Paul Bissex

Software Engineer

38 Park Avenue
Greenfield MA 01301
Pronouns: he/him


  • Django web framework (expert)
  • Python programming (expert)
  • Javascript programming; React, jQuery
  • Standards-based HTML and CSS
  • Clojure, Haskell, Rust (learning)
  • SQL
  • Git, Mercurial, Subversion
  • AWS: EC2, OpsWorks, ECS, RDS
  • Fluent user/admin of macOS, FreeBSD, Debian-based Linux
  • Teaching and presenting
  • Writing and editing


Python Web Development With Django
Published by Addison-Wesley, November 2008 (co-authors Jeff Forcier and Wesley Chun). One of the first books on the leading Python web programming framework. 408 pages, ISBN 978-0132356138.

Work Experience

Principal Software Engineer
MassChallenge, Inc., January 2017 to Present
Developed and maintained the Accelerate platform, which runs all MassChallenge startup accelerator programs globally. Scale: 10,000 industry experts, 25,000 startups, 60,000 entrepreneurs. Led the conversion of our 100,000-line Python 2 codebase to Python 3, completed four months ahead of deadline. Also led subsequent migration from Django 1.x to Django 2.x. Implemented NIST 2017 standards for password security. Improved performance of key reports and interfaces. Participated in daily code review, weekly ticket estimation and grooming, and biweekly sprint planning and retrospective. Mentored junior developers.

Senior Developer
Lionbridge Technologies, Waltham MA, April 2016 to November 2016
Developed and maintained Lionbridge OnDemand, a translation services platform. This included a web-based UI as well as an extensive API used by customers to integrate with their CMS platforms. Implemented a system for dynamic service rates based on specific source and target language combinations. Reviewed code changes from junior and senior developers.

Software Developer
Cox Media Group Technology, Atlanta GA, June 2011 to March 2016
Developed and maintained Medley, the web/mobile publishing platform for Cox Media Group's properties (newspaper/radio/TV), serving tens of millions of pageviews per day. Integrated Medley with third-party vendor systems. Designed second-generation REST API. Maintained ad-serving infrastructure. Did a development spike to add content versioning to the CMS. Researched NoSQL data stores (key-value and graph based) for use with next generation of the product. Assisted with hiring; mentored new developers; evaluated contractor work.

Senior Developer
Nextown Technologies, Miami Beach FL, Dec 2010 to May 2011
Member of core five-developer team for a "penny auction" startup. Application stack included Django, Flask, nginx, RabbitMQ, and PostgreSQL. Worked with a large, rapidly changing codebase. Wrote and maintained code in Python and Javascript. Wrote and maintained automated tests. Assisted new developers in setup of local site instances. Daily participation in code-review process using ReviewBoard.

Director of Software Development, Instructor
Hallmark Institute of Photography, Turners Falls MA, Jan 2005 to Jun 2010
Taught web development skills to 150-200 students per year as part of intensive photography and business curriculum. Developed and maintained multiple web applications and websites. Administered web server and created server monitoring tools. Developed and maintained attendance tracking and reporting system. Created electronic grading system. Instituted project tracking and source code management. Wrote documentation. Trained assistant in Python programming and Django development. Advised management on web technology decisions.

Web Developer, Owner
E-Scribe New Media, Greenfield MA, Dec 2000 to June 2011
Developed database-backed websites. Created administrative interfaces with an eye toward use by non-technical personnel. Provided code review services for Django-based startups. Debugged and enhanced existing sites. Integrated with third-party services for e-commerce, email list management, and search. Hired and managed contractors and interns. Prepared proposals, managed customer accounts.

Education Director
YES Computer Learning Centers, Northampton MA, Dec 1997 to Dec 2000
Created class concepts, outlines, and handout materials. Grew operation to two dedicated classroom locations. Hired, trained, and managed all instructors.

Technology Writer
Sep 1995 to Sep 1998
Published weekly syndicated column on internet technologies and culture. Wrote magazine articles and reviews. Clients included Chicago Tribune, Wired magazine,

Page Designer
FamilyPC Magazine, Northampton MA, Jun 1994 to Nov 1996
Designed editorial pages for high-circulation monthly national magazine. Assigned freelance art and photography. Supported users of networked publishing system.

Speaking and Presenting (selected)

Agile Software Engineering Process in Real Life — UMass Amherst COMPSCI 320, October 2019

Porting 100,000 lines of Python 2 to Python 3 — Django Boston meetup, Boston MA, September 2019 / NERD Summit, March 2020 (video)

Move Fast Without Breaking Things: Testing Python Applications — NERD Summit, Amherst MA, March 2019 (video)

True Tales of Python at Web Scale — NERD Summit, Amherst MA, March 2017

A Cautionary Tale of Analytics and Caching — Django Boston Meetup, Cambridge MA, October 2016

20 Million Pageviews a Day with Django — NERD Summit, Amherst MA, September 2015

Introduction to Python/Django for Experienced Web Developers — NERD Summit, Amherst MA, September 2014

Using Django to Replace Proprietary Database Tools — Django Boston Meetup, Cambridge MA, December 2010 (video)


NodeJS Two-Day Intensive with Sequoia McDowell, Williamsburg MA, February 2016

Community Leadership

Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls MA — Active member of Program Advisory Board for Web and Programming shop

Tech Foundry, Springfield MA — Volunteer Instructor

Side Projects — Programmer pastebin site written with Django, used by the Django community since 2006. Standard Django debugging page and iPython ‘%pastebin’ command target this site. REST API, user accounts, responsive layouts, 474 syntax choices, TLS. Analyzes code snippets in the background before submission and suggests syntax setting.


B.A. in Languages and Literature, Bard College, Annandale NY