We went from 50M to 125M in revenue in three years, while transitioning from a predominantly in-person experience to a fully-online learning experience on our own platform.

We did all this while transforming a classic monolithic Ruby on Rails app to an enterprise-grade, services-oriented architecture (SOA) with robust eventing, lambdas, and hyper performant services.

IPO: September 21, 2021 at $1.4B EV (NYSE:NRDY)


I joined Varsity Tutors immediately following it Series B raise in 2016. I joined with other key Amazon executives to help scale the company to its IPO in 2021.

When I joined less than 30% of sessions where online. When I departed, online sessions where eclipsing 90% all running on our online WebRTC platform that worked across all web browsers along with iOS app.

When I joined we had a single, monolithic service in production. When I departed, we had nearly 60 different services spanning more traditional services to serverless code.

As is common in most startups, the years prior to my joining where entirely one of hyper-scrappy growth. The technology stack was built as a monolithic Ruby on Rails (RoR) service. It was singularly the largest service in terms of lines of code that any of us, many of ex-Amazon and ex-Microsoft software engineers, had ever seen. It was in bad need of decoupling into smaller, discrete services.

Before we could do this, we started by building out own deployment scripts that greatly simplified service creation. An engineer was empowered to effectively one-click create a new ”hello, world” service that included everything necessary to deploy to staging and production environments in a repeatable way.

Within only a few months of joining, we had created smaller RoR front-end services with a reverse-proxy to start siphoning traffic off the monolithic service; in this way we were able to quickly decompose the customer experience in to a set of discrete services.

Along with rapidly maturing our technologies and architecture, we grew the engineering organization from a small group of engineers in Canada to over 60 engineers across North America. Along the way we introduced career levels (e.g. SDE I, SDE II, Senior SDE, et cetera) and standardized on career development and promotions to improve consistency and retention.