Full Stack Dev, DevOps & Classic SysAdmin, Startups and bugs

Do you have any of these goals?

  • Grow your Technology Team by hiring/outsourcing to solid, reliable and smart people

  • Make the right Technology Decisions today that don’t get tossed tomorrow

  • Create a new Technology Product or Service

  • Build a digital prototype to test and iterate

  • Use or expand your company into the cloud

  • Grow your existing product or service into new markets, recurring revenue or new ideas

Do you have any of these problems?

  • Are you unclear on what a previous consultant did?

  • Do you need ad-hoc work without commitment?

  • Not sure what kind of specialist you need because you aren’t sure what the problem is?

  • Looking for someone that understands LTV, ARPU, ARPDAU, Retention, Game & Business loops.

Hi, I’m Jeff Horton - Personal blog over here, LinkedIn

I’m excited about Tech, Startups & Business. I like to run into the fire and help with old code, squashing bugs, building prototypes and growing startups.

Contact me using email or the form below to discuss your project or problem, I bet I can help. I’ve got experience with sales, marketing, management, software development, servers and product development in fields from Retail Sales, Recruiting, Social Games, SaaS and Security.

Email today -> makecontact@rockieweb.com

  • Leadership & Management - Department Manager, CTO, Lead Dev, Owner, Founder

  • Product Development - Retail shop, Internal Apps to improve process and data, New Features, Extensions of existing, Whole Startups from napkin on up

  • Software Development - Many years of working on Web, Server, Desktop developments in Perl, PHP, CodeIgniter, Javascript, Nodejs, Angular, Jquery, Play, Ruby On Rails, C++, QT

  • DevOps/SysAdmin - Built, Configured & Admin of Desktop Computers, Servers, Networks, Racks, Co-Location, Cloud, AWS, Azure, Puppet, Chef, Linux, Windows


  • On call Bug fixing in PHP, Rails, Javascript applications and sites

  • Extending CMS systems like Typo3, WordPress, Drupal to add new features or integrations

  • Protyping Startups, FrontEnd and BackEnd, in PHP, Rails, Javascript, NodeJS, CSS, Bootstrap, JQuery, Angular

  • Performance troubleshooting and tuning of PHP, Perl and MySQL databases to improve speed and reliability

Looking for more information about my work? Here are longer form descriptions of many of the projects I’ve been involved with.

Let me know if you have any questions,

AIGD - What do you do when you have created a huge content library and want to license it for global company access? You need a global account system. Every CMS has the concept of accounts out of the box but licensing requires more. The opportunity available required superseding existing package levels in a new super package that would be tied to a single company and its networks. To achieve this we extended the Typo3 Content Management System to add a new user type, additional checks and controls in the content view controls, new customer self management interfaces, customer managed IP range controls and concurrent viewing limits. The new packages enabled were 3-10 times more expensive than had been previously available and solidified the site as a thought leader.

BR - When BR needed to quickly build a prototype proof of concept they turned to an existing open source app and were looking extend it to add their new data and interpretation. The existing app was a multi-tier NodeJS and Angular1 app which meant it was simple to use the available Angular1 services styles to retrieve new data and create a display with it. The new data had been processed and inserted into a new MySQL installation. By Creating a new standalone NodeJS express server that returned JSON from the MySQL the result was quick to iterate and integrate to display the new risk calculation system needed for the early proof of concept.

CS - Quickly prototyping and testing startup ideas is essential. This project started with a rough idea, knowledge that some API’s were available and a few pages of design. Using PHP, the CodeIgniter framework along with Bootstrap CSS stylings it was simple to build the base accounts, database layer and deployment system. With those in place the rest of the project was high speed iteration and experimentation to develop an operational system integrated with multiple external API’s including Stripe, WooCommerce, Shopify & Indiegogo.

FR - Distribution is everything for many startups. Already doing well with standalone pages and Facebook integration this project looked to expand the reach further. The project resulted in creating self contained PHP plugins for both Wordpress and Drupal to make embedding easier and more manageable for potential customers.

IA - Sometimes you need to keep an app running while you work on your business. IA has a successful business running on an aging platform. While working towards a complete rewrite the order of the day is quick fixes, ad hoc support and troubleshooting of a heavily customised Ruby on Rails app and search system.

NF - Is this even possible? When you are building something new in a startup it’s rarely obvious how to solve it. Existing scripts, apis or tools may not be available or appropriate. This project required investigating & understanding the loading,setup & operations of cloud instances to discover opportunities to automate the injection of resource tracking and monitoring tooling. Requiring secured user credentials, integration with early API versions and plenty of target discovery. Ultimately a solution integrating PHP, custom BASH scripts and an in house monitoring server were developed to get a prototype up.

L4 - Reselling a third party service can make business much simpler. But the tools the service makes available tools don’t always answer the business questions you have. In this project an available API has been covered over with a easy to modify PHP script that queries on schedule and converts data before inserting into a local MSSQL database for further custom querying.

LM - The original client in this project went through a complete strategize, plan and very complete design document. Hired here to create an Angular1 application against a developing backend API and build the experience exactingly defined in an extensive design and styling document.

OMI - It’s easy to get caught up in the ease of cloud computing but sometimes you aren’t sure where you ended up. This project inventoried a cloud infrastructure, identified needed applications and configurations to develop a Puppet managed configuration and deployment to ensure reliability and consistency in the period leading up to a huge fixed date deploy involving live TV voting.

PA - How do you demonstrate an advanced 3D surround sound technology when the best demo you have is a violent first person shooter video game? A standalone demo system was needed that could provide easy to understand visual and auditory experience. Using the QT5 framework to create a Windows Desktop application the OpenAL sound framework and Windows audio configuration were integrated in a single easy to use experience. With multiple positional audio examples and simultaneous on screen 3D visualisation it became easy to illustrate the power of the new headphones.

MM - When you are building a startup it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things you need to add and integrate. Multiple beach-head style projects were undertaken to provide nearly complete and ready to integrate code pre connected to external API’s and tools. This left the technical founder able to quickly add new features as he got to them without needing a long discovery and build time.

TK - A proposal, could a modern web recorder to test converter be written. This was the challenge. The result ended up far beyond, having become a consumer style, non technical application for simple recording, editing and running of front-end website testing. Months of design, user testing, front end and back end development, customer demos and early trials culminated in a fully operational prototype leveraging javascript, ruby on rails, selenium, docker and multiple external services.

BZ - There are always so many things to do as a Technical Manager and rarely enough time to do them. This project required rapid understanding of existing cloud infrastructure and deployment demands to develop CHEF based configuration and deployment systems to ensure reliable and consistent deployments. Over a period of 2 days a week for several weeks the entire system was discovered and delivered for final approvals and use.

CN - Early startups can be a challenge. High turnover, multiple developers each adding their own style and features of the day. CN needed help adding some critical new features during a very hard time. While cleaning and consolidating existing code was required the product was still under active customer feedback and product-market fit development. Week by week the priorities shifted as potential customers and plans rose and fell.

BL - “Can you do all the stuff in between?”. This was my introduction to the BL project. Some early hardware, a bit of branding and a lot of empty space to fill with only a few months runway. Working on the back of an in-house CMS a skeleton structure was formed and extended to connect with new software running custom protocols to connect with the projects new IoT devices on partner cell phone carrier networks. Daily iteration of user interface/servers/device interactions and protocols led to a highly tuned base system. Once proven the diversification opportunities quickly became obvious and a much larger version 2 set of systems/services/apis were created over the following 18 months. For iteration speed and well known resources the primary system was created as a multi-tiered LAMP setup with components that could be easily cached, spread onto multiple servers and replaced as needs developed.

ID - When the hail mary needs fixing it needs to be done quickly and with little ramp time. ID had been working on version 2 code but the developers didn’t understand the problems and hadn’t achieved basic operations much less the performance demanded for an upcoming release. This project was about taking an unknown pile of Perl, finishing basic features, porting it as widely as possible and ensuring that performance demands were met. Without the features or performance the fate of that product line was grim. Deep digging, tuning and understanding of system operations continued over several months to create the needed release.

SC - It’s great when the company grows so much that you need to go beyond ad-hoc systems administration. The role began as a regular internal IT standardisation and modernisation. Centralised Windows servers, backups, roaming profiles and supports were created to enable management and operations of call centre, prepress and creative systems. Once complete the role was expanded to discover automation and process improvement opportunities. After using an off the shelf order management system for many years the limits of using it for custom creative work were well worn. With much discovery and consultation across the call center, prepress and operational departments the first project to create and integrate a new workflow entry system in parallel was started. The project was built as an item aware entry system eventually including a visual library, credit card processing and after the later development of a barcoded order tracking system an instant view into a customer’s order.

HCS - Imagine if you will the year 1996. Almost no one had a computer at home yet. The Sympatico internet brand in Canada was barely a year old. The Java programming language newly introduced for the first time. Now imagine your parents trying to understand what this new internet thing was and how to get you a computer at home to get on it. In many small towns the computer retails were still mostly office supply stores then, a suited fellow just as happy to sell you a desk or a full size copier as this unproven computer stuff. We took that challenge and worked to create a consumer friendly, accessible and understanding retail experience. Studying the retailing material of the day we designed a store experience that would still be comfortable in 2016. Bright, nearly shadow free, light off-white/barely green walls. An open walkable space with face out software boxes and a trial area with benches, stools and several open, internet connected computers. A friendly goldfish sat nearby (with his own email address) to distract small children and the radio played in the background, loud enough for the beat and melody but not the distraction. This store operated for 3 years offering new computers, software, training and service.

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