About James Lavin

My resume (in PDF format)

I’ve been a software developer at Hedgeye since April 2013. I code in Ruby, Python, and Javascript and do some DevOps.

Working in product design and project management at three Silicon Valley startups in the early 2000s, I discovered how much I enjoy working with computers. I taught myself database design and administration and served as an unofficial DBA at two of those companies (where I designed and ran SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases and wrote many stored procedures). After writing some books and dabbling with Java, I learned PHP and built a website for my books. I learned Linux and built/administered my own servers. In late 2005, I discovered Ruby and Rails and fell in love. I later also learned Javascript, JQuery, R (a statistical programming language) and CoffeeScript. I love programming and aim to continually learn more and write clean, adaptable code.

I’m a graduate of Harvard (magna cum laude, Government), the London School of Economics (M.Sc., Economics), and Stanford (Ph.D., Economics; M.A., East Asian studies [Mandarin]).

I wrote the well-reviewed Management Secrets of the New England Patriots, Vols 1 & 2 and drafted two unfinished books: Scamocracy and Biopeace.

In 2010, I built PowerMandarin.com to help people learn Mandarin. (I hope to re-build PowerMandarin with better technologies — Ember.js and more recent Rails releases — because I haven’t touched it for years.) PowerMandarin let users read articles with pop-up word definitions. Many articles had sound files. Users could create personalized dictionaries that tracked how well they knew each word. And when a user viewed an article, a personalized vocabulary list was displayed based on that user’s knowledge of the article’s vocabulary.

Our 7 ½-year-old son is interested in programming, so my wife and I have begun introducing him to Ruby, Python and CoffeeScript.