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Paul Kist

Engineering Lead, Music Producer, Non-Profit Guy

Social justice, coding, photography, music composition, non-profit-guy, story-teller, eastern chant, native New Yorker.

Paul Kist is a tech/non-profit/music guy, and world citizen based in Oakland, CA. Paul has habit of getting ideas and organizations off the ground. As a Lead Engineer at Traackr, Paul sits at the crossroads between technology and creativity. He’s also the Co-Founder of Seeds For Hope, an organization that uses education to break the cycle of poverty for youth in East Africa. Paul recently founded the Noon Project because he believes that the arts, especially music, can move the needle when it comes to having positive impact on the world around us. Paul has worn many hats: software engineer, composer/songwriter, filmmaker, photographer, and sound engineer, just to name a few, and you can find him sipping on a Diet 7-up, trying to solve life’s problems with the people that inspire him.

  • Born: 1978
  • Birth sign: Pisces
  • Hometown: Plainview, NY
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, Swahili
  • Coffee: Sightglass Blueboon
  • Listening to: Om Kalthoum
  • Reading: Agile Retrospectives
  • Watching: Better Call Saul

Coding and Hacking

In my earliest memories, I was writing code. My first programs involved printing "Hello", about 1000 times on a blue screen with 8-bit resolution. I'd like to say I've come a long way since then. Professional services and product development are where I've cultivated a set of skills over the last 15 years, working on projects within education, health care, e-commerce, and now social analytics and big data.

Community through the Arts

Whether its making music to serve a purpose, taking photos to tell a story, teaching a skill to empower, the arts a powerful tool to help build and sometimes heal a community. As a photographer, composer, and songwriter, I've used these skills in conjuction with community building, self expression, and spirituality and I've traveled far and wide to do so.

Advocate for Social Justice

Bringing it all together for a common goal. Since fate would have me temporarily relocate to Nairobi Kenya in 2006, I've spent almost 10 years supporting efforts that involve sustainable development via education. I believe technology and the arts can be used to find creative solutions to some of the issues facing people, on a local or larger scale. I continue to use these skills to suppport and enable projects, organizations, and movements, to accomplish their goals.

My Work

My Skills

Tech Skills

95

JavaScript

Vuejs, ES6, AngularJS, D3js, jQuery

95

PHP

PHP 7, CakePHP 2.0, Wordpress, PHPResque, Joomla, Symfony

85%

Node.js

Yarn, NPM, Express4, Async, Mongoose, MEAN/MEVN, Gulp/Grunt, Webpack, Vue-Cli, Mocha/Karma

75

MongoDB

MongoDB 3.6, Aggregation Framework, Query Optimization

65

HTML5 / CSS

HTML 5.0, Bootstrap, SymbolSet, FontAwesome, SASS, Foundation

50

Java

Java 6, Maven, Spring 3.0, Akka, Tomcat, Hibernate 3

Systems & Devops:

Amazon AWS, EC2 Ubuntu 12.4, Heroku, BlueHost, Jenkins / Hudson, Vagrant

Monitoring / Analysis

StatsD, Munin, PagerDuty, Monitis, Google Analytics

Collab & Productivity

Git, GitHub, BitBucket, SVN, JIRA, Confluence, Unfuddle, Trac

Creative Skills



Music Production

MIDI, Digital Performer 8, MOTU MachFive 2, Ethno Instrument 3

Photography

Adobe Photoshop CC 2014, Lightroom 3

Video Production

Final Cut Pro, Magic Bullet Looks, iMovie

Want to know more?

Contact Me  

My Resume

  • Present
  • Traackr

    Lead Applications Engineer
    San Francisco, CA
    MAR 2010 to Present

    Lead Applications Engineer at Traackr, building the company's SaaS Influencer Marketing Product for the Enterprise. Leading a Team of Engineers who are responsible for the development and maintenance of customer facing apps. Stack: CakePHP, MySQL, Redis and JQuery, VueJS, NodeJS, MongoDB. Committed to ongoing strategic planning around the implementation of business initiatives by engaging in close collaboration with other engineers among the various teams, as well as with VPs of Engineering, and the Heads of Product and Data. Responsible for delivery on bi-weekly sprints, feature design, technical architecture, and development, as well as ongoing support and maintenance.

    • 2015-2018 Engineering Lead, Growing and organizing the team of engineers responsible for building Traackr's customer facing applications. Optimized the team based on function and skillset, creating areas of ownership and facilitating best practices for better technical implementation and team collaboration.
    • Designed and Developed, in partnership with Head of Product and VP of Engineering, a repeatable process for large cross-team project delivery that encompasses: clear roles and areas of ownership, activities, deliverables, and interdependencies. The Engineering Teams have delivered 4 large scale projects using this method this year alone.
    • Implementing quarterly and semi-annual goal setting for members of my team. Responsible for performance reviews and feedback.
    • Helped double the team size through strategic hires, increasing the team UX Engineering capacity. UX Engineering group has coverted half the front-end code base from jQuery to VueJS without disrupting the customer experience.
    • Created a process that allows for the frequent prioritization and execution of large technical debt projects where the capacity for completing them is very slim. As a result the team continues to meet its commitments around technical debt work that would otherwise not be able to be completed using the regular SCRUM process
    • Completed SCRUM Master Certification Training in Feburary 2015. Collaborated in implementing a SCRUM process within Traackr Engineering.
    • 2013-2015 Apps Team Individual Contributor, transitioned from the backend/platform team to a the team developing customer-facing applications, including the company's main SaaS product.
    • Designed and implemented framework for the management of communities and collections of people-data-sets. Allowing the application to scale from allowing users to manage 100s of entities to several thousand, with an emphasis on API integration, caching strategy using Redis, with milisecond response times.
    • Architect and primary contributor of "Notify", Traackr's internal app-to-user notification service. The system collects and aggregates application data, into responsive and visually rich HTML emails, delivering a daily email digests to over 1500 users. Notify was a response to a business need to push relevant information to end users to increase stickiness of our app. Notify was designed to be application independent, abstracting the notion of app-user notifications, so any number of applications can integrate to easily notification features, without the need to fully bake this functionality in every respective app.
    • 2010-2013 Backend/Platform Team Individual Contributor, hired as the 2nd Engineer at Traackr, and member of the company's founding team in 2010.
    • Designed and developed the Influencer Relationship and Network Analysis feature set. Architected and implemented within two months. Mechanism involves the analysis of 500,000 entries of social data daily to discover key relationships of each person in our database. Architected and implemented both the display of relationship data, as well as the interactive force-directeg graph on the customer app, using D3js. This Network Analaysis engine is still being used today.
    • Designed a system of daily content and metrics updates across our entire database of relevant people. Scaled the acquisition of data, from 50k profiles over every two weeks, to 100k user daily.
    • Created Traackr’s practice for geo-located based searches. Created strategy for the normalization of > 150,000 freeform location entries, into ISO codes for every UN and ISO recognized continent, region, country, province, and county in the world. Designed geo-based model to allow for multi-lingual support for international locations.
    • Lead and implemented key vendor partnership for the acquisition of realtime social data. Implemented an Akka-based client, to handle the processing of realtime Twitter data via GNIP, at a rate up to 100 messages/sec.
    • First employee to move from Boston to SF and was a key figure in the seeding and growing our new headquarters in San Francisco in both logistics and cultural development;
    • Supervised university intern, and guided him in the transition of his NodeJS prototype into a production ready application. Taught him the disciplines of test-driven development, and helped guide the transformation to a more optimized implementation.
    • Internal team evangelist on various platforms and toolsets. Lead a presentation and effort to introduce GIT rather than SVN to improve our development, and collaboration.

  • The Noon Project

    Founder
    http://noonproject.org
    July 2015 to PRESENT

    The Noon Project is a musical collaboration of global artists working together to raise support for victims of ethnic and religious oppression in the Middle East.

    • Assembled a team of volunteers from around the USA to be administrators of the project
    • Recruited artists leading to the development of 7 songs for the record.
    • Organized two concerts, one in well-known music venues in San Francisco and New York City, to promote the project with new audiences, and raise seed money to be used for the production of the record. Both resulting in sold-out shows.
    • Used the SCRUM Methodology to accomplish first phase of our project which resulted in the building of a brand identity, the execution of two major events, and establishing a partnership, with another organization who will receive the profits of the Noon Project album.

  • Seeds For Hope

    Co-Founder / Board Secretary
    SEP 2004 to PRESENT

    Co-Founder and Board Member, responsible for USA fundraising initiatives and outreach, with almost yearly trips to Kenya to document and help implement certain programs and initiatives.

    • Designed and developed the organization’s website, www.seedsforhope.org. Implemented a Search Engine Optimization strategy for increased web search results.
    • Developed SFH’s social networking presence on the web.
    • Cooridinated The Music for Life Project in 2009, which connected a musician from NYC, with a girls school in Kibera which resulted in the establishment of a Glee / Performance club that still functions today
    • Volunteers on the ground in East Africa at least once a year. Responsible for the media portion of an upcoming campaign around raising awareness on the plight of students in Kenya.
    • Initiated partnership with a grass roots secondary school in one of the slums of Kenya, to further our goals as an organization to provide education to those otherwise unable to afford it.

  • Optaros

    Technical Lead Consultant
    MAY 2006 to MAR 2010

    Technical Lead at an international solutions firm. Experience leading content management, publishing, and e-commerce solutions using a combination of open source and commercial components, with an emphasis on client relationships, and team building

    • Technical Lead on a project with the MCCA (Mass. Convention Center Authority), managing the successful delivery of a multi-tiered J2EE event management system powered by Spring and Hibernate, with GWT front-end, that runs daily operations for key departments, as well as customer online ordering.
    • Own the planning and schedule of over 100 new features into 12 major releases over the course of one year, including requirements gathering, scope-management, development, UAT, and deployment to production.
    • Manage team of 2-3 developers through twelve cycles of major-feature releases, operating within an agile-flavored methodology
    • Concurrently manage a small team of remote developers doing production support.
    • Work closely with client IT management and support teams in risk mitigation and future planning.
    • Application received RedHat Innovation Award in 2009
    • Engage team-members in code-reviews and knowledge sharing activities, as well as cross-discipline communication with client developers and staff.
    • Work closely with key business users to manage scope, develop prioritization of requirements, and develop new ideas for future work.

  • Hope Center for HIV and Infectious Disease

    Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
    Contractor - Lead Architect
    FEB 2006 to MAY 2006

    Responded to a need to provide improved data management and data entry for a growing HIV clinic funded by PEPFAR, and co-managed by the University of Washington and the Coptic Orthodox Church. Integrated their then-current system of handwritten data entry and Teleform scanning with a next-generation web application built on PHP Symfony. Created the application to scale to new users, and new locations according the business rules for adding new patients and linking information between centers. Trained employees in QA for testing and UAT.

  • Agile Partners

    Whitehouse Station, NJ
    Senior Consultant
    Aug 2006 to July 2005

    Senior technologist at Merck Inc. working primarily for their world marketing and technology division. Designed and developed module within a user management web application to bulk load / extract users profile information between LDAP and Microsoft Excel. Designed and implemented an integration system for the automatic loading clinical trials metrics from a remote data store into the main application’s database ensuring daily updates to the website; coordinated the efforts between the various divisions involved. Built key areas of functionality on a clinical trials web application using the Apache Cocoon / Avalon framework.

  • Viant Corp.

    New York, NY
    Developer / Consultant
    Aug 2000 to June 2002

    Develop and design back-end components to web solutions, with a strong commitment to quality, speed, and flexibility. Work cooperatively with other developers, and integrate effectively with teams in creative and strategy oriented disciplines, by means of support, sharing, and learning. Developed a Java API interface with Experian to communicate a Struts application. Developed and Implemented the front and back end components used to make major functional areas of a client’s site available/unavailable to the public. Developed key functionality for Viant’s knowledge management system, including a customizable personal page, and paginated list view for digital assets using advanced Intraspect template development techniques. Coordinated a load testing effort, analyzed application server logs, revealed problems in code architecture, and produced detailed reports for upper management for a top Global Investment firm. Supported an effort to lead a major media and entertainment player in the decision to purchase ATG Dynamo, a solution that would benefit their particular needs. Achieved an ‘Exceeds Expectations’ at annual growth review.

  • Education
  • Master of Arts in Music Composition

    New York University

    Degree progress currently on hold

    2002 - 2005
  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

    New York University
    College of Arts and Sciences

    College of Arts and Sciences Trustees Scholar

    1996 - 2000

Get in touch

Oakland, CA
San Francisco Bay Area

You might also find me in:
New York, NY
Nairobi, Kenya

Drop me a Line