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marshally committed Aug 11, 2015
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# Marshall Yount

## Operations / Platform Engineering at Code Climate

> marshall@yountlabs.com
## Summary

I'm a scalability/distributed systems engineer who loves working on large scale, rapidly growing products that touch lives. I build top performing software teams and fine tune agile development processes.

I am currently at _Code Climate_. Our team builds distributed systems that **analyze 700 billion lines of source code** per day.

Before that I helped the #1 mobile _With Friends_ game series scale to **3,000 db writes per second** (100k Rails requests per second) and was the lead engineer at Broadcast.com when it was the biggest audio/video streaming site (and the **17th largest site by DAU**). I'm a co-organizer of the scalability-focused Big Ruby Conference.

In my spare time, I am an amateur chef, lover of costume parties, and a licensed Pyrotechnic Special Effects Operator in the State of Texas.

## Experience

### Operations / Platform Engineering at Code Climate
> July 2014 - Present (1 year 2 months)
Code Climate maintains an automated code review system that analyzes more than 700 billion lines of source code per day. I build new features, keep the servers running, and participate in Code Reviews using GitHub Pull Requests and Slack.

#### Duties

* Built custom instrumentation (`statsd`, `Librato`) and alerting (`PagerDuty`, `NewRelic`) systems based on **hundreds of custom metrics** that give deep insight into the Platform's performance characteristics.
* Automated deployment with `Ansible` to more than a dozen different server types.
* Used `rollout` feature toggles and the `scientist` gem to safely test and deploy behavior-neutral refactorings.
* Delivered *Refactoring Rails* workshop to Garden City Rubyconf 2015. Roles
* Sales Engineer for **Code Climate Enterprise**, a self hosted version built on `Docker`.
* Platform Team Captain for a small remote engineering team that took over an existing code base from busy founder-engineers.

### Owner at Yount Labs
> April 2010 - June 2014 (4 years 3 months)
Yount Labs is my consulting company. I help companies implement and improve agile development processes, scale their server footprints with automated deployment, break monolithic apps up into services, and help align product strategy with technology.

As the owner of my company, I've learned to:

* Be persuasive and sell myself.
* Take (and mitigate) big risks.
* Completely own projects from start to finish (from the fun stuff to taking out the trash).

### Principal Software Engineer at Zynga
> May 2011 - October 2012 (1 year 6 months)
Scalability and Distributed Systems Engineer for *Words with Friends*, the iPhone's most downloaded game of all time. With a small, scrappy team, we averaged more than 1MM happy daily players per server engineer.

* Feature development and day-to-day support of massive `Ruby on Rails` infrastructure. 3rd parties such as appdata.com estimated *With Friends* franchise to support 12.3 million DAU / 29.7 million MAU.
* Lead a project to replace a sharded `MySQL` datastore with `Membase`, while accepting 3,000 database writes per second.
* Created Leadership Skills Training program to help talented individual contributors grow into successful game directors.
* Key contributor to New Product Lifecycle spec, which guided our process for developing "great ideas" into live *With Friends* games.

### Chief Technology Officer at Downtempo
>May 2009 - April 2010 (1 year)
As head technologist, I helped Downtempo grow from a product/design focused boutique consulting firm into a company that could deliver fully functional web applications.

* Broke down large projects into detailed plans.
* Remotely managed a diverse group of freelancers.
* Client/expectation management.

### Lead Developer at Digital Drilling Data Systems
> November 2006 - April 2009 (2 years 6 months)
At DDDS, I built a web application designed to work side-by-side with their existing desktop client directional drilling software. As the **only developer, sysadmin, and operations engineer**, I did everything required to get the site up including:

* Writing and testing the code.
* Purchasing servers and negotiating
with the colocation facility.
* Racking the servers in the data center, down to plugging in their power and
network cables.
* New feature development, maintenance, 24x7 on-call support.

### Engineering Manager at Yahoo! Inc
> September 2005 - November 2006 (1 year 3 months)
I returned to Yahoo in 2005 to manage a team of 10 engineers and designers creating the Universal Media Player 2.0, a streaming player platform enabling Yahoo! business units to easily deploy video assets. **First ScrumMaster** in Yahoo's Dallas office.

### Software Architect at Cost Effective Marketing
> September 2004 - September 2005 (1 year 1 month)
Bootstrapped direct mail startup sending customized automotive maintenance reminders.

### Vice President of Software Development at Hanson Robotics
> February 2004 - September 2004 (8 months)
*Hanson Robotics* builds lifelike androids that blur the lines between human and robot. I was one of the first five team members. We built prototypes, wrote grant proposals, created business models, and presented to clients.

### Technology Analyst at Hunt Financial Ventures
> March 2003 - February 2004 (1 year)
Technology lead for a multi-strategy family of hedge funds which managed over $1 billion in client assets. Set annual technology goals and negotiated budgets with upper management.

### Analyst Intern at Crestmont Holdings
> June 2002 - August 2002 (3 months)
Research Analyst Intern for a Fund of Funds. I analyzed historical Hedge Fund performance and submitted reports to inform portfolio decisions.

### Senior Engineer/Architect at Yahoo! Broadcast
> September 1999 - August 2001 (2 years)
##### Project lead for ripping/transcoding systems for _Request Radio_.

_Request Radio_ was an ambitious Yahoo! Music skunkworks project to create personalized streaming media music stations based on a library of every CD ever recorded.

* **Robotically control 200 disc CD ripper stations**.
* Annotated tracks with metadata with **barcode scanners**, matching UPC codes to the CDDB entries of tracks while they were being transcoded.
* Convert raw `.WAV` files into a variety of different streaming formats.

Even though the Request Radio project was shelved, the CD ripping software that we created **encoded hundreds of thousands of songs** for _Yahoo! Launchcast_'s music library.

##### Project lead for **integrating Yahoo’s Unix systems and broadcast.com Windows systems** post-acquisition.


### Team Lead at Broadcast.com
> February 1997 - September 1999 (2 years 8 months)
> (Broadcast.com was acquired by Yahoo! in September 1999)
Lead software developer for the 17th largest website on the internet (and the largest consumer of streaming bandwidth). With less than ten software developers on the team, I got to work on a little bit of everything.

##### Favorite projects:

* Pay Per View streaming server
* In-memory key value store (C++)
* Reporting systems/analytics

## Outside of Work Projects

### Big Ruby Conference, co-organizer
> February 2013 to February 2014
Big Ruby is a conference focused on the use of Ruby in large organizations, infrastructures, userbases, and teams. If your Ruby runs hundreds of servers, handles millions of users, and you count each and every millisecond, this is the conference for you.

2013's videos received over 65K views on YouTube. In 2014 we had attendees from all over the world.

### Pyro Team Lead, Myschievia 2014
> October 2014 to Present
The Pyro Team is responsible for the fiery destruction of the War Machine, a 24'x16'x15' wooden sculpture of a tank.

* Designed ten minute fireworks show, consisting of more than 50 pyrotechnic effects, using `Camtasia` screencasting software.
* Exported `Camtasia` XML project file and converted to a time-coded spreadsheet. Spreadsheet reduced to onsite assembly plans.
* Trained ten volunteer staff members to safely handle and assemble pyrotechnic explosive devices.

### Pyrosynthesis, Myschievia Effigy Lead
> April 2009 to October 2009
Pyrosynthesis was a 20 foot tall burnable art piece that acted as the central effigy for Myschievia 2009, the North Texas Burning Man regional event. As the leader of this project, my awesome team's accomplishments:

* Build a twelve foot tall wooden flower pot
* Coordinated the efforts of more than 30 volunteer artists to construct unique, individual flower heads
* Mounted each flower head to 16 foot "stalks", and assembled them into a flower arrangement
* Filled the structure with pyrotechnic effects
* Burned it to the ground

### The Ball of Light, Multimedia Software Lead
> February 2012 to August 2012
The Ball of Light was an art project featured in the center of the 9 o'clock keyhole intersection during Burning Man 2012.

The Ball of Light is a 12 ft. diameter sphere composed of three interlocking aluminum rings, with **computer controlled DJ lights** mounted on the vertices. An **XBox Kinect controller** is mounted near eye level to allow users to interact with the lights, and a microphone mounted to the sculpture runs sound activated scripts. I created a set of **composable modular open source projects** that form the basis of the Ball of Light's interactivity.

1. `kinectable_pipe` - C++ is the primary language for controlling the MS Kinect on a Unix OS. In order to make Kinect outputs available to scripting languages, I wrote a small C++ project
that reads data from the Kinect and writes it to `STDOUT` as a series of JSON blobs.
2. `open_lighting_rb` - The Ball of Light's lights are controlled using the DMX format. Because Ruby does not have a currently maintained `DMX` library, I wrote a small gem that wraps the Open Lighting Architecture project and exposes a DSL.
3. `the_ball_of_light` - this project contains the "business logic" that controls how the lights respond to input from either the Kinect or the microphone.
4. `homebrew-alt` - all of the component software is packaged in a `homebrew tap` repo.

### Dallas Ruby Brigade, Member
> November 2007 to Present
I've given several presentations to the Dallas Ruby Brigade including:

* _Microformats_ - April, 2010
* _Ruby on Rails Performance Tricks and Treats_ - August 2010
* _The Ball of Light_ - December 2012
* _Deploying Rails with Docker_ - April 2014

### Grrwl
> April 2013 to May 2013
On-demand information to *any* mobile phone. Grrwl allows anyone in South Africa to retrieve information for free by giving a "missed call" to a specific phone number, and receiving an SMS with the requested information.

Grrwl can provide information services such as breaking news, transport schedules, sports scores, etc. Sending requested information over SMS means that we can reach 100% of the mobile phones in South Africa, as oppose to requiring a data-enabled phone. In future, we can provision "Grrwl lines" for brands and agencies, and create platforms for surveys and quizzes. By using the phone number as a user ID, we can build up user profiles from usage, and target advertising accordingly, and by avoiding spam / unsolicited messages, we can build user trust in a low-trust environment. A proof-of-concept has been built using Twilio and Heroku, and we're currently validating the business model.

Update: Grrwl has been sold.

## Certifications

#### Certified Scrum Master

> Scrum Alliance December 2009
#### Pyrotechnic Special Effects Operator
> State of Texas April 2014
## Education

#### Southern Methodist University - Cox School of Business
> MBA, Finance, 2001 - 2003
#### Southern Methodist University
> B.A., Computer Science, 1992 - 1996
## Interests
cooking, camping, gadgets, and fancy dress parties, fireworks

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