- San Francisco Bay Area
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- Ruby on Rails
- Old-school straight-up...
- AJAX methods
- Cloud based web...
- Client & server-side...
- API development
- Facebook API
- Version-control systems
- Objective C
- iOS Development
- Three20 iOS Framework
- Actionscript 3
- Amazon Web Services
- Web Applications
- HTML 5
- iOS development
- Mobile Applications
- User Experience
- Web Development
- See 24+ See less
Brett and I worked with our client to upgrade hitrecord.org from Rails 2 to Rails 3, and move it from its original hosting solution (Amazon EC2 slices, deployment with Capistrano), to Heroku. In doing this we overcame many challenges, two being enabling direct file uploads to S3, and reducing request times across the entire app.
Our strategy resulted in an order of magnitude increase in performance (in some cases the original site was simply non-functional due to long request times), and stability.
A stable foundation laid, we are now moving on to improving the UI and increasing site membership / traffic through measured (KISSmetrics) and iterative improvements.
Concrete Interactive worked with the startup car-sharing company Wheelz.com for 4 months during the summer of 2011. I was the principle software architect for their server/website developed in Ruby on Rails.
In four months we went from concept to a Minimum-Viable-Product (MVP) that allowed users to create accounts and login with Facebook, to either add their cars to be available for renting out, or to search and rent out others' cars. We built scheduling functionality that allowed cars to be marked as either available or rented out. We integrated a service which provided electronic driver's license information, building a complicated XML parser to either mark potential drivers' licenses as passed, or needing human review.
When our contract ended Wheelz had launched and was in the process of renting their first few cars. We now hear they are launching at 15 additional locations.
Coupa.com is a startup providing a lean, expense reporting webapp. They're in competition with larger 'enterprise' companies such as Ariba, SAP, Oracle, etc. They wanted to develop a mobile interface to their app, which would allow for easy photography-and-upload of receipts, etc.
Brett began the project, researching Three20 and developing the initial framework to interact with Coupa's Rails server (for example, which data format JSON or XML, and getting the information in and out of Objective C objects).
At this point I took over and developed a great deal of interface in Objective-C, as well as adapting Brett's work to not only fetch and display information, but to also allow for editing and pushing the information back to the Rails server.
When the project was finished, Coupa possessed a fully functional app which allowed for mobile viewing, creation, and editing of expense reports.
While self-employed as a freelance web developer, I also developed a website, Snailmailr.com.
Snailmailr allowed anyone to send a letter, in the postal mail, for $0.99. Snailmailr received a very positive response, was slashdotted on Reddit, and was reviewed by the New York Times, and many other websites. See: http://snailmailr.com/about/press
Snailmailr ultimately sent about 15,000 paper letters. Unfortunately I made some mistakes along the way, which I can now admit -- first of all, I didn't reach out for help, and tried to bootstrap the entire project by myself from my apartment. Additionally, I didn't charge enough, and I tried to develop the hardware to print and mail the letters myself. I should have charged more and outsourced the physical printing and mailing to a postal mail API.
Enough time has passed now, though, that I see Snailmailr as a pivotal moment for me, because it ended up being something like (and costing something like) a master's degree: an amazing learning experience and it provided my career with a substantial upward kick, allowing me to transition from doing technical writing and QA work, into true Software Development, which I greatly enjoy and, also pays better.
As Jeanne wrote: "Kevin jumped in to help roll out new features and speed up our development pace. He worked very closely with our lead engineer and is highly regarded by him as well. He hit all of his deadlines and was great with communicating through weekly updates. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a solid and steady contractor as he is capable of jumping in and hitting the ground running."
Honors & Awards
Boy Scouts of America
EnglishNative or bilingual proficiency
FrenchFull professional proficiency
SpanishFull professional proficiency
ItalianLimited working proficiency
Pig latinNative or bilingual proficiency
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