Chris Hough

A free spirited, sex positive, polish internet brick laying capitalist. Atheist. NSFW.

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About

I value integrity, hard work, and intrinsic motivation. I do not believe in wasting time on anything that I set out to do. This intensity is directly reflected in each of the projects I have been a part of. While I have managed both local and remote organizations, I get my hands dirty coding, tinkering with design, and constructing application work flows. I believe an organization’s success is derived from the collaborative successes of all of its parts working together to achieve a common goal.

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 Jobs, Apple Computers

Code

I’m a strong advocate for constant learning. If I do not understand a technique, standard, or new language stack I seek out a project to get my feet wet. While I grew up on coldfusion, my current language of choice is ruby, including the ruby on rails framework. I have also tinkered with emberjs. I believe that rails apis with ember front ends make a solid foundation for a wicked application stack. 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. At the end of the day, I believe training, practice, and skill set adjustments must be part of an engineer’s DNA.

Design

While I am not a cut-up expert, I have released applications into the wild in Foundation and Bootstrap, and I enjoy working with SASS. Over the years I have grown fond of illustrator and photoshop, and have fun building graphics. While developers still evangelize wordpress or drupal, I will take static site generators like jekyll, middleman, or assembleio over database driven systems in a fight for scalability any day of the week. I also believe that design makes or breaks an application in both the consumer and b2b marketplaces.

Startups

Every developer is working on a side project today. If they tell you otherwise, they have either checked out of the progression of life, or they are flat out lying. Yes, I have side projects going on that I hope to see explode. Building businesses take time, and not everyone has a millionaire family member to fund their dreams. I am a huge fan of companies like 37 Signals and I believe in slow growth over rocket ship violability. No, I am not risk averse, but I do not like wasting time and resources on another events app. I also use these projects to keep my chops fresh.

Architecture

I have dabbled with rolling my own servers but systems administrative work is not for me. I have setup numerous production applications on Heroku, 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.

Extracurricular

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 microbrew. I believe the food we consume and the exercise we push ourselves through directly relates to how successful we become. I have shared experiences in Chicago, Boulder, Manhattan, and now my family and I live in Portland, Oregon. Outside of the computer, I am a huge fan of tattoo artwork and I have been building a collection for the last five years. I enjoy the outdoors, especially mountain biking, and I hope to get back into the sport of triathlon.

Christopher Hough CV

Career

  • 2014
  • PlaceWise Media

    Director of Application Engineering

    April 1st, 2014 – PresentDenver, ColoradoWork Remote from Portland, Oregon

    Remotely performance manage the application engineering team, which focus includes enterprise APIs written in ruby on rails, the RetailHub client dashboard like data management application, and overall legacy systems migration planning.

    Project deliverables are managed through JIRA, Confluence, Scrum planning, and sprint schedules. I work hard to keep tickets small, sizes appropriate, and remove roadblocks quickly. These processes include 30/60/90 reviews and goal setting. As a huge advocate for constant communication we have implemented Slack and pair regularly to achieve our deliverables.

    TDD. We are working hard to get to a Jenkins or a Travis CI configuration, but we are not there yet. By effectively using pull requests, and code reviews our processes I have reduced code push volatility to a minimum. Through mandating brakeman for security checks, robucop for style guides, and simplecov for code coverage our code output has increased significantly and it has been far easier to bring on new developers into ruby. Outside of oss tools, I have implemented scoring via CodeClimate which fosters healthy competition of > 3.5 scores.

    Maintain weekly codecshool competitions for the entire technology department. We have seen significant improvements in both morale and developer chops during this exercise. I believe it is a developer’s core responsibility to up their game regularly.

    Leading the charge on eliminating the legacy php and coldfusion components of our architecture stack. This process of implementing an SOA like architecture started in August of 2013 and we have made significant progress. While the legacy stack has 10 years worth of layers in it, the team is working to have it eliminated in less than 2 years.

  • Huedio Corporation

    Co-Founder & CEO

    August 2012 – PresentPortland, Oregon
  • NYU

    Ruby on Rails Programming Course

    Completed 2012New York, New York
  • PlaceWise Media

    Web Applications Engineer

    August 31, 2009 – April 1st, 2014Denver, ColoradoWork Remote from Portland, Oregon

    Through the help and management of an external ruby senior consultant we were able to redevelop a set of key APIs previously haphazardly written in a hacked combination of coldfusion and python django frameworks. This project originally covered six new services written in ruby on rails and migrated the entire setup from leased hardware to the cloud.

    After the departure of previous management and legacy developers, I converted the enterprise to Git from Subversion in less than 2 weeks. We decoupled from Beanstalk and migrated each of 20 repositories to github. This also included cross training where applicable.

    Re-architected 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. This includes multiple dashboards and complex user workflows that drive sales content throughout the enterprise. This product is a key component of our customers’ successes.

  • 2009
  • Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP

    Applications Developer

    January 7, 2008 – March 12th, 2009Chicago, Illinois

    Back-end developer supporting in house architectural project management systems written in a combination of coldfusion, javascript and sql server databases. This included additions to the SOM public facing website as well as the complexities of architecting multi-lingual China based .cn platforms.

    Utilized the oss coldfusion cfmbb forums to architect the “som forums” which was used as a question and answer multi-tiered application supporting project managers across the enterprise.

  • 2007
  • Northwestern University

    Economics of Trading Course

    Completed 2007Chicago, Illinois
  • AT&T

    Team Leader – Web Technology

    August 2001 – September 30, 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.

  • Keller Graduate School of Management

    Master of Business Administration

    Graduated 2005Chicago, Illinois
  • 2001
  • Illinois College

    B.S. in Management Information System

    Graduated 2001Jacksonville, Illinois
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Contact

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 Francisco, 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.

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