Topher Hunt

My story

I grew up on a farmhouse in rural Vermont. It’s a beautiful place. I’m more at home near forests and hills than in a city.

After high school I spent a gap year in rural Nicaragua, teaching English and computer classes to the local children. During my stay I learned some hard lessons on cross-cultural communication, poverty, waste, and NGO politics. I resolved to find a life path that allows me to help society organize its resources and knowledge more effectively.

Influenced by metatheoretical frameworks like Integral Theory, I’ve come to believe that improving our educational system, and improving our society’s understanding of developmental psychology, are the biggest leverage points for sustainably addressing the myriad crises of the 21st century.

After college I worked with with Lectica, Inc., a nonprofit startup working to build humane, open-ended, formative standardized assessments that are a joy for students to take and that support growth & learning (“virtuous cycles”) in students, teachers, administrators, and developmental researchers. Due to my knack for technology, I quickly fell into the IT role, learned various web development skills, and managed the development of their first interfaces for creating, refining, administering, coding, and analyzing results of Lectical assessments.

After four years with Lectica, I set out as a freelancer to get experience with a broader range of projects and master the Ruby on Rails ecosystem. The full Rails stack is pretty daunting to learn thoroughly, and I’m proud to say that I feel fluent with most of it.

After 6 years as a web developer, I’ve built up some strong preferences and biases:

I’ve recently switched to Elixir & Phoenix as my primary web app framework. While I’m sure that Rails will stay popular for decades to come, I think Phoenix is a better foundation for my future projects.