I build software with simple, down-to-earth designs and quality craftsmanship. I am comfortable and effective in a wide range of roles; since 2005 I have spent most of my time leading agile teams building multi-tier web applications with Ruby on Rails and related technologies.


January 2007 to present
Founding Partner FolkLogic SARL Quinson, France

We founded FolkLogic to provide high quality software with real business value to our customers through our direct participation in their projects. We do this by developing software, managing projects, and training our customers with the best-in-class techniques we have discovered and developed through our extensive careers in the computer industry.

I am an equal partner with responsibilities for all aspects of management, software and technology development, and customer consulting services.

Principal Engagements

Chief Architect, ScaleUp Cloud Technologies GmbH Berlin (since April 2010)

ScaleUp provides a cloud management platform that enables cloud providers and enterprises to build business storefronts for public, private, or hybrid clouds. I have a hands-on executive role, with responsibility for all aspects of platform development and operations. Our channel partners and customers routinely praise our solution for its straightforward design and ease-of-use.

My technology choices for this product include Rails, Sinatra, jQuery, JRuby, MySQL, Resque, Redis, Test::Unit, Cucumber, and Capistrano, and our tool suite includes Git, Pivotal Tracker, Campfire, Exceptional, and CI Joe.

Did whatever needed to be done — Rails, JS, CSS, sys admin — for this NGO.

Product owner, rails architecture team. Xing AG Hamburg

I led a team of senior rails developers and QA engineers in a six month scrum project to overhaul the rails portion of this popular social networking site (the rails part of the site handles millions of page views per day). We split a large, monolithic application into a set of much more maintainable engines, improved deployment processes, increased throughput by 50%, and did a lot of cleanup and refactoring. I was also responsible for managing several technology upgrades, including Rails 2.1 to 2.2 and then 2.3, ferret to solr, and subversion to git.

Stefan Kaes and I were awarded the prize for "Most Geeky Project" in the 2009 Xing Hackathon for a performance visualization tool (logjam) we wrote to find performance hotspots in ruby on rails applications. Logjam uses RabbitMQ, MongoDB, and ProtoVis. See

Before taking on the management of the major refactoring project for Xing, I helped implement a job recommendation feature, using a combination of full-text search and collaborative filtering, running on a parallel computing grid.

Mirai was looking to relaunch their site and retrain their development team at the same time. We helped them realize their vision in several ways:

  • solidified their Agile practices with real-world experience and specific practices tailored to their way of business,
  • re-engineered their website to incorporate an Agile friendly development framework (Ruby on Rails) and to better integrate their in-house web designers into the development work-flow by incorporating XSLT rendering, which leveraged the designers' existing skills,
  • created Rails based tools to gather and manage photo and geographic content that made their site more engaging.

We worked on-site in Madrid every third week. While off-site we participated in daily video stand-up meetings, and periodically hosted Mirai staff in France for week-long workshops and development sprints.

At AutoScout24 FolkLogic was part of a large project to migrate and re-implement a custom CRM system in Ruby on Rails. I implemented the reporting system (using Ruby, SQL, Perl, gnuplot and LaTeX), and made major contributions to the commissioning system and the migration of legacy data. The data migration required a lot of creative database spelunking, as we didn't have source code to key parts of the legacy system.

January 2005 to January 2007
Chief Engineer & Director of Technology Development Quiconnect SAS Grenoble, France

Quiconnect was a startup building virtual wireless IP networks for market-leading communications companies. I worked with the CTO to define the technical strategy and led the engineering team, tracked emerging standards and new technologies, and worked closely with the marketing and business development teams. While acting as coach and scrum master, I successfully introduced extreme programming practices and Ruby on Rails to the engineering team. I also managed the development of new products and services from conception to production, including:

  • Interconnect Management Portal: An extensive database-backed web portal used by Quiconnect's customers and Quiconnect's network engineers and marketing staff to manage network interconnection projects, hotspot data, end-customer session info, etc.
  • Hotspot Robot: a tunneling solution that provides remote access to partners' networks, based on OpenVPN and OpenWRT running on Linksys hardware
  • Hotspot Connector: an embeddable library that can do web-based logins at public hotspots, for devices such as Windows Mobile or Symbian phones

October 2001 to January 2005
Senior Staff Engineer, Principal Investigator Sun Labs Europe Grenoble, France

Launched a research program in sensor networks — the "network of things". Recruited an international team which developed architectures, strategies, and business models for Sun the area of wireless programmable transducers (sensors and actuators). Organized a company-wide summit, and influenced several previously disjoint groups to work together. The work we began has since appeared as the SunSpot product line.

January 1994 to September 2001
Research Scientist promoted to Senior Research Scientist Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) Cambridge, MA

Performed and led application-oriented basic research in the areas of social/networked virtual reality and off-the-desktop user interfaces, including tangible interfaces, computer vision, and speech.

Also served as Evangelist, Coordinator of the Gadget Skunkworks, Chair of the Resume Committee, Chair of the Computing and Network Infrastructure Committee, and Advisor to Management. As Evangelist, I gave television interviews, wrote magazine stories and whitepapers, prepared and presented demos at trade shows, appeared on panels at conferences, gave invited talks, participated in standards meetings, and managed strategic partnerships.

Selected projects:

ComBadge - Conceived, designed, and led a team of 4 to build a wireless device with speech recognition as the primary mode of interaction (inspired by the Star Trek ComBadge).

Low-cost 3D Scanner - Co-PI for a team that designed and built a low-cost volumetric scanner, with software that would classify the scanned object and then animate it — we brought clay models to life. I helped design and construct the prototype scanner, did the rendering, and worked with a well-known toy company to develop a product vision.

Self-describing Building Blocks - Co-PI, team of 7. We built 600 lego-like blocks, each with a PIC microcontroller and 16 network connections to other blocks. I worked on protocol and algorithm design, and had a hands-on role in debugging and system integration.

Optimisation Table - We performed a set of experiments in interactive optimization, exploring how best to combine the respective strengths of people and computers in solving hard, real-world optimization problems. We were able to show that users can identify promising areas of the search space and manage the amount of computation effort expended on different subproblems.

Design Galleries for Lighting - Business development of a tool for lighting design in 3D environments. Starting from a research prototype, I participated in product definition, development, and launch.

Spline and Open Community - Principal Architect and Tech Lead (team of 10-15, US and Japan) Further developed and transfered the technology underlying Diamond Park to advanced development teams in the US and Japan. This involved the design and implementation of networking protocols, audio DSP, and 3D graphics, as well as a number of social and collaborative applications. I also initiated and managed strategic partnerships and standards activities, supervised sub-contractors, etc.

Diamond Park - Key contributor and principal software engineer (team of 8) for this social virtual reality environment. Dave Barry devoted a chapter of Dave Barry in Cyberspace to lampooning this 1995 Comdex exhibit, in which members of Chicago's Second City comedy troupe inhabited a virtual park.

Sept 1988 to December 1993
System Designer Information Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA

I worked on the IBM-funded Andrew project, developing an advanced campus computing platform. Initially I was an architect and developer, and later manager. I supervised 5 full-time staff members and was responsible for the development and releases of the campus-wide Andrew system (for which I received an ITC award). I worked with executive management to spin off an independent consortium to continue Andrew development, and consulted with IBM to transfer the technology to a product group.

1987 to 1988
Faculty Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences Pittsburgh, PA

Taught courses in Computer Science and AI, and supervised student research.

1981 to 1988
Research Assistant Computer Science Department, CMU Pittsburgh, PA

Part of the Mach group, Ed Smith and I invented remote method invocation (RMI) and built a windowing system and user interface toolkit based on distributed objects. I also wrote and maintained a popular email client, the first to provide rule-based filtering.

Other jobs

Other experience


Carnegie Mellon University Master of Science in Computer Science Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Brigham Young University Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science (double major) Provo, Utah, USA
Macalester College Undergraduate Research Fellow in Operations Research St Paul, Minnesota


2 book chapters, 10 patents, various journal and conference papers (SIGGRAPH, AAAI, OOPSLA, etc.)


English: mother tongue, French: fluent, notions of Spanish and German
Systems Architecture
agile development, scrum, extreme programming, multi-tier web applications, real-time and embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, hardware/software co-design, machine learning, speech, vision, 3D graphics, streaming media, user interfaces
Web Development
Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Ajax, Apache, CSS, Cucumber, DB2, jQuery, MongoDB, MySQL, Nginx, Passenger, PHP, PostgreSQL, Prototype, RabbitMQ, Redis, Rspec, Selenium, XQuery, XSLT, ...
Ruby, Javascript, C/C++, Lisp/Scheme, Python, assembler, PHP, microcode, ...
Operating Systems
Linux, MacOS and OS X, UNIX (Solaris, IRIX, HPUX, AIX), BSD, Windows, Mach, RTMach, DOS, proprietary