beyond the path

Helping you get stuff done on the web with agile development, cloud server clusters, and Ruby on Rails.

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Nick Zadrozny
Beyond the Path, LLC

Elsewhere on the web



February 2010–Present

Websolr is the best way to get started with all the power of the Solr full-text indexing search server in your application. We handle all the details of hosting and managing the servers, so you can stay focused on building great features for your application.

As one of the co-founders of a bootstrapped internet startup, my responsibilities range the gamut. From sales and business development, all the way to customer support, documentation, server maintenance, and new feature development. It's a blast!

KLATU Networks

November 2010

KLATU networks develops high-tech wireless sensor network solutions. They brought me in to help build a suite of server provisioning and configuration management tools to build a new cloud hosting platform for their various web application interfaces to their sensor grid products.

Terben Foster Youth Insight

January 2010

Foster Youth Insight is an application that makes foster care more efficient and effective by collecting and centralizing the data shared between a myriad of disjoint state and county agencies.

Terben brought me on to perform a code review of their Foster Youth Insight application, to help mitigate the dreaded bus scenario as well as generate recommendations to help them more efficiently expand their development team. We spent a few days reviewing their documentation and conducting an on-site code review before providing a report with our feedback and recommendations.

Digitaria Digital Distribution Platform

May–November 2009

The Digitaria DDP is an enterprise intranet digital asset management for enterprise clients such as Qualcomm. My role focused on building out the high-traffic user-customizable home page, which integrated with every other major subsystem of the application.

The DDP project is where I really cut my teeth on search with Solr, which was heavily used throughout the site. I also helped build a sophisticated cloud server cluster on Amazon EC2, using Chef and other custom-developed configuration management tools.


March–April 2009, and ongoing

Real-time moderated Twitter backchannel for conferences, events and church services. It was first used at a 3-day, 3,500 participant conference, whose hash tag was a trending topic. Talk about trial by fire! As with many startup projects, my responsibilities have run the gamut, including back-end development, Twitter API integration, server configuration, customer support and some business development.


February–April 2009

Connect2Need is an application platform designed to help non-profits connect with, and process donations from, their support base. The founders brought me in to develop an initial public marketing site as well as provide technical consultation for future product development.


January–March 2009

iBidCondo is real-time real-estate auctioning. No kidding! This application uses AMQP, memcached and Rails Metal for the heavy message passing demanded by high-traffic real-time auctioning.


May–December 2008

ROOV uses the network effects in church and non-profit communities to connect individuals with each other and enable them to pursue the causes they are passionate about.

Drop to Me

February–April 2008

Social product rating and discovery. A fun and dynamic, Ajax-driven site to share your favorite products with friends, and receive recommendations generated by their proprietary recommendation engine.

GeoCon Engineering

Early 2008 and ongoing

This specialty California concrete skatepark contractor needed a simple site to show off their stunning work. I designed and built a Ruby on Rails application to allow them to manage their projects' descriptions and photo galleries.

Quality Letterpress

Summer 2007

Sometimes all your business really needs is some basic information about your business up and online. The graphic designer for this specialty letterpress business tapped me to help out with the markup and hosting.

Hacienda de los Gitanos

Summer 2007

When this specialty horse breeder's business started growing, they needed to make updates more rapidly than their current web designer could support. They came to me to upgrade their site with a custom content management system to help them save time and money by making their own updates.

Accomplish Consulting Group

Summer 2007 and ongoing

Accomplish Consulting Group teaches people how to break into the lucrative career of pharmaceutical sales. They brought us on to help expand their business with an online component, providing downloads and consulting services to premium paid memberships. Our colleagues at Brand New Box provided the graphic design.


Spring 2007

Collaborated with serial entrepreneur Brent Gutekunst and local web developers to build experimental semantic social networking platform tools. We worked heavily with the relatively new Facebook API.


Experimental social networking to help connect missionaries and missions organizations with useful contacts overseas.

Crossroads International

Intranet application utility to manage internal LDAP users, used as a demonstration application to train internal team members in Ruby on Rails.

Open source projects


Sunspot is the most popular Solr client for Ruby applications, providing an easy to use DSL for configuring your data and searching it with Solr's powerful features. As part of my work with Websolr, I've become a collaborator, and active contributor, on the Sunspot Solr client for Ruby.


A custom provisioning and server management tool, designed to describe a cloud server cluster, and drive the workflow of provisioning, bootstrapping and configuring with Chef.

Friendly identifier

My first Rails plugin, created to abstract away all the business of creating permalinks for Rails resources. Now completely unmaintained, it's nice to keep an eye on it for posterity's sake.

Kind words

Nick came onto the project later, but has been instrumental in delivering both homepage phases to the client. I'm sure if we looked at the budget breakdowns for what we originally estimated and what it actually took, we would be pleasantly surprised with where we came out, with Nick at the helm. Also, Nick has been working behind the scenes to produce the foundation for our SaaS infrastructure, something that we hope the client never notices because it always just works – and that has been the experience so far.

Dylan Vaughn
Director, Emerging Technologies
Digitaria Interactive

Thanks for all of your work… The fact that you guys respond within minutes of our requests is sensational!

Eugene Marchese
Co-founder & CEO

Well done. The platform has certainly been wonderfully put together.

Stephen Scotchmer

Nick is a talented web developer. He is very proficient and can simplify complex situations. As a graphic designer, I have worked with Nick in developing websites for clients and the results have been excellent. If you want someone dependable, affordable that adds value to your project and or company, then Nick is the man for you!

Abraham Vizcarra
Freelance Graphic Designer
Soul Creative

Nick's ability to brainstorm new ideas helped us map out and visualize our final product before we began. He saved us time and money. His in-depth knowledge of web development was crucial to the success of the project

Hassan Riggs
Founder & CEO
Accomplish Consulting Group

I've worked with Nick on several projects and he is a very driven person. His goals and vision for a project are always clearly defined and executed with a lot of energy. His biggest strengths include: leadership, organization, technical expertise, and an overall goodheartedness.

Jordan Fowler
Freelance Web Developer
Jordan Fowler Productions

Nick's detail oriented approach to working through projects and issues lends itself to a creative and productive work environment. We have worked together in many capacities over nearly a decade and I continue to recommend his work.

He is bright, articulate, creative, thinks in and out of the box, receptive to criticism, personable enough to work with the toughest client and can talk about the most techie stuff at a level I can understand.

Courtney Brandt
Beautiful Feet International

Nick designed a Ruby based web page for our church. Nick had innovative ideas not only for our current site, but also for what our site could become. He is a visionary with a strong sense of how technology can help organizations accomplish their mission.

Jamie Wilson
Coast Vineyard Christian Fellowship

Nick was a highly-valued member of our team, with a broad skillset and a good grasp of the latest technology developments. When I've reviewed his code, I've found it to be elegant and well-designed.

Esme Cowles
Software Engineer
UC San Diego