Alec Ten Harmsel, Developer in Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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Alec Ten Harmsel

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 7, 2019

Alec began programming at the age of 14 and has loved it ever since. He ran an autonomous drone team in college for a couple of years before graduating to work on a variety of software in banking and construction management.


Redis, PostgreSQL, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
Qt 5, PyQt 5, Kubernetes, D3.js, PostgreSQL, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby...
Goldman Sachs
C, Boost.Asio, Redis, Vert.x, Java, Boost, C++




Preferred Environment

Vim Text Editor, Linux, Gentoo

The most amazing...

...opportunity was when I discovered and helped fix a serious issue less than two weeks after starting at Goldman Sachs.

Work Experience


2019 - PRESENT
  • Developed tools for property owners to view and manage their properties.
  • Added cash basis views to various accounting reports.
  • Supported property management software built with Ruby on Rails.
Technologies: Redis, PostgreSQL, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby


2018 - 2019
  • Developed Tridium-based software to sync HVAC and lighting schedules with Microsoft Exchange calendars.
  • Modeled labor across construction projects to predict future labor needs.
  • Ideated and created a web app to track projects, costs, and work orders using Ruby on Rails, React, and D3, deployed to Kubernetes.
  • Created a search engine with Spring Boot and Lucene to search job and work order documents. Made a web front end with Spring Boot and a desktop app interface to the search API with PyQt5.
Technologies: Qt 5, PyQt 5, Kubernetes, D3.js, PostgreSQL, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Java, Node.js


2016 - 2018
Goldman Sachs
  • Wrote custom monitoring and alerting software using Vert.x to reduce time to detect problems by two orders of magnitude.
  • Designed, developed, and supported core trading control software written in C++, Java, Scala, and Q globally.
  • Improved DevOps tooling to significantly reduce manual intervention during releases.
  • Developed a StatsD proxy server with C++ and Boost.Asio to improve monitoring accuracy.
  • Created custom reports as needed for crucial business team members.
Technologies: C, Boost.Asio, Redis, Vert.x, Java, Boost, C++

Hadoop System Administrator

2013 - 2016
University of Michigan
  • Installed and managed Hadoop, Spark, and other related tools.
  • Wrote jobs to process HPC cluster logs for monitoring.
  • Assisted researchers in analyzing large amounts of data using Hadoop and Spark in Java, Scala, and Python.
  • Used Ansible to configure base cluster operating system and manage services, including Hadoop and Spark.
  • Wrote system administration tools using Python to reduce manual system administration work.
Technologies: Spark, Ansible, Python, Scala, Java, Apache Spark, Hadoop

Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

Designed and developed various software throughout my 3.5 years on the team. Developed computer vision algorithms to find, identify, and locate flash drives in 3D space. Developed path planning (A*), networking, and a Qt-based user interface for controlling drones.

Managed the team developing navigation, computer vision, and other high-level algorithms for two years. Co-managed the team for the same two years, leading or assisting in fundraising, outreach, and recruiting.

Emergency Flight Planning for an Energy-constrained Multicopter

Was the main author on a paper describing a methodology for planning emergency landing paths for multicopters in urban environments. Using a combination of maps and sensor data, emergency planning can be done constantly in the background to land as quickly as possible in an emergency.

Web-based Coaching App

I developed the back end of a web-based application for coaching esports users using Ruby on Rails. Specifically, I implemented changes for scheduling, payments, in-app currency, user wallets, and reporting for business analysts.
2012 - 2016

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI


Stripe, React, PyQt 5, D3.js, Node.js


Vim Text Editor, Ansible, MATLAB, Yardi


C++, C, Ruby, Java, Scala, Python, Go


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Apache Spark, Boost, Vert.x, Hadoop, Spark, Qt 5


Linux, Kubernetes


PostgreSQL, Redis


Gentoo, Boost.Asio

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