Amin Shah Gilani, Software Developer in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Amin Shah Gilani

Software Developer in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Member since January 27, 2017
Amin is a developer and entrepreneur who writes clean, test-driven code in Ruby and ES6 wrapped in perfectly-crafted containers for DevOps. As a freelancer and two-time co-founder, he's launched products making $10,000+ in revenue, successfully raised funding in Silicon Valley for his Pakistan-based startup, and won two hackathons—from among 300+ global entries. In his spare time, he authors technical content and contributes to open-source.
Amin is now available for hire


  • Toptal, Inc.
    LaTeX, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Slack, Trello, HubSpot, kramdown...
    Amazon Product Advertising API, Kubernetes, Docker, NGINX...
  • Patari
    CSS, GitHub, HTML, Google Play API, Node.js, Linux



Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan



Preferred Environment

MacOS, Ubuntu, Atom, Git

The most amazing...

...thing I've coded is a Bitcoin-to-currency converter bot that I would send bitcoin to and it would convert it to PKR and wire it to my bank account.


  • Engineering Blog Editor

    2017 - PRESENT
    Toptal, Inc.
    • Authored original works, liaised with authors regarding their works, and edited works.
    • Conducted, aided in, and applied SEO research to works.
    • Published works to the engineering blog, and released newsletters to the subscriber-base.
    • Documented the implicit team process, allowing quick iterations and reference.
    • Made plenty of mistakes, but was once called "intimidatingly productive" in a review.
    • Used personal influence and connections to reopen previously closed content distribution avenues—directly increasing readership.
    Technologies: LaTeX, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Slack, Trello, HubSpot, kramdown, Google Sheets, Google Docs
  • Co-founder | CTO

    2017 - PRESENT
    • Built the technology that powers the company.
    • Created complex Nginx configurations that power the core application.
    • Constructed a powerful, very available infrastructure to handle the huge traffic demands.
    • Containerized multiple microservices to make the software infrastructure and platform agnostic.
    • Developed scalable pipelines for support and partner communications.
    Technologies: Amazon Product Advertising API, Kubernetes, Docker, NGINX, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
  • Interim Chief Technology Officer

    2020 - 2020
    • Managed the technology team which—at the time—consisted of myself and mobile developer, and identified the roles required to grow the team in a manner consistent with company goals.
    • Documented application structure, engineering processes, and built an internal issues management process that lead to the identification of tens of issues—many of which were critical to product performance.
    • Identified key features to work towards, and a potential 40%-60% reduction in technology-related costs. These aided in developing a roadmap for company technology.
    • Was responsible for site reliability and responded outages 3 incidents within a few minutes—even when the outage was out of work hours. Customers were appropriately informed, and the incident was recorded with mitigations strategies recommended.
    Technologies: CSS, GitHub, HTML, Google Play API, Node.js, Linux
  • Freelance Senior Ruby on Rails Engineer

    2017 - 2017
    ABC Containers (via Toptal)
    • Created a customized ERP for the business.
    • Automated almost all of the manual aspects of the business logic.
    • Developed a database schema that would fit past data and aid in new data.
    • Implemented real-time business reports.
    • Reviewed and translated business logic into code.
    Technologies: Digital Signatures, Mailgun, GitLab, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • CEO | Developer | Head of Operations

    2014 - 2017
    Payload Technologies, Inc.
    • Architected an auditable financial system that allowed users to exchange balance and make payments among each other.
    • Developed a messaging application that allowed users to talk to each other in real time.
    • Implemented an escrow system that would hold and payout the agreed amounts based on user actions.
    • Used third-party APIs to securely store Bitcoin.
    • Created a service that automatically liquidated Bitcoin into currency through third-party exchanges.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
  • Technology Consultant

    2012 - 2014
    • Created brochureware websites for clients.
    • Set up and maintained WordPress and Joomla websites.
    • Registered and managed domain names on behalf of clients.
    • Implemented Google apps for clients.
    Technologies: CSS, Adobe Photoshop, HTML


  • Project C.A.R.E. | A Community Effort to Eradicate Forced Child Begging

    A crowd-sourced effort to eradicate forced child begging.

    In Pakistan, it is common to see young children, under the age of 15, who are forced to beg on the streets by their parents or a faceless mafia. Only in Pakistan are these future doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs ignored by every citizen that passes them.

    We wanted to help eliminate this terrible practice, but imagine our surprise, when we discovered that a law already exists to curb it. This SDG Hackathon gave us the ability to use our technology for good.

    As citizens of Pakistan and as human beings, we asked ourselves why there are children still begging on the streets when there are strict laws protecting them and seemingly well-performing government organizations.

    We realized greater civilian reporting and oversight of these organizations is all that remains to be improved upon so we started doing just that with technology.

  • Please Use Git

    Counterarguments to the most common reasons against using Git.

    Despite Git being ubiquitous among organizations and teams, I’ve met a surprising number of people in Pakistan that don’t use version control. It makes it incredibly difficult for me to collaborate with them.

  • Two Welcome Side Effects of Webpack in Rails | Article

    An article that I wrote that discusses how a Rails' Webpack integration lets us tap into the world of JavaScript dependencies and bypass the "use CSS helpers" annoyance in the asset pipeline.

  • A Software Defined Radio Tutorial: Images From the International Space Station and Listening to Hams With an RTL-SDR (Publication)
    Radio has used fundamentally the same technology since Marconi’s experiments in 1895. However, improved circuit design and signal processing techniques have allowed us to transmit much more and much farther out than before. In this article, with a laptop and less than $30 worth of equipment, we’ll capture images transmitted from the International Space Station and listen to amateur radio conversations at a local repeater.
  • Scale with Speed: The Bitcoin Lightning Network Explained (Publication)
    The Bitcoin Lightning Network is an independent solution that’s heralded as the solution to bitcoin’s scaling problem by keeping fees minuscule and making transactions instant, away from the blockchain. In this article, Toptal Freelance Blockchain Developer Amin Shah Gilani explores what the Bitcoin Lightning Network really is, how it can make the guarantees it provides, and its current state.
  • How to Build an Effective Initial Deployment Pipeline (Publication)
    Do you run deployment scripts from your development machine, or find yourself referring to deployments by the day of the week they were deployed, instead of using version numbers? It’s time for a better solution. In this article, Freelance Ruby Engineer and automation enthusiast Amin Shah Gilani walks you through his perfect deployment pipeline to use at the beginning of your project. With this CI/CD configuration, every push is tested, the master branch is deployed to staging servers with a fresh database dump from the production server, and versioned tags are deployed to production with backups and migrations running automatically.
  • Rails Service Objects: A Comprehensive Guide (Publication)
    Rails ships with everything you need to prototype your application quickly, but when your codebase starts growing, you'll run into scenarios where the conventional Fat Model, Skinny Controller mantra breaks. When your business logic can't fit in either a model or a controller, that's when service objects come in and let us separate every business action into its own Ruby object.
  • A Guide to Security Best Practices for Remote Teams (Publication)
    Learn how, with the right remote worker security policy, distributed teams can be just as secure as in-house teams. Toptal Freelance Software Engineer and full-time remote worker Amin Shah Gilani walks us through common security attack methods, cyber defense strategies, and, finally, an example of a good remote worker security policy.
  • Unlimited Scale and Free Web Hosting with GitHub Pages and Cloudflare (Publication)
    Whether you’re a bootstrapped startup that needs a brochureware website or a corporation that needs a high-performing web app, this post is for you. In it, Toptal Software Engineer Amin Shah Gilani teaches you how to setup a static, SSL-secure website for the very low cost of free, using Github Pages and Cloudflare.


  • Languages

    C++, Ruby, JavaScript, CSS, ECMAScript (ES6), HTML, Python 3
  • Frameworks

    Ruby on Rails (RoR), ASP.NET MVC, Bootstrap 3+, Express.js
  • Libraries/APIs

    Vue, Node.js, Amazon Product Advertising API, Google Play API, React, jQuery, Coinbase API, Twitter API, Stripe API, Stripe
  • Tools

    Cucumber, RSpec, Git, GitHub Pages, GitHub, Adobe Photoshop, Jekyll, Atom, GitLab, NGINX, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Trello, Slack, LaTeX, Ghost, Docker Compose
  • Paradigms

    Test-driven Development (TDD), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Behavior-driven Development (BDD)
  • Platforms

    iOS, Docker, Ubuntu, MacOS, Linux, Mailgun, Raspberry Pi, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Blockchain
  • Other

    APIs, Domains & Hosting, Semantic UI, Bitcoin, Embedded Software, User Experience (UX), Digital Signatures, kramdown, HubSpot, Documentation, Writing & Editing
  • Storage

    MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)


  • Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Economics and Finance
    2010 - 2015
    Lahore School of Economics - Lahore, Pakistan


  • Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer Silver
    JULY 2019 - PRESENT
    Ruby Association (
  • Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer Gold
    JUNE 2019 - PRESENT
    Ruby Association (
  • Getting Started with Python
    University of Michigan | Coursera (
  • Ruby on Rails: An Introduction
    JUNE 2016 - PRESENT
    Johns Hopkins University | Coursera (

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