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Over seventeen years application development experience, six years developing with Ruby on Rails

Firsthand is the Web-based software development studio of Nicholas Henry based in Montréal. Nicholas began as a software practitioner sixteen years ago at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) where he contributed to the development of an education framework database. From there he moved to Ottawa working with Zim Technologies, the technology company that developed the application development environment and database software for NZQA. At Zim Technologies, Nicholas was responsible for the maintenance, enhancements and training on the Integrated Development Environment (IDE).


Over the last ten years, Nicholas has been working independently with a range of small to large businesses and organizations developing custom web-based applications and content management systems. Nicholas has recently worked with Dynamo on a number of projects including:

In the past Nicholas has also worked with companies such as Clinivision Patient Charting (Tyco Healthcare), Sandman Sleep Diagnostics (Tyco Healthcare), Distil Interactive, IS2 Medical Systems (now Positron Corporation); and organizations such as Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Triathlon Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Health Canada.

Technology and Experience

While Nicholas is experienced in a range of technologies beginning with Zim for enterprise software development, and moving onward to web-based technologies such as PHP and Coldfusion, he now develops exclusively using Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails has enabled Nicholas to adopt important software development practices such as Test-Driven Development. He is an active member of the Ruby on Rails mailing list, helping other web developers and blogs about Web Development and Ruby on Rails. You can also catch him tweeting about all things web related.

Developing Ruby on Rails applications and custom Content Management Systems in Montréal. Contact Firsthand.