edited-0902.jpg
 

Always be curious.

software engineer × strategist × interface design × mechanical engineer 

 

 

I am interested in working with a few fresh thinkers with strong hypotheses they want to test. If you have an interesting idea that you'd like my help with, please reach out to me.

Although my interests are pretty wide-reaching and ever-changing, these are a few of my current curiosities:

  • Culinary Science — Even though we eat multiple times a day, few people understand cooking or the food sciences at all. Unfortunately we are deferring this work to the food industry, at great cost to our health and culture.
  • Education — Many geniuses and innovations are lost due to antiquated education systems, unrealistic testing standards, poverty, war, and lack of mentorship. Education is a fundamental human right.
  • Foreign languages — Besides basic internet access, spoken languages are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people trying to pursue their careers.
  • Transportation — The automobile is not the future. Roads should not exist. What should?
  • Drone technology — I firmly believe there are innumerable uses for drones in the world today, bound only by our imagination.
  • Genetics and gene therapy — Understanding the way genes uniquely impact each person is already revolutionizing the world and it will continue to improve the lives of so many, even before they are born.
  • Strong artificial intelligence — A lot of people are trying to "fake it 'til you make it" with AI, but very few are studying what true intelligence and creativity really are.
 
pacific-dark.png
 
 
 
 

Viv

Viv was acquired by Samsung in October 2016.

Founded by the creators of Siri, Viv enables developers to plug into and create an intelligent, conversational interface to anything.

  • Lead iOS development to showcase Viv's underlying technology
  • Involved with UX / UI (using Sketch) to better define the product experience
  • Code involves anything from creating low-level framework/SDK abstractions up to complex animations and interfaces
  • Assist with a small amount of the web frontend code

Luxe

Luxe is an on-demand valet parking and car services app. As an early employee and first iOS hire, I've been fortunate enough to work across many teams and functions with very talented and driven people.

Engineering Lead

  • Led a team of 16 engineers and data scientists to create the Luxe of tomorrow.

iOS Team Lead

  • First iOS engineer
  • Deeply involved with sourcing, interviewing and recruiting iOS team members
  • Helped to ensure best practices and design patterns through code reviews and mentoring
  • Identified and refactored away technical debt to ensure we had a solid foundation moving forward
  • Enabled reusability by creating clean abstractions and shared code across our multiple apps, all while helping to eliminate debugging complexities
  • Created our first set of unit and UI tests to eliminate regressions and manual testing
  • Established coding and documentation standards to ensure we could move fast in unison

Engineering

  • Involved with team leadership and architecture at an engineering organization level
  • Very involved with interviewing across all engineering disciplines
  • Helped identify system-wide architectural debt and establish / execute a plan to correct it
  • Helped establish engineering on-call / live ops protocols
  • Mentored junior engineers on engineering best practices and the personal chaos of startup life

Design

  • Took the initiative to create and implement an entire app / UX workflow redesign using Sketch when team design resources were limited
  • Established recurring UI / UX brainstorming sessions where product and design teams could coordinate and review efforts

Product Manager

  • Led the effort to optimize valet workflows and system efficiencies while creating an engaging and rewarding experience
  • Involved with strategic planning at an organizational level
  • Helped interview product and executive-level candidates
  • Identified important metrics and wrote custom SQL to track execution against them
  • Helped identify and implement people management and training protocols for our ever-growing valet workforce
  • Personally worked many shifts as a valet to fully understand pain points within a very dynamic work environment
  • Responsibilities spanned across design, engineering, management, product and operations

Everest 2.0

This project was open sourced here: https://github.com/EverestOpenSource/Everest-iOS

Within the first week of working here, I pitched a plan to make the Everest iOS team 75% faster at new feature development by removing significant complexity and legacy code while keeping crashes to less than 1% of all sessions. Within the first month, I led the effort to re-architect and rewrite the code base from scratch to have a unified architecture and philosophy that was easily extended and re-used across the entire app.

Within 3.5 months, we had a 2.0 iOS product submitted to Apple that was significantly more performant, had a 0.4% crash-to-sessions ratio, and allowed the team to develop new features within days rather than months, all while having a complete functional test suite to ensure new bugs don't creep in during refactorings or new feature development.

Two weeks before launch, I jumped in to help create all code for the everest.com web profiles which involved Ruby on Rails, SCSS, ERB, HTML, and a bit of Javascript as well.

Desiderata Labs

Independently developed a number of top-selling apps (Top 5 in Gross Sales for Sports in the US) which were acquired in August 2014.

Created for Open Source:

  • Down (Swift) Blazing fast markdown rendering
  • LazyObject (Swift) Lazily deserialize JSON into strongly typed Swift objects.
  • RPCircularProgress (Swift) Circular progress UIView subclass with UIProgressView properties.
  • RPFloatingPlaceholders UITextField and UITextView subclasses with placeholders that change into floating labels when the fields are populated with text.
  • Forecastr - A dead simple wrapper for the Forecast.io weather API. Abstracts away all difficult caching and network requests so the end user only has one simple API call to make
  • RPVerticalStepper - A simple vertical stepper control for iOS that is similar in function to the UIStepper control

I originate all ideas, design the UIs in Sketch / Photoshop, and write all code myself.

Brevidy

Brevidy was a video social network that allowed you to capture the fleeting moments of your life on video and share them with those around you.

I open sourced this project at: https://github.com/iwasrobbed/Brevidy

Designed all UI/UX in Photoshop and then implemented it using HTML, HAML, CSS, and jQuery. Architected the backend models and controllers, and implemented them using Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL on top of the Heroku platform. Integrated with RESTful interfaces such as Facebook, Zencoder, Amazon S3 / Cloudfront. Taught myself web programming and UI/UX design.

I have traveled to 24 countries so far (probably more by the time you read this), including a round-the-world trip in 2012 where we traveled for over 53,000 miles (equivalent to circumnavigating the Earth almost 2 1/2 times) through 80 cities in 14 different countries.

Accomplishments: I swam with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, lived with a family and studied Spanish in Costa Rica for 5 weeks, backpacked across Europe, dove with great white sharks in South Africa, saw the pyramids, spent the night in the middle of the Sahara desert, went on a safari in Kenya and saw a lion hunting it's prey, went paragliding over the Swiss Alps, pet huge tigers and rode giant elephants in Thailand, drove more than 2,700 miles through New Zealand while living in a campervan, and lived for over 2 years in Montréal, Canada where I found the love of my life.

Traveling and photography are two of my biggest passions in life and the experiences they provide are something I would love to hand down to my children one day.

On my near-term to do list: Iceland, Chile, Antarctica, Peru, and Norway.

 

If you think I'd be a great person to have on your next product or founding team, I would love to talk with you about it. I'm currently interested in the following opportunities (but always open to something new):

  • Cofounder
  • Product Manager
  • Team Leader / Engineering Manager / Director of Product
  • Advisor (startups, code & system architecture, design feedback, behavioral psychology, user experience)
  • iOS engineer (Objective-C and Swift)
  • Mobile and web design
  • Full-stack engineer (preferably Ruby/Ruby on Rails or Python, but I'll learn anything I need to)

More information about me:

References:

Tim Eller, Lead Data Scientist @ Luxe

Rob has been my most favorite PM to work with ever! He has a clear vision of what it is we're trying to achieve, and has a very good sense of all the steps necessary to get there. This comes from the fact that he is also a top-notch Engineer, with fastidious insistence on clean, organized code. 

He's the guy who, rather than survey the scene and ask what he can do (which is polite, of course), immediately jumps in where he can help the most, no matter the task. As a PM, his real talent is that he recognizes the abilities of those he works alongside, and is able to organize them in such a way that they: a) continue to do what they do best; b) are in a position to learn from their peers (largely from Rob himself); c) have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them; and d) are happy. 

He is humble, and leads by example. Luxe and I are very lucky to be under Rob's influence.

Fei Wang, Senior iOS Engineer @ Uber

It was great to work with Rob at Luxe. Rob is a talented and motivated iOS engineer, he has a deep understanding on iOS app architecture and best practices, he gives great code review feedback and pushes for code testing effort. At the same time, he's passionate about product and gives a lots of thought and feedback building great product, he single handedly pushed the Luxe valet app rewrite, working on product, design and setting up iOS architecture for new valet app and pushed it outdoor with a great success. I can see he has great potential on product. I hope to work with him again in the future.

Julian Bialowas, Head of Design @ Hipcamp

I had the honour of working alongside Rob for over a year, and I would jump on an opportunity to be able to work with him again. 

Rob is hands down one of the hardest working engineers and product strategists out there. He would consistently blow me away with the quality and amount of work he produced. 

Rob would always go above and beyond, and bring great ideas to the table. A quick learner, problem solver and able to adapt to any situation you throw at him—even when outside of his role as an iOS engineer. Rob is able to wear many hats, and more importantly, he wears them well.

Chris Cornelis, Senior iOS Engineer

Rob is a software engineer with a strong focus on productivity. His technical skills are top notch and he's always looking out to learn the latest stuff in technology land. On top of that he's also a pleasure to work with. A real team player who encourages everyone to focus on what's important. 

I'm looking forward to the day our professional paths cross again.

Dylan Harris, Senior iOS Engineer @ Luxe

It was great to come onboard the iOS team with Rob paving the way for good practices. He's fun to work with and makes sure everything he does is done the right way with no band-aid fixes. 

Rob has set up the structure for our git flow, our continuous integration system, and our testing practices. With lots of experience testing, Rob is a great resource for getting the other iOS developers up to speed and testing code regularly. He pushes us constantly for more testing code coverage. 

Rob also has lots of good feedback. Rob is an invaluable resource when you send him code reviews. You'll be sure to get great feedback and he's not afraid to debate best practices with you if he thinks there is a better way.

Sean Warner, Logistics Lead @ Luxe

It has been a privilege working with Rob at Luxe. He constantly proves how nimble he is when I present him with complicated problems and taking quick action on them. You know you can count on someone when they consistently give you results. When I make a request for something that isn't possible he tells me why and provides me with a new way to approach the problem. He is often the first person I go to for advice at Luxe and more often than not he is right on point. Rob is not only an essential cog in the Luxe machine but a great guy to call a friend.

Masaki Inagawa, Operations @ Luxe

During my tenure at Luxe, I was able to work with Rob in many levels from helping revamp the Luxe Valet application enhancing the company's operational efficiency in every aspect. Rob has been a great mentor to me was someone that I always respected and looked up to. When it comes to project management, I know I am in good hands when working with him.

Graham Dodson, Mechanical & aerospace engineer

Rob is an entrepreneur.  I worked with him while he was a mechanical engineer at Harris Corp, where he was a high performer. While working fulltime at Harris Corp he was able to start an application development company, iOS focused, which allowed him to become self employed and begin working on two other startups, along with assisting me with the development of my own LLC and product.  Before Rob’s involvement, my partner and I had been working for a year developing a product, which would have taken us another year to complete.  After he became involved, we completed the product in three months.  This was due mainly to his organizational skills, diverse knowledge base, and drive.

Mike Maxim, Mechanical & aerospace engineer

Rob is a well-rounded engineer who is self motivated to complete any project. He is consistently developing new products and fresh concepts. Rob has been successful through college, throughout his professional career with a company as well as with his own company.  Rob only left the company we worked for to improve his already successful ventures outside of the typical work environment. 

By training, Rob is a mechanical engineer, but taught himself how to program for Apple Apps and was successful enough to work for himself. Since then, one of his apps has been the best in the category for the last 3 years. Furthermore, he even programmed a website dedicated to networking and video sharing almost entirely on his own. 

Rob is highly talented and versatile. Any team is lucky to have Rob on their side.

Hussain Frosh, Computer engineer & entrepreneur

When you see a story (movie/book/article) about someone who gets an idea and starts a company, you get done and think "Hey, that could be me... I can do that."  You can't. The amount of work, dedication, perseverance, resourcefulness, and sheer talent it takes to achieve even moderate success is completely underestimated.  

Rob is that guy they will write articles about and make those movies about.  Quite simply that about sums it up.  If you have the chance to work with him, not only will your idea be better, but you'll probably come out of the experience better as well.

Anthony Harris, Engineering manager and senior software engineer

Rob quit a high paying corporate job where he was doing extremely well to become an entrepreneur.  He created iHunt, the #1 selling Hunting app in the Apple Store for the last 3 years.  He also founded a video sharing platform company that resulted in an open source video sharing framework.  He is extremely organized and driven for success.  He has an engineering background but complements that with a knowledge of business processes including marketing of start up companies.  He is a rare breed of analytical thinker and entrepreneur. 

Chris Snyder, Civil engineer

Frustrated with the uninspiring corporate world he took the bold step to write his own job description, expand his engineering skills to include SW developer & launch his own internet-based startup. Ideas are a dime a dozen, it's dedicated leaders like Rob who capitalize on opportunity, thrive on uncertainty & persevere to show results. He's a relentless visionary & proven asset.

Dennis Hay, IT account executive

I've known Rob for more than 10 years. I know he's more than technically capable to tackle any project that he sets his mind to. Whether it be to learn a brand new coding language he's never had experience with to teaching himself to play the guitar, I know Rob will get the job done. I also think he has the vision to accomplish the end goal. Too often we get distracted from our projects but Rob is a determined individual.

Emi Melker, SEO specialist and entrepreneur

Rob is extremely intelligent and innovative. He is a natural leader who I often go to for my own entrepreneurial advice. His opinions are always well thought out and accepted by our team. I highly recommend Rob Phillips and know he would be a great asset.

Nathaniel Salpeter, Thermal/fluidic analyst 

Rob is a former classmate of mine and is now a source of mentorship for myself.  I look up to him for all he has accomplished and built for himself with some good ideas and strong conviction.  He is definitely a forward thinking do'er that is successful in any situation he finds himself!

Vanessa Santisteban, Mechanical engineer

I've known Rob since college.  During our study groups, he always was driven to understand the academic task at hand, networked well among the groups and was open to sharing knowledge he gained from whatever source it was.  
 
Overtime, I've seen Rob excel in both his personal life and career which, in my opinion, is very hard to achieve a healthy balance. Rob has all the qualities I would seek in a business partner.