Paul Bissex

Software Engineer

38 Park Avenue
Greenfield MA 01301



Python Web Development With Django
Published by Addison-Wesley, November 2008 (co-authors Jeff Forcier and Wesley Chun). A complete guide to 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
  • Updated ad-serving system under time pressure for compatibility with updated vendor API
  • Did a development spike to add content versioning to the CMS
  • Researched NoSQL data stores (key-value and graph based) for use with Medley
  • Evaluated and interviewed prospective team members; 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

    Move Fast Without Breaking Things: Testing Python Applications — New England Regional Developer Summit, Amherst MA, March 2019 (video)

    True Tales of Python at Web Scale — New England Regional Developer 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 — New England Regional Developer Summit, Amherst MA, September 2015

    Introduction to Python/Django for Experienced Web Developers — New England Regional Developer Summit, Amherst MA, September 2014

    Life of a Professional Software Developer — Pioneer Valley Regional School Tech Club, Northfield MA, October 2013

    From Designer to Programmer — Pioneer Valley Web Summit, Northampton MA, April 2011

    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, heavily used by the Django community since 2006. Standard Django debugging traceback page submits to this site. REST API. Cookie-based user preferences. Syntax-guessing feature.


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


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