Resume for Steve Sobel
Steve Sobel (
1915 N Francisco #1
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 560-2605

I'm a determined problem solver focused on identifying and analyzing business problems and crafting solutions using technology. My experience includes agile web and application development, interactive agency / marketing, as well as financial services. I have managed initiatives for internationally recognized brands including Allstate, Disney, Dreamworks, McDonald's, Orbitz, Sony Pictures, Sprint, the YMCA and more.

I am also a passionate open source developer. I am the author of Reddit Enhancement Suite - a cross-browser extension with over 3 million users, as well as BabelExt, a framework for addon / extension development in Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari. RES was recently used as a litmus test for Mozilla's support for WebExtensions, and was also approached by Microsoft to be one of the first 3 extensions released for its latest browser, Microsoft Edge.

Business experience: Team Leadership / Management, Client Services and Relationship Management, Business Analysis, Process Improvement, Agile, Scrum, Kanban

Technical specialties / experience: Full Stack Web Development, Application Development, Database Architecture, System Administration, mysql, HTML, CSS, javascript, php, Symfony, python, django, apache, node.js, nginx

Current Work:

    Jellyvision - Engineering Manager - August 2016 - Present

  • Mentor and guide Software Engineers toward career growth
  • Identify and reduce technical debt
  • Work with product owners and other key stakeholders to ensure alignment of resources and business goals
  • Identify and manage the improvement of technical processes
  • Maintain the execution of software development best practices including code style, development environment setup and deployment methodologies

  • Achievements:
  • Grew my responsibility from 1 team to 3 teams of engineers in just over a year's time
  • Built a team whose processes and standards became best practices for other engineering teams
  • Continual growth of my responsibilities through identifying and providing feedback on areas of improvement for both our processes and our culture
  • Reworked the Engineering organization's onboarding roadmap and documentation

Current Work:

    ChangeTip - Principal Engineer - February 2015 - August 2016

  • Lead the development of several concurrent product initiatives
  • Perform code reviews
  • Full stack software engineer using Python/django as well as angular
  • Assist in managing various productivity systems including error monitoring, test coverage, continuous integration.

  • Achievements:
  • Led development of the ChangeTip v2 API, a complete RESTFul rewrite of our API as well as building out an OAuth provider
  • Led development of the Tipworthy product, a feed of content from authors/creators designed to reward both curators and creators for making and sharing quality content
  • Provided support to other developers across our entire codebase, ranging from bugfixes and performance optimization to UX improvements and redesigns.

Previous Employment:

    Sencha - Senior Software Engineer - January 2013 - February 2015

  • Software development on Sencha Architect as well as other products
  • Responsible for reviewing code submitted to the Sencha Architect project by developers of all levels
  • Assist in managing Continuous Integration system
  • Engage customers and community through online forums, writing blog posts, and speaking at in-person meetups as well as conferences
  • Provide significant input on UX, feature and functionality decisions

  • Achievements:
  • Responsible for adding significant feature sets to Sencha Architect
  • Rewrote and drastically improved our framework build process
  • Spoke representing Sencha at several conferences and events

    15 Letters – Director of Technology - May 2008 - December 2012

  • Manage a dedicated group of developers and creative technologists for the development of interactive marketing programs
  • Web server administration, configuration and maintenance
  • Web and Kiosk development using PHP/MySQL
  • Participate actively in the innovation / creative stages of projects
  • Ensure that the technology team has the necessary infrastructure and tools to work efficiently
  • Work with clients and cross-functional teams to develop requirements for projects and marketing initiatives
  • Analyze and improve internal workflow processes for technology and project management departments
  • Serve as a mentor for Project Managers

  • Achievements:
  • Managed a team of direct reports including developers and creative technologists
  • Implemented the use of the version control systems and best practices for the technical team
  • Developed 15 letters inc's business continuity / disaster recovery plan
  • Authored and enforced programming and asset production best practices
  • Managed a variety of projects ranging from web promotions to museum kiosks and iPhone applications
  • Served as primary client liaison on most projects
  • Provided both business and technical direction on all client projects

    Duo Consulting – Maintenance Director / Project Manager – Jun 2007 - April 2008

  • Manage a dedicated group of developers and designers for site and application maintenance
  • Manage client relationships with respect to both ongoing maintenance and new projects
  • Provide expertise on the architecture and infrastructure of client solutions
  • Analyze and improve internal workflow processes

  • Achievements:
  • Creation of a dedicated group to serve client maintenance needs
  • Automation of client maintenance budget reporting

    HSBC – Senior Lead Management Specialist – June 2004 to June 2007 (Promoted to Senior Feb 2006)

  • Manage the planning and implementation of marketing technology and infrastructure projects and processes
  • Manage technical projects for the improvement of HSBC’s branch marketing system
  • Assist in planning marketing communications creative. Execute marketing communications programs that drive maximum effectiveness of promotional programs and campaigns to improve Consumer Lending business results.
  • Coordinate with campaign teams to load marketing leads to be disseminated through the branch network
  • Perform analysis of report data to monitor system performance and make recommendations for improvement
  • Manage and research incoming questions for Marketing and Lead Management related issues
  • Assist with the project planning and prioritization process for HSBC’s Consumer Lending business unit

  • Achievements:
  • Creation of an automated lead file audit system
  • Conceptualized and managed development of a of database driven support ticketing system called "Marketing Questions"
  • Developed and taught a training course for HSBC employees wishing to learn about the marketing system – President, Webmaster, Programmer, Editor - August 1997 to 2006

  • Manage a staff ranging from 20 to as many as 125 students and volunteers
  • Write and copy edit articles for publication on the site
  • Developed and maintained the website and online community from the ground up
  • Planned and ran organizational meetings twice a week
  • Acted as booking agent and event manager for two concerts per week

  • Achievements:
  • OpeningBands was a household name in Champaign-Urbana and even gained popularity in Chicago and St. Louis in addition to drawing attention from major labels such as Sony, Warner Brothers and Maverick.
  • Founded and managed a successful not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of independent music
  • Developed leadership skills as a personnel manager, stage manager and concert promoter – booking artists ranging from small local bands to national touring acts such as Grammy nominated band Liquid Soul.

    Riverwatcher - Web Developer / Client Services Manager - March 2001 to May 2004

  • Management of several concurrent projects with multiple employees
  • Production and programming of websites and web-based software applications
  • Directly responsible for maintaining client relationships
  • Authored our Scope of Work documents for potential clients, and determined pricing of software / websites

  • Achievements:
  • Wrote customized project management software for Riverwatcher, which reduced paperwork and increased management efficiency by 30%
  • Responsible for the complete overhaul of several businesses backend processes by developing easy to use web-based tools. In one such example: Converted an office consisting of 4 walls literally full of post-it notes to a simple web-based management system
  • Developed several internal tools used to automate our development of websites - cutting development time by as much as 50% in many cases

Other Relevant Work Experience:
    Nuevos Horizontes - Web/Database Developer – Sep 2000 to May 2001
  • Maintained and updated database, developed embedded multimedia broadcasts
    Laboratory for Community and Economic Development - University of Illinois – Jan 2000 to Dec 2000
  • Designed visual-end and back-end development of LCED’s website and online tools
    Beckman Institute Systems Services, University of Illinois - System Administrator / Web Programmer – Jun 1999 to Oct 1999
  • Administration and maintenance of a multi-user Sun server running Solaris / Created and maintained web pages and CGI/Perl scripts.
    Microprof, Computer Graphic Artist, Sound Engineer, and Web Designer - Jun 1998 to Jan 2000
  • Created 3d and 2d graphics in 3d Studio MAX and Photoshop / VRML game and action scripting / Created in-game sounds and music / Administration of office's Windows NT domain and clients / maintained company website
    Collegeclub, Marketing Director (UIUC Campus) – Nov 1998 to Sep 1999
  • Management of UIUC marketing team for / Planning of marketing materials distribution using a coordinated team of UIUC campus representatives
    Illini Media - The Daily Illini - Web publisher / Web designer - May 1999 to Aug 1999
  • Published the summer edition of the Daily Illini newspaper to the web, as well as maintenance of websites and data
    DMISI, Network Technician - Fall and Spring Aug 1996 to May 1997
  • On-site installation and configuration of Ethernet connections in University certified residence halls
    University of Illinois Mathematics Department, Mathematica Lab Instructor - Aug 1996 to May 1997
  • Taught and assisted students with mathematics homework, and the Mathematica software package for University classes

Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign