Simple solutions to complex technical problems
Who I am
More about me
My name is Evan Light. I'm a freelance software developer with 18 years of experience designing, implementing, and maintaining commercial and enterprise applications for telecoms, government, and web startups. I have been a frequent speaker and attendee at technical conferences, particularly those focused on the Ruby programming language, published a few magazine articles on developing with Ruby, founded and organize the annual Ruby DCamp unconference, and host a podcast.
I am located just outside Washington, DC where I work primarily from my home office and am kept company by too many cats and entirely too much computer hardware.
What I offer
Has your Rails (or Ruby) project gone off of the tracks? Did you outsource your work on the cheap only to find that your application is bug-ridden and slow?
I can help make it better. Wrangling chaos is one of my specialities.
I won’t pretend that I can fix your woes overnight. Improving a sloppy application to be maintainable and usable is similar to repairing a fixer-upper home to be habitable. Like homes, some applications need more tender love and care then others depending upon how they were built and maintained. It takes time and effort.
Developer Mentoring / Training
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
As much as I enjoy improving poor code, I far prefer to help you make your team more effective. To that extent, I am glad to work myself out of a job improving your code. That is, it is more valuable to you if I can teach your developers how to write better code than if I were to constantly improve the code for you!
In the course of providing this service, I often begin by spending a week on site with your team, pair-programming with them, assessing their skills and providing constructive criticism. On my return home, I continue to remotely pair-program (I’ve done this across 3 time zones!) with your developers. But I also review your teams code periodically, providing them feedback on areas that could use attention.
Your Dream Application
You bring the idea. I bring the plan to make it real!
What makes your idea special? That’s where we start! I begin every project by picking your brain for at least an hour.
What do you want your application to do? From our first meeting, I am recording your needs and attempting to anticipate your wants. I’m not shy about providing my input if I believe that it will add value to your idea. Nor am I shy about admitting what I can’t do. But I can almost certainly find someone else who can do it for me well!
What do you need to launch? For your first release, deciding what can be left out is usually at least is as important as what must be in it. We will prioritize your needs together.
What will it cost? From the above, I can tell you what it will take me to make your idea real.
What goes into it? Triple Dog Dare uses Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and jQuery, among other tools, to make your vision a reality. I tend to use Ruby on Rails, and related frameworks, as they allow me to bring your application to market just that much faster.
Have a new project, a budget, but no technical team to speak of? My experience is both broad and deep enough that I can help you navigate the early strategic technical decisions. I can plan out your infrastructure, help you hire a team, and get you off on the right track.
The early days of a new business are special. There’s so much potential. I love being a part of that.
How I do business
I believe in candor
I always give a straight answer. Sometimes that answer isn’t the one that you want to hear. However, I believe that hiding the bad news from you only weakens our relationship and your project.
I want to see you succeed
To that extent, I will help guide you through the process, providing my insight to add value to your business. At any given time, if you’d rather that I do it your way, I’m open to it, because...
I want my customers to be happy
Few software developers and consultants realize it, but the software development consulting business is, first and foremost, a customer service business. If you’re not happy then our relationship will not be mutually beneficial. And I always seek the WIN-WIN.
At the outset, we will agree on a release date/window for your product. We will together prioritize the features that you need for your Minimum Viable Product. This is part of the agile development methodology that I loosely follow. This will also likely define your first release. And it will ship on schedule.
I believe in forging meaningful long term relationships
Engaging me alone, or with several of my peers, is not engaging a business but forging a relationship. Good business is built upon the understanding and trust in that relationship. The better that we understand one another, the better we will work together. From day one, I am trying to understand you and your needs to better add value to your business. Trust comes with everything else that I’ve already cited above (e.g., candor, shipping).