Nick Quaranto

Nick Quaranto

About Me

My text editor of choice is modal, and I tend to describe myself modally too:


First and foremost I consider myself a writer. I write to learn about software, and I learn software by writing it. My first large writing project online was gitready: a tips site for Git I started since I felt I didn’t understand Git enough.

More recently I wrote a series of guides to RubyGems, which I began since the current documentation site for one of the most used libraries in the Ruby ecosystem was really inadequate.

As of late I’ve been writing slides more often than prose. This year I’ve given talks at 4 conferences on Redis and RubyGems. I thoroughly enjoy spreading knowledge about software engineering and enabling others to share my passions about technology.


As an open source developer, I’ve learned that the craft demands patience, care, and above all dedication. I test my code furiously. I don’t settle for code that bothers me. I refactor without mercy, and believe strongly in the fact that code is read more than written.

My personal work ethic with code is to constantly improve it a little bit each day. I want my code to work in 5, 10, 15 years. I want to look back at that code and wonder not “How did this ever work?” but “What can I learn from this?”


I’m the creator and maintainer of I understand what’s involved with deploying, maintaining, and tuning Rails applications in the wild with thousands of requests/second. I’ve learned a great deal with every step of the way, and the community has made running the service a rewarding and humbling experience. I’ve definitely learned how valuable (and challenging) it is to have good, positive leadership in open source.

Being a mechanic involves not just caretaking for pet/community projects, but also spelunking in codebases big and small. I dive into gem code constantly to understand their inner workings and I’m not afraid whatsoever of getting my hands dirty in the “plumbing” of an application. I’ve submitted several patches to Rails and I play around with other languages and new technologies constantly.

Technical Experience

Languages: Ruby, C#, JavaScript, HTML, CSS. Dabbling with Go & Scala.

Web Frameworks: Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, ASP.NET MVC

Test Frameworks: RSpec, Cucumber, Shoulda

Servers: Passenger (mod_rails), nginx

Databases: MySQL, Postgres

Operating Systems: OSX, Linux

Version Control: Git, Subversion



Work History

Work History
Mar 2009 - Present

Web Developer


Technologies: Ruby on Rails, Git, MySQL, RSpec, Cucumber, Redis, Postgres, Javascript, Coffeescript

Contributed to nearly every open source library Thoughtbot has started: Paperclip, Factory Girl, Shoulda, and plenty of new ones. Wrapped up and started several client projects, including a donation site, a social media engagement site, and currently a iPad enabled quiz application. Helped keep the apprenticeship program running by having biweekly "Roundups" to check in on progress and learning. Launched a new product, Radish, to help visualize Redis data.

Jul 2008 - Dec 2009

Quaranto Consulting

Technologies: Ruby on Rails, Git, SVN, MySQL, Apache, Passenger (mod_rails), Mongrel. Shoulda

Worked on Rails sites for several clients, performing a wide range of tasks such creating sites from the ground up, adding features to existing sites, and debugging problems. Refactoring using TDD practices and the Shoulda framework to ensure quality and stability of the clients' applications. Also administrating servers, which has involved activities such as configuring the Rails environment on new hardware.

Sep 2008 - Mar 2009

Lead Developer

The College Driver

Technologies: Ruby on Rails, Git, MySQL, Apache, Passenger (mod_rails), RSpec

Developed a Ruby on Rails application for a local startup that delivers news and reviews about cars targeted at the college student market. Practicing BDD using RSpec and using Cucumber for user stories in conjunction with major stakeholders. Also responsible for overseeing all of the technical operations in the company, including managing servers and various infrastructure apps such as Lighthouse, Google Apps, and Basecamp.

Jun 2008 - Aug 2008

Software Development Intern

Eastman Kodak Company

Technologies: .NET 2.0, C#, Microsoft Access, SQL, ClearCase

Designed and built an application to manage content for Kodak's Picture Maker Kiosk. Worked with my mentor and the existing architecture of the product to create a utility that proved to be useful to my coworkers before my internship ended. Incorporated requests from several stakeholders of the project as well as prepared the product for maintenance and future extension.

Jun 2007 - May 2008

Web Developer Intern

Stardock Corporation

Technologies: ASP.NET, AJAX.ASP.NET, .NET 2.0, C#, VB.NET, CSS, T-SQL, HTML, JavaScript, SVN

Developed two user-generated content ASP.NET websites: and Formulated requirements, designed mockups, created functional prototypes, released a closed beta, and deployed the websites to the public.

Created the PoliticalMachine site based Stardock's existing infrastructure, and developed the user dashboard section for JoeUser. Built a library using open source components in .NET 2.0/C# for secure downloading of content through Stardock's Impulse application.

Aug 2005 - Jun 2007

Web Application Developer

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Technologies: ASP, SQL, Microsoft Access, HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Performed maintenance and added features to a course management system written in ASP.  Developed a blogging/journal system for students to use based off of legacy code. Designed and implemented a new SQL/Microsoft Access backend for a student advisory system. Gained experience using the Java Media Framework while adding features to a video conferencing system for the deaf.