I worked for 8 years as a Principal Engineer of Infrastructure at Shopify, chasing bottlenecks in every layer of the stack from 100s of RPS to ~1M. I’ve seen every stage of scale: from startup, to powering a significant chunk of the world’s commerce.
Today, I consult with companies to scale and evolve their web infrastructure.
I can deliver the most value if your problem fits one of the following:
- Audit. You bring me your pressing infrastructure woes, I start grepping your code-base and write a detailed report with actionable solutions that your engineers can run with. 1-3 weeks
- Prototype. You bring me a gnarly backend/infrastructure/database problem, I iterate from first principles to implement you a prototype your team can run with. Either alone, or with part of your team. 6-12 weeks
- Launch. You’re launching and worried your infrastructure will crack under the pressure. I do an audit and get on the ground to firm up the infra for launch, and give you a post-launch infra roadmap. 2-4 weeks
- Review. You’re about to make a big infrastructure decision. I go through it with you and the team in detail and help go from sketch to plan. 1-5 days
- Workshop. You want to level up your infrastructure team in system design. I do a workshop in-person or online on first-principles systems thinking and napkin math. 2 days
Make your infrastructure decisions with someone who’s done it before.
Next step is to email
email@example.com and tell
me which problems you’re dealing with, and we’ll set up an intro call.
I am comfortable at all layers of the stack, from Kernel to Rails to React. You can read more about what I spend time thinking about on the Napkin Math blog.
- Review for Ghost: 3-day in-person offsite to turn an infrastructure idea into a concrete plan.
- Infrastructure Project: Will reveal later what this is… spending majority of 2023 on this.
- Prototype for Replicate: faster cold boots for large ML models
- Audit for Typefully: focus on Timescale scalability, best-practises, and observability.
- Review for Whimsical
- Launch for Readwise: Reader launch, especially database and job tuning
- Prototype for Readwise: Ghostreader, AI-reading assistant
- Prototype for Datafold: data-diff, fast diff between two databases
- Review for Rutter: Database migration woes
- Prototype for Causal: Scaling their spreadsheet engine from millions to billions of cells
Simon was an indespensible addition to our team as we geared up to launch a new product (Readwise Reader). He assessed our site’s bottlenecks across all areas (code, servers, db, team), made them incredibly clear to us, then simply fixed the biggest issues with minimal supervision. Without Simon, I’m confident we wouldn’t have been able to to hit our launch deadline. Potentially the best part of working with Simon is that while being an 100x engineer with incredible impact, he also has amazing communication skills, often predicting my objections and conveying to me (and our eng team) all critical information/tradeoffs we might need without wasting our time. Simon is the closest thing to a silver bullet I know of in tech!
— Tristan Homsi, CEO & Co-Founder Readwise
Simon gave us a clear and actionable technical roadmap for the next 1-2 years that will allow us to scale our business 10-100x. His expertise and guidance gave us the peace of mind that we were making the right decisions and not just guessing on big infrastructure questions. It was like having a veteran CTO on our team, available whenever we needed him. We can’t recommend him enough.
— Francesco Di Lorenzo, Typefully Co-founder
We all are over the moon with how it all went and are incredibly excited for the project. What felt like an impossible hill to climb now feels like something we can actually complete and within a reasonable timeframe to boot.
— James Loh, Infrastructure Lead at Ghost