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The Learn Enough Founders

Michael Hartl

Michael is the author or coauthor of over ten Learn Enough tutorials, including the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, one of the leading introductions to web development. Michael is a frequent speaker at technical conferences, and in 2011 received a Ruby Hero Award for his contributions to the programming community.

Michael is also the author of the influential mathematical essay The Tau Manifesto and founded the internationally celebrated math holiday Tau Day in 2010. As a result, the number τ = C/r = 6.283185… is now available in programming languages such as Python, Julia, .NET, and Rust, as well as at the Khan Academy and in the Google Calculator.

As a graduate student, Michael taught the core physics curriculum at Caltech, where he was a popular instructor with the students and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. During his time at Caltech, Michael studied general relativity with Nobel prizewinner Kip Thorne, and also got to know Kip’s friend and frequent campus visitor Stephen Hawking.

Michael is a graduate of Harvard College, has a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, and is an alumnus of the Y Combinator entrepreneur program.

Apart from his interests in science, education, and entrepreneurship, Michael enjoys choral singing, studying languages, and reading old books. He is also an advanced student of Krav Maga, holding a Level 5 rank (a “black belt in self-defense”).

Lee Donahoe

Lee found his calling as an interactive designer through the Interactive Multimedia and Technologies program at USC. Although he had been interested in web development before that, it was the program's mix of art, engineering, and technology that set him on his path. Lee worked as a Creative Executive at Creative Artists Agency doing internal branding and design for a number of years.

He is in charge of front-end design and development for Learn Enough, and along with Nick Merwin co-founded the test coverage service

Coveralls provides history and statistics about how much of your source code is covered by your automated test suite - an important metric that helps software developers understand how new changes to a codebase might affect the quality and stability of the application. If automated testing isn't something you are familiar with, you'll find out more about it in The Ruby on Rails Tutorial!

Lee and Nick also are technical cofounders (meaning we handle only the technical side of the business and not clothing design) of the men's clothing company Buck Mason.

Buck Mason was founded in Venice Beach, CA and sells classic American basics like tees and jeans online, and through 11 stores across the US in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Austin. The system we built also manages not just the online sales, but also all the inventory, order management, and even the in-store point of sale system.

Lee is also the principal author of two of our books, Learn Enough HTML to Be Dangerous and Learn Enough CSS & Layout to Be Dangerous, and when not working on Learn Enough, Lee is an enthusiastic snowboarder and scuba diver.

Nick Merwin

Nick embarked on his love affair with programming at age 15 while in high-school in Portland, Oregon. It continued into college, where he received a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Interactive Multimedia and Technologies from USC in 2003. Nick freelanced in web site building for four years before co-founding a software development consultancy in 2007, and then onto startup development with Learn Enough.

Outside of Softcover, has presented at several events, including RailsConf '07, '15 and the LA Web Developer group. He also plays guitar for the electro-pop band Capital Cities.

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