October 24, 2022 4 min read

Meet George MacRorie

Mark Phelps
Hello, George!

Photo by Lampos Aritonang on Unsplash

I'm excited to announce that George MacRorie has joined Flipt as our first Founding Software Engineer! George is a seasoned engineer with over 10 years of experience building and scaling software products. George and I first met at CodeShip, where we worked together for 3 years. George is based in the UK 🇬🇧 and will be key to developing and scaling Flipt as well as helping to build out our engineering team and remote first culture. George is an amazing engineer and a great person and friend, and I'm excited to have him on the team!

I asked George to write a bit about himself and his background, and here's what he had to say:

My name is George. I’ve been bashing the internet pipes in exchange for money for over a decade. I cut my teeth as a junior engineer in the world of Java (and a lot of XML) in 2012. Before abandoning it all for my new love, the Go programming language, in 2014. Somewhere along the way I discovered the root of all my frustrations didn’t come from within, it was with my tools. Yeah, that's right, the tools were the problem. Thus, a developer tooling engineer was born.

For me, It all started with CI/CD. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I embraced baldness around that time. Hair pulling was a known side effect of the available solutions back then. I joined CodeShip to build the alternative of our dreams. The CI/CD SaaS market was heating up at the time and CircleCI was already out in front, a position they’ve held well. In the end, our little ship didn’t quite cut the mustard. We didn’t get to fulfil our dreams of a CI/CD revolution.

Yet, the best part about my time there was the people. We met many times in person (we were remote) all over Europe and North America. We shared ideas, laughs, and one hair-raising e-bike ride around the city of Lisbon. An experience which went down like Marmite. It was during this time that I met Mark. It was also during this time that Flipt came to be.

When it all came to an end, Mark went off to continue the good developer tooling fight at GitHub. I and a few other ex-shippers figured we had solved CI/CD, so we should do databases next (InfluxDB). At Influx, I soon fell into my old habits of trying to solve developer tooling problems. They let me attempt to lead the Deployments team. A team which tackles many things’ platform engineering, despite the name.

Feature flags at Influx are critical to how engineers develop in production. I wasn’t personally involved in the implementation of feature flags for Influx Cloud; it was another member of the old CodeShip crew who unlocked this capability. Unquestionably, they delivered on enabling the team to safely ship changes.

Over time, our flagging libraries and frameworks accrued a little kludge. Some flags became entrenched and forgotten in code. Complexities in targeting logic grew. Local development and remote environments diverged in flag state configuration. Developers became suspicious if their flags were working as expected. One uncompleted large-scale refactor left the system fractured.

Along the way, I got to see how the frustration played out, and I experienced it first-hand. I can’t say that has left me with all the answers. But, I would like to think it has left me with empathy. Something I intend to bring to Flipt.

When Mark reached out to me and said, “want to come and build the future of feature flags?” I felt very ready for the challenge.

Welcome to the team, George! 🎉 🎉 🎉