Startup founders: clean up your codebase so you can build faster

Your problem

You’re a technical startup founder. In your startup’s eagerness to get a product to market quickly, your codebase has become messy and confusing. Building new features used to be easy, but now it’s frustratingly slow and difficult.

Often you find yourself being held hostage to your past decisions. For example maybe you called something an X early on but it’s really a Y. Your database structure is illogical in some parts. You’d like to correct these mistakes but, under current conditions, it’s too hard and risky.

You also lack great test coverage, limiting your ability to refactor and requiring you to do tedious manual testing. Releases are scary because they often introduce regressions. As time goes on and the business heats up, the pressure to perform is increasing while at the same time the technical problems are getting worse. If something doesn’t change, it’s going to be a serious problem.

How I can help

I provide technical advice to startup founders. I help founders understand how to clean up their messy codebases so they can build faster.

The main areas I help with are testing, object-oriented programming and domain modeling.

The way I do this is by having a series of calls with you, usually over the course of several months or more, to help you undergo certain technical mindset shifts in order to change the trajectory of your engineering practices for the better.


How are your engagements structured?

If we were to work together, the default format would be that we meet each week for a call. On each call we would talk through a technical issue, look at some code together, or do some pair programming.

I usually work with my clients for a period of a few months to a year or more. The billing structure is a flat monthly fee.

Do you only provide advisory services or do you do hands-on coding as well?

I mainly provide only advisory services, but for some clients I do do hands-on coding. If you’re interested in this I’m always happy to talk about it.

Is it expensive?

Some founders are hesitant to talk to me about working together because they assume they can’t afford my fees. You should know that getting my help costs only a small fraction of what it costs to hire a developer full-time. The truth is that most startups surely have enough budget to afford me.* It’s just a matter of whether you have an expense mindset or an investment mindset.

*Even European startups!

Do you only work with startups?

I use the term “startup” broadly. Funded startups, bootstrapped startups and even mature software businesses tend to have the same problems. I’m happy to work with any of these. I just don’t want to work with a big bureaucracy where our work won’t make any real impact.

Samples of my work

Below are a couple mentorship sessions I recorded that are representative of the type of work I do with clients.

About me

I’ve been programming professionally since 2005, and as a hobbyist since the mid-’90s. I’ve taught programming in the United States, India, France, Nigeria and many other countries around the world. I live in Sand Lake, Michigan.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like learn more about my services, just fill out the form below and we can arrange a call. I’ll contact you as soon as I can, usually the same day. (Contacting me puts you under no obligation to engage my services.)

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