My name is Nathan Esquenazi and I am a developer who likes building products, participating in startups and the ideals of entrepreneurship. I also have a passion for open source, web development, and executing new ideas. I am 25 as of the time of writing in 2012. Currently living in San Francisco and working as one of the first engineers at Miso.
If you are looking for a more "traditional resume", please download the PDF. The sections below are my personal resume, followed by a longer and more detailed history of my background.
The following is a few highlights from my work history:
In addition, I worked for short periods of time with various other startups doing web and desktop development as well as freelancing on and off occasionally my other jobs.
This is my attempt to honestly evaluate my own skills with various technical areas. The scale is from 1 (complete beginner) to 10 (practical master, knows topic inside and out).
I will be adding to this list and hopefully updating it in an ongoing effort to improve.
A few highlights of projects I have created and/or worked on (in no particular order):
|sinatra-more||Powerful extensions to Sinatra|
|Padrino||Alternative to Rails, elegant Ruby web framework.|
|RABL||Ruby templating for APIs|
|gitdocs||DIY Dropbox for Developers|
|backburner||Reliable and simple ruby job queue|
|sheet_mapper||Simple ORM for google spreadsheets|
|query_reviewer||Powerful DB analyzer. Current maintainer|
|cap-recipes||Battle-tested automated deployment recipe|
|beaneater||Official beanstalkd client for ruby|
|tvdbr||Complete wrapper for accessing the TVDB|
|dante||Simple daemons for ruby|
|terminitor||Automated workflow for OSX|
Feel free to poke around to get a sense for my coding style. I always put a lot of emphasis on documentation and making it easy for developers to get started. I also do my best to do proper unit-testing where appropriate to ensure the correctness of my projects.
Prior to working at Miso in San Francisco, I have had a history of working at early-stage startups. I'd like to include here a richer story of my background in software development for those that are interested.
Note: This story is intentionally detailed. Please see above sections for the more concise summary.
I started programming when I was fairly young. My dad always loved computers and he was showing me Gopher as early as 1993 when I was just 6 years old. When I was 9, My dad bought me Lego Mindstorms and I was soon introduced to VB6 (Visual Basic) and later to C++ by my uncle that was working for Symantec as a developer at that time.
Lego Mindstorms and Visual Basic introduced me to the fundamental concepts of programming but only when I started diving into C++ did I really begin to understand how deep the rabbit hole could go. I also picked up HTML and CSS when I was 11 and began making (bad) websites for various family members around 1998.
In high school, having a background in programming, I decided to enroll in a computer science offered to freshman and was introduced to Pascal, Scheme and later Java. I continued along this path and took every computer science class available at my high school.
My serious interests in development started in 2004, when I started my first company iPodSoft in my 3rd year of high school. I reached out to a few other developers and established a marketplace for selling iPod-related software. With iPodSoft, I developed and sold multiple desktop and mobile softwares before the iPod had any connection to the internet.
My favorite project I created with iPodSoft was called iStory Creator, an interactive storytelling mechanism for the iPod using the "Notes" features. I had discovered that I could 'hack' the iPod Notes application to allow me to create HTML hyperlinks and insert music.
I created a freeware software to allow anyone to leverage this hyperlinking feature and publish interactive stories that could be downloaded onto the iPod. I collected 150+ "iStories" on a variety of topics from many authors that I would make available for download on our website.
Shortly after I graduated high school in 2005, I was contacted by Jordan Allen-Dutton because he wanted to acquire my software and hire me as the principal engineer to work at his startup Talking Panda. He also loved building iPod software and we shared a vision of the future for an iPod filled with interactive experiences and third-party developer-created applications.
With Talking Panda, I built the successor to iStory Creator which we branded iWriter and worked on several other related products. iWriter was intended to be used as an educational and entertainment platform and was experimented with by a few forward-thinking universities including Penn State. Our other educational software such as iRocker became the first third-party iPod software sold in official Apple retail stores.
We also worked together at Talking Panda towards a shared vision of an 'Online Software Store' for the iPod called mogopop. We even spoke to Apple and met with several senior executives demonstrating the power of the iPod with third-party software available online for education and entertainment. Little did we know when they seemed both interested and surprised that not 6 months later, Apple would release the first iPhone and the app store.
While I was a freshman in college at University of California at Irvine, I moved on from my first startup but I was hooked and began independently learning all about desktop, mobile and web development. Executing products was fun and I realized this was what I wanted to invest my time into.
Classes and the academic theory were interesting to me but I couldn't resist my interest in startups. Still, I found at that time a passion for education and curriculum. I became a tutor for several years teaching CS fundamentals to freshman and sophomores. I also enjoyed helping other classmates understand material having myself entered college with 3 years of CS fundamentals and a 5 on the AP test with the guidance of my high school teacher Bob Franz.
While I was in college, I was always working in the industry as well. I did various freelancing jobs, explored multiple stacks and worked for several startups. This included my work with quub where I had the opportunity to collaborate closely with one of my best professors from college, Don Patterson.
In college, I started a company with my good friend Thomas Shafer named Olepta, which was a turnkey scheduling solution for health professionals. We worked on that together for several years while in college, including coordinating with our professors to allow us to get formal school credit for our work and turn our company into our senior class project. We also applied to several business competitions on campus and got awarded prize money we used to fund the operations of our small startup. Had a great time with Olepta and we ended up getting multiple patents several of which were ultimately acquired by Ethicon-Endo.
My senior year (in 2008), I was working with my professor on a startup called 'quub', my own startup we called Olepta and began falling in love with web development and working more seriously with Ruby. I started playing much more seriously with Rails and Sinatra and liking them both quite a bit. Started focusing all of my time into that stack, opting to specialize rather than explore breadth-first as I had been doing. Around this time, I decided to release a few simple projects which sparked my interest in the open-source community.
In 2009, I graduated with a Bachelor's in "Informatics" from University of California at Irvine. I also began working with a classmate Arthur Chiu and started looking even closer at Sinatra, a ruby web micro-framework. We began building tools for Sinatra to make web development easier and more powerful and ultimately I released this open-source in a project called sinatra-more. After a few months, and multiple core contributors later, this quickly evolved into Padrino, the "godfather of Sinatra" which is still being used today by many developers. Our team is still actively developing Padrino and we are working towards a stable 1.0 release.
For the duration of my 4 years as an undergraduate, I was working in startups and contracting with near full-time hours. I worked in desktop development (Java, .NET), mobile development (Blackberry, Symbian, Android) and a ton of web development (ASP.NET, Java, PHP and Ruby). Always focused on building things and learning more about all the many, many things I didn't know.
Today, I am still focused on startups, executing products and full-stack web development. Ruby and Sinatra/Padrino/Rails is my current stack of choice for realizing the implementations of any new ideas I need to validate or experiment with. I am still actively contributing to open-source, most recently with RABL which has been gaining popularity and backburner which is a reliable ruby work queue powered by beanstalkd.
A few links to other miscellaneous resources:
If you have any questions or thoughts, please email me (link in my profile) or tweet at @nesquena.