Richard Garand, Web Scalability Developer in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Richard Garand

Web Scalability Developer in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Member since October 22, 2013
Richard specializes in performance and scalability. He has helped to design, implement, and maintain server systems handling millions of users per month. When you need a 10x or 100x improvement in performance, he is ready to step in. Throughout his work, he aims to teach both managers and other developers exactly what's going on and how they can think about it in a more effective way. His experience primarily covers Linux, MySQL, and PHP.
Richard is now available for hire



  • MySQL, 20 years
  • PHP, 20 years
  • JavaScript, 18 years
  • Linux, 17 years
  • Web Scalability, 12 years
  • Drupal, 10 years
  • Laravel, 3 years
  • AWS EC2, 2 years


Vancouver, BC, Canada



Preferred Environment

PhpStorm on MacOS + Linux/Nginx Server

The most amazing...

...change I've seen is an 8x improvement in performance after updating a few lines of code.


  • Technical Co-founder

    2017 - PRESENT
    Chef to Table
    • Led the development of an online ordering system.
    • Created an automatic customer notification and tracking system based on Drip email management software.
    • Built internal management systems based on customer and order data.
    Technologies: WordPress, PHP, Drip, Stripe
  • Video Course Author

    2016 - PRESENT
    • Developed video training courses teaching developers to use Linux-based tools for performance and scalability.
    Technologies: Linux, Memcached, Varnish
  • Senior Developer

    2018 - 2019
    Great Wolf Resorts
    • Helped support an eCommerce website that is the primary sales channel for a 2,500-person business.
    • Optimized server load management on AWS to handle higher traffic and helped tune the monitoring and alerting systems.
    • Implemented dynamic request throttling to reduce the impact of back-end outages on user experience, allowing for more marketing campaigns to increase revenue without impacting website stability.
    • Led integration with multiple outside vendors to enable new customer service and marketing capabilities, completing each integration in an average of three to four months.
    • Provided support to resolve operational and security issues.
    • Assisted with the development and architecture of a new codebase built in .NET and running on Azure with Kubernetes containers.
    • Helped to implement, optimize, and debug front-end features built on AngularJS and running on a Drupal website.
    Technologies: Laravel, MySQL, PHP, .NET, Azure, AWS, Kubernetes, AngularJS
  • Founder, Lead Developer

    2006 - 2017
    Garand Webtech, Inc.
    • Created PHP/JavaScript applications.
    • Helped clients translate general ideas into specific, prioritized requirements.
    • Led development teams.
    • Planned architecture for scalable, high-performance systems.
    • Integrated workflow planning with external designers' work to create an attractive and usable end result.
    • Managed projects (including internal team, clients' tasks, and external partners) to avoid overruns.
    Technologies: PHP, JavaScript, Drupal
  • Data Architect

    2015 - 2016
    Dental Practice Pro
    • Built key back-end systems for a SaaS data collection and analytics tool.
    • Built and optimized large-scale data storage with real-time reporting for multi-billion-row record sets.
    • Advised the development team on architecture and performance.
    • Optimized the data ETL system to work with hundreds of concurrent targets.
    Technologies: Laravel, PHP, MySQL
  • Back-end Architect

    2014 - 2015
    • Built a web-based back end and API for a music player app.
    • Built a web-based front end.
    • Advised the development team on data architecture, API optimization, and system performance.
    Technologies: PHP, MySQL, iOS
  • Technical/Strategy Consultant

    2014 - 2015
    • Advised a startup on technical requirements to execute strategy for their new mobile app.
    Technologies: iOS
  • Drupal Architect

    2013 - 2014
    Major Sports Magazine (NDA)
    • Built key components for a high-traffic website redevelopment.
    • Created highly-customized page layouts with unique data displays within Drupal.
    • Implemented on-page interactive data visualizations using JavaScript tools such as D3.
    Technologies: Drupal, PHP
  • Drupal Architect

    2012 - 2013
    Modern Guild
    • Led the buildout of a prototype into a full online learning tool.
    • Built software that led to the startup being accepted to the Techstars program.
    • Transitioned ownership to full-time CTO.
    Technologies: Drupal, PHP
  • Drupal Architect

    2009 - 2013
    Academica Group
    • Architected, developed, and optimized major Drupal sites for universities, scalable to millions of visits per day.
    • Led the redevelopment of custom survey software built in CakePHP, scalable to tens of thousands of users per day.
    Technologies: Drupal, PHP, CakePHP


  • Using Memcached and Varnish to Speed Up Your Linux Web App (Other amazing things)

    A video course I produced for Pluralsight, teaching developers and system administrators how they can use simple caching tools and techniques to massively increase scalability and performance of any application or website.

  • Great Wolf Resorts (Development)

    A high-traffic eCommerce website where I helped to improve scalability, develop new features, create integration with outside apps and systems, and fix bugs.

  • Dental Practice Pro (Development)

    Set up back-end and database systems for a SaaS application serving large dental offices. Led changes to the data architecture and complex daily data loading operations to increase performance and scalability, allowing the application to grow from the initial prototype to serving hundreds of offices without performance issues.

  • Brock University (Development)

    A Drupal installation with deep customizations to support special editing requirements at a large university. Also managed performance testing and initial server configuration for 10 million monthly visitors.

  • Confederation College (Development)

    Managed deployment of a large-scale Drupal site covering all web needs for a college. Set up Varnish-based caching to increase scalability for millions of visits per month.

  • Modern Guild (Development)

    An online platform based on Drupal where college students can purchase access, take assignments, have them reviewed, schedule meetings, and have video conferences with experienced mentors in their chosen industries.

  • Enrollment Analytics Research System (Development)

    Created an integrated survey and reporting system. The survey part includes customized functionality required to do national-level market research (tuned to allow inviting 30-50,000 respondents in one batch). The interface is set up to be very visual and easy to use, so that external users can create surveys as part of future plans. The reporting system allows the results of these surveys to be accessed in real-time with user-created reports, allowing clients to get immediate access to their data. This required translating databases in the tens of millions of rows into a suitable format for quickly generating any report you can imagine.


  • Languages

    SQL, PHP, JavaScript
  • Platforms

    Linux, Drupal, AWS EC2, Windows
  • Storage

    MySQL, Memcached, MongoDB
  • Frameworks

    CakePHP, Laravel, AngularJS
  • Paradigms

    Load Testing, Unit Testing
  • Other

    Back-end Performance, Web Scalability, Caching, Performance Optimization
  • Libraries/APIs

  • Tools



  • Bachelor's of Science with Distinction degree in Computer Science
    2002 - 2006
    University of Regina - Regina, SK, Canada

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