Alex Rattray, Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Alex Rattray

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
September 7, 2014

Alex is an entrepreneur and recent Wharton grad who recently closed a startup and is contracting while he travels. He has built over 10,000 LOC projects from the ground up. He takes great pride in developing absurdly simple user interfaces on architecture that scales.


Online Freelance Agency
Emacs, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
Funded/Profitable Stealth Startup
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Git, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, CORS...
Emerald Educational Technologies, LLC
AngularJS, JavaScript, PyQt, Django, Python




Preferred Environment

Ruby on Rails (RoR), Python, Babel, Git, Ubuntu, MacOS

The most amazing... I've co-founded is an ed-tech company.

Work Experience

Product Software Engineer

2015 - PRESENT
Online Freelance Agency
  • Translated 6k LOC from CoffeeScript to ES6.
  • Maintained internal JavaScript libraries, assisted both junior and senior engineers with JavaScript as a frequent pair programmer.
  • Improved performance of critical pages by 20%.
  • Attained top performer rank across a thirty-person engineering team for commits, additions, and deletions in 2016 (caveats apply, of course).
  • Built many, many features in Rails. Fixed many bugs.
Technologies: Emacs, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Software Consultant

2014 - 2015
Funded/Profitable Stealth Startup
  • Oversaw a junior developer: Performed code reviews, provided architectural oversight, etc.
  • Designed and built a complete front-end SPA.
  • Wrote and integrated a REST API to interact with the front-end.
  • Built Docker server images and automated the build/deploy workflow. Deployed them using Git for app code deployment along with Docker and AWS Elastic Beanstalk for full deployment.
  • Wrote a robust, configurable, and scalable worker queue supervision system using AWS.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Git, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, CORS, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), CSS3, HTML5, Docker, Django, AngularJS

Co-Founder, CEO, Lead Developer

2012 - 2014
Emerald Educational Technologies, LLC
  • Led a team of three developers and three non-technical people.
  • Developed a desktop application for Windows and OS X using the PyQt framework. Read a bunch of Objective-C.
  • Built a custom cross-platform auto-updater for the desktop application.
  • Built technology to prevent students from cheating on exams, even when using their own computers.
  • Designed an intuitive document editor described by users as a simple version of Google Docs.
  • Implemented Diff-based, offline-first, real-time document sync, including revision history. It was thus robust against Internet failure or computer crashes during an exam.
  • Designed an intuitive exam administration experience for tech-averse teachers and professors. It was described by one instructional technologist as being “the simplest education technology product I’ve ever seen.”.
Technologies: AngularJS, JavaScript, PyQt, Django, Python


ECMAScript (ES6), ES7, JavaScript, Python, CoffeeScript, SQL, Ruby, HTML5, CSS3, Haskell, R, Go


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Sails.js, Koa, Flask, Django, Express.js, AngularJS


React, Node.js, Backbone.js, jQuery, PyQt


Babel, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Sublime Text 3, Git, Emacs


iOS, Docker, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Web Services (AWS), MacOS, Linux, Windows, Ubuntu


Front-end Development, Lean Startups, CORS


Functional Programming, Rapid Prototyping


PostgreSQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Memcached, Redis

2010 - 2014

Bachelor of Science Degree in Business

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

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