Recurse Center Participant Jan 2023 – Mar 2023
- Participated in Recurse Center, an educational retreat designed to make people dramatically better programmers. Alongside an incredible batch of people, explored a variety of technical ideas within the self-directed environment of RC.
- Explored HTMX and Django in detail, trying to understand the possibilities and limits of using minimal JS libraries with battle-hardened python frameworks. https://zachgoldstein.engineering/posts/crusty-knives/crusty-knives/
- Completed the Fly.io gossip glomers challenges in Go. Deepened my understanding of distributed systems and Go by building hands-on systems. https://github.com/zachgoldstein/flyio-glomers
- Worked through Nand2Tetris, a course designed to go from elementary gates through to the construction of a modern computer system across both hardware and software. Built a simplified compiler, CPU, ALU and other systems with python.
- Built a library to quickly fake a hypermedia API, designed to be used with HTMX to simplify prototyping: https://zachgoldstein.engineering/posts/hypermedia-server/hypermedia-server/
- In embedded C++, built an extensible firmware system for a hardware datalogger I designed for mushroom growers. The system is built with the raspi pico (RP2040) and a custom PCB I designed.
- Explored CAD and mechanical engineering in fusion360 to design and iterate on a set of custom parts for fancy cafe espresso machines. Collaborated with a local coffee roasting company and espresso machine servicing business to fine-tune parts.
Bramble & Artery - Director of Engineering Aug 2019 – Aug 2022
- Led the technical transformation of Artery, a platform to co-organise intimate cultural events, to Bramble, a dynamic virtual meetings product during the tumultuous coronavirus era.
- Worked in tight collaboration to prototype a speculative product with dynamic videoconferencing elements, leading to around a million dollars in funding.
- Built engineering team from two engineers to a team of twelve, designing the hiring process from scratch. Established critical partnerships with a network of independent contractors to accelerate development and fill gaps in specialised expertise.
- Worked directly with founders to set the technical roadmap and regularly prepared development reports to communicate progress across the team. Pushed to stabilise a high-velocity cadence, regularly deploying new features and fixes.
- Introduced automated deployments, testing strategies, code review and other technical process into the team, improving the reliability of deployments and reducing regressions.
- Experimented with a variety of management techniques to “steer the ship” on the technical team, continually seeking to improve the health and growth of the team.
- Pushed to improve non-technical process, introducing a lightweight scoping strategy based off Basecamp’s shaping documents. Deployed and fine-tuned this process on over a dozen major projects.
- Led from the front, reviewing and writing code, monitoring and operating infrastructure, directly firefighting issues.
- Prototyped initial infrastructure on AWS and collaborated with engineers to design a flexible architecture that could react to the fast-moving requiremenets of live virtual events. Shifted from a brittle, manually managed system to a flexible infra-as-code strategy using terraform. Cut down the time to scale infrastructure up or down from multiple days to hours, reducing operational costs by 50%.
Toptal - Contract Software Engineer Sep 2016 – Ongoing
- Architected earthquake detection systems for Rio Tinto’s Mongolian mine Oyu Tolgoi, one of the largest mines in the world
- Worked directly with seismologists and on-site personel to build python pipelines deployed on kubernetes
- Drove the creation of a new revenue stream for juice bar chain PureGreen, working full stack to build a user-facing system to create, manage, and execute subscriptions.
- Used django, react, and redux. Integrated directly with payment provider and distribution partner
- Implemented data collection systems for financial analysis product wavebasis and integrated payment provider for subscriptions
Airbrake.io - Software Engineer Sep 2016 – Jan 2018
- Worked in Go improving and maintaining distributed systems code that accepted and ingested large quantites (~10 mill/day data points) of error data.
Sozo App - Technical Lead Apr 2016 – Aug 2016
- Built web scraping infrastructure collecting product data from various grocery providers
- Managed development efforts from other contractors and integrated resulting work
- Developed integrations for operational tooling, including error, metrics and log management solutions.
AppMonsta - Distributed System Engineer Sep 2015 – Mar 2016
- Built spark (python) pipelines processing > 200 million unique data points per day
- Improved and maintained high performance python web spiders scraping > 1 million items a day
Spring Inc. - Contract Software Engineer Mar 2015 – May 2015
Helped the company scale their web scraping infrastructure by building critical components with golang
Rockpool Labs - Engineer Sep 2014 – Jan 2015
- Worked with golang on google app engine building high performance, auto-scaling services
- Built out core service libraries, including logging, error handling and others critical componentry
Aston Club - Senior Software Engineer Nov 2013 – Sep 2014
- Initiated and won internal support for a set of nodejs-based software development best practises that minimised duplication of work. This became the lynch-pin for the refactoring of internal code and a key part of the company’s plans to tackle problems of scale.
- Championed a complete switch in infrastructure management to ansible, re-writing deployment, testing, and development procedures to increase productivity.
- Played a part in developing a custom auto-updater in C# and .NET, getting up to speed quickly with the evil land of microsoft (perhaps learning it’s not so evil).
- Developed a new POS integration that increased the total number of active venues (at the time) by 10%.
- Wrote a communications library to drastically simplify the methods of inter-service message routing through message brokers (Rabbitmq).
Self-Employed - Contractor Apr 2013 – Nov 2013
- Used nodejs and raspberry pis to develop a prototype for a startup looking to improve communications/analysis of hockey players and coaches. This helped them raise $75k in initial funding.
- Built a Ruby-based administration tool for developers and surfaced valuable information about users/systems for an education-based startup.
- Prototyped the frontend (angularjs) for a startup optimising the renovation process.
- Built out a carousel style view component (js/html/css) with heavy backbone usage.
- Converted a phonegap-based app to a native iOS app.
Better Place Australia - Software Developer (Co-op) May 2012 – Jul 2012
- Prototyped an IOS application to give the company’s customers direct feedback about the Better Place Network
- Designed and built the early mobile client API for communicating with the Better Place Network, utilizing the Typesafe stack, Salesforce, and MongoDB.
- Improved and maintained internal tools that directly affected the workflow of employees testing devices in the field.
Electronic Arts - Software Developer (Co-op) Sep 2011 – Dec 2011
- Worked closely in a team of developers, artists, and economists to develop “Trouble Makers”, an iphone game that was played by tens of thousands of users.
- Contributed to all layers of the application, from server to UI to tools.
- Added new features, fixed bugs, and pushed development towards a polished finished product.
- Worked with Unity 3d and C# on the client end in addition to Java on the backend.
Reindeer Flotilla - Founder and Sole Developer Jan 2011 – Apr 2011
- Founded a small business creating flash games for the web.
- Led a remote team of 5 people across 9 time zones to build Sapphire Skies, an action game with stragic elements that has been played 9,400 times to date.
- Coded all elements of the game, from UI to backend, integrating open source technology.
- Utilized a small test group to make informed improvements based on analytics.
Hitgrab Inc - Games Developer (Co-op) May 2010 – Sep 2010
- Helped to drive the conceptualization, development and analysis of a flash based facebook game.
- Contributed to all layers of application, creating code on the PHP-based backend and the Actionscript frontend.
- Got up to speed with PHP and acted to rapidly help meet goals when a lack of backend resources created a bottleneck in development.
Fantasy Interactive - Interactive Development Intern (Co-op) Sep 2009 – Dec 2009
- Worked alongside seasoned industry experts on projects for major clients (Electronic Arts and Burton).
- Created CSS and HTML widgets that formed the basis of a community-based portal website.
- Brainstormed and designed wireframes that were used to create the Kontain (FI’s home-grown social network) iphone app.
- Worked in Flash to rapidly create an application for Burton Snowboards that would interactively reveal portion of a map with smoothly animated movements.
Research In Motion - Prototype Software Developer (Co-op) May 2009 – Aug 2009
- Architected the front-end development of a major conceptual prototype intended to explore new uses of advanced user interfaces.
- Worked closely with a team of hardware engineers, graphic designers, and industrial designers to develop software to create a cutting-edge product concept.
DesignAxiom Ltd. - Software Developer (Co-op) Sep 2008 – Dec 2008
- Learnt an in-house flash development framework and applied knowledge to contribute major deliverables in the development of a complex flex application for a pharmaceutical analytics company.
- Contributed to an intricate flex application in the children’s entertainment sector.
- Created JSFL scripts to simplify animation tasks and solve interaction problems between animations and the flex application.
- Added features to a a desktop-based educational video player
- Fixed bugs with a facebook-based flash game.
Autodesk - Software Developer (Co-op) Jan 2008 – May 2008
- Created a java-based web tool for a project management system that increased usability and saved employees considerable amounts of time each day.
- Gained experience with administration of the perforce source control system.
- Created python scripts to automate processes in perforce.