Hi! I'm Paul Dowman, a software developer from Toronto, Canada, and the founder of OK GROW!, a software development consulting firm.


I'm an experienced start-up technical lead, the creator of some open-source software, a father, and an all-around nice guy.

My company, OK GROW!, can help you with Ruby or JavaScript software development, deployment, and operations. Contact us to find out how we can help with your project.

A few of the interesting things I have done are:

  • Founded OK GROW!, a software development consulting company.
  • Director of Technology at GigPark (named one of the top 10 Toronto web startups of 2009). I built the first version on my own and then expanded to a small team that I managed through to the acquisition by Canpages (which was then quickly acquired by Yellow Pages). I then completed the transition and integration with the Canpages.ca site. GigPark was built using Ruby on Rails and Amazon Web Services.
  • Created several open-source projects including EC2 on Rails which was very popular at the time.
  • Spoke at the FutureRuby conference on Ruby web application scalability.
  • Founded a software company in 2003. Created a web-based product for improving the efficiency of on-boarding new employees and managing exiting employees. We defined a market which didn’t previously exist, and all major HR software now includes this functionality. We created a great product that our customers loved.
  • Built the first two versions of TurboTax Online, Intuit Canada's online tax software, from 2000 to 2002. This was ground-breaking Java web development at the time and had huge scalability challenges which I enjoyed solving. We developed a stable and reliable app that our users loved.
  • Worked in Hamburg, Germany doing web development at the height of the dot-com boom.
  • Led and implemented all technical aspects of launching the web development department of an ad agency in 1995. I did this while I was still completing my comp. sci. degree at the University of Toronto. It may have been a slight distraction from my studies at times.

When I’m not developing software I can be found either with my son Miles, at the gym practicing Jeet Kune Do and Filipino martial arts, or doing something active outdoors.

If you’ve enjoyed working with me or found my open source contributions useful, please recommend me on LinkedIn or Working With Rails or send me a short testimonial that I can use on my site.

Thanks! Now feel free to contact me or read one of my posts!

Recent posts

Emma Dowman

Almost six weeks ago, on the evening of a blue moon, my second child was born. Emma Katrina Dowman came into the world weighing 7 lbs, 10 oz. She's healthy and our family is happier (and noiser and busier) than ever!

Announcing 'OK, GROW!'

I have been doing freelance work for a while now, but recently I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be... Read on...

How to rename a Chef node

It's not possible to change the name of a Chef node that already exists. But you can effectively do... Read on...

My "GitHub Résumé"

David Coallier has created Github Résumé, which automatically generates a summary of any GitHub account in a résumé format. → Check out my GitHub résumé!

Updated reading list

My list of recommended reading was getting pretty stale, so I have just brought it into the current decade.... Read on...

More posts about: Balisong, Business, EC2, EC2 on Rails, FieldHints, GigPark, Git, Java, JavaScript, Linux, Mail, MySQL, Open Source, Personal, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, S3, Scalability, Software Development, Speaking, Systems, Toronto, Virtualization, Web.