Mike Hall

Senior Software Developer


Email: mike@just3ws.com
Telephone: (847) 877-3825
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/just3ws




Web Developer, remote March 2016 - November 2016 Collaborated with a distributed team to support the ReachConvert product and build APIs to support the new React-based UI initiative. Introduced improvements to the development workflow, improved the development toolchain and fixed performance and security issues.
  • Implemented Ruby on Rails API that wrapped the legacy lead generation product providing new functionality to support a React-based thin client.
  • Implemented several React components that consumed the API service.
  • Implemented API Gateway service using Ruby on Rails providing external partners access to ReachLocal internal services.
  • Introduced improvements to the Vagrant development toolchain as well code analysis and linting tools like RuboCop, Bundler Audit, Code Climate, etc.
Kickserv (acquired by ReachLocal)
Software Developer, remote March 2015 - March 2016 Collaborated with distributed team to support and enhance the Kickserv product. Implemented critical conversion of payment gateway while reducing complexity. Improved visibility and communication between product and customer support groups, introduced project management tools and agile concepts to the management teams.
  • Migrated payment gateway and credit card processing from Stripe that required complex internal management of subscriptions to Chargify. I discovered that most of the required functionality could be handled via the Chargify API to reduce the amount of functional overhead in the Kickserv codebase, simplify the process, and improve testing.
  • Coordinated with the customer support and product management teams to improve awareness and communication of needs and priorities between customer issues and new feature initiatives.
  • Introduced Vagrant, RuboCop, and Code Climate into development toolchain.
  • Converted asynchronous jobs to use Sidekiq Pro instead of Resque to simplify managing the processes and reduced the hardware required.
Core Team Lead, remote January 2014 - December 2014 Re-launched Coderwall as an open-source project and led the community development efforts.
  • Scrubbed codebase in preparation for releasing Coderwall as an open-source website.
  • Extracted proprietary algorithms and updated Coderwall to use the new service. Updated development environment to use a fake version of the service during development and testing.
  • Created extensive documentation and support materials including video tutorials to enable outside contributors to participate in the project without unnecessary limitations.
  • Collaborated with and mentored contributors coming from all different development skills and experiences.
  • Replaced the MongoDB backend and consolidated onto Postgres to greatly simplify queries, reduce costs, and simplify development.
  • Improved ElasticSearch queries and upgraded to latest version of service.
  • Handled customer support issues for Coderwall.
  • Converted asynchronous jobs to use Sidekiq instead of Resque to save on Heroku dyno costs.
Software Developer, Chicago, IL October 2013 - February 2014 Collaborated with a distributed team on an SOA architecture web application that helps small to medium business improve their search engine and local presence.
  • Integrated Chargify payment system as backend for payments and as lightweight CMS for plan details using Ruby on Rails.
  • Implemented networked Vagrant environments to replicate the multi-system production environment thus greatly simplifying the development process.
Senior Engineer, Chicago, IL April 2013 - October 2013 Led development team working and principal development of support and new business initiatives.
  • Simplified the development environment and reduced unsafe practices in shared development environment. Built testing and development environments to enable continuous integration.
  • Implemented tracking and marketing tool to enable a new revenue stream for the company.
  • Mentored and lead junior development team and helped train members on Ruby on Rails and testing practices.
  • Streamlined and stabilized the AWS deployment process and built out new server images for easier scaling during high demand periods.
Engineering Learning & Development Business Partner, Chicago, IL July 2011 - April 2013 Worked with projects from fraud analysis in Clojure to building internal tools with Rails to creating a centralized taxonomy management service in Java. Transitioned to leading efforts to rebuild and improve the onboarding and engineering retention process.
  • Implemented Taxonomy service using ActiveWeb and ActiveJDBC Java frameworks and MySQL. Built out the servers to host services.
  • Designed queries for identifying account fraud patterns using Vertica queries. Spiked on Hadoop and Clojure fraud detection tools.
  • Developed sales support tools to assist call center representatives when dealing with customers using Ruby on Rails and MySQL.
  • Built merchant analysis tools in Ruby and CouchDB to generate reports used by sales team for identifying markets and deals that are potentially valuable.
  • Coordinated and implemented new onboarding process and facilitated in-house training across multiple sites. Worked with TalentDev teams across the organization to identify managerial training needs and design training course.
Obtiva (acquired by Groupon)
Software Engineer - Greater Chicago Area August, 2009 - July 2011 Consultant dispatched to clients to work independently and in team environments. Worked on projects building B2B services for Sears, internal report generation systems for marketing agencies, and with Groupon before the acquisition.
  • Leapfrog Online: developed reporting services to generate bespoke reports against their data warehouse.
  • Sears Commercial: building a new commercial sales and catalog service for B2B customers.
  • Groupon: worked on deals services, primary site support, and fraud analysis teams.
Prior experience upon request
Microsoft Platform developer - Greater Chicago Area December, 1999 - August, 2009 Experience spanning a decade building web applications on the Microsoft Platform.


CTO, remote March 2014 - September 2016 Built social media analytics system to aggregate and generate insights for professionals looking for concrete advice on how to improve their social media presence. Led development of the marketing and customer user interface.
  • Designed and built Twitter query and aggregator tools using Java and Ruby.
  • Built advanced pipeline using Sidekiq Enterprise to generate insights into customer social patterns.
  • Developed administrative and reporting interfaces used by client representatives to create bespoke reports and social media advice.
  • Built out backend databases using PostgreSQL and leveraged JSONB data type to enable efficient storage, queries, and simplify creating ActiveRecord queries against raw JSON data.
  • Built out infrastructure using Digital Ocean, Heroku, and Amazon RDS. Implemented fail2ban and iptable rules to lock down servers.
  • Coordinated with a consulting firm to design and build out the marketing and customer user interface. Led design and development of the product while building out the underlying supporting data and models for the client interface.
  • Configured Heroku Pipeline to simplify testing and verification before deployment of the customer interface into production.
WHOIS Tech Community / UGtastic
Creator October 2011 - January 2017 Interviewed over 100 tech community leaders from user-group and small conference organizers to leaders of massive F/OSS projects such as Rich Hickey (Clojure) and DHH (Ruby on Rails). Conducted interviews and produced videos and coordinated with community contributors.
  • Founded a Cloud Developer user-group
  • Founded Software Craftsmanship McHenry County user-group
  • Co-organized Chicago Code Camp for 2010-2012
  • Presented on Aspect-oriented Programming at Chicago Code Camp and Iowa Code Camp on AOP
  • Presented on how to get started in leading a user-group at Table XI Table Talk session
  • Presented at several Geekfests on various topics
  • Mentored two people into careers in software development
  • Collaborated with GOTO Conference organizers to host events with Chicago community leaders.


A sample of recommendations that I've received from managers, work associates, and community colleagues over the years. More recommendations available on my LinkedIn profile.
  • Recommendation by Kevin Taylor, "Mike Hall is a creator of both software and software communities. When Mike worked for me at Obtiva, he was a member of a select group of highly skilled software developers using agile practices and the Ruby on Rails stack to build custom client software. Mike was the linchpin of several important development projects but also always went above and beyond to mentor our client's developers, give talks, and organize and host tech community events.  When Obtiva was acquired by Groupon, Mike's actions were consistent at Groupon and again, besides being a dedicated software engineer, he also went above and beyond to lead engineering culture and training initiatives--and always with a great attitude. He is a pleasure to work with."
  • Recommendation by Ray Hightower, "Mike Hall is on a perpetual positive mission to interview everyone connected with user groups: Volunteers, organizers, participants... everybody. Mike has done an awesome job so far, and you can bet that he has more in store for the future."
  • Recommendation by Amitai Schlair, "As he has often done at conferences and elsewhere, Mike descended on Software Craftsmanship North America 2013 with his portable studio and interviewed a whole bunch of interesting and notable people (and me ;-). I'm impressed and heartened by Mike's longstanding efforts -- including, but not limited to, his many recorded developer interviews -- to connect others more strongly with their software communities. I hadn't realized I'd been needing that sort of connection myself. Then I talked to Mike at SCNA."
  • "Mike is a really great guy that puts everyone at ease, and in the role of educator at Groupon, that was really very important. He would work tirelessly to try and make the material interesting, approachable, and yet challenging for those that might have come in with a little more than the minimum experience in the tech stack at Groupon. I also enjoyed working with Mike in a group before he started his teaching role, and found him to be professional, committed, and responsive. It was nice working with him."
  • Recommendation by Marjorie Pries, "I highly recommend Mike. He is a team player and leader and always interested in learning new technologies and techniques.His interest in learning is not just a self-interest, through UGtastic and other activities, he builds channels of knowledge-sharing throughout the Chicago-area software community. He brings this attitude everyday to his projects and always strives to improve. Plus he has a lot of interests beyond software and a great sense of humor which means it's fun to work with him."

Mike Hall — email — (847) 877-3825 — homepage