Alex Massaad, Developer in Fergus, ON, Canada
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Alex Massaad

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Shopify Developer

Location
Fergus, ON, Canada
Toptal Member Since
April 30, 2024

Alex is a seasoned developer with a background in crafting robust, scalable solutions. He guarantees smooth operations across platforms using cutting-edge technologies such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Ruby, and Rails. Specializing in both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, Alex excels at optimizing system performance and securing data integrity. Trust in his wide-ranging technical prowess to empower your business, regardless of size.

Portfolio

Shopify
Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Shopify Polaris, Shopify, Docker, Kubernetes...
Shopify
Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Shopify Polaris, Boston Dynamics, Python 3...
Shopify
Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Raspberry Pi, Networking, Heroku, Workday API...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

MacOS, Homebrew, Kubernetes, Linux

The most amazing...

...thing I've helped build is the Shopify eCommerce platform, where I worked on the image and video systems that handle over 20 million file requests per minute.

Work Experience

Software Development Manager | Image and Video

2022 - 2023
Shopify
  • Expanded a remote full-stack team from two to six engineers, handling talent development and performance management.
  • Curated a culture of open communication by designing and leading individual and team rituals such as code review, sprint planning, one-on-ones, encouraging pairing, weekly retros, and social events.
  • Orchestrated the seamless migration of the Shopify video transcoder from AWS to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with zero downtime, yielding a 30% cost savings and increasing upload speed for merchant media.
  • Directed a geographically distributed team from Vancouver to Berlin, navigating numerous time zones to ensure effective collaboration and performance.
  • Diagnosed and tuned our Kubernetes configurations to ensure constant uptime for our 3D and video services, which experience unpredictable workloads.
Technologies: Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Shopify Polaris, Shopify, Docker, Kubernetes, Shopify API, Shopify Storefront API, Code Review, Code Refactoring, REST APIs, APIs, Shopify Customizations, Leadership, Node.js, JavaScript, Back-end, TypeScript, Software Engineering, Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Full-stack, MVP Design, Web Scraping, Shopify Liquid, Custom Shopify Apps, PostgreSQL, Redis, Stripe, eCommerce, Payment Gateways, Elasticsearch, MySQL, Git, CSS, HTML, Full-stack Development, Cloud Infrastructure, FFmpeg, GraphQL, Back-end Development, Administration, Shopify Design, Shopify Plus

Software Development Manager | Technical Infrastructure Team

2018 - 2022
Shopify
  • Oversaw a team of three senior engineers creating unique Rails and React solutions, focusing on scalability, reliability, and world-class engineering standards.
  • Worked on projects ranging from automated network design tools to in-house video streaming services and a secure podcast hosting platform.
  • Established one-on-ones, code reviews, impact assessments, team roadmaps, and professional development opportunities to stimulate growth and creativity.
  • Designed high-performance webpages to handle high-traffic events, with users accessing simultaneously from across the globe with zero downtime.
Technologies: Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Shopify Polaris, Boston Dynamics, Python 3, Code Review, Code Refactoring, JavaScript, REST APIs, APIs, Shopify Customizations, Leadership, Node.js, Back-end, TypeScript, Software Engineering, Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Full-stack, MVP Design, Web Scraping, Shopify Liquid, Custom Shopify Apps, PostgreSQL, Redis, Stripe, eCommerce, Payment Gateways, Elasticsearch, MySQL, Git, CSS, HTML, Full-stack Development, Cloud Infrastructure, FFmpeg, Amazon Web Services (AWS), GraphQL, Back-end Development, Administration, Shopify Design, Shopify Plus

Senior Software Developer

2015 - 2018
Shopify
  • Developed custom software for digital signage, which enabled office-wide announcements and eliminated hundreds of hours of configuration work. This service incorporated infrastructure as code and was deployed to Heroku.
  • Designed, developed, and tested a Rails-based custom authentication and authorization software that tied Workday, Okta, and our physical security system together.
  • Designed a Raspberry Pi-based temperature sensing network, improving the infrastructure's resilience to server room heating events.
  • Integrated apps with various APIs, including Google Workspace, Google Calendar, Workday, Shopify, and others (including custom JSON and XML services).
Technologies: Ruby on Rails (RoR), React, Raspberry Pi, Networking, Heroku, Workday API, Shopify API, JSON REST APIs, JSON API, Chef, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Okta, Google Workspace, Google Calendar API, JavaScript, REST APIs, APIs, Shopify Customizations, Node.js, Back-end, Software Engineering, Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Full-stack, MVP Design, Web Scraping, Shopify Liquid, Custom Shopify Apps, PostgreSQL, Redis, Stripe, eCommerce, Payment Gateways, Elasticsearch, NestJS, MySQL, Git, CSS, HTML, Full-stack Development, Cloud Infrastructure, FFmpeg, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Back-end Development, Administration, Shopify Design, Shopify Plus

Support Operations

2013 - 2015
Shopify
  • Administered SaaS applications such as 1Password, Twilio, Zendesk, and Zapier for a team of over 1,000 support staff.
  • Developed automation and business logic to facilitate customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Assisted peer employees with technical support and bug logging for internal tools.
  • Assisted with building Ruby-based API automation with Twilio, Zendesk, and other internal tools for business reporting.
Technologies: Twilio API, Zendesk API, Zapier, IT Support, Ruby, Shopify, REST APIs, APIs, Shopify Liquid, Stripe, Payment Gateways, MySQL, Git, HTML, Cloud Infrastructure, Email Systems, Administration, Shopify Design, Shopify Plus

Collections Specialist

2011 - 2013
City of Ottawa
  • Conserved digital and computer-based art in the City of Ottawa Fine Art Collection.
  • Managed the daily operations of the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa.
  • Managed online social media presence, including engaging artists and the public.
Technologies: WordPress, Facebook, Web Development, HTML, Administration

StockGlow

https://apps.shopify.com/restock-notifications
StockGlow is an app for Shopify stores that lets stores be proactive about their inventory levels by setting up notifications for low-stock items.

The app provides stores with the following features:
• The stores can be notified before they sell out, and they can set up a customized notification that can be sent instantly or on a schedule to allow the stores to keep their customers satisfied and increase their sales volume.
• Provided the option to send notifications to the stores' suppliers to update them with restocking needs.

I designed, built, and managed the infrastructure for this app.

Shopify Video Transcoder Migration

The Shopify Video Transcoder processes hundreds of Shopify merchant videos every minute and compresses them so they are faster for delivery over the web. It was originally built using AWS technology and written in Go. Under my direction, my team migrated this to GCP by slowly migrating features and testing them with our development environments. The ultimate goal was to align it with all our other cloud services, and we also enjoyed a few other benefits: a 30% speed improvement, cost savings, and zero downtime.

Coding Education Boston Dynamics Robot

The Coding Education Robot, a unique interactive tool, was a special project assigned to my team at Shopify in Toronto with specific guidelines.

Its function as an ice-breaker style activity facilitated improved communication and teamwork among both engineering and non-engineering support teams. Given a Boston Dynamics robot dog and a room, we aimed to create an accessible coding-based challenge that required teams to generate a series of commands in the shortest time possible to complete an obstacle course.

As the project lead, I directed a team of four engineers, designing and deploying a novel software solution that combined Rails, Python, Boston Dynamics' SDKs, and the GCP PubSub API. Within two weeks, we managed to successfully build a working prototype. My contribution led to the successful execution of a fun and educational hands-on coding activity where complex technical concepts were made engaging and accessible. The project effectively bridged communication barriers between different teams and increased coding literacy among non-engineer personnel, proving a success in solving Shopify's business problem of fostering inter-departmental cooperation.
2006 - 2012

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies

Carleton University - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Libraries/APIs

Node.js, Shopify API, REST APIs, Stripe, FFmpeg, React, Twilio API, Zendesk API, Shopify Storefront API, Workday API, JSON API, Google Calendar API, SendGrid API

Tools

Homebrew, Sentry, Git, Shopify Plus, Zapier, Chef, GitHub, Jekyll

Frameworks

Ruby on Rails (RoR), NestJS

Languages

JavaScript, Shopify Liquid, HTML, TypeScript, CSS, GraphQL, Python 3, Ruby, Go, Python

Paradigms

Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Code Refactoring

Platforms

MacOS, Linux, Shopify, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, Raspberry Pi, WordPress, Docker, Heroku, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Twilio

Storage

PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, MySQL

Other

APIs, Leadership, Back-end, Software Engineering, Full-stack, MVP Design, Web Scraping, Custom Shopify Apps, eCommerce, Payment Gateways, Full-stack Development, Cloud Infrastructure, Back-end Development, Administration, Inventory Management Systems, Inventory Management, Shopify Design, Shopify Customizations, Bots, Email Systems, Filmmaking, Short Films, Entrepreneurship, Shopify Polaris, Boston Dynamics, Networking, IT Support, Facebook, Web Development, JSON REST APIs, Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Okta, Google Workspace, Code Review, GitHub Actions, IT Project Management, Pub/Sub, Google Pub/Sub

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