Sarah Chamberlin, Owner and Lead Developer
How does an english creative writing major end up designing web applications?
In 1996 I received an English degree from Wesleyan University. I spent the following year in graduate study as a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. After a six-month hiatus in Cameroun, Central Africa, where I served as an IFES-certified international election monitor (and I created my first web site, for a young journalists’ organization documenting the country’s presidential election) I moved to New York and spent several years working with non-governmental advocacy organizations at the United Nations, focusing on women’s international human rights.
I joined the Nation Institute’s staff in 1999 following a partnership with them to present Wall, Redefined, an art installation at the international peace conference at the Hague. After managing the launch of Nation Books (and creating the imprint’s first web site) and coordinating the Institute’s and The Nation Magazine’s presence at the 2000 National Republican and Democratic conferences, I left to join the tech team at Madstone Theaters, a start-up independent movie theater chain and production company.
After 3 roller-coaster years at Madstone (which closed its doors in may 2004) I began interviewing for management-level technology positions while building my client list. After several surreal interview experiences–including one at which my potential supervisor asked me what was so wrong with my life that I wanted to work for his company–I realized that the benefits of working for myself far outweighed the risks and i’ve been working steadily ever since, primarily on referrals from my clients. In my free time I read, travel, and design and market a line of baby products and apparel.
Edward Young, Developer
In 2002 I graduated from Columbia University with a BS in Computer Science. My first job out of school was at Madstone where I met Sarah. I started on the IT Help Desk and was eventually promoted to a Systems Administrator. In my spare time, I helped Sarah and her team develop an Intranet application for Madstone using Linux, PHP, and MySQL (way before LAMP become a popular term). When Madstone closed its doors in 2004, I began consulting for John B. Stetson before ultimately joining Community Connect Inc full time as their IT Manager. I was also studying for my MS in Computer Science at Columbia part time.
After a few years of helping Community Connect grow their internal IT infrastructure and completing my studies, I left the web startup world and moved to the hedge fund world. I worked in the IT departments of Moon Capital Management and Bridgewater Associates for the next 4 years. I have now gone back to my startup/small business roots by joining Abacus full time.
I’m glad to be back in the web development world. It’s really satisfying to know that hundreds of users are using a product that I had a hand in developing. The web development world is a fast moving and exciting space to be in and I’m glad I’m going along for the ride. In my spare time I love to travel, cook, and play golf (more than my wife would like me to play).