Ben Sima

I create technical solutions to complex business problems.

I have experience in web apps, data science and visualization, statistics and bioinformatics, and ecommerce applications. With professional experience in half a dozen languages, I’m a fast learner with good decision making skills. I use open source software and I contribute back to the community wherever the opportunity arises.

How I Create Business Value

A brief overview:


Botangle is a tutoring web app written in PHP. Me and another developer teamed up to revive a codebase that was left incomplete and overdue by some off-shore dev team. We implemented payments, user accounts, video conferencing, and fixed up much of codebase to get it into production as quickly as possible.


I was hired by to work on a Rails ecommerce app. I was tasked with resolving differences between a private fork of the Spree ecommerce engine and their public fork, as well as upgrading to the latest version. This involved re-implementing half-a-dozen features, improving reliability, constructing a test pipeline, digging through git logs to find the reasons that certain changes were made, and then making architectural decisions on how to move forward. This re-working project took about 4 months, overall; about 2 months were spent on different features altogether, so 6 months total.


Liaison hired me as a contractor originally to help with their Clojure codebase. When I adopted the code, I discovered that it was basically Java written with s-expressions; lots of call-backs and use of promises that is not entirely idiomatic Clojure (there was actually a half-baked object system made out of hashmaps and strings, presumably to make the previous Java developer feel more at home). I refactored the entire codebase and produced a prototype in 2 months that did all of the required features in-memory using core.async channels (communicating sequential processes). I separated the codebase into clearly-defined modules and functional abstractions, using the native tools for creating abstractions that Clojure has as part of it’s core language. After those 2 months of prototyping, the rest of the time on the job has been spent extracting the in-memory processes into microservices distributed across a private cloud cluster, improving or adding new microservices (authentication, etc), tuning performance and tweaking the design to changing specifications. I also spent some time writing a couple AI-related libraries and services.

Please continue on to the “Work History” section for a complete listing of my employment.

Ben’s TechStack Matrix
work side-projects

Apache Kafka




Common Lisp













Ruby on Rails



Work History

Software Engineer, Liaison Technologies

2015 - Present

I’m currently designing and implementing a distributed, streaming, immutable, event-sourced cloud database for semi-structured enterprise data, plus a few AI-based microservices for extracting structured intel out of the semi-structured streams of data in our database. The business goal is to flexibly extract intelligible data from customers’ data banks. Everything is done in Clojure, on a private cloud infrastructure with Docker containers as deployable microservices.

Software Engineer,


As a full-stack developer, I was responsible for the DevOps workflow on AWS and legacy servers, setting up and doing deployments, diagnosing and fixing bugs, managing a git workflow between in-office and remote developers, and coding new features on both the frontend and backend.

Lead Developer, Nebula Bio (Open Source Project)

2014 - 2016

With a biomedical engineer partner, I was developing an open source, low cost, portable blood analyswas platform. Our goal was to be the “Arduino of biotech”. All development was done on GitHub.

Mentor in Data Science and Web Apps, Thinkful

2014 - 2015

Taught data science and full-stack web development with Python to new and intermediate students. I also helped develop their curriculum by writing tutorials and exercises for each of the courses I taught.

Nebula Sports

2012 - 2013

An RIT sponsored startup project that lasted for about a year, in which we developed novel headgear padding for athletes. My main role was in guiding the scientific research, while solely managing the fundraising (grants and private investment). In a 4-person team, we developed an algorithm for optimizing our custom padding to a specific position within a specific sport. Patent concerns made us shut down this part of the project. We then prototyped and programmed an accelerometer to be housed inside a helmet and signal to the athlete the severity of an impact. Reebok released their CheckLight product before we finished developing, and so scooped the market. All algorithm programming was done in Matlab.

Freelance Developer

2012 - 2014

As a freelance developer, I created two ecommerce systems in PHP, a ClojureScript front-end website to be used as a landing page, and worked on an e-magazine site for a local Rochester magazine.


Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

2010 - 2014

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy, while concentrating in biotechnology and pre-med classes. While I was in college I was the founder or president of three clubs, co-created a fitness lab, and conducted bioinformatics research in Perl. I also researched and wrote an extensive thesis on contemporary Levinasian ethics, for which I received high marks from my philosophy thesis advisor.