Boston design, web, and mobile development studio
We've been working here for more than 10 years! Time flies when you're writing time-dependent software tests. Find us at the Boston Ruby Group or Refresh Boston, eating burritos from Boloco in the Common, rooting for Northeastern (go Huskies!) and WPI (go Goats!), or heading to the beaches in Little Rhody or up in Maine.
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Meet the Boston team
Giles Van Gruisen
Giles is an iOS developer with a passion for art, travel, good design, cold brew coffee, and quality software. Originally from The Ocean State, he has a penchant for sailing and frozen lemonade. When he's not writing code or pushing pixels, you can find him making bad puns, reading dystopian novels, exploring someplace new, or trying to understand how anyone has the coordination to shoot a basketball into a hoop from 20 feet away.
Developer and COO
Matt works with our internal management teams and other leadership to ensure the company's overall success. He serves as an advisor to our clients and as an official liaison to relevant industry groups. Prior to joining thoughtbot Matt was the CTO of a publishing technology startup. He has decades of experience as an Internet wrangling generalist, and holds a B.S. in Technical Communication from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
German came to programming from a background in economics. Not the most direct route one could choose, but when he found Ruby, he realized programming was the way to go. He has since discovered how much he enjoys pair programming, practicing test-driven development, and generally thinking about good software design. More recently he has been stepping into the functional world with Elixir and Elm. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family and helping out at his local church.
Thom studied tv/film production at DeSales University before spending nearly a decade working as a freelance editor in Los Angeles. Deciding to get a jump start on the singularity, he joined thoughtbot in 2014; and outside of the office is a podcaster, nerdy comic gamer guy & opinionated consumer with a penchant for dorky fitness involved in a dark and twisted love/hate relationship with geek-culture and run-on sentences.
Raised in England, on the edge of Surrey and Greater London, Matt received his MPhys from Durham University before moving to the US in 2010. Working in tech support, he taught himself Ruby and Rails and is thoughtbot's first hire of an Upcase subscriber. Matt is an avid gamer, either board or virtual varieties, and an appreciator of tea and craft beers.
Developer and CEO
Chad Pytel leads the day-to-day operations of thoughtbot, including hiring and growth, and is responsible for overall strategy for the company. He has over 20 years of experience in software development and services, and has co-authored two books: Rails AntiPatterns and Pro ActiveRecord for Ruby. Chad holds bachelor of science degrees in both Computer Science and Humanities & Arts (Drama/Theatre) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Melissa began her programming career building games in Scheme. Since then, she's done work in Natural Language Processing (before that whole Siri thing!), performance monitoring, and web development in too many languages and frameworks. Besides her day job, you'll find her singing baritone in Harborlight Show Chorus, kayaking in the Charles, and running various Ruby/Rails events in Boston.
Organizational by nature, Maiara brings her passion for all things event planning, office design, and culture building to thoughtbot after several years in the audio and video tech industries. A native of Brazil, she deals with the long Boston winters by snowboarding on weekends and trying out every sushi restaurant she can find. Hobbies include impromptu hikes, writing orchestral arrangements that no one will ever hear, and serving as an interpreter for the local ASL community.
Ian is a Pennsylvania native and a SUNY Fredonia graduate (BS in Computer Science and Sound Recording Technology). He enjoys clear code, playing music, homebrewing, learning, teaching, and guessing how to pronounce Boston suburbs. He is not the Ian from Jethro Tull, but he's not offended if you put him in the same category.
Originally from South Carolina, Stephanie moved to Boston to pursue a career in web development. Since joining the coding community, she has worked on Rails, Phoenix, and Ember applications. In her spare time, she can be found volunteering with Girl Develop It or exploring the White Mountains.
Blake enjoys Ruby, Rails, Vim, and TDD. He began programming at a young age and used a variety of languages until falling in love with Ruby and Rails. Since then Blake has focused on building simple, clean, and well-designed applications. When he isn't developing you can find him practicing Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Derek's been writing software for the web for nearly 20 years. In those years he's grown less dogmatic about specific technology and more passionate about the processes that build successful teams and products. You can hear his thoughts on interesting technology problems, exciting new languages and libraries, and industry trends on The Bike Shed. Away from the keyboard, you can find Derek playing with this two boys, riding bikes, or taking recreational sports way too seriously.
Chief Technology Officer
Ali comes to thoughtbot from the Boston based mobile payments startup, LevelUp. She worked there for three years and lead the design team for one. Before LevelUp, Ali attended Northeastern University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Interactive Media. When she’s not moving pixels, Ali enjoys walking, swimming, and eating her way around New England.
Ever since he was a kid, Jon has wanted to write code for people that does interesting things. He is an experienced programmer who loves hard problems and is constantly trying to make his (and your) code better. When not coding, you can often find Jon playing European-style board games.
Cristina is a Boston native with brief stints in New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Interactive media from Northeastern University. Her passion for web design began in the early days of MySpace layouts and she has since traded in glittery .gifs and emo music for clean typography, classic design principles and a desire to help others by way of design. When she's not putzing around on her laptop, you can find her snowboarding, biking, or drinking a tallboy of Narragansett. You can get in touch with her on twitter – @silvacristina_.
Mike is a designer who lives for unique solutions. He has two loves when it comes to work: technology and design. He's been tinkering with computers since the days of Pentium 90s and believes design is a vehicle for a better world. He's a graduate of both the University of Tennessee and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He's fond of the color orange, parenthetical statements, jogging, travel, and his dog. You should follow him.
Human Resources Specialist
Josh leads our Boston web development team. After spending years writing ASP and C#, Josh found solace in Ruby and realized that crying while programming was OK (as long as they were tears of joy). When he's not programming, he enjoys board games, Magic: the Gathering, and playing drums.
Joël is passionate about good architecture, OO, and best practices. He started his career writing PHP before falling in love with Ruby and Coffeescript. When he is not writing code, you can find him buried in a history book or exploring the city of Boston.
Josh is a web and mobile developer and author of Testing Rails. In his spare time he enjoys playing playing volleyball and cooking. Josh graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Computer Science.
Paul loves making applications that are easy, efficient and fun for people to use. In 2006 he started designing websites, and soon after stumbled upon Rails. Since then Paul has been both designing and developing software for non profits and businesses in various industries.
Director of People Operations
Anna brings her experience in administration, human resources, and event planning from the non-profit realm. She enjoys traveling and eating breakfast anytime of the day.
Ryan is a Boston-born and Maine-raised designer and front-end developer. After graduating from Champlain College, he moved back to the Boston area to freelance for various agencies and start-ups focusing on product design. When not designing, he’s either out fishing, hiking, or shooting photos.
Chris is a big fan of Vim and the general Unix philosophy of sharp, focused tools. He started his career as a mechanical engineer but has always had a passion for programming, specifically web development. He has worked in Visual Basic and Python, but since finding Ruby and Rails, there’s been no looking back. Outside of coding, Chris is a fan of dinner with friends, skiing, and an embarrassingly eclectic cross section of music.