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Michael Kane

Computer Wizard

I've worked on startups since 1998.I use JavaScript, React, Node,AWS, and "serverless" architectures.I'm a product development nut.

Is your dev load overwhelming?

I know the feeling.

I've been there many times, in many startups, and have learned some important lessons:

First, ensuring your next steps are necessary. Many times they're not, and it's much better to realize this during the planning stages.
Second, test-driven development! Moving fast isn't worth the exposure of poorly-tested code.
Finally, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Measured steps beat all-nighters, and they're endlessly repeatable.

I love code, I love developing products, and I love working with cool, smart, funny people.

Thanks for visiting!


“Michael is the most skilled and technically proficient UI developer I've ever worked with.
He has a comprehensive knowledge of the latest front-end tools, techniques and libraries. He constantly seems to be learning and improving the systems he builds, writes understandable documentation and works seamlessly with back-end developers … I would not hesitate to work with him again as I don't think I could find anyone better.”
“Few things are as valuable to a JavaScript developer as mastery of the language.
On more than a few occasions, Michael has rescued me from a predicament arising from my naïveté on the subject.
Michael has fantastic wit and humor. It is a pleasure to work with him. What strikes me about his work is how complete it is on delivery. Michael takes care to cover every detail in realizing a goal. His management of AWS resources would prove invaluable to an organization looking to utilize all of even their most obscure services.
“I've had a wonderful experience working with Michael.
I can highlight that he's an exceptionally skilled developer, but that wouldn't do him justice. Where Michael stands out is in his "soft" skills: his personality and character. Michael is among the most loyal, hardworking, persevering, personable, and empathetic people I have had the pleasure to know and the privilege to work with, and to find such a combination in such a strong developer is a rarity.”

iz u ded?
Sole Developer


iz u ded? is a simple utility with a unique value proposition.

I recently adopted a puppy, and morbidly realized that, if I were to be hit by a bus on a Friday, it might be a few days before anyone knew I was unavailable to care for him.

With a tongue-in-cheek presentation of a serious matter, I started building  https://izuded.today.

This application is an exercise in minimalism. It uses no JS frameworks (jQuery only), no datastore (except for a few bits of data stored in Auth0), and no "servers" (except for AWS S3 & Lambda).

With this architecture, the initial cost to run the application will be $1 / month.


Consulting Developer


Hyr  (on CrunchBase) is building a marketplace to efficiently connect traditional companies - like restaurants and bars - with independent labor to fill hourly paid shift work, on demand.

I helped architect and implement a "serverless" application for the startup's prototype.

In so doing, I touched many AWS tools, including Lambda, CloudSearch, Elastic Beanstalk, DynamoDB, RDS, SNS, SQS, and SWF.

I learned how to divide an application's functionality across disparate microservices communicating over SQS, SNS, and HTTPS, and discovered rough edges (and workarounds) in the technologies used in this latest trend in software development.



ReactNodeJSPostgresAWSUnder construction

Emergency phone numbers for families.

Subscribers receive a personal phone number for easily reaching emergency contacts.

Depending on the configuration of the Foghorn number, incoming calls are routed to trusted contacts in tiers, with each incident generating phone, email, and sms notifications.

Ad-hoc mailing lists serve to keep people informed while they resolve each incident.

Foghorn will be live Q1 2017, and is viewable (but under development) at https://stg.foghorn.help.

This screencast shows a bit of the functionality:

From the backend to the front, I'm using Heroku, Postgres, AWS SQS, CoffeeScript, Fluxxor and React. My favorite aspect is the integration with Codeship to perform continuous delivery.

Q1 2017

Full-stack Developer


FiftyThree  (on CrunchBase) has a social network called Mix based on the artwork their users create using their app, Paper.

They needed tools to manage this content. They provided the APIs and I built the interface using React, Fluxxor and CJSX. It's private, but here's a screencast describing it:

This team writes excellent code and taught me lessons like the priceless "code you don't write doesn't break."


Full-stack Developer


CDRE needed a responsive site to better display their real estate listings on desktop and mobile devices.

I built the front-end  in React and Redux (ES6) and the administrative backend (private) using React, Fluxxor, CoffeeScript and the AWS services S3 and Lambda.


Healthy Hand


Healthy Hand (defunct, Vogue, NY Daily News) provided healthy meal delivery by combining dietitian-curated meals served by local delivery restaurants.

In addition to various co-founder responsibilities, I built the administrative interface, multiple iterations of our consumer-facing product, and managed 3 outside developers. With user-specific dietary settings, our proprietary dietetic database, and GrubHub's API, we generated emails containing healthy meal options for our subscribers.

Clicking a healthy meal option would then place the order through GrubHub's API so subscribers could stick to their diets without needing to plan ahead or face the decision fatigue (and poor dietary habits) of typical online ordering.


Lead UI Developer


Hotlist (defunct) was a location-based social media platform that used Facebook social graph data to help users make plans and predict the crowds at millions of venues worldwide.

I worked in a tight-knit 3 developer team building Hotlist's web product used by hundreds of thousands of users.

The main challenge was in keeping the UI performant and easy to use across multiple browsers in the days before Angular and React.

One of my favorite contributions was a library that matched the jQuery.getJSON() method and improved performance by a factor of 5+ for browsers supporting HTML5 Web Workers.

* Note: CrunchBase lists the wrong 'Michael Kane'.


Lead UI Developer


Livekick (defunct) was a concert recommendation and tickets search engine which aggregated tour schedules and artist profiles to help users find their favorite concerts.

I managed the web site's UI including the concert calendar. My best work included the methodical testing and reduction of rendering time by 90%.

2009 - 2010