Hi, I'm Thomas


Thank you for stopping by!

TL;DR

I like to focus on backend solutions where I can flex my mathematical muscle :p
I’m blogging to share my journey on learning to become a better software developer.

Longer version,

I’m currently working remotely with Icarus Group Ventures, a small FinTech start-up. I was initially solely in the role of manager; planning, scheduling, hiring, but when you work on a small team you get the chance to tackle many different challenges. Over the past few years, I have been able to add value through helping out with development, and system administration.

Over the past couple years I have worked with either small start-ups, or on small teams contracted by large companies to solve a specific problem.

In the start-up realm, I’ve helped get multiple ideas funded and a couple to market. Helping people get from an idea to a workable plan can be a big challenge, but the results are often rewarding. The start-ups I’ve worked with have been under 5 members and are mostly in need of planning and prototyping. A lot of the work at this stage is idea validation, which means figuring out if there is a genuine need, and if it can be profitable (or sustainable). Getting good answers here can solve a lot of heartache and hard work. In fact over half the start-ups I’ve helped with their research have decided against pursuing funding, but this is just what you want at an early stage - Fail Fast! Learn the lessons, and move on.

For my work on contract teams, I’m usually solving a company/industry specific problem with a tight schedule and fixed budget. My background in civil engineering usually comes into play here, where I look to bring a digital solution to an analog problem. Sometimes, there are fulltime developers, and I take on a liaison role filtering key engineering concepts into pseudocode or ensuring the logic adequately reflects real world processes. Other times, I’m the developer and often in this scenario a key factor is integration. Fitting a new application or process into a company’s current work flow and culture can be tricky. Early communication between stakeholders and end-users is key.

I went to Ryerson University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, followed by a Masters of Applied Science there too. It was during my master’s thesis that I was first introduced to programming, translating some old VB6 code to VB.Net and Silverlight. Since then I have tackled numerous small coding projects. I have done some work in Python (2 & 3), a little more in R, and a little less on the front-end (HTML & CSS).

Julia is currently my crush, don’t tell my wife… Blogs about JuliaLang to follow.

If you’ve made it this far thank you,

Thomas