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Nicholas Bruns

Nicholas Bruns

Web Developer Consultant

Punchkick Interactive Inc.

Contract Ruby on Rails Engineer


Paper Tower

Senior Developer (contractor)

Paper Tower, a boutique design agency, commissioned me to help launch several more coding intensive projects.

Platforms: WordPress with custom Extensions, Joomla with custom Extensions

Career medium 01
Career medium 05

Punchkick Interactive Inc.

Web Developer Consultant

Built a content management system (CMS) that held data for fielding surveys and recording results especially graphing tools for viewing the results and a user interface to define custom, user-defined reports.

Platform: CakePHP


at large

Analyst of Humanity, Good Samaritan

After reducing my belongings to only those that could fit into an Isuzu Rodeo, I packed that truck and parked it in my parents garage. I traded for a MacBook Air, got some vaccines, and got a one-way ticket to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, I bought a motorcycle (Honda Win 125cc) and as one thing lead to another, I made my way around Southeast Asia.

The mission was to get a second and third perspective on humanity and seek the common threads. The second perspective was to come of course from the locals in the countries I visited - by observing, inquiring, and participating in their way of life. Southeast Asia in general runs on a simpler economy, still employing many practices now outdated in America. Also, the culture is built on a different religious tradition making the lifestyle rife with customs very striking to an American.

The third perspective would come from other first-worlders, travelers from Europe and Australia mostly, who had seen what I'd seen and had to answer questions similar to my own. Exchanging observations and processing what all this meant through accented, often second-language English was a true pleasure and honestly just as significant as the firsthand experiences themselves.

While I did come back feeling like I'd accomplished something big and could now check it off my list, I also came back with a much longer list...

Career medium 03
Career medium 03


Software Engineer

After establishing a market interest in CakeStyle's services, we got some more seed funding and began work on our most urgent need: an inventory management solution. In order to stay nimble, I started developing a custom Ruby on Rails application to keep track of inventory and shipments. As our customer base continued to grow, we built out our client facing application with account and payment management modules, and continued to optimize our backend processes to streamline operations.

Platform: Ruby on Rails


Sandbox Industries


Sandbox Industries is a venture capital fund in the West Loop of Chicago with a segment of their fund dedicated to testing new business concepts and, if successful, moving forward to developing these concepts into startup businesses. This is known as the Startup Foundry. Within the Foundry is a group of specialists (Designers, Copywriters, PR and Marketing Specialists, and Developers) dubbed affectionately the Shared Resources or Multi-Project Specialists, depending on who you ask. These specialists operated as an agency with an exclusive clientele of the Foundry's budding businesses. I was a developer on this team.

As a developer on the Multi-Project Specialists Team, my role was to help out in whatever capacity my expertise allowed. My major projects included:

- Re-engineering Sandbox's company web site
- Launched several content components (blogs) for businesses such as DoggyLoot and GetFreshKit
- Helped launch first iteration of HealthBox's web site
- Set up basic tech utilities (Google Apps, landing page, first web site) for the Cultivian Sandbox Agriculture Fund
- Designed and engineered custom enterprise software package facilitating the rise of CakeStyle from a tested business concept to startup business

My mission was to deliver functional, stable solutions as quickly as possible to advance our budding concepts. It was a wild ride :)

Technologies frequented:
WordPress (x5), Ruby on Rails (Git, Linode, various Gems), Wufoo, Shopify, MailChimp, Google Apps

Career medium 03
Career medium 05

Widestream Solutions

Web Developer Consultant

I have done ongoing subcontracting with Widestream mostly building intranet applications (on LAMP ported to Windows Server) for a network of nursing homes. The general goal is to create a secure, central, organized repository for their residents' data and to compile reports on this data for the management team.

Platform: LAMP ported to Windows IIS


DOS Partners

Senior Web Developer / Project Manager

I was brought on board as a consultant to advise and implement tech solutions to business needs and manage outsourced projects as needed.

Initially, my work was mostly completion of a Content Management System (CMS) with a back-end for non-tech employees to update changing information including form options for our different clients.

Eventually work moved to web site optimization using Google's Analytics and Web Optimizer packages. Finally, I implemented several social networking integration tools (blog, Twitter and Facebook applications) to add visibility and leverage social networks.

Career medium 01
Career medium 02

Chordcraft Music Company

Lead Developer

After college, I joined a friend, Chris Bauman, to lead development of the initial launch of the music focused social networking web site

The sites mission was to provide musicians a platform to connect with their fans, advertise their concerts, and leverage this network to get booked by concert venues. It included standard social networking features (personal profiles, friendship requests, internal messaging) as well as innovative features to facilitate sharing music and promoting concerts.

The majority of my time was dedicated to producing code to support the application. This included consulting the CEO with technical solutions to strategic needs, delegating programming responsibilities, database architecture, coding, and testing.

Platform: LAMP


Valparaiso University

B.S., Mathematics, Computer Science

Fenwick High School

High School Diploma