Ronny.README

Ronny Li
CTO
July 31, 2021
Engineering

A quick peek into how I think and work as the CTO of Composer.

Bio

  • Based in Montreal since 2008
    • Grew up in Philadelphia though I've also lived in England and China briefly
  • Went to McGill University for Finance and Marketing
  • Started working in 2012 as a data analyst with Ben (CEO), who was a data scientist at the time
  • Picked up programming to implement Ben's ideas in production
    • Haven't stopped doing this ever since. Most recent language is Clojure in 2020!

Strengths

I describe myself as lazy, which means:

  • I don't want to deal with bugs more than once (hence all the unit tests and the emphasis on avoiding regressions)
  • I don't want to manually run things (hence CI/CD and hot-reloading of code and tests)
  • I don't want to change code in multiple places
  • I want good code to be easy to write, and bad code to be difficult (... looking at you, Javascript)
  • I don't want to think too hard, which forces the codebase and the entire tech stack to be as simple as possible
  • I want to do the highest-impact thing with the least effort (optimize for ROI)
  • I don't micro-manage
  • I ask my team to solve the tough problems, while I take the easy ones 😇

Weaknesses

  • I will probably always be the weakest technical member of the team (in fact, that's one of my hiring criteria). I'll keep learning, however, and I hope you will too. Don't let this business grad overtake you!
  • Can be too slow to give feedback. I'm working on it but please be proactive about asking me for feedback.

Misc.

  • I work at random hours on nights and weekends. You are NOT expected to do the same. Disabling Slack and email notifications after hours is highly recommended.
    • If my messages get annoying, let me know and I'll adjust. Maybe I'll put them in a queue or something
  • I will poke and prod at ideas/suggestions/pull requests to see if there are any angles that were overlooked. You don't have to blindly implement all my suggestions. Most of the time I'm just checking to see if it was something you considered already.
  • I work for you! If you are stuck or if something could be made more convenient, let me know ASAP. (Imagine the typical org chart and flip it upside-down)

Hobbies

  • Outdoor stuff like camping, canoeing, cycling, climbing, etc.
  • Picnics and going to the bar with friends
  • Video game (Singular. I just play one. Poorly)
  • Brewing! I made roughly 250 gallons of beer in 2019

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