Karl Hughes, Software and Content Developer in Chicago, IL, United States
Karl Hughes

Software and Content Developer in Chicago, IL, United States

Member since June 15, 2020
Karl is has been building software and teams for edtech startups for the past eight years. In 2020, he founded Draft.dev, a technical content marketing agency that helps clients create high-quality technical content for software engineering blogs that reach developers. As an entrepreneur, writer, and speaker, Karl also runs CFP Land (www.cfpland.com), where he helps tech conference speakers find new opportunities.
Karl is now available for hire


  • Draft.dev
    C++, Python, CSS, HTML, PHP 7, Docker, Kubernetes, TypeScript, JavaScript
  • The Graide Network
    Linux, Docker, Angular, Laravel, PHP, JavaScript, TypeScript
  • Packback
    Linux, Laravel, Angular, PHP, JavaScript



Chicago, IL, United States



Preferred Environment

CSS, HTML, Python, Node.js, TypeScript, JavaScript, PHP, Docker, Linux, JetBrains, MacOS

The most amazing...

...experience I've been a part of was when my previous company got a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.


  • Founder

    2020 - PRESENT
    • Developed standard operating procedures for writing, editing, and content planning with clients.
    • Recruited and managed dozens of independent freelance engineers to act as writers.
    • Implemented a sales, marketing, and customer acquisition strategy that led to doubled revenue for the first three months of operation.
    Technologies: C++, Python, CSS, HTML, PHP 7, Docker, Kubernetes, TypeScript, JavaScript
  • Chief Technology Officer

    2016 - 2020
    The Graide Network
    • Created a plan to transition away from a buggy, insecure CodeIgniter app and onto a modern, service-oriented architecture.
    • Set up a local Docker environment that cut onboarding time from one week to one hour.
    • Built the codebase that helped the company scale to delivering hundreds of thousands of pieces of feedback to students every year.
    Technologies: Linux, Docker, Angular, Laravel, PHP, JavaScript, TypeScript
  • Head of Engineering

    2013 - 2016
    • Managed an offshore development team to build the company's textbook rental MVP, then hired the in-house team that pivoted to a classroom question and answer product.
    • Created standardized processes for hiring, onboarding, and training new engineers. I also led sprint planning and retrospectives.
    • Wrote and oversaw the architecture of most of the company's codebase.
    Technologies: Linux, Laravel, Angular, PHP, JavaScript
  • Director of News

    2011 - 2013
    • Oversaw the creation and growth of a college news blog to include 500+ writers publishing 600 articles per month.
    • Designed a gamified sharing system that increased daily social media interaction by 250% in 2012.
    • Created a national writing team that increased monthly visits by 300% in 2013.
    Technologies: JavaScript, WordPress, PHP


  • CFP Land

    CFP Land helps technology conference speakers find the best opportunities. I've maintained the website, written for the blog, and built a "Pro" plan to fund the project. It's built on TypeScript and Gatsby.

  • Content Development (Writing)

    I started programming because I loved writing. In college, I created a campus blog with around 30 of my peers. As a business, the venture was terrible, but it forced me to learn WordPress and basic web development.

    Now, 10 years later, I’ve written almost as much prose as I have code. In addition to almost 200 posts on my blog, I’ve contributed to and started a number of great publications.


  • Languages

    PHP 7, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, HTML, CSS, C++, PHP
  • Other

    Writing & Editing, Technical Documentation, Leadership, Startups
  • Libraries/APIs

  • Platforms

    Docker, Kubernetes, MacOS, Linux, WordPress
  • Frameworks

    Laravel, Angular
  • Tools



  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business
    2006 - 2012
    University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN, USA

To view more profiles

Join Toptal
Share it with others