John McGrath


I enjoy working with smart, pleasant people to build interesting, useful software. I've been building web applications since the 1830s and have significant experience in cloud, enterprise SaaS, sustainability, news media, and social software.

Me, elsewhere:


Amazon AWS

Startup Solutions Architect
May 2017 - present
San Francisco, CA

I work primarily with early stage startups, with an emphasis on companies involved in sustainability. I've mentored and presented at TechStars Sustainability and Greentown Labs, and created the Code Green series of AWS sustainability workshops.

Drive the Vote

July 2016 - November 2016
San Francisco, CA

Worked with an amazing team to build an Uber-like get out the vote app for the 2016 election. Voters send a text or register online to request a ride, and Drive the Vote connects them with a volunteer driver. Started the project independently, then joined up with to significantly expand it.


Co-founder, CPO
July 2011 - November 2016
San Francisco, CA

I built and led Entelo's engineering and then product teams as we grew the company from a team of 2 to over 100.

Director of Product
August 2009 - August 2011
San Mateo, CA

In 2009 my language-oriented social network,, was acquired by Wordnik, where I was responsible for the web site, among other things.

The New York Times

Senior Software Engineer
January 2008 - August 2009
New York, NY

Part of Interactive News Technologies, a group of software developers working in the NYT newsroom. Designed and built products for both breaking news stories and data-driven events like the 2008 election.


January 2006 - August 2009

Conceived and built Wordie, the premier social network for logophiles. It grew to 15,000 passionate users before being sold to Wordnik in August 2009. The site was covered by TechCrunch, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and many others.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Lead Developer
November 2002 - February 2006
Woods Hole, MA

Led a team of developers building web applications and tools to support oceanographic and climate research.

Vignette Corporation

2000 - 2002
New York, NY

Consultant for the professional services division of an enterprise CMS software vendor, worked closely with Dow Jones/WSJ

StarMedia Networks

New York, NY

Developer at the first Internet portal for Spanish and Portuguese speaking audiences.

Columbia Journalism Review

Webmaster (my actual title!)
New York, NY

Designed and built database-backed sites for the Columbia Journalism Review, the Pulitzer Prizes, and the duPont Awards.

The News Review

Santiago, Chile

Reporter for the News Review, an English-language newspaper in Santiago, Chile.

Bicycling for Awareness and Responsible Development (BARD)

Los Angeles, CA to Tierra del Fuego

Planned and completed a 14,000 mile bicycling expedition through thirteen countries, raising money for north-south development organizations through an organization I co-founded with my later partner in Squirl (see above).


Thingie, a collection of user-created lists like Gifts for People You Don't Like, Live music videos - Best of all time, and Great lists.

Squirl, a social cataloging site for collectors. My first proper startup, ended a flaming wreck, learned a lot.

CalenTweeter, for Tweet scheduling, management of multiple Twitter accounts, and Google Calendar integration.

TagsAhoy, a cross-service tag search engine.

Others include Testeroni, a site for making and taking tests, BucketHead, a Ruby gem for interacting with Amazon S3, and YellowCard, a comment moderation plugin for WordPress.


Columbia University

New York, NY
M.S., Graduate School of Journalism, concentration in New Media

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME
A.B. History/ Environmental Studies