Well I'm Paul. I'm a Canadian Software Engineer and I have worked at Google for nearly 4 years. I've worked primarily in backend and infrastructure roles at my time on the Nest Backend Services team and most recently Kaggle Datasets. I have been working remotely from Seattle since the beginning of 2019 and love it.
I have a lot of experience from Google working with distributed systems, high load services dealing with 10s of thousands of requests per second and building services on critical user pathways. I have scaled services to millions of users, built test and build infrastructure for automated deployments and established large-scale Kubernetes workflows (deployments, monitoring, logging, etc) across multiple teams at Google. Outside of my backend/infrastructure positions I am passionate about the modern web and product space. I consider myself a builder, as I am always working on a few side projects
. Even though design may not be my strong suit, I put a lot of effort to focus and learn more about UX and design because I know how valuable they are when creating products. I think that modern frameworks like TailwindCSS, Ant Design and other component based libraries have really helped people build better designed interfaces. I think over the past 2 years I've tried just about every CSS framework and modern JS framework, so I know which ones I love, and which ones I'm not as keen on. I am eager to try out new technologies to see how things are different or the same to see if there are improvements I can take from these into my own projects.
I'm a tinkerer. I love building things. I'm always working on a project or two in my spare time. In order of recency, here are some of my latest works.
- A dead simple time tracking app because I thought all million time tracking apps that existed were too complicated. I built this using Typescript, React, NextJS, Firebase, Stripe and Tailwind :).
- Virtual window shopping for independent stores across the internet. This was built using Typescript, Vue.js, NuxtJS, and Firebase.
TikTok Analytics - A system to scrape and store public TikTok data to generate campaign reports for various media companies. This was built using Serverless Functions, Typescript, Puppeteer, PostgreSQL and Google Drive APIs.
- A referral system for content creators and businesses to grow their newsletter audience.
There are a few areas that excite me that I'm certainly going long on:
Serverless Technologies - I'm super excited about the power of more serverless products. Google/Firebase Cloud Functions, Vercel (NextJS) Functions, AWS Lambda. I think there is so much value in these light-weight solutions. Companies can prototype and get their actual product in the hands of users before worrying about the perfect backend stack.
Database as a Service - I personally think the DBaaS space is in an interesting position. There are a few companies I'm particularly excited about that I believe are poised to capture a huge market once they integrate a couple more features. I think they would be a perfect use-case for so many apps and services that do not need a complex backend with business logic. The Firebase Firestore product is a terrific noSQL DB which provides easy subscriptions, but lacks some of the more powerful querying functions. Another nice feature in Firestore is the built in "Security Rules". This enables web and app clients to query and modify the data directly, while ensuring only queries validated through security rules are permitted. Another company I'm excited about is Fauna. Fauna provides a hosted SQL DB, with powerful querying (GraphQL or FQL) support. However, they still lack a complete authentication system to be able to use as a drop-in database for clients to call directly.
Indiehackers / Bootstrapping
- I have been a fan of startups for many years now, having worked at a few for two internships as well. The allure of a bootstrapped company has been increasingly intriguing to me personally. I love the idea of building small, self-sustaining, low-touch products that can earn a passive income. As a creator I get so much fulfillment out of building and testing these projects
which is why I am always working on some idea. Most recently I've been working on Forty, the world's simplest time tracking app, a TikTok Analytics platform, and have been focusing some time writing blog posts about various frontend tech that I have been using and find particularly interesting.
Components / Libraries as a Service - I really see a future in premium libraries and components (React or otherwise) as a service. With new funding sources like Github sponsors and Patreon I think there will be new business opportunities unlocked. If people are able to make a living on building packages for the community, without relying on finding their own funding, I envision a future where many developers leave the corporate world and begin building tools and libraries in this space.
What I value in a team
There are a few things I really value in a team. The first and most important being, low-ego. I want to be apart of a team where everyone is always trying to improve each other, anyone can ask questions without feeling like they are stepping on toes and there's utmost transparency. I like working collaboratively, but with autonomy. I want there to be a forum to discuss, propose, ideate with others, but be left to design and implement within constraints. Lastly, I want to work on products that people love. I want to get excited about releasing new features for a set of die-hard users.