Topher Hunt

Skype: dts_topher
Cell: 802 236 6073


  • Full-stack Ruby on Rails development experience
  • Thorough, transparent planning process to ensure the product meets user needs
  • Focus on client & end-user needs in addition to technical details
  • Loyalty to my projects & clients, and their long-term success
  • Well-organized, highly maintainable code with minimal "cleverness"


  • Comfortable with full-stack Ruby on Rails development, including:
    • HTML, JS / AJAX / Jquery, CSS
    • Serving a JSON API
    • ActiveRecord & complex RDB schemas
    • Security & authentication best practices
    • Background job processing
    • Testing tools & best practices
    • Going beyond "vanilla" Rails (factoring logic into service objects, etc.)
    • Common Git techniques (branch, merge, rebase, PRs)
    • Deployment with Heroku or Capistrano
    • AWS S3 and EC2 integration
  • Committed to best practices for writing well-factored, easy-to-read, easy-to-maintain, "magic-less" code and keeping it organized in a constantly growing MVC app
  • Strong grasp of relational databases, normalization, advanced SQL, and query optimization
  • Thorough, professional, and proactive communication with colleagues & clients
  • Sharp focus on end-user needs when discussing, planning, and implementing features
  • Err on the side of making excellent use of existing tools, rather than rushing to new ones
  • Currently full-throttle on getting up to speed with Elixir & Phoenix :-)


Freelance Rails developer spring 2014 - present

  • Broadened my experience / skill set and consolidated my programming style by working on projects in a variety of domains, including:
    • Offloading CPU-intensive tasks by spinning off short-lived EC2 instances from a custom AMI
    • Interface & data for a complex data processing pipeline (for ex. administering developmental assessments, scoring & analysis, generating and delivering reports)
    • Generating PDFs with complex styling & layouts
    • Scraping any website and storing newly found content in a database
    • Machine learning ( training, querying, and evaluating accuracy
    • Dynamically generated custom charts using D3.js and AJAX
    • Taking incremental snapshots of a webpage, detecting changes (PhantomJS, ResembleJS)
    • Time tracking, project & client management, and invoicing

Volunteer, Hack 4 Western Mass spring 2015

  • Met with other project organizers to evaluate candidates, discuss potential challenges, and coordinate logistics
  • Met with client organizations to determine their needs, a suitable Hackathon challenge, and how best to articulate it

Volunteer, Springpoint Partners spring 2014 - present

  • Met with stakeholders regularly to feel out needs and determine how to approach features
  • Implemented a prototype site, iteratively adding features and meeting with the team to get input

Intern / Junior analyst / IT guy /
Senior web developer, 2010 - 2014

  • Developed Excel VB scripts to generate colorful heatmaps etc. from raw rubric data, allowing dramatically faster research & analysis cycles
  • Maintained & troubleshot on-site computer issues, PHP website code, MySQL databases, and server hosting
  • Planned & developed web interfaces & database structures for taking assessments, managing the coding rubrics, processing student performances into result data, displaying reports, project setup & student management, and client billing & invoice management
  • Learned to value modern web development practices by working on a LAMP stack fully unsuited to the complexity of the app being built on it

Technology helpdesk, Middlebury College 2007-2011

  • Receiving and processing requests using the horrid ticketing system
  • Computer diagnostics, cleaning, and hardware repair
  • New workstation setup and deployment
  • Writing and organizing documentation for use by the entire college; teaching others how to write in the wiki

Volunteer ESL teacher in Nicaragua 2006-2007

  • Lived and worked in a rural Nicaraguan community
  • Taught daily English & computer classes to 40 students from preschool to 6th grade
  • Designed multi-year curricula using research on ESL teaching techniques
  • Hand-hacked ten donated laptops to display interface in Spanish instead of English (this was before Windows supported changing the OS language)
  • Learned some hard lessons about cross-cultural communication, developmental psychology, poverty, and NGO politics