Aaron Jones, Developer in Walnut Creek, CA, United States
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Aaron Jones

Verified Expert  in Engineering

CI/CD Pipelines Developer

Walnut Creek, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 30, 2020

Aaron is a highly motivated and accomplished software engineer with a proven track record of leadership and management across many domains, including fintech, healthcare, mobile gaming, ads, and more. Aaron is committed to delivering successful projects and fostering cohesive, high-performing teams through mentorship and collaborative efforts and is passionate about delivering business impact.


Digit (Oportun)
JavaScript, TypeScript, Team Leadership, Agile Project Management, Go...
Digit.co (Oportun)
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apache Kafka, Python, Data Pipelines...
Kubernetes, Docker, JavaScript, Go, TypeScript, Microservices, Team Leadership...




Preferred Environment

ITerm, Slack, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Kubernetes, Docker, TypeScript, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Go, JavaScript

The most amazing...

...thing I've accomplished is leading a team through hypergrowth in multiple business vectors while simultaneously addressing multiple compliance liabilities.

Work Experience

Lead Senior Staff Engineer

2021 - PRESENT
Digit (Oportun)
  • Served as the lead of leads; reported to the CTO and drove the engineering IC leaders on key cross-cutting initiatives spanning embedding with a team to fight a fire or developing cross-organizational parallel implementation plans.
  • Drafted and obtained a comprehensive agreement from leadership for a 5-track full company (eng, QA, ops, legal, leadership) evolution, transitioning Oportun's ~500-person 100+ service engineering org from a 7-day release cycle to continuous delivery.
  • Led the transition of user authentication from homegrown to Okta, creating an exponential drop in security incidents and providing modern authentication standards to our users.
  • Led the integration of Digit and Oportun's engineering teams and service back ends, including AuthZ, AuthN, user sync, mobile app, APIs, and more (post-acquisition in January 2023), enabling GTM of full rebrand and integration in one quarter.
  • Mentored six engineers (FE, BE, SEC, INFRA, DEV-EX, Eng Man) through accelerated growth to promotion.
  • Led the design and implementation of localization across the entire org (engineering, QA, social, etc.), opening new markets and dramatically improving the experience for existing customers.
  • Led the overhaul of an onboarding funnel implementation, resulting in an increase in product activation rate from <40% to >90%.
  • Single-handedly designed and launched on-demand prod-like environments for developers, dramatically increasing developer experience and decreasing production incidents 10x.
  • Built and rolled out an org-wide, tool-driven style guide, including the formation of a governing guild, accelerating development and codifying engineering culture.
  • Led the API integration with a financial partner, Galileo. Built unique tools for the in-house engineering team, increasing implementation velocity and providing access to CI testing frameworks.
Technologies: JavaScript, TypeScript, Team Leadership, Agile Project Management, Go, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, React, React Native, CI/CD Pipelines, Development, Key Performance Metrics, Leadership, Engineering, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Lambda Functions, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Lambda

Manager of Platform and AI Engineering

2020 - 2021
Digit.co (Oportun)
  • Formed a platform engineering team focused on stabilizing and owning key back-end services, increasing product development velocity and reliability.
  • Led the SDLC and observability overhaul, eliminating burnout and pager fatigue and establishing common monitoring tooling for all engineering teams.
  • Reformed AI's role at Digit and co-authored an engineering leveling matrix standardizing engineering career development, resulting in a 50% drop in attrition.
  • Performed all managerial roles, including hiring, onboarding, performance management, and career development, producing promotions across multiple business domains.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apache Kafka, Python, Data Pipelines, Machine Learning, APIs, JavaScript, TypeScript, PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Majestic Monolith, Microservices, Team Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Lambda Functions, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Lambda

Director of Engineering

2018 - 2020
  • Led the transition from a Node.js monolith to Go microservices on Kubernetes, resulting in a dramatic increase in developer productivity.
  • Spearheaded the GDPR compliance remediation across back-end systems.
  • Led multiple B2B integrations focused on seamlessly bringing the Calm product into companies' existing internal ecosystems (direct API, federated SSO, and signed bulk transfer for airlines).
  • Developed a new internal process to address evolving needs of the growing business.
  • Wrote numerous new cross-platform features for the Calm applications, including refactoring the media library cache with an 80% reduction in P99 latency, localization, and unique partner branding implementations.
  • Negotiated multiple vendor contracts and oversaw all back-end engineering projects.
Technologies: Kubernetes, Docker, JavaScript, Go, TypeScript, Microservices, Team Leadership, Lambda Functions, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Lambda

Senior Software Engineer | Lead Engineer

2016 - 2018
Unity Technologies
  • Led the development of a high-frequency advertising yield maximization platform (24,000 RPS).
  • Oversaw the development of a new machine learning-backed ad unit with a connected dashboard to update and manage creatives.
  • Played a key role on the hiring panel for the addition of more than 40 engineers.
Technologies: Kubernetes, Docker, MongoDB, NATS, Apache Kafka, Cassandra, Node.js, JavaScript, Go, Advertising, Machine Learning, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Lambda Functions, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Lambda

Mobile Architect | Lead Engineer

2013 - 2016
  • Architected a C# front-end platform to facilitate the rapid development of new features by other client teams.
  • Served as the lead client developer on the myVEGAS mobile slot game.
  • Expanded the mobile team from 2 to more than 20, including training and mentorship.
Technologies: Unity, Node.js, JavaScript, C#, Objective-C, iBeacon, Bluetooth LE, GPS, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Lambda Functions, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Lambda

Founder | Chief Architect

2012 - 2013
  • Developed a cross-platform physics game called Yumby Smash (reached number seven in the action/arcade category).
  • Built a cross-platform 3D word puzzle game called Yumby Words.
  • Constructed the cloud infrastructure to host game servers (supports tiered access and elastic scaling).
  • Created in-house analytics, experiment, administration, and user authentication systems.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), MySQL, Node.js, JavaScript, Unity, C#, Lambda Functions

Lead Mobile Engineer

2011 - 2012
  • Architected an HTML5 framework to help rapidly develop new games.
  • Developed multiple games that directly connected to and supported multiple of Zynga's most popular titles.
  • Operated in a full-stack capacity, developing user experience elements all the way to the database storage.
Technologies: Java, Objective-C, HTML5, PHP, Node.js, JavaScript


2009 - 2011
Shattered Axis Technologies
  • Developed an iPhone application that aggregated drink specials from dense bar areas such as 6th street in Austin, Texas.
  • Built a portal for business owners to manage their presence on the platform.
  • Partnered with multiple bar management companies to provide value to the customers and drive higher engagement for the businesses.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), MySQL, JavaScript, Objective-C

Monolith to Microservices

At Calm, I architected and led the transition from a Node.js monolith deployed on bare EC2 instances to containerized Go services running in Kubernetes. I developed the CI/CD workflow as well as many of the base libraries that were critical to the success of the transition.

GDPR Compliance

At Calm, the growth of the company facilitated the need to become GDPR compliant.

I designed and led the implementation spanning all areas of our storage and infrastructure to meet the given requirements. I partnered with the legal team to create a "data map" providing clear guidance to the updates that must be carried out.


A hyper-local experience platform utilizing a hybrid of GPS and iBeacon information to pinpoint a user's location and use machine learning to deliver promotions and opportunities to the user.

For this, I negotiated an agreement with the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas strip to install hundreds of iBeacons throughout their properties. I personally developed the application in its entirety including the Objective-C library and plugin, a website to manage content and view user heatmaps, and a Node.js back end.

For the data store, I worked with the Bay Area company MemSQL to utilize a lightning-fast fully in-memory SQL database.

Ad Yield Maximization Platform

A Go-based service that communicated with multiple ad creative providers to source ad creatives. It blended the value of the creative with conversion probability (linear regression) to deliver the highest value creative to the user. This service is still the primary revenue generator for the company.

IAP Promotions

A full-stack product allowing customers to design creatives that would appear in a mobile application driving the user to make an in-app-purchase. This was hooked into the ad yield maximization platform to ensure the application developer displaying the ads received the maximal revenue possible.

The stack was as follows: front end (React), API layer (Go), database (Cassandra), and all deployed on Kubernetes.

myVEGAS Slots

A Unity engine, C# mobile game.

For this project, I worked as the front-end architect and project lead for all of the visual elements and components that were assembled into custom games through simple configurations. In this role, I built two parallel teams to utilize these components facilitating rapid development and iteration.

Yumby Smash

A C# mobile game developed in Unity Game Engine.

I was a founder of the company and the primary developer for this game. It was featured by Google multiple times and was downloaded over 1 million times. This game contained many complex implementations around time manipulation, object destruction, and animations.

Mafia Wars Shakedown

An HTML5 game connected to a PHP back end.

I worked as a full-stack developer on this game for Zynga. The game was the first attempt for Zynga to utilize HTML5 for cross-platform gaming. The frameworks that were created were later used to accelerate the development of multiple successful games.


Go, JavaScript, TypeScript, SQL, Objective-C, PHP, HTML5, Java, C#, C, C++, Python


Express.js, Next.js, Unity, React Native


Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), Prisma, Slack, ITerm


Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, AWS Lambda, Apache Kafka, Kubernetes, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Bluetooth LE


PostgreSQL, Redis, NoSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Data Pipelines, Amazon DynamoDB


Distributed Systems, CI/CD Pipelines, Lambda Functions, NATS, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Physics, Machine Learning, APIs, Team Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Development, Engineering, Advertising, iBeacon, GPS, Leadership


Node.js, React


Majestic Monolith, Microservices, Agile Project Management, Key Performance Metrics

2005 - 2010

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX, USA