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

Verified Expert  in Engineering

CI/CD Pipeline Developer

Location
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, advertising, 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.

Portfolio

Maven Clinic
MySQL, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Kubernetes, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)...
MiniMemories
Docker, Go, Kubernetes, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS)...
Digit (Oportun)
JavaScript, TypeScript, Team Leadership, Agile Project Management, Go...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

ITerm, Slack, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Kubernetes, Docker, TypeScript, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Go, Python, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

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

Org Lead Staff Engineer

2023 - PRESENT
Maven Clinic
  • Transparently transitioned the underlying video platform powering all practitioner appointments from Vonage to Zoom.
  • Installed, trained, and rolled out CI gates Python development best practices across the engineering org.
  • Designed and led the initiative to drive user-to-user message delivery rates from <95% to 100%.
  • Provided active mentorship to many engineers across domains.
  • Developed and rolled out a series of developer tools used to drive down and maintain API latency from p90 > 8 seconds to p90 < 2 seconds.
Technologies: MySQL, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Kubernetes, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Redis, Redis Cache, Redis Queue, Distributed Systems, Python, SQL, REST APIs, API Platforms, Stripe API, Back-end, Terraform

Founder

2021 - PRESENT
MiniMemories
  • Designed and built all back-end services and systems, including Go microservices running on Kubernetes.
  • Crafted and developed numerous 3rd-party messaging integrations and delivery verification systems to ensure the highest quality user experience.
  • Created a feature-rich reactive mobile site allowing users to view, interact, and manage all of their content.
Technologies: Docker, Go, Kubernetes, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), DNS, AWS Lambda, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Amazon EKS, React, CI/CD Pipelines, Twilio API, PostgreSQL, SQL, REST APIs, Event-driven Architecture, API Platforms, Stripe API, Python, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Terraform, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)

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.
  • Oversaw 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 (front-end, back-end, security, infra, developer experience, engineering managers) 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.
  • Spearheaded 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, Engineering, Leadership, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Lambda Functions, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, Distributed Systems, PostgreSQL, SQL, REST APIs, Event-driven Architecture, RabbitMQ, API Platforms, Stripe API, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Terraform, NoSQL

Manager of Platform and AI Engineering

2020 - 2021
Digit (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, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, Distributed Systems, Express.js, SQL, REST APIs, Event-driven Architecture, RabbitMQ, API Platforms, Stripe API, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Terraform, NoSQL

Director of Engineering

2018 - 2020
Calm
  • 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, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, Distributed Systems, Express.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, SQL, REST APIs, Event-driven Architecture, API Platforms, Stripe API, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Terraform, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), NoSQL

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, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, Distributed Systems, Amazon Web Services (AWS), SQL, REST APIs, Event-driven Architecture, API Platforms, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Terraform, NoSQL

Mobile Architect | Lead Engineer

2013 - 2016
Playstudios
  • 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, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Lambda, Express.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), REST APIs, API Platforms, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), NoSQL

Founder | Chief Architect

2012 - 2013
PlayGearz
  • 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, Express.js, REST APIs, API Platforms, Back-end, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)

Lead Mobile Engineer

2011 - 2012
Zynga
  • Architected an HTML5 framework to help develop new games rapidly.
  • Developed multiple games that directly connected to and supported several 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, Express.js, REST APIs, API Platforms, Back-end

Founder

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, REST APIs, API Platforms, Back-end

Monolith to Microservices

https://www.calm.com/
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

https://www.calm.com/
At Calm, the company's growth 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" that provided clear guidance on the updates that must be carried out.

Radiant | A Hyper-local Experience Platform

Radiant is an innovative hyper-local experience platform that merges advanced GPS and iBeacon technology to precisely locate users and offer targeted promotions and opportunities. I spearheaded a significant partnership with the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, leading to the installation of hundreds of iBeacons across their venues.

I handled the full-scale development of the platform, including crafting the Objective-C library and plugin, designing a comprehensive website for content management and real-time user heatmap visualization, and implementing a robust Node.js back end. To ensure high-speed data processing, I collaborated with Bay Area-based MemSQL to integrate a cutting-edge, fully in-memory SQL database into our infrastructure.

Ad Yield Maximization Platform

https://unity.com/solutions/unity-ads
The Ad Yield Maximization Platform is a cutting-edge Go-based service designed to optimize advertising revenue by intelligently sourcing and selecting ad creatives from multiple providers. It uses linear regression to blend the intrinsic value of ad creatives with their likelihood of conversion, ensuring that the most valuable creative is presented to each user. This service is the cornerstone of our company's revenue generation, continuously proving its worth as our primary income source through its sophisticated approach to maximizing ad performance.

In-App Purchase Promotions

https://unity.com/solutions/mobile-business/monetize-your-game/IAP
In-App Purchase Promotions is a comprehensive full-stack product that empowers customers to craft compelling creatives for mobile applications specifically designed to drive in-app purchases. Seamlessly integrated with our robust Ad Yield Maximization Platform, this solution ensures that app developers maximize their revenue potential when displaying ads. The technical architecture of this platform includes a React front end, a Go-based API layer, and a Cassandra database, all efficiently orchestrated on a Kubernetes environment. This product stands out by combining creative design flexibility with high-performance technology to optimize financial outcomes for developers.

myVEGAS Slots

https://www.playstudios.com/#/myvegas-slots
A Unity engine, C# mobile game.

As a front-end architect and project lead, I handled all of the visual elements and components that were assembled into custom games through simple configurations. My role involved building two parallel teams to utilize these components, facilitating rapid development and iteration.

Yumby Smash

http://www.yumby.com/
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

https://www.facebook.com/Zynga.Mobile.Mafia/
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.
2005 - 2010

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

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

JANUARY 2020 - PRESENT

Certified Generalist Software Engineer

An Online Freelance Agency

Libraries/APIs

Node.js, REST APIs, Stripe API, React, Redis Queue, Twilio API

Tools

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Terraform, Prisma, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Slack, ITerm, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), AWS ELB, Amazon EKS, RabbitMQ

Frameworks

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

Languages

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

Paradigms

Event-driven Architecture, Majestic Monolith, Microservices, Agile Project Management, Key Performance Metrics

Platforms

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

Storage

PostgreSQL, Redis, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), NoSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Data Pipelines, Amazon DynamoDB, Redis Cache, Databases

Other

Distributed Systems, CI/CD Pipelines, Lambda Functions, Back-end, API Platforms, NATS, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Physics, Machine Learning, APIs, Team Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), Development, Engineering, Advertising, iBeacon, GPS, Leadership, Containers, Front-end, Compliance, GDPR, DNS, Mobile Games

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