Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene's Web Log

I want to help build

There are a lot of good tech startup ideas that get passed up because of biases, privileges, and bigotry. I want to assist those people who have a hard time being heard in the tech world. For the next six months I’ll be available to any person of color, trans, woman, and/or non-neurotypical entrepreneur. The goal will be to assist in building a prototype over the span of two weeks.

Due to the finite time I’ll have to for this project, and what I hope is a sizable response I’m going to do short interviews with the entrepreneur. Anyone who contacts me about this offer will need to be reachable by voice and/or video. We will setup a meeting between us over Skype, Hangouts, or in person to discuss your project. I won’t pass judgement on the idea or the direction and instead will focus on the costs and feasibility of building a prototype.

I got the idea for this personal initiative after seeing a similar effort by Chris Granger. While his goal was to make money from it, I think the approach is a good guideline. The developer gives a clear guideline for the timeframe, an explicit definition of the tools involved, and what he wants from the deal. Although I don’t plan on making money from these projects, I think that’s an excellent approach.

People looking to work with me on a project will need to be able to devote time to collaborate. I’ll need wireframes, design details, and a list of the core features you want finished. This is to help me figure out what I need to focus on in our limited time together. It will also help me decide if I’m willing to work with on the project. There are only a few projects I would feel uncomfortable doing:

I’ve been professionally writing code for the last five years. I was a hobby programmer for at least three years prior, but not doing anything of consequence. In my career I’ve been paid to build web apps for small startups, the American Express Travel website, and internal APIs for analytics companies. In my free time I devote a lot of my energy to open source works. I’ve got a wide range of experience when it comes to implementing prototypes. I’ve worked on e-commerce, business-to-business, analytics, and social applications.

I’ll be building the prototype in Rails. I’ve had significant experience building software in Ruby and a lot of professional experience building Rails web applications. I’ll be putting this code on Github, hosting it from Heroku, and deploying from Codeship.