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Who is Foxhound Systems?


Foxhound Systems is a custom software development company founded by Christian Charukiewicz and Ben Levy. We started Foxhound Systems because we care about great software, and having worked as professional software engineers for a long time, we believe we can help other organizations grow by creating fast, reliable, and well-designed software systems. We have both seen and had our hands in creating a wide variety of software and products, and one trait that we’ve shared along the way is that we’ve always been on the lookout for ways to learn, improve, and help others.

Our backstory

Christian and Ben met in college while working on their Computer Science degrees and have each had varied careers in software development.

Christian started his software development career by working for a small game development company where he oversaw product development and afterwards worked at a Chicago SaaS startup, where he spent his last 5 years as Chief Technology Officer. Over the course of his career, he has played dual roles as both technology and product leads, setting direction and working day-to-day in product, engineering, and infrastructure. As CTO, he introduced his team to the Haskell and Elm programming languages, which became the standard tools for new development.

Ben has worked for a wide variety of organizations over the course of his professional career, including eBay, Bloomberg, Boeing, as well as several smaller companies. Ben has a very broad software engineering background, and has professional experience working on a wide array of software systems and languages, ranging from aircraft flight simulators to web applications. He has spent the last few years working predominantly on web services and open source libraries written in Haskell. He is a maintainer of the Esqueleto library, which is the most widely used SQL library in the Haskell ecosystem.

Over the course of our professional careers, we’ve both observed numerous ways in which software projects could have been executed more effectively. We’ve witnessed this in our jobs, in talking to other professionals, in examining applications we’ve used. We believe that there’s no need to settle for mediocre software or to accept that many software projects deliver only passable results after taking many times longer than expected to finish. We decided to start Foxhound Systems because we know we can do better, and think that we can help organizations create the software they’re hoping to get.

Who we are as a company

As a custom software development company, we believe we can help organizations grow through software that can be relied on, whether that’s working on an old system or building something completely new. There are many ways in which we describe ourselves, but here are some of our most defining traits.

  • We’re software engineers. We’ve been writing code professionally for years. We care about writing code that runs fast and is easy to maintain, and strive to make our software reliable.
  • We’re functional programmers. We’re experts at Haskell and Elm and embrace the strengths of these languages. Our experience has led us to believe that statically typed functional programming helps developers write reliable and maintainable code.
  • We’re ops people. We have extensive experience designing and maintaining the infrastructure that runs our code. We pride ourselves on zero-downtime deployments, and will go far out of our way to achieve them.
  • We’re big on relational databases. We love SQL. Query optimization and database tuning are right in our wheelhouse—we have a ton of experience with squeezing out as much performance as possible.
  • We’re product people. We focused on building applications that are not only a joy to use, but also provide significant return on investment. This means building user interfaces that are intuitive and responsive, while keeping in mind the needs of the business.

How we contribute

We’ve benefited greatly from open source software and software communities over the course of our careers, and we continue to benefit as a company today. We’d like to give back and help these communities continue to grow. Here’s a few of the things we’ve been doing as well as what we plan to do as a company:

  • We contribute to established open source projects. We’ve mentioned our involvement in Esqueleto, and we’ve also made numerous contributions to other projects, such as Yesod. Beyond code, we also try to write or improve documentation.
  • We publish new open source software. We’ve published open source software both as individuals and as a company. We frequently look for opportunities to extract libraries that can be used widely.
  • We help others on various community platforms. You’ll often find us answering questions and helping beginners in places like the Functional Programming Slack, the /r/Haskell subreddit, or the #nixos channel on Freenode.
  • We will be writing about what we learn on this blog. As we discover new ways to solve some of the problems we encounter, we’ll be writing about them here.

Welcome aboard

Thanks for joining us on this journey. We hope that what we learn and share can help you.

— Christian & Ben

Looking for help with something you’re working on? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us at info@foxhound.systems