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 got my start working at the help desk of Clayton State University. My first exposure into software development was to rewrite the department website, and calendering application for appointments. My tools were different back then; I used Debian, MySQL, CVS, and PHP to create an in-house solution.

I moved into Administrative Systems at Clayton State University, and worked on a wide range of enterprise applications, and reporting. I gained lots of experience working with a range of technologies. During my tenure, I helped transform the iron curtain of Microsoft technologies into a more agile, and adaptable open source environment by introducing Firefox, Chrome, Subversion, GNU/Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Ruby on Rails.

After a few years in New England honing my Ruby on Rails experience, I moved back to Atlanta, GA, with my wife, daughter, and six animals. I have a BAS in Technology Management, and certifications for CompTIA A+, and STI Certified Helpdesk Professional.

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 Analog Analytics team working remotely from home. My operating systems, editors, databases, and version control technologies all change, but I still 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, backbone.js, node, angularjs


Team and Technical Lead, Analog Analytics, February 2014 – Current

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

  • 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

Software Developer, Analog Analytics, February 2013 – February 2014

ruby, rails, mysql, osx, solr, vim, google-analytics, angularjs, testunit

  • Implement high level business requirements
  • Be involved in improving business process to become more efficient
  • Spike and research technologies in preparation for development
  • Pair and coach other team members
  • Be a good steward of open source technologies

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

IT Database Support Professional, Clayton State University, January 2007 – March 2010

c#, java, ruby, ruby-on-rails, php, javascript, subversion, oracle10g, sql, plsql, crystal-reports, ldap

  • Programming / support lead on Luminis Portal platform (Java), and peripheral
    applications in Ruby on Rails, PHP
  • Load balanced deployment of web tiers on RHEL4 for high availability
  • Augmented / implemented Single Sign On framework for campus data systems with AJAX, JSON
  • Enhanced base functionality of the Portal through a management website in Ruby on Rails to meet requirements for support, and maintenance
  • Developing single-purpose high traffic Portal channels using Rails
  • Developed appointment calendar in Rails
  • Exclusively organized, trained campus contributors, and support staff on Portal
  • Proposed and implemented Subversion repository with Apache-based Trac front-end to handle source code version control

Helpdesk Supervisor, Clayton State University, June 2005 – January 2007

php, ruby, ruby-on-rails, javascript, sql, mysql, cvs, linux, apache

  • Supported 500+ faculty/staff, and 6,000+ student machines
  • Project lead for developing helpdesk applications including a news site, and
    appointment calendar using PHP.
  • Headed all internal staff training. Technical in depth topics included Windows drivers, networking, registry trainings to aid in troubleshooting
  • Assisted with external classroom based trainings on Microsoft Office 2003


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.


Harmonious Hounds Inc,

ruby-on-rails, javascript, postgres, heroku

Harmonious Hounds Inc. is a pet sitting and dog training company based in Swansea, MA

Creator, Developer

GitHub – kaminari,, October 2011 – September 2012

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


GitHub – in_place_edit,, February 2012 – March 2012

A highly configurable Javascript in_place_edit solution

Creator, maintainer

GitHub – shorten,, May 2012

In the spirit of VIM commands, shorten the word to the least number of letters while still being unambiguous

Creator, maintainer

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


Storing Data Using Numerical Representation,

Numerical representation is a great way to store a set of boolean values in a single database column. Lets say that you have a user that has multiple roles. We want to…

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…

Another Helping of Abstraction, Please,

Rails 3.1 is soon to be released, and with it comes two new abstraction libraries – CoffeeScript, and S(ass)CSS. These libraries are used to generate Javascript code,…

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…

ActiveRecord’s Secret find_by_sql Results,

Well, its not exactly a secret. It sure isn’t well documented however. Recently, I wanted to return a query that spanned multiple database tables. I decided to go with…

Modding Out Bob – MojoTech,

Modding Out Bob – MojoTech’s Blog

Oh, the Files You’ll Transcode! – MojoTech,

Oh, the Files You’ll Transcode! – MojoTech’s Blog


First Computer: Intel 486 clone

Favorite Editor: vim


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