Kenneth Kalmer, Software Developer in Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Kenneth Kalmer

Software Developer in Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Member since December 16, 2013
Kenneth is passionate about solving problems, especially in an elegant and sustainable manner. He loves learning about anything, especially things that make his better at his craft. He has been up and down the web stack for the last 20 years, and does not seeing himself stopping anytime soon.
Kenneth is now available for hire


    Elasticsearch, PhantomJS, Prawn, V8, D3.js, jQuery, Backbone.js, CSS3, HTML5...
    ImageMagick, CoffeeScript, CSS3, HTML5, Heroku, AWS EC2, Resque, Ruby...
  • Internet Exchange
    DNS, IMAP, Courier, Postfix, Resque, MySQL, Chef, Xen, XMPP, AMQP...



Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa



Preferred Environment

Git, Spacemacs, OS X

The most amazing...

...thing I've coded is a tool for reusing front-end JavaScript with V8 in a Ruby system to produce stunning PDFs from the same JavaScript calculations.


  • CTO

    2012 - PRESENT
    • Built a powerful dashboard powered by Backbone.js allowing users to explore various facets of their management accounts.
    • Created powerful visualizations using D3 to help clients understand various ratios, performance indicators, and other useful information hidden away in the management accounts.
    • Built a collection of complex financial models in JavaScript to allow for instant feedback as users manipulate their management accounts in the system, including valuations of their businesses.
    • Reused the front-end JavaScript on the server side with V8 to generate stunning PDF reports without duplicating a single line of code on Ruby.
    • Drove PhantomJS as a service remotely to rasterize SVG images for inclusion in server-side generated PDF reports.
    • Built a searchable version of the NAICS database, powered by Elasticsearch, to help users quickly choose an accurate industry for their businesses.
    Technologies: Elasticsearch, PhantomJS, Prawn, V8, D3.js, jQuery, Backbone.js, CSS3, HTML5, CoffeeScript, Ruby, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • CTO

    2011 - PRESENT
    • Refactored and improved document management capabilities of the system, allowing users to easily upload, download, share, and categorize their documents.
    • Refactored and improved the online document signing capabilities of the system, allowing documents to be signed on touch devices as well as laptops/PC's.
    • Built many iterations of the front-end pages to help market the service to visitors.
    • Built lots of reliable back-end worker processes to handle complex document conversion and signing tasks for users.
    • Improved performance of the application in several key areas, including using CDN's to speed up static content and optimizing server processes for faster execution.
    Technologies: ImageMagick, CoffeeScript, CSS3, HTML5, Heroku, AWS EC2, Resque, Ruby, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • CTO

    2005 - 2011
    Internet Exchange
    • Built all the dashboards, portals, and management systems for a wholesale ISP, including billing and provisioning systems.
    • Built a hybrid private cloud solution on Xen to deliver typical ISP services at scale: email, DNS, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, firewalls, routing, and storage. Extended beyond the cloud with certain components running on EC2.
    • Implemented deep integrations with various components of the infrastructure to allow for 24x7 provisioning of email, DNS, and shared hosting. Integrated most provisioning with Chef and Chef Solo wherever possible.
    • Implemented deep integration with numerous, desperately different, third-party APIs for provisioning broadband services and domain registrations. Pioneered the APIs with the service providers.
    • Built tons of data collecting, auditing, and reporting features into the system to defend the company from ignorant clients and extortionist suppliers.
    Technologies: DNS, IMAP, Courier, Postfix, Resque, MySQL, Chef, Xen, XMPP, AMQP, EventMachine, Ruby, Ruby on Rails (RoR)


  • Interview on Ruby Rogues Episode 122

    I got interviewed on the Ruby Rogues podcast in episode 122, where we discussed daemonizing Ruby code.

  • is an online financial analysis and strategy tool for privately-held businesses. I was responsible for the entire stack on this application.


    iSign lets users get legally binding contracts signed in minutes and stored forever with proactive reminders before expiry and renewal. I took over as CTO and refactored the majority of the architecture, interfaces, and UX for the system.

  • MTN Directory Services

    I developed an Ember.js application for MTN that was packaged up with Apache Cordova to run on Android, iOS, Blackberry 10, Windows Phone 8. It is backed by a Rails API.

  • Reusing your frontend JS on the server with The Ruby Racer and/or Ruby Rhino

    This is a presentation I gave at RubyFuza 2013 about how we reused the Javascript that powers on the server-side to generate stunning PDF reports.

  • PowerDNS on Rails

    A Rails front-end for the popular PowerDNS server, allowing users to take charge of their PowerDNS configurations.

  • daemon-kit

    A popular solution for writing daemonized processes in Ruby. It gives you a sane directory layout and abstracts away a ton of the messy details required to reliably run Ruby daemon processes.


  • Languages

    Ruby, JavaScript, Clojure, HTML5, CoffeeScript, CSS, CSS3, Go, Sass, HTML, SCSS
  • Frameworks

    Ruby on Rails (RoR), ClojureScript, Bootstrap, Sinatra, Bootstrap 3, Capybara, Ember.js, PhoneGap, Jasmine
  • Tools

    RSpec, Cucumber, Git, GitHub, Capistrano, Campfire, Pivotal Tracker, Postfix, V8, Spacemacs, MacVim, Chef
  • Libraries/APIs

    Backbone.js, jQuery, Underscore.js, Modernizr, AMQP, Resque, ImageMagick, Prawn, PhantomJS, D3.js, Nokogiri, Handlebars, Devise, EventMachine, Paperclip
  • Paradigms

    Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Responsive Web Design (RWD), REST
  • Storage

    MySQL, Elasticsearch, AWS S3, PostgreSQL, Memcached, Redis, MongoDB, CouchDB
  • Other

    Datomic, Ajax, XMPP, Courier, IMAP, DNS, GitFlow
  • Platforms

    Xen, AWS EC2, Heroku, OS X, Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

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