Kris Gholson, InsureSign’s lead developer

‘Head in the cloud’: How InsureSign’s development team is integrating the latest cloud-based technologies

Q&A: E-sign software developer Kris Gholson talks new technologies, the tech scene in the South, and life at InsureSign

We recently sat down with Kris Gholson, InsureSign’s lead developer, to learn about the creation of our e-signature software’s new, enhanced web-based version. Kris and his development team in Charleston have worked hard to make sure InsureSign continues to be the easiest e-signature tool to use.

We spoke with Kris about his unique background, the tech scene in the South, life at InsureSign and some of the newest cloud-based technologies keeping InsureSign a sleek & lean, e-signing machine.Kris Gholson, InsureSign’s lead developer

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your development background?

A: Before my career in development began, my early career was spent as an active duty Coast Guard officer for over 9 years. Once my time serving was complete, I left the Coast Guard to work for Perot Systems in its leadership and development program. After the events of September 11, 2001, I was called back into active duty.

After that, I worked developing Java software – and then joined InsureSign, where we leverage exciting new technologies like cloud computing, NoSQL databases, and serverless architecture.

Q: How long have you been working with InsureSign? How has your experience at InsureSign been different from previous jobs?  

A: I’ve been with InsureSign for about two years now. Prior to working with InsureSign, I always considered myself a “Jack-of-all-trades,” but InsureSign has definitely pushed that to the limit. It’s also been exciting working as the senior developer while managing the team and their multiple projects.

Q: What’s the best part of heading up InsureSign’s development team? What are your team’s particular strengths and areas of expertise?

A: Getting to do new things on a daily basis keeps things really interesting. As far as my team goes, they’re incredibly nimble and brave–no one is ever afraid to do something that is out of their area of expertise. That sort of can-do, mission-focused attitude really keeps a company like ours moving forward.

There’s a great sense of camaraderie amongst the team. They’re really talented and focused on building rock-solid backend services as well as creating the best user experience. Ultimately, it feels like we are taking on the giants of the industry and succeeding.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the technologies that were used to build the new InsureSign?

A: InsureSign has always used cloud computing to provide scalable and cost-effective solutions for our customers, but with our newest version, we have leveraged the latest serverless offerings from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver an infinitely scalable system while keeping our own technical architecture as simple as possible. A serverless architecture reduces the time that our dev team spends thinking about low-level infrastructure tasks like operating and scaling servers; we re-invest that time in focusing on building the logic that makes e-signing better and easier for our customers. The serverless cost-model works for us too since we only pay for the computing resources that we use. We do more with less, and that allows us to deliver awesome product features at a great value.

For our backend services, we use AWS services like Lambda, Simple Storage Service (S3), and DynamoDB. Lambda is a Function as a Service (FaaS) and allows us to write code (mostly JavaScript and Java) without getting bogged down in heavyweight frameworks and infrastructure. S3 and DynamoDB enable us to easily and securely store and retrieve our customer’s data.

We built our client-facing web application using AngularJS and Bootstrap – both open-source web frameworks. AngularJS is a JavaScript framework powered by Google that we use to build our modern, single page application that responds to user interaction without frustratingly slow round-trips to the server to submit and retrieve data. Bootstrap makes it easy for us to ensure that our application is “responsive.” Ultimately, both provides a more pleasant experience for the end customer.

Q: You’re based in Charleston. Do you think the South is a hotspot for technology right now, or heading in that direction?

A: Absolutely, it’s definitely become a tech hotspot and continues to move in that direction. There’s a lot of tech in the Southeast and a lot of opportunities for development careers in Charleston. For a medium-sized southern city, it’s doing really well and will only continue to do that.

Kris led the development of the new web-based version of InsureSign, available for new customers today. Ready to give it a try? Start now with a 14-day free trial.