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Kevin Trowbridge, Software Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
Kevin Trowbridge

Software Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States

Member since May 18, 2013
For a decade now, Kevin has been building websites that are used by millions of visitors per month. As an entrepreneur, he enjoys the creative process, good communication, and relationship building. Kevin has worked effectively with teams of all sizes under a variety of different circumstances.
Kevin is now available for hire



  • Ruby, 9 years
  • SQL, 8 years
  • JavaScript, 8 years
  • Ruby on Rails (RoR), 8 years
  • AngularJS, 1 year
San Francisco, CA, United States



Preferred Environment

Unix/Linux/OS X, Git

The most amazing...

...thing I've coded is an iPad app which allows you to control an interactive FIRE sculpture with hand gestures.


  • Software Team Lead

    2014 - PRESENT
    A List Apart
    • Led a team of two junior developers in cleaning up a crufty old codebase.
    • Reviewed PRs on Github and marshalled them into safe, iterative releases.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, RSpec, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Independent Software Architect

    2012 - 2014 by Gannett Company, Inc.
    • Upgraded the CMS from Rails 2 to Rails 3 and migrated it to Heroku.
    • Scaled the site as traffic grew 40x over 3 years via caching, optimization, and additional technology such as CDNs and responsive image services.
    • Re-skinned the site several times, moving in the final iteration to responsive "mobile-first" tech with a Foundation CSS framework.
    • Led a team of three contractors.
    • Trained an internal team as the site continued to grow.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Heroku, AWS Cloud services
  • Software Developer

    2012 - 2013
    • Created a system to synchronize the user database with Mailchimp.
    • "Kevin jumped in to help roll out new features and speed up our development pace. He worked very closely with our lead engineer and is highly regarded by him as well. He hit all of his deadlines and was great with communicating through weekly updates. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a solid and steady contractor as he is capable of jumping in and hitting the ground running." --Founder.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Senior Software Developer

    2010 - 2012
    Concrete Interactive, LLC
    • Hired as the first employee at this local SF consultancy.
    • Played a leading role in twelve projects, many of which are detailed in the Experience section.
    • Worked with the founder to build the company, helping to interview, hire, and train five new employees, and played a large role in creating the company's culture.
    • Utilized a large and diverse set of technologies.
    • Collaborated seamlessly with external teams or quickly and efficiently on my own as necessary.
    • "I have witnessed Kevin's approach to software craftsmanship for the past three years, and it is admirable. He applies solid fundamentals towards solving problems, he boldly pursues new technologies, and he follows through with the care, persistence and tenacity required to make software products work in the real world, at quality and at scale. Anyone who meets Kevin soon after recognizes he is a kind person, who genuinely wants to do good for those he works with. I wholeheartedly recommend Kevin as a software engineer." --Employer.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Objective-C, ActionScript 3.0, Heroku, AWS
  • Product Manager & Software Developer

    2009 - 2011
    • Hired employees and created a quality assurance organization from scratch as QA team lead.
    • Promoted to Product Manager after 6 months.
    • Promoted to Software Developer and wrote the initial version of a flagship interactive advertising product in ActionScript 3.0.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, ActionScript 3.0
  • Technical Writer

    2005 - 2007
    • Served as technical lead for a transition from PDF/print documentation to an online documentation website.
    • Trained ten writers in HTML/CSS as they converted their documentation from Framemaker to HTML.
    • Wrote a 248 page guidebook for the Ariba QuickSource product within a four-month span.
    • "Kevin frequently volunteered to take on additional projects. Most notably, he was instrumental in our transition to a web-based solution. This required Kevin to step well outside of his role as writer and employ supplementary skills, such as web development and quality assurance testing. With a great deal of persistence, innovation, and patience, Kevin worked with staff in the US and India to enable us to publish content on the [email protected] website." --Manager.
    Technologies: HTML, CSS, Adobe Pagemaker


  • Web based "Collaborative Production Studio" (Development)

    Took charge of a slow, buggy Ruby on Rails-powered website for actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, upgrading it from Rails 2 to Rails 3. Moved it to Heroku, refactored its internals to improve performance, and worked with the designer to re-style it.

  • P2P Car Sharing (Development)

    Built a Rails 3 peer-to-peer car sharing MVP. Wheelz later received a $13.7 million investment from ZipCar.

  • Improved performance of Zynga's FarmVille (Development)

    Created an art asset optimization tool: We could insert 5000 animated chickens onto the Flash timeline at once to gather performance statistics. Our tool was built into Zynga's CI system and provided reports to their artists whenever they committed new animations to the code repo.

  • (Development)

    My own project, which I worked on from 2009-2011: A web app with a Gmail-like interface which allows the user to send physical letters (in the postal mail) starting at $0.99. Over 7,000 letters were sent by 2,000 users. The app was featured in 50 articles including Lifehacker, the New York Times, and PC Today magazine.

  • Pay-per-minute FlowPlayer plugin (Development)

    A video player plugin for a leading adult entertainment website, which handles interactions with their billing API.

  • iPad App to control Fire Sculpture (Development)

    An iPad app to control a fire sculpture featured at the 2010 SF Black & White Ball.

  • Play Moolah (Development)

    A game to help children learn about money. I created the Rails 3 web server and an API that communicates with a Flash front-end.

  • Facebook app for Political Activism (Development)

    The server for this Facebook app was built in Rails. The app integrated with the Facebook API and was focused on helping political activists use social networking to collect donations. It accepted donations using the Braintree API.


  • Frameworks

    Ruby on Rails (RoR), AngularJS
  • Languages

    HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, Objective-C, ActionScript 3
  • Paradigms

  • Platforms

    MacOS, Linux, iOS
  • Libraries/APIs

    jQuery, Backbone.js
  • Tools

  • Storage

    SQLite, Memcached, MySQL, PostgreSQL


  • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with Scientific and Technical Writing
    1998 - 2004
    Michigan Technological University - Houghton, Michigan
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