Rennovating Scientific American
Director of Engineering
- Followed some former colleagues from The Atlantic for a unique opportunity to renovate a storied science magazine. Our mandate is to completely transform the product and the business into a modern digital media company.
- We've rebuilt the team and begun a series of complex migrations away from the ailing legacy codebase.
- Within 1 year we'll have replaced the entire technology and product suite, and aim to boost every aspect of the business: digital subscriptions, programmatic ads, direct ads, and audience reach.
Nearly 10 Years at The Atlantic
Full-Stack Developer » Senior Developer » Engineering Manager » Senior Engineering Manager
- Created the first dedicated “Revenue Team” focused on advertising and other B2B businesses.
- Hired and coached engineers, built one of the most effective teams in the company. Co-owned the roadmap and worked with stakeholders to support all aspects of The Atlantic's B2B businesses: programmatic revenue, direct sold advertising, Live Events.
- Built some of the most sophisticated yield technology in the industry: a state of the art injector designed for AB testing, an automation layer on top of the Google Ad Manager API that eliminated entire categories of manual tuning and costly human error, while shuffling inventory around to capture the highest wholistic value between programmatic and direct (up to 42% increase in programmatic revenue).
- Advocate for the Reader Experience. Key leader in site speed, privacy/compliance, and ensuring our ads were minimally intrusive. Championed the notion that it’s possible to improve UX and revenue at the same time if you're smart about it.
- Contributed to nearly every aspect of the product organization over the years, from leading the early responsive design implementations to newsletters and the first iteration of the paywall. Helped design hiring processes, Agile norms as the first function-specific team, and kicked off The Next Frontend—a collaborative cross-team process to ship a fast and scalable new frontend architecture.
Journalism Major at Mizzou, with an emphasis on design and publishing. Newsroom Developer at the Kansas City Star. A brief stint at the shop that invented Django (Mediaphormedia) before it was shut down. I coach Django Girls, and am a big advocate for helping newcomers into the field.
- 10+ years Python, Django, with Django Rest Framework/PyTest/Postgres/MySQL/Redis etc etc.
- 10+ years classic frontend. HTML/CSS/JS including ES6+ and the full capabilities of the browser.
- 7+ years Node. Express.js, Next.js. Big fan of simple build tools like ESBuild and Rollup.
- 5+ years React. CSS Modules seem like a good compromise between classic Sass and CSS-in-JS. Always use Prettier.
- Works closely with Ops and Data Engineers but not an expert. Capable enough to run personal apps on a Linode (nginx, supervisor, postgres). Will tinker in Docker/Github Actions etc.
- SEO, a11y, analytics, consent management, and given my adtech background I'm always game to talk Prebid/GPT and doing Bad Things™ with iframes.
- Built and Managed Agile teams ranging from 2-6 people with occassional “guest stars.” Fostered collaborative cultures that emphasized ownership and teaching. The AdTech team was also called “The Mint” and often described as “sharing one giant brain.”
- Full co-ownership of roadmaps, working with stakeholders to interrogate problems and find practical ways to move the needle. Periodically played the role of Product Manager.
- Variably hands on depending on the needs of the team.
- Designed and tuned fact-based hiring processes that was both accurate and a positive experience for candidates.
- Grew talent! Constantly created opportunities for ownership and cross-training. Helped one developer evolve from her first programming job to Senior Engineer.
- And of course, endless project scoping, ticket-writing, RFCs, documentation, presentations, and all the other things that help build a deep shared understanding across the team and our stakeholders.