Software Development

How Philly’s Ruby dev community helped this developer land a job at Twitter

Like other local developer communities, Philadelphia's Ruby on Rails scene is a thriving subculture within the Philly tech scene. Here's some of the latest news from the crew.

PromptWorks cofounder Greg Sterndale (far left), and team members Dave Mox and Justin Campbell in their Rittenhouse Square office.

Like other local developer communities, Philadelphia’s Ruby on Rails scene is a thriving subculture within the Philly tech scene. Companies spin out of Philly.rb, Philadelphia’s Ruby on Rails user group. Ruby developers refer fellow developers for work. Dev firms descend on Philly.rb to recruit staffers.

Here’s some of the latest news from the crew:

  • Adam Duke, cofounder of push notification delivery service ZeroPush (and Philly.rb member), is now a software engineer at Twitter and based in its Boston office, he told us. Though its cofounders are no longer in the same city, ZeroPush is still up and running, said cofounder Stefan Natchev, who is based in Philly and does contract work for Comcast. Duke originally hooked up with Twitter though PromptWorks cofounder Greg Sterndale, whom Twitter contacted when it was looking for a developer. Sterndale used to live in Boston and has roots in the developer community there. “I was sad to leave Philly,” Duke wrote in an email to us, “but I’m hoping to bring a Philadelphia influence to the @TwitterBoston office and hopefully shine some light on the fact that there is some fantastic talent there.”
  • Philly.rb co-organizer Jearvon Dharrie now works at PromptWorks, a Ruby dev shop that shares an office in Center City with Neomind Labs, a fellow Ruby-focused development company. Dharrie previously did contract work for a large local tech firm.
  • PromptWorks is a one-year-old firm whose founders – Jason Garber, Mike Nicholaides and Greg Sterndale – met through Philly.rb. They all did work for Mashion, a software consulting firm founded by former Philly.rb organizer Mat Shaffer and Trotter Cashion. Shaffer left Philly to join Netflix in early 2013 (he’s now their manager of Crisis Response Engineering). Another fun fact: Garber and Nicholaides are both former Indy Hall members.
  • Another PromptWorks employee is an ElectNext alum: Mike Toppa. Toppa was part of ElectNext’s small Philadelphia presence (ElectNext is now called Versa and has offices in San Francisco and New York City) but left when the the startup pivoted. One reason, he said, is because he and his family will be moving to Japan for the second half of the 2014 and he wanted a job that would allow him to work “very remotely,” as he put it.
  • Philly.rb co-organizer and Comcast Interactive Media software engineer Trevor Lalish-Menagh is leaving Philadelphia for Seattle. We have his exit interview here.
  • Eric Steele, a local Rails product consultant, has a new book about testing Rails app. Find it here. Meanwhile, PipelineDeals engineer Brandon Hilkert published a book in March called “Build a Ruby Gem.”
  • And don’t forget about thoughtbot, a Ruby-focused web and iOs dev firm that’s opening a Philly-area office.
Companies: Promptworks / thoughtbot / PipelineDeals / Philly.rb / Versa / Neomind Labs
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