Ryan Walsh

Ryan Walsh

Fractional engineering manager or senior software engineer
Princeton graduate with more than 18 years of leadership roles in software engineering and management.
I’d hire Ryan again in a heartbeat and wish I could hire 100 more of him.

Intro

Are you a Head of Engineering who wishes it were easier to find talented, reliable, experienced senior engineering leaders who are actually affordable?

Do you wish your team could release features quicker?

I’m currently available for up to 20 hours a week as a fractional engineering manager or senior software engineer.

Read the endorsements below, and let me know if you’d like to start a trial project.

Your team will enjoy:

  • More frequent feature releases
  • Cleaner code that is more reliable, reusable, and maintainable
  • An improved culture that values strong writing and clear, asynchronous communication (in project tickets, code reviews, Slack messages, documentation, and more)
  • A renewed focus on what matters for moving the business forward iteratively using the 80/20 rule
Quick skimmable article of my thoughts: Top 10 Mistakes of Engineering Managers

Education

Princeton University
Bachelor of Arts

Praise & Endorsements

  • Ryan was an invaluable addition to our engineering team when there was a great deal of ambiguity with our product goals and implementation.

    Ambiguity is a common reality in many startups, and Ryan was able to jump straight in, orient himself and start positively contributing on day one.

    He quickly became a subject matter expert in multiple areas of the business and codebase.

    Notably, he brought a clarity of thought and of communication that highlighted critical points of friction in our customer payments flows and delivered solutions that measurably increased revenue.

    He has broad expertise across most aspects of running a business, a keen entrepreneurial mindset and all the technical skills to deliver great products.

    At Forte, he was both a leader who could think strategically and communicate effectively and an individual contributor who could deliver to an extremely high standard of quality.

    I wholeheartedly recommend working with him.

  • “Ryan is an excellent individual contributor as well as a technical leader and strategic thinker.

    He's analytical, thorough, curious, intelligent, hard-working, and an excellent communicator.

    He has broad experience in most aspects of building and running a startup, from the growth side to product to the technical implementations.

    He quickly and naturally jumps into difficult and unclear assignments and consistently delivers.

    I know everything he does will have been properly thought through and will be properly researched, architected, implemented, and documented.

    Any team would be lucky to have him as a member and I'd love to work with him again.”

  • “I’d hire Ryan again in a heartbeat and wish I could hire 100 more of him.”

  • “Ryan is one of the bright young leaders of this generation. Extremely skilled, and sees the big picture as well. Thinks about not only the tech but the entire product as a single unit. Highly recommend Ryan...”

  • “Ryan’s entrepreneurial spirit and professional curiosity coupled with his distinctive analytic approach to operational efficiency serve him well both as a leader and collaborator.”

  • “In addition to his deep knowledge of software development, he takes a broad view of his projects within the context of the team’s and company’s goals. Ryan is thoughtful in everything he does and brings constructive suggestions. He’s collaborative and friendly. I’d gladly rehire him.

  • “Ryan is an outstanding individual, engineer, and product owner. Working with Ryan means deep conversations about the intent behind the product experience and commitment to delivering on that promise. Would love to work with Ryan again!

  • “Very much enjoyed working with Ryan. He's an intelligent, questioning, capable engineer. He pushes people whilst also being open to feedback. He's flexible enough to handle multiple domains, but logical enough to push to solutions. Would definitely work with Ryan again.

Technical Expertise

  • Management: of up to 7 engineers from junior to senior skill level using Radical Candor & Principles
  • Front-end: TypeScript, React, Vue, JavaScript, ES6, Next.js, RedwoodJS, jQuery, Webpack, AJAX, HTML5, CSS, SCSS, Apollo, Jest, Jasmine, Mocha, Recoil, Stripe, Google Tag Manager, mobile-first responsive design, Photoshop
  • Back-end: Node.js, NEAR Protocol (blockchain), PHP (Laravel, Eloquent, Zend, etc), Java (Spring), SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, GraphQL, Prisma, Horizon / Redis, Nginx, Apache, Git, Slack, Docker, unit testing, functional testing
  • Etc: Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3, SES, SNS, SQS, Elastic Load Balancer, EC2. GCP. Serverless.

Habits, Lifestyle, Personality

Favorite Books

Professional Experience

Senior Software Engineer
May 2023 – Dec 2023. Remote. Laid off.
  • Building an industry-leading platform for music students to find teachers and take lessons online.
(#20 crypto behind Bitcoin and Ethereum)
Co-manager and Senior Software Engineer
Jan 2022 – Dec 2022. Remote. Crypto crash, laid off.
  • Developing software in support of educational programs that build awareness and increase the number of successful developers launching their apps on our sharded, proof-of-stake public blockchain. Keywords: crypto, cryptocurrency, web3, trustless
Team Lead - Senior Software Engineer
Nov 2020 – May 2021. Remote.
  • Creating an easy-to-use front-end for a cutting-edge platform that enables US energy utility companies to modernize their electric grids to better support electric vehicles, solar and wind resources, and other green technologies.
Rose Technology / Better.com
Team Lead - Senior Software Engineer
June 2020 – Aug 2020. Remote.
  • Building systems to enable the CEO of a $3-billion company (#1-ranked startup on LinkedIn) to identify top employees and efficiently recruit thousands more with those characteristics.
Co-Founder
Oct 2015 – July 2020. Remote.
  • Architected, designed, and developed the payment systems, automations, email services, databases (ensuring uncompromising security and confidentiality of all materials), course portals, internal dashboards, analytics, risk controls, and Facebook ads for a successful online course business.
Senior Software Engineer & Product Manager
May 2012 – Feb 2015. Remote / San Diego.
  • Served as a lead full-stack engineer for the 156th-fastest-growing company in the US, which got acquired by an $11B company (Rakuten).
Software Engineer & UX Engineer
January 2011 – May 2012. Remote / San Diego.
  • Building a white-labeled enterprise dashboard that enabled Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and other cell phone carriers to offer new smartphones with industry-changing 'à la carte' billing technology popular internationally (and required the utmost precision since it controlled users’ charges).
Founder
November 2010 – December 2011. Remote.
  • Architected, designed, and developed powerful alumni networking site featuring discussion forums, local alumni personality matcher, and more.
Founder
July 2010 – December 2011. Remote.
  • Architected, designed, and developed location-aware website that was the largest web-based listing of free items offered for local reuse.
(#1 hedge fund in the world)
Project Manager and other roles
May 2010 – June 2010
  • Managed a team of technologists in construction of large database & reporting system for company-wide metrics.
Princeton University’s official student homepage
Developer and Webmaster
2005 – 2006
  • Engineered and led Princeton University’s official student homepage and primary source of information for undergraduates for two years (Point.Princeton.edu). Also invented Point’s predecessor and helped acquire founding support for it.

Interests

  • new technology (blockchain / cryptocurrencies, life extension, eVTOL, drones, VR/AR, AI, deep learning, biotech, nanotech, 3D printing, space exploration, etc)
  • entrepreneurship
  • positive psychology
  • mindbody interaction
  • user experience
  • cryptography
  • basketball
  • surfing
  • soccer

What is “fractional” work?

Fractionals are typically paid on a monthly retainer, meaning $X,000 per month, for a set commitment of hours.

This is important because fractionals are an embedded resource on the team. 

This isn’t meant to be a one-off project with a fixed cost (which also differentiates fractionals from freelancers).

Fractional work is designed to be a medium-to-long-term relationship.

The term “fractional” implies someone who is an expert in their field.

It’s often someone who has leadership and management experience.

There are fractional experts in every field you can name. Marketing, Design, Sales, Engineering, Product, Finance, Operations, People, Data, etc.

Most fractionals are 10+ years into their career. They’ve honed their craft as full-time employees, and are now able to drop into a company to add expert value quickly. 

This value comes in the form of providing strategic guidance, doing hands-on work, managing a department (including full-time employees), hiring and firing, and more.

If this sounds like the description of a senior-level full-time employee, that’s the point. The only difference is the work is done fractionally, i.e. less hours per week for less pay.

Companies therefore get the benefit of an expert in their field without having to pay full-price for it. 

The ideal output of every job is simply not always going to be 40 hours a week.

Companies that embrace this realization, particularly for senior roles, are making hires that more precisely match their needs and budget.

This is welcome timing as the economy shifts away from the boom cycle over the last 15 years. Companies that over-hired are now shrinking teams.

They’re managing burn more effectively and trying to get to (or increase) profitability.

Hiring fractional employees is a brilliant way to do more with less.

Source: https://www.fractionaljobs.io/blog/what-is-fractional-work

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