Watch out for falling cows! Please pardon my dust. I'm moving to Wordpress, bits and pieces at a time. The brand new design is coming soon, and any further improvements to this one would only prop it up and postpone the inevitable, much like minor reforms prop up an ailing and unwanted dictatorship. Til then, shield your eyes!

Hi, I’m Amy Hoy

And I’m on a crusade to change the world by making kickass software—and inspiring others to up their design & development game.

I’m @amyhoy on Twitter, and, honestly, that’s the best way to reach out to me. You can, of course, email me if you prefer.

Code Chops

I’d rate myself as reluctantly expert-level in PHP, near-expert level in JavaScript, and pretty damn competent in Ruby. Oh, and a second-degree black belt in SQL. Although, thanks to Rails and ActiveRecord, I mostly avoid SQL these days.

Design Chops

I’m not sure there’s a word for what I do. “Interaction design” doesn’t cover it.

I do everything from the conception—why should we build, and what?—to the interaction design—how will it work?—to the visual design—how does it look? With a healthy dose of positioning, promotion, and copywriting in there somewhere.

I’m…holistic. Also terribly overworked, bad at delegating, and, yes, anal retentive.

The bottom line is:

I do my best to rethink problems that get the same treatment, over and over, by other folks. I come up with things others don’t—and I try to teach them how they can, too.

Wait wait—code AND design chops? INCREDULOSITY!

Yes, I do both. I can’t say “I came to design from a programming background” or “I came to programming from a design background.” Neither are exactly true. I came and went from both, sometimes simultaneously! (See the silly timeline below if you fancy boring details.)

This could also be summed up as “You got programmer in my interface designer!” and “No! You got interface designer in my programmer!” Two great tastes that, yes, taste great together.

So I’m a weird beast in both worlds. Or a peanut butter cup, depending on how you look at it.

Stuff I’ve Designed, Written, Said

I dunno about you, but I can only take so much of this obscene self-aggrandizement. So how about checking out the goods?

Stuff I’ve designed for “me” (non-client work):

  • Freckle Time Tracking, the first product I created on my own, with Thomas & abloom
  • Twistori, the semi-famous emotional pulse of Twitter
  • Twistori Desktop, Twistori on your desktop: your themes, your keywords, including screensaver export!
  • CreativeScrape, a first stab at a non-traditional feed reader

Non-snoozy client work:

Books I’ve written:

Stuff I’ve written about what I’ve done:

Conferences I’ve spoken at since 2004ish, some about code and some about design, in no particular order:

  • SXSW
  • Webstock (regular talk + full-day workshop)
  • OSCON (regular talks several years in a row; also a half-day workshop, & I became a committee member)
  • Kings of Code
  • RailsConf (several times)
  • Italian Perl Conference
  • Philly Emerging Tech
  • Canada on Rails
  • various barcamps
  • php|works

Upcoming speaking engagements include:

  • JSConf EU
  • Webstock 2010

Look at me, I’m different!

Me, talking about how I’m different… too clichéd for an about page? I mean, rah, rah, go me!

How I’m unique and beautiful—or perhaps just strange and frustrating—is handily explained by my career timeline:

1991: I wrote my first BASIC code
1993: I got my first copy of Photoshop, version 3.0
1994: I created my first web page
1996-97: I transitioned from plain jane HTML pages to really designing ’em (albeit amateurishly)
1998: I designed my first web app (a CMS, what else?) and built an online journal by hand
2000: I learned SQL, database design and PHP to build my own apps as I designed ’em
2004: I jumped with both feet into Rails at version .7, and wrote some famous tutorials and cheat sheets
2005 & 2006: I briefly toyed with full/time employment—and designing & building really big, revolutionary apps. Learned ridiculous amounts of JavaScript.
2007: I returned to the bliss of consulting
2008: Shipped Twistori and CreativeScrape with my then-fiancée. And founded a company with my new husband, Thomas Fuchs, author of Scriptaculous (among other things)
2009: Shipped Freckle time tracking, designed primarily by moi, built with Thomas and our friends at abloom. And Thomas and I wrote a book on JavaScript performance.

Enough for you?

I’m bored. How ’bout you?


  1. Arie says:

    Hello Amy,

    I’m Arie, I came by here to say Thank YOU, in 2004 – 2005, I got benefit from your Rails cheat sheets.

  2. James says:

    Hi Amy,

    Saw your presentation at a conference recently and was inspired. What you said re: taking pride in your work and not really being able to separate work life from out-of-work life struck a chord with me.

    I’m a web developer and over the past couple of years became really depressed and bored with my job and sitting in front of a computer. It became a pay check.

    Now, I’m trying to rekindle my interest. The pay s good and hell I’m not qualified in anything else. But I haven’t felt like I’ve really been living. I heard you mention that you quit your job and wanted to ask whether you think it’s really possible to rekindle interest and come back full steam? or if (and I’m starting to wonder) once you have these feelings, there is no way back… you just have to change.

    Perhaps I’m asking something only I can answer myself but hey.. cheerio. Would be happy to get any more words of wisdom.

  3. You are awesome Amy! Love your tutorials and work, very creative and colorful. Did I say I love the colors and design?? =) Keep the good things coming! Hope I can learn some from you.

  4. […] Muse” (like Dyana Valentine). Or maybe you’re an “Interface Radical” (like Amy Hoy). Or an “International Playgirl” (like Gala […]

  5. […] Functional Muse” (like Dyana Valentine). Or maybe you’re an “Interface Radical” (like Amy Hoy). Or an “International Playgirl” (likeGala […]

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