I was notably involved in experiment-driven engineering. I gave many internal presentations on this and related topics. I mentored Etsy's analyst team. I led a small team of very senior engineers working on growth and other data-driven endeavors. Some notable projects here were recommendations in checkout, abandoned cart emails, and redesigning Etsy's listing page. Along the way I participated in building Etsy's data infrastructure. I worked on many other search and data-related features.
This was a financial startup, eventually acquired by Standard & Poor's. I worked on Microsoft stack stuff here. I built Windows client applications and the company's main ASP(.NET) website. I got very good at debugging in disassembly at Capital IQ. I learned a thing or two about writing software for a living.