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Work History

Aug '21 -> Ongoing — Fat Zebra - Lead Developer (Full-time)

Providing an expert eye across Fat Zebra's payment tech stack.

Working on uplifting Fat Zebra's approach to frontend design from jQuery and custom CSS -- Switching to a React-based design system. Working with design leads and C-level executives on future design direction.

In constant discussion with other engineering leads around improving development cadence and platform stability.

Providing support to other developers through pair programming and code review.

Feb '21 -> Aug '21 — Freelance contractor

Working as a part-time "mercenary for hire" across a variety of tech stacks, but primarily focussing on Typescript-based React with Ruby on Rails backends.

  • ✅ 4-days-a-week as a TypeScript / React / Ruby developer, working in a team of around 4 people.
  • ✅ 3-days-a-week as a TypeScript / React / Ruby developer at a small company, primarily focussed on improving their frontend code, upgrading jQuery componentry to TypeScript-powered React.
    • In addition to that: I research and implemented platform stability measures by working with other developers to add additional Ruby tests, a CI system, and monitoring through logging and AppSignal.
  • ✅ 2-days-a-week upgrading a Ruby on Rails application from Rails 5.0 to 6.1, and tidying up other deprecation messages / warnings in the build logs.

December '08 → Current — Tech Book Author

I have contributed extensively to documentation for Ruby and Rails. I started writing documentation for Rails in December 2008. The two guides I am best known for are the Getting Started guide and Active Record Querying guide. I also wrote the Engines guide and the Asset Pipeline guide.

During 2010, I was contacted by Manning to write a book for them called Rails 3 in Action. This subsequently went on to produce a second edition, called Rails 4 in Action.

After the success of Rails 3 and Rails 4 in Action I decided to strike out on my own and become a self-published author. I do this through Leanpub and have published seven books:

You can read more about these books over on my books page.

To support writing these books, I wrote my own book review tool, called Twist.


December '20 -> Feb '21 — Seachange + beach holiday

Largely an operational role: moving an entire household from Melbourne to Warrnambool. Spent a lot of time on the beach. It was good.


May '20 → December '20 — Covidence - Lead Developer

Covidence provides workflow tooling that assists researchers with their systematic reviews.

My role at Covidence was as a senior full-stack developer, leading efforts across the codebase ranging from compiling a design system in React, CSS & TypeScript to standardise the different components across our application.

I worked on a re-work of one of Covidence's major features called "Extraction", and was part of the team that launched (and maintained) Extraction 2.0.


December '19 → April '20 — Coder Academy - Lead Educator

Coder Academy runs bootcamps for first-time developers, with the aim of getting them into their first ever developer job.

At Coder Academy I was the Lead Educator for the Code Like a Girl cohort. I was training a group of 14 junior-junior developers in Ruby on Rails. I was then made redundant in this role due to the impact of COVID.

Alongside this work, I was also working in a small team to improve the curriculum for Coder Academy across all of their campuses and bootcamps, focussing primarily on Computer Science Fundamentals, Ruby on Rails and JavaScript curriculum.


August '16 → November '19 — Culture Amp - Junior Engineering Program Lead

Culture Amp aims to improve the culture of companies around the world.

From August 2017 until November 2019, I was the Junior Engineering Program Lead at Culture Amp. This job involved recruiting and mentoring junior engineers in Ruby and JavaScript (and lots more!) with the goal of training them up to be the next great engineers at Culture Amp and in the wider developer community.

My work at Culture Amp prior to being the JEP Lead, involved working as a Senior Developer with a small (~5-8 people) team of developers to maintain our large Rails monolith and to write event-sourced microservices in Elixir, along with frontends in React, and associated tech.

The role of Junior Engineering Program lead was made redundant at the end of 2019 and I chose to take a redundancy payout rather than continue in a different role.

I loved working at Culture Amp because I got to do what I love: mentor and grow junior developers. I also get lots of opportunities to help out other developers by working with them on difficult issues.


2005 → 2016 — Various

My formative years. Spent this time working for various companies and freelancing, doing whatever PHP or Ruby on Rails work came my way.