Senior Staff Engineer @ Shopify - 05/2023 - Present
Building the best commerce ecosystem possible for Entrepreneurs and Merchants of all shapes and sizes. Helping to foster an engineering culture of imagination and action. Learning everything I can about majestic monoliths, distributed systems, and data processing at planetary scales.
Co-Founder, Engineer and CTO @ Vox Media - 04/2007 - 04/2022
As the leader of the Technology organization I was responsible for organizing and directing the Engineering, Corporate IT, and Video and Audio Production teams. Through a journey of 15 years I helped grow Vox Media from a collection of sports blogs operated by a few folks in a basement into the leading modern media company it is today.
⚡Product Engineering That Propels Business
- Built Chorus, the core Ruby on Rails based publishing, community and revenue platform that secured Series A funding for Vox Media and powered its subsequent growth.
- Evolved the platform as the company evolved, adding muti-brand-and-newsroom-tenancy, advertising and marketing campaign planning and execution tools, multi-stage editorial publishing workflows, and robust community moderation and engagement features.
- Scaled the platform from tens of thousands of visitors a month, to tens of thousands of visitors a minute.
- Built or directed the development of a dozen or more other products, tools and services in a wide variety of languages, data services and deployment targets.
- Some highlights include Syllabus, a RoR Live Blogging CMS; Sauron and Conan The Deployer, a Golang and Node/Express based “pre-kubernetes” Docker container orchestration and deployment system; Duet Magic Super Proxy, a Rust based “content stitching” proxy deployed to Fastly’s C@E platform.
🛠Infrastructure Management At Scale
- Managed infrastructure growth from 3 ad-hoc on-premise servers to hundreds of instances across multiple cloud providers. Executed multiple zero-downtime data center build-outs and migrations. Operated hybrid infrastructure with on-premise and multi-cloud footprints. Led the transition to IaC and containerized infrastructure on AWS and GCP. Key partner to CFO delivering real-time operating budget and data informed budget estimates.
- Established Site Reliability Engineering practice. Introduced and professionalized Configuration Management, Automated Testing and Deployment processes. Directed responses to business threatening DDOS attacks and other malicious activity. Suffered zero security or data loss incidents during 15 years of massive growth and change.
- Scaled Corporate IT infrastructure from a couple of wifi access points purchased at Best Buy and a manually configured Postfix server to to a robust and highly automated corporate network and IT operation utilizing SD-WAN services, VMWare based virtualized on-premise and cloud infrastructure, Active Directory, JAMF, Okta, Google Workspace and automation tooling. Delivered secure, performant, business critical productivity tools to thousands of staff and contractors spanning multiple regional offices and remote locations.
- Leveraged this strategic investment in virtualization, automation and a culture of service to transition the entire span of Vox Media business operations, including Audio and Video Studio Productions, to be fully remote in response to global pandemic with minimal impact to the business.
🔒Security and Compliance In A Dynamic Regulatory Environment
- Built the Corporate IT and Application Security program. Key partner to the General Counsel and Legal team in matters of GDPR/CCPA, data privacy and compliance requirements. Responsible for the success of security and compliance audits related to M&A activities, investment rounds and strategic partnerships.
👥Organizational Leadership Through Massive Change
- Grew the engineering and IT organizations from a team of two to a staff of over 200. Established career ladders, hiring practices, on-call and incident response protocols, and engineering standards. Evolved the management structure as team size grew and company initiatives expanded. Hired and mentored engineers, managers and executive leadership roles across all engineering and IT disciplines. Created a culture of empowerment, creativity and initiative that achieved a talent tenure 2-3 years above the industry average.
- Led the technical organization through multiple mergers and acquisitions. Key partner to the Business Development and Legal teams in matters of technical and technology-organization due-diligence. Planned and executed migrations and integrations of Content Management Systems, Analytics stacks, and IT productivity tools. Carefully managed leadership and staff integration and cultural alignment.
- Proud to have been Executive Sponsor of the Hispanic/LatinX employee resource group.
- career ladders
- due diligence
- Speaking engagements at Online News Association, Society for News Design, Knight Foundation/Mozilla, Media Party Argentina and industry partners such as Amazon AWS, Google and Fastly. Represented Vox Media at the AWS CTO Roundtable series, AWS Digital Native Roundtable series, the Google CMS Leadership Group, Google Chrome Advisory Council and Google Media CTO roundtable series.
- advisory boards
- conference keynotes and panels
4x4 Golf - A Clever Twist on Fantasy Golf
A clever a twist on Fantasy Golf, built with Remix/Tailwind/Typescript and SQLite. This project merges my online and offline interests and has been a fun way to go deep with Remix.
Consulting with Ottoneu
Fondu Proxy - Edge Side Content Stitching
into a source page, at the edge. A great way to explore Fastly's C@E platform, learn some Rust, and experiment with what could be a useful pattern for content personalization, a/b testing, etc at the edge.
- edge computing
Previous Notable Work
Kiosk and Web Based Wayfinding System
- As a Principal and Engineer for Handwire LLC, I built a Java, Flash and web based online and kiosk/touchscreen Patient and Visitor wayfinding system for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Building a ‘real world’ system with kiosks, touchscreens, and thermal printers that made a difference in patients' lives was incredibly fulfilling and taught me the value of prioritizing empathy and the Customer Experience.
E-Commerce Solutions for Sony Latin America
- As a Software Developer with Median Global Solutions I developed Java based E-Commerce solutions for Sony Latin America in Mexico and Argentina. Living and working in Buenos Aires and Mexico City was an amazing adventure; the experience taught me that the successful delivery of a software system is dependent as much on developing reliable and responsive human systems as it is on developing reliable and performant code.
- atg dynamo
- latin america
2007-2022 Co-founder, Engineer & CTO @ Vox Media
2006-2007 Lead Developer @ Forward Together PAC
2004-2007 Principal and Lead Developer @ Handwire LLC
2000-2002 Software Developer @ Meridian Global Solutions
1999- 2000 Technical Support Supervisor @ CollegeClub.com
1996 BA English/Philosophy @ Texas State UniversityProud to have been recognized by Texas State as a Distinguished Alumnus
Fluent in English, Spanish