Benjamin Lee Simpson

There is nothing like it – the rush that comes from crafting a piece of functionality, squashing a long standing bug, grokking development patterns, or just making the test suite run green.

I run a blog on software development, contribute to StackOverflow, contribute to open source projects, and am an open source advocate. When not developing I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, biking, gaming, reading science fiction, writing, teaching, and cooking.

I currently build software as part of the Influence Health team. My operating systems, editors, databases, and version control technologies all change, but I always find myself enjoying that same rush of developing software, no matter the configuration.

Technical Skills

Like: ruby, ruby-on-rails, php, sql, javascript, bash, mysql, postgres, gnu, linux, git, vim, node, angular, amazon-web-services


Engineering Lead Influence Health,  January 2016 – Current

ruby, ruby-on-rails, postgresql, amazon-web-services, angular

  • Manage team of engineers and QA to develop and test social marketing, and CRM platform
  • Worked with product to determine priority/severity/business value of various pieces of work
  • Heavy refactorings of Rails applications to improve performance, reduce defects, improve maintenance
  • Implemented development cadence that involves pull requests, peer reviews, pairing, green test suite
  • Scripted Hubot to rotate pull request assignments across the team
  • Installed and configured Jenkins with scripting to run Ruby and Javascript linting and unit tests and comment on a Github pull request
  • Implemented and maintained data pipeline services in AWS to move data from PostgreSQL RDS to Redshift
  • Improved deployment strategy by implementing a tagged release with a preprod server
  • Secured sensitive information in repositories using the git-crypt GPG solution
  • Dockerized Rails application for portability and eventual scaling goals. This doubled as our Jenkins testbed to
    contain dependencies
  • Gave tech talks on various topics including Git, SQL, testing, Hubot
    Upgraded large Rails application from 3.x to 4.0

Team and Technical Lead, Analog Analytics, February 2013 – Current

ruby, rails, osx, pivotaltracker, skype, mysql, angularjs, flowdock

  • Daily core contributor across multiple codebases (Ruby and Java services, Rails web application, Selenium test suite)
  • Planning calls with the business to t­shirt size potential work
  • Refinement of high level business requirements into actionable work by engineering sometimes including adding tasks, and decomposing stories
  • Estimations of engineering stories
  • Communication to stakeholders on progress of stories and any impediments, risks
  • 3 Amigos planning sessions to establish acceptance criteria
  • QA coordination and assistance with deliverables
  • Removing blockers from team including infrastructure issues, keeping backlog in order, reducing churn
  • Exploratory testing, and monitoring of finished code to find defects
  • Discuss and spike possible implementation
  • Coordinate development efforts, pairing, tech talks

Software Developer, MojoTech, March 2011 – February 2013

ruby, rails, ruby-on-rails, sql, postgres, javascript, jquery, css, haml, git, github, tmpl, balsamic

  • Implemented contact duplicate detection by implementing an equivalency class
  • Converted Javascript components into jQuery plugins for reuse, and ease of implementation
  • Implemented API to manage Resque jobs, including polling, and deleting jobs matching patterns
  • Expanded and overhauled test suite using best practices with Rspec
  • Developed wireframes using Balsamic for a client delivery
  • Implemented Redis based caching mechanism for large datasets to improve page load times
  • Integrated metaphone based name searching using facilities in Postgresql, and pg_search gem for Ruby
  • Developed a flexible, and unobtrusive in place edit library in Javascript
  • Hand tuned SQL queries to optimize query times for complex data relationships
  • Modularized project for code re-usability and logical partitioning
  • Implemented an AJAX driven profile picture uploader, and cropper using jQuery fileupload, and jcropper.

Software Developer, Beacon Interactive Systems, March 2010 – March 2011

ruby, rails, ruby-on-rails, sql, sqlite, javascript, jquery, css, haml, git

  • Wrote code in a BDD style using Cucumber, Rspec, Capybara, and the Selenium web driver
  • Practiced the agile methodologies of SCRUM, 2 week iterations, and user stories
  • Packaged cross-application code into a gem for easy reuse
  • Participated in code reviews by contributing constructive feedback
  • Gathered system requirements from a client looking to implement a replacement for their tracking system
  • Helped debug production database queries by tuning indexes
  • Built several SBIR applications for government application using Ruby and the Rails framework


BAS in Technology Management, Clayton State University, 2012

AASIT, Clayton State University, 2002 – 2006


CompTIA A+ Certified, 2008

Projects & Interests

Stack Overflow,, June 2011 – Current

Written 55 answers. Active in ruby-on-rails and ruby.

GitHub – Nickname,, August 2011

Generate a populated ActiveRecord model of nicknames

Creator, maintainer


ruby-on-rails, jquery

An interactive Ruby on Rails routes editor

Creator, owner


ruby, ruby-on-rails, jquery, postgres, heroku, git

SAMEXHIBIT brings your portfolio back into your control.
Welcome to the simplest and fastest portfolio solution on the web.
With no configuration required for a great looking portfolio.


GitHub – kaminari,, October 2011 – September 2012

A Scope & Engine based, clean, powerful, customizable and sophisticated paginator for Rails 3


GitHub – Tix Clock,, Oct 2017

Tix clock clone made in Angular 4 with Typescript component, and CSS grid


Slack Archive Viewer, May 2017
reactjs, node


GitHub – sudoku_solver,, June 2012

A Sudoku solver, written in Vanilla JS

Creator, maintainer

GitHub – resque-scheduler,, August 2012 – November 2013


A light-weight job scheduling system built on top of resque


GitHub – vim-rubytest,, December 2012 – June 2014

Run ruby test in vim


Fuzzy Matching in PostgreSQL with Nicknames,

If you have had the LIKE comparison in SQL leave you wanting, this post is for you. The reason I say this is because LIKE is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the…

Taking the Magic Out of ActiveRecord – Speed up that Query!,

Rails, and other programming frameworks that include an Object Relational Mapper (ORM) make is really easy to not worry about your database. That is until your…

Bringing the Dead Back to Life,

No, not zombies. A few days ago, a friend of mine brought me a computer and told me that it was running REALLY slow. I did some investigation, and quickly discovered…

Modding Out Bob – MojoTech,

Modding Out Bob – MojoTech’s Blog

Refactoring With the Observer Pattern

What is the Observer Pattern? Have you written a system that has the concept of “events” that need to notify users?

Assign Pull Requests with Hubot

ChatOps was a term our DevOps person shared with me. Its the concept of automating everything you can through your company chat client.



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