Application developer and dev manager with experience building web and native applications. End-to-end experience from operating systems, to database backends, to business logic, to UI. Interested in building customer-facing applications with short release cycles and shorter iterations.
Highlighted Work Experience
Guided Code, LLC
- Published 100+ Rails articles on justinweiss.com, attracting over 30,000 visitors / month.
- Wrote a book, Practicing Rails, selling over 1,200 copies and bringing in over $50,000 in revenue.
- Built an email list of 4,500+ engaged Rails developers, with a 50% average open and 20% average click-through rate.
Sep. 2012–Oct. 2015
Director of Engineering, R&D
- Led the web development team of 30+ engineers to deliver features on Avvo.com, Avvo Legal Services, and internal sales and development tools.
- Set overall technical strategy, hiring strategy, dev team organizational structure, and worked with company leadership to set product strategy.
- Responsible for development team productivity across seven cross-functional groups.
- Worked closely with other department leaders to coordinate strategy, work, schedules, and staffing.
- Represented Avvo Development at senior leadership meetings and events outside of the company.
- Worked closely with our Agile Coach to improve team health, happiness, and performance.
- Responsible for the development team budget of over $3.5m.
- Responsible for defining roles and responsibilities for all development team members.
- Coordinated with the Finance department to provide software capitalization details, saving the company over $100,000 / year.
- Grew the development team by over 100% over two years, and 300% over four years.
- Kept dev retention of 90% in 2015 and 2016, during a time of severe growth and change.
- Led the team through two large reorganizations.
- Grew four employees from IC to dev manager.
- Put good, high-potential technical management in place. Frequently received comments from devs that they were working for “the best manager they ever had”.
- Led Avvo.com’s move from a monolithic Rails app to a Microservice Architecture using Docker, improving dev team productivity, ability to scale organizationally, and unlocking new product opportunities.
- Led the Avvo dev management team as we designed Avvo’s summer internship program, the dev mentorship program, the Avvo Team definition, the Avvo Tech Tenets, and technical strategy and architecture discussion.
- Created Avvo’s dev hiring and onboarding process, leading to developers shipping in their first week, if not first day.
- Oversaw the launch of Avvo Legal Services, an $Xm business in 2016.
- Started a company Hackathon, resulting in the creation of a continuous deployment app, Avvo’s first AppleTV app, a map of service interconnections, and a tool saving hundreds of hours of sales’ time per month.
- Introduced random lunch pairings, leading to many new connections and relationships between different parts of the organization. So successful that it led to an Avvo Accelerator Award nomination.
- Worked with the team to build patterns for communicating between siloed teams, through workshops, cross-team events, and "dev on loan" programs.
- Defined a concrete set of expectations for engineering managers, leading to more engaged management and development teams.
- Launched an initiative to record Avvo’s dev culture and improve decision making, improving the speed at which the team could make decisions.
- Launched the Avvo Engineering Blog.
- Built strong, helping relationships between development, product, UX, data engineering, and infrastructure.
Sep. 2012–Oct. 2015
- Led 11 devs working on Avvo Advisor, Avvo Ignite, the Avvo Sales Platform, and the Avvo iOS apps.
- Responsible for hiring, training, and coaching new devs.
- Led the team that shipped Avvo Advisor and the first prototypes of Avvo Legal Services.
- Led the development team through a complete refactor of the Avvo Sales Platform from a monolithic Rails app to Avvo’s first Microservice architecture.
- Led the mobile team through the launch of the Avvo for Lawyers app and the Avvo consumer iOS app.
- Collaborated with Product Management, Design, and Senior Leadership to plan project strategy, hiring, and schedules.
- Defined developer responsibilities and career ladders, and helped shape a strong dev team culture.
Led 11 devs working on Avvo Advisor, Avvo Ignite, the Avvo Sales Platform, and the Avvo iOS apps.
Aug. 2007–Sep. 2012
Developer / Sr. Developer
- Built or made improvements to nearly every feature on Avvo.com’s main site and internal tools.
- Built the first analytics platform that powered Avvo’s ad pricing and rotation engine.
- Created the first mobile web version of Avvo.com, making heavy use of HTML5 and CSS3 features.
- Prototyped and built Last Call, ready the first day third-party iOS apps became available.
- Wrote a web crawler to find headshots, address data, and practice area data from unstructured lawyer websites.
- Created a system to automatically provision and build cloud test environments using EC2.
- Wrote a Redis-powered leaderboard for lawyers, drastically increasing the number of lawyer contributions to Avvo.
- Led transitions from Subversion to Git, from Avvo’s own Gem management system to Bundler, and from a homegrown CI system to Jenkins.
- Led or assisted all Rails upgrades from Rails 1.1 to Rails 4.0.
- Used Ruby, Rails, Memcached, Redis, Solr, Resque, Sass, and Objective-C to build products and features incredibly quickly.
July 2005–Aug. 2007
Software Design Engineer in Windows
- Designed and wrote components that improve the printing user experience on Windows Vista, including legacy driver installation, printer driver removal, and printer driver servicing
- Improved code reliability by creating a unit testing framework used by the Device Installation team
- Promoted increased communication and tool sharing between developers and testers
- Developed tools which mitigated performance problems in lower binary layers, generated common code snippets, and created dummy drivers for testing
- Owned the TCP Port Monitor and PJL Language Monitor for printer communication
- After hitting team milestones, was frequently loaned out to other teams to help hit their key milestones
Improved the reliability of local and remote printer driver management and servicing for Windows Vista.
May 2003–May 2005
Senior Web Application Designer
UIUC Campus Web Services
- Designed, wrote, and maintained web applications used by tens of thousands of students and faculty members, including an event calendar, a dynamic course catalog, and a content management system
- Designed and launched a campus-wide portal system based on the open-source uPortal platform
- Created a migration framework for database updates
- Designed and wrote an Object-Relational Mapping framework using Java and XML
- Set up and maintained CVS, Apache Tomcat, and Apache servers
Designed, wrote, and maintained web applications used by tens of thousands of students and faculty members, including event calendar software, a dynamic course catalog, and a content management system.
June 2004–Aug. 2004
Fixed Income Summer Analyst
New York City, NY
- Updated and redesigned financial calculation software to save calculation parameters
- Prototyped portfolio management software in C# and Java/SWT to replace older Visual Basic 6 code
Developed software to analyze and save credit default swap parameters and prototyped next-generation portfolio management software.
Oct. 2000–Feb. 2003
- Hired and managed a team of seven news reporters to write articles
- Team published 20+ high quality news articles / week
- Interviewed videogame industry leaders and executives
Responsible for all news articles for RPGamer, the largest news website for role-playing videogames. Hired and managed a fully-remote team of seven news reporters, and interviewed videogame industry leaders.
Some experience in: Swift, Elixir, Java, C, C# , Lisp
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Graduated May 2005)
B.S. Computer Science with Honors, Specialization in Business Administration