Chris Hough

I write lines of code, I mark my body with art, and I have no time for mediocrity. Get on, or get off this party bus, no one rides for free.



I value integrity, hard work, and intrinsic motivation. I do not believe in wasting time in anything that I set out to do and this intensity is directly reflected in each of the projects I have been a part of. Since 2001, I have "grokked, trunked, and lived" in the architecture, telecommunications, and media industries. I write code, I dabble in design, and I have led both small and large remote teams on major initiatives to accomplish corporate objectives. I think applications should be beautiful, well designed, and be monetized effectively. While many people set out to change the world, only a few have the guts. Most people, including many of the people I have met in my life only "Some just kinda want it." Life is not a game of chance. We design and implement our own realities or we give that task to someone else. I believe anything worth doing, is worth doing as intense as humanly possible. I will wrap up this sentiment with a quote from one of our fallen geniuses.

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.

Steve JobsApple Computers


As a constant learner I work hard every waking moment towards being a polyglot. From a backend perspective I started down the path with cfml, but now all of my efforts are focused on ruby. Over the years I have worked with many database architectures including sql server, mysql, oracle, and postgres. Beyond basic transact sql I have handled extensive performance tuning robust enterprise highly scalable applications, indexing strategies, data migrations, and maintenance.


I try my best to recreate what I picture in my mind through Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Instead of the standard cut up, I have worked with both bootstrap and foundation to save time on projects. While I have setup many wordpress sites, I believe in static site generators like jekyll instead of database driven content management systems.


While I have dabbled with rolling my own servers, I find systems administrative work to be intriguing but not cost effective. I have setup numerous production applications on Heroku, and recently I have started using Amazon Web Services S3, Route 53, and CloudFront for static site hosting and content delivery. Beyond my favorite stack, I have experience with Rackspace Cloud, Digital Ocean, and even Microsoft Windows Servers.


I used to build gaming workstations, but after switching to osx you will not catch me working on anything Microsoft related. As for gaming, I do prefer xbox over playstation, and to be honest, I do miss World of Warcraft at times. On my current workstation my favorite applications for construction are iterm2, zsh, sublime text, aqua data studio, dash, and alfred.


When I am not head down focusing on the daily grind, you will find me bodybuilding at my local gym, and late night enjoying a craft cocktail. I believe the food we consume and the exercise we push ourselves through directly relates to how successful we become. Before moving to Portland, Oregon I had no idea what true coffee tasted like, and I probably drink too many pour overs per day. Outside of the cpu, I a huge fan of tattoo artwork and I have building a collection for the last five years. If you need to get a better glimpse of the circus in my mind watch these three videos: "On To The Next One" by Jay-Z, "Under And Over It" by Five Finger Death Punch, and "Drop The World" by Lil Wayne.


  • 2014
  • PlaceWise Media

    Director of Application Engineering

    April 2014 - PresentPortland, Oregon

    Supervise a team of four remotely including an external consultant working to role out our enterprise wide service orientated architecture. As of today we are supporting 8 seperate Ruby on Rails 4.0 APIs running on Ruby 2.0 hosted in the cloud via ProfitBricks. Currently v1/v2 are operating on a SQL Server 2012 database, but we are migrating the entire family of services to Postgres. These APIs adhere to semantic versioning and we are working to achieve maximum testing coverage with rspec.

    Drive peformance and process improvements through 30/60/90 day reviews, assist with training, and skill improvements via our competitive codeschool team account. Recently turned up Slack to curb email clutter and improve water cooler communications. I am also regularly encouraging each team member to submit CFPs to their favorite conferences.

    Regularly host architecture discussions involving all members of our technology team to help strengthen our current platform and drive future changes as a team insteads of silos.


    Ruby Postgres Git Solr MSFT Sql Server jQuery Apple Atom
  • PlaceWise Media

    Web Applications Engineer

    August 2009 - April 2014Portland, Oregon

    Through the help and management of an external ruby senior consultant we were able to redevelop a set of key v1 APIs previously haphazardly written in a hacked combination of ColdFusion and Python Django frameworks. This project orginally covered six new services written in ruby 2 rails 4.0 and migrated the entire setup from leased hardware to the cloud.

    Assisted with released management and software deployment process controls revamping the way the entire organization deploys code to the enterprise with an emphasis on TDD.

    Converted the entire enterprise from Subversion to Git.

    Rearchitected the Retailhub content management application using the coldbox ColdFusion mvc framework. This software has multiple access tiers utilized by both internal and external clients to crud content, manage events and deals, and essentially act as the controller silo for each of our data points. Recent enhancements included multiple dashboards for our marketing team to rapidly create and manage deal data.

    Ruby Amazon Web Services Heroku Git Solr MSFT Sql Server Adobe ColdFusion Coldbox ColdFusion Framework jQuery Apple Microsoft
  • Huedio Corporation

    Co-Founder & CEO

    August 2012 – PresentPortland, Oregon

    Lustocracy POV Editorial developed enitrely via cutup html and css through Jekyllrb. The entire website is statically generated, compressed via jekyll assets, and published to Amazon S3. In house editors compile posts in native html working directly in git and use rake tasks to manipulate publishing. Scalability is not an issue here with no database or direct web server involved.

    Host weekly podcasts interviewing various members of the industry, cover current weekly news, and target customer feedback and conversions.

    Lustocracy Platform writted in Ruby on Rails >= 4.0 (currently 4.1) and Ruby 2.1, hosted on Heroku, using Postgres as the database. The alpha release is currenty under construction, however, the email gatherer hooks up to sendgrid for transactional processing, and utilized foundation 5 for sass based responsive design.

    Ruby Amazon Web Services Heroku Git Postgres Zurb Foundation Bootstrap Jekyll jQuery Apple
  • NYU

    Ruby on Rails Programming Course

    Completed 2012New York, New York
    Ruby Heroku Git jQuery Apple
  • 2009
  • Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP

    Applications Developer

    January 2008 – March 2009Chicago, Illinois

    Back-end developer supporting in house architectural project management systems written in a combination of coldfusion, ext js,, and sql server databases.

    Utilized the oss coldfusion cfmbb forums available on to architect the “som forums” to be used as a qa multi-tiered application supporting project managers across the enterprise.

    Adobe ColdFusion MSFT Sql Server jQuery Fusebox Apple Microsoft
  • 2007
  • Northwestern University

    Economics of Trading Course

    Completed 2007Chicago, Illinois
  • AT&T

    Team Leader – Web Technology

    August 2001 – September 2007Chicago, Illinois

    Provided project leadership to five coldfusion developers across the following topics: ui ux, cost estimates, client timetables, ranking priorities, status reporting, client and project team coordination, training, and participating in annual performance reviews.

    Lead engineer and 13 state representative for the manager’s one stop tool, MOST. This extensive dashboard application utilized push and pull mechanisms that published live productivity measurements to over 10,000 management and non-management employees. Productivity improvements, costs reductions, and increased overall performance management at all levels of the organization were directly linked to this product. At its peak configuration the database datafile had surpassed eighty gigabytes and consumed data from over sixty dts packages extracting data from mainframes to excel spreadsheets.

    Designed and developed the customer service bureau (csb) and network dispatch center (ndc) online handbook and back-end administrative systems. Utilized by more than 1500 employees, this software standardized process delivery, reduced costs, and minimized overall call time saving the company money while increasing customer service.

    Designed and developed the eknowledgenow online learning management system used by trainers to schedule, track, and administer online courses for over 1000 non-management employees in the customer service bureau organization. Faster delivery of corporate training content yielded reduced call times, and increased employee and customer satisfaction.

    Creator of the business and residence revenue always grows with service, BRRAGS application that housed customer driven evaluation data that analysts reviewed and classified to determine where to target performance management of employees or correct existing processes that may not be working up to expectations. Data collected was used to improve customer evaluation scores, yielding better overall customer service.

    Adobe ColdFusion MSFT Sql Server Fusebox Oracle Microsoft
  • Keller Graduate School of Management

    Master of Business Administration

    Graduated 2005Chicago, Illinois
  • 2001
  • Illinois College

    B.S. in Management Information System

    Graduated 2001Jacksonville, Illinois


Ask my closest friends, and they will tell you I am addicted to the grind. I love to build things and believe in constant learning. Every geek I know today is working on a side project, startup, or open source initiative in the evenings and on weekends. Although we have pivoted a few times over the past few years, for my wife Kathryn Hough and I these projects have been exploring using our technical chops to take on problems in industries that match our personalities and values.


Growing up in Chicago means hot dogs and deep dish pizza are in your DNA. It also means learning just how tough blue collar work is, and appreciating everything you have achieved in your life. While many people growing up in the Midwest tend to camp out and never leave, curiosity and the drive for something different were a part of me as far back as I can remember. I packed my bags and headed to Boulder during the summer of 2008. Serendipity + my extrovert personality exposed me to the blossoming tech startup scene, I learned about how many different foods exist outside of a can, fitness became a top priority, and I met the love of my life. After the company my wife worked for was acquired, we moved with the firm to New York, and settled in Upper West Side. The grind of the island will either break you or teach you efficiencies you never thought were possible. After a few years, we grew tiresome of expensive daily life in NYC, and desperately wanted to move back West. We grabbed a map and drew out three locations: Boulder, San Francisco, and Portland. After considerable debate and research, we honestly picked Portland completely blind. In 2012 we sold nearly everything we owned, packed up an suv, and literally drove coast to coast making stops in Chicago, Boulder, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, San Fransisco, and finally our new home PDX.

The best way to reach me is via Twitter, but if you are looking for guidance on my blog posts, or startup developer resources feel free to email me. I truly enjoy helping others meet their goals, and connecting with other like minded geeks.