Photograph of Jesse McDowell

My name is Jesse McDowell and Pragmatic Potato Software is my consulting company. I’m a software architect and developer, and I can help your team design and build awesome software. I am also available to work directly with your stakeholders to build software that meets their needs. I have worked in many areas of development, in everything from small startups to large established businesses. My focus is on back-end systems, but I am happy to discuss helping in any part of your system.

I am based in Burnaby, BC.

Please contact me if you want my help.

I offer a variety of services:

Architecture Consulting

If you need help figuring out a tough problem, leverage my experience to save time and money. With days or weeks-long engagements, I can interview stakeholders, research options, and produce quick documentation with clear guidance and rationalization.

Do you have doubts about something new you are building? I can provide a fresh set of eyes and an informed second opinion. I’m happy to review development plans or participate in technical meetings. I also offer one-off architecture chats to answer specific questions.

I am open to fractional architect roles with the right teams as well.

A group of people sitting together working on laptops.

Most recently, I had the role of Senior System Architect at Aquatic Informatics where I was responsible for the AQUARIUS product line: a water data management platform used by municipal, state, and large federal agencies. I worked with teams on three continents, gave group presentations and coordinated with numerous stakeholders. I’ve had technical lead roles and been a key technical resource in several teams and companies before that.

One of my proudest accomplishments was designing and leading the conversion to a modernized multi-tenant architecture running on Kubernetes.

Custom Development

A laptop open with a bit of code showing on the screen. The cup of coffee in a dark room shows that someone is focusing.

I will follow your existing coding standards when developing for you. I strive to deliver a product your team can update and maintain. I am happy to send my code for reviews so that you know you’re getting the quality you’ve paid for.

I can develop self-contained modules for the critical parts of your system, or rapid prototypes demonstrating new technology stacks and the latest practices. I can also build custom integrations.

I negotiate prices for development work in advance.

I’ve been building software for most of my life. I’ve worked on large multi-user video game servers, distributed multi-tenant applications, and small internal database apps for business. I lead the rewrite of a complicated data analysis tool at Aquatic Informatics where we replaced a decades-old C++ application with a modern user-centric web interface using Angular and TypeScript. At Electronic Arts (EA) I helped build a foundational framework for video game servers, designed and built a queued background execution engine, and created a custom load testing tool.

Design Workshops

I am available to facilitate both virtual and in person design workshops with your team.

A meeting room with a few people seated. Someone is standing at the whiteboard moving sticky notes around.

Design workshops are a great tool to give your team a deep understanding of the customer problem. I use a collaborative approach that empowers the group to work together. A typical workshop would be a mix of stakeholder research and fun, creative exercises to bring out the best ideas from the group. I like techniques such as stakeholder interviews, 5-minute mockups, group voting, and rapid prototyping.

Throughout my career I have helped design several successful modules and applications by encouraging collaboration while designing software. I am experienced as a manager, a team lead, a product owner, and a scrum master.

Preferred Technologies

I have used a lot of different technologies in my career, but I prefer C# (.Net), TypeScript, and Java. I can also learn and work with new technologies for the right project. Here is a list of specific things I am already comfortable working with:

A wide monitor on a clean desk with a few books stacked neatly.

  • Languages & Frameworks:
    • C# / .Net (Core and Framework) / ASP.NET
    • TypeScript / Angular
    • Java / JVM
  • Databases: Postgres, MS SQL, Oracle
  • Infrastructure Automation: Terraform, Chef
  • Modular Deployment: Docker & Kubernetes
  • Cloud Providers: AWS & CloudFlare
  • User Interface: HTML & CSS, WPF
  • Operating Systems: Windows & Linux
  • Scripting: PowerShell, Bash

More Info

You can read more about my experiences on my blog, or see my work history on LinkedIn.

Please reach out if you want to work with me. Let’s have a chat to see if I can help.