Andrew Hughes, Developer in Anchorage, AK, United States
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Andrew Hughes

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Anchorage, AK, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 6, 2015

Andrew is a senior web app developer with 15+ years of experience and solid expertise with React, Node, and React Native as well as tons of SQL/NoSQL knowledge. He has performed complicated back-end API integrations for clients, including payment platforms like Stripe and PayPal along with InfusionSoft and WordPress. His extensive professional background also includes work with PHP, Laravel, Java, and Swift/iOS.


TulsaIO (via Toptal)
Stripe, Auth0, Twilio, PostgreSQL, Node.js, React Native
Node.js, Redux, React, MongoDB, MySQL, PHP, Java, Swift, Cocoa, Objective-C




Preferred Environment

PhpStorm, WebStorm, IntelliJ, Linux, OS X, GitHub

The most amazing...

...learning experience I've had programming was writing a custom word processing application with which I wrote two novels.

Work Experience

Freelance Software Engineer

2017 - PRESENT
TulsaIO (via Toptal)
  • Built a React Native mobile video chat application.
  • Developed Auth0-based password-less authentication.
  • Set up a Node.js API server.
  • Integrated with Stripe, Dwolla, Twiliio, and Auth0.
Technologies: Stripe, Auth0, Twilio, PostgreSQL, Node.js, React Native

Owner/Software Engineer

2001 - PRESENT
  • Developed Retreat Minder, a React/Node app that will assist in managing, planning, and finding contemplative retreats.
  • Created Call2Power: a ReactNative web application that uses location services and Google Civics API to help people contact their elected representatives.
  • Wrote StoryWriter, a custom word processing application that has an intuitive, tree-based project layout similar to a programming IDE, while writing my first book. I have written two books with it.
  • Built MixMaster, a Mac/OS X utility designed to be used with Native Instrument’s Traktor that uses a custom algorithm to sort songs by key and BPM.
Technologies: Node.js, Redux, React, MongoDB, MySQL, PHP, Java, Swift, Cocoa, Objective-C

Freelance Mobile Developer

2017 - 2017
Colorado University (via Toptal)
  • Building a React Native mobile application that retrieved data from Tableau data servers and presented visualizations.
Technologies: React Native

Freelance Software Engineer

2016 - 2017
FirstImage (via Toptal)
  • Rewrote and maintained a Laravel PHP back-end with heavy custom integration with WordPress, Stripe, Memberium, InfusonSoft, and PayPal.
Technologies: WishList Member, Stripe, Infusionsoft, PHP, WordPress, Laravel

Freelance Software Engineer

2016 - 2017
Traveltar (via Toptal)
  • Built an iOS/Swift location aware mobile app.
Technologies: Location Services, Swift, iOS

Senior PHP Developer

2012 - 2017
Sound Web Solutions
  • Migrated and maintained a website using Docker, Node, and WordPress Headless.
  • Debugged production PHP systems as needed.
  • Created WordPress plugins to customize GravityForms + PayPal checkout procedures.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon, WordPress, PHP

Senior Java Engineer/Java Server Engineer

2015 - 2016
Younity/Entangled Media
  • Created a Pub/Sub messaging system on Amazon AWS using with a Hazelcast back-end.
  • Assisted in managing a complex AWS server environment.
  • Refactored various older Spring API functions to more modern Spring.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Vert.x, Groovy, Spring, Java

Web Developer and Software Engineer

2014 - 2016
  • Took over development of the Magento eCommerce website. Created a test server and a development Git branch to allow for a modern, professional workflow.
  • Created a completely custom sub-theme based on their design.
  • Wrote custom modules to integrate with other technologies including Capsule CRM.
  • Worked remotely by contract/hourly, communicating via email and phone and using Assembla to manage tickets and releases.
  • Managed Amazon AWS EC2 instances using Route53, a load balancer, and various RDS instances.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), PHP, Magento

Freelance Developer

2015 - 2015
Abaris (via Toptal)
  • Created a REST interface for a custom application API according to supplied specifications using Spring MVC and Jersey.
  • Extensively unit-tested and integration tested using test-driven development.
Technologies: Apache Maven, Jersey, REST, Spring, Java

Senior PHP Architect and Designer

2013 - 2015
  • Modernized an existing CodeIgniter web application, taking over from a previous developer. Cleaned up numerous aspects of the application, applying OO and functional design paradigms as appropriate.
  • Refactored the payment system to use a custom-built Braintree payment library.
  • Designed and managed Amazon AWS server instances.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon, PHP, CodeIgniter

Web Developer/Software Engineer

2013 - 2014
Pulsar Web Works
  • Worked with HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript in a web-application environment to assist in the delivery of client websites and applications.
  • Rewrote, in less than a week, a CodeIgniter codebase to be object-oriented, which to allowed for the proper integration of an payment system. Later, this refactoring paid off when the client asked us to change the payment system to Braintree—now that it was properly designed, the switch was easy.
  • Created an inventory update system that linked a windows XP machine running unsupported POS software to a Magento store by creating a Visual Basic script that read the database on the client side and pushed it to a custom Magento extension on the server side, where the inventory data was parsed and translated into Magneto objects, creating any new items on the fly, as necessary, as well as updating stock and price.
  • Updated and managed various Magento eCommerce stores.
Technologies: Magento, Symfony, CodeIgniter, PHP

Software Engineer

2012 - 2014
University of Texas
  • Worked as a major contributor to build a Groovy mainframe to a UNIX interface processing a million transactions per month.
  • Migrated a build server running Jenkins, Nexus, Crucible, and Sonar from a failed hard disk to a new VM in three days.
  • Refactored the university’s self-service application, a proprietary legacy web application using a non-standard procedural technology, to use an OpenAM-based authentication system.
  • Designed and developed a custom library that interfaced a BonitaSoft webform application with UT’s business process layer, LDAP server, and Active Directory servers.
  • Developed a Groovy script to be run regularly that searched the University of Texas' various identity systems for user accounts that have not authenticated within the previous 15 months. The script included accessing Splunk records via a REST interface; directly querying the school's Active Directory domain via a Spring template; querying an REST interface for UT's implementation of OpenAM called UTLogin; as well as making broker calls to a mainframe module via a Java API.
Technologies: Gradle, Apache Maven, Nexus, Jenkins, Linux, Jersey, Spring, Groovy, Java

SmileMore React Native Cross-Platform Mobile App

A video chat application that integrates Twilio, Stripe Connect, WebRTC technology, and Dwolla. It is a project that will be released for both Android and iOS. It has a Node back-end server that I also wrote that performs the integrations with the various services and uses PostgresSQL+Sequelize for data persistence.

Stripe/Laravel App Rebuild and WordPress Integration for FirstImage

Rewrote a Laravel application for client FirstImage to bring the code up to functional, modern standards, and performed extensive back-end integration with WordPress, InfusionSoft, and Stripe.

Traveltar iOS Mobile App

A location aware messaging app written from the ground up in Swift for iOS.

Call2Power React Native iPhone App

iPhone app written in React Native that makes it dead simple for people to contact their representatives. Available on both iOS and Android.

Piano Temperament Assistant iOS Native iPhone App

An iOS native/Swift iPhone app that helps piano tuners visualize harmonic partials and find beat rates for aural tuning.

A ReactBootstrap form helper that has an assistant class that handles common tasks like handling form state and validation, and some useful wrapper components that provide features like add-ons, markings for required components, help blocks, etc.

Retreat Minder

Built a web app in Node/React/Redux that helps people plan and schedule meditative retreats.

Sonos Commuting Optimization Project

Used Node to query Google Maps APIs to perform a study on the impact of moving headquarters locations on the employees of Sonos.

Custom WordPress Plugin for GravityForms + PayPal

PHP/WordPress. Designed and built a custom WordPress plugin for Sound Web Solutions that allowed them to customize the information sent to PayPal during a GravityForms checkout procedure.

Revamped Velocitek Control Center

Updated the OS X GUI according to client specs and debugged low-level C/C++ IOKit USB code to fix issues related to the control center connecting to and updating from a USB device (a GPS location recorder called Pro Start). Also debugged and fixed an issue that had broken their firmware updating capability on the OS X app.

Publish-Subscribe Messaging System

Designed and implemented a stateless Pub/Sub messaging system using Java/Groovy and the platform. The system included automatic clustering and deployment on Amazon EC2 instances.

Custom Magento Module for PR Office Solutions

PHP and Magento. The client required a highly customized order approval process that included modifying the order payment and approval flow, as well as creating custom admin and front-end UI elements.

Magento CRM Integration

PHP and Magento. Created a module that integrated a CRM solution with PepPod's custom Magento website.

PepPod Site Rebuild

PHP, HTML, CSS, Amazon AWS and JavaScript. Complete rebuild of PepPod's Magento eCommerce website. I worked with their designer and created a responsive custom sub-theme according to their design specifications. I also updated their build environment on Amazon AWS to include test instances for development and updated their overall development structure to professional standards.

Mac OS X Word Processing Application

Mac OS X, Cocoa, Objective-C. While writing my first two novels, I also created a word processing application that inherently allows the user to break the book down into chapter/scene/section structure, and emphasizes simplicity and cleanliness over feature bloat.

Teensy/Arduino 16-bit Arduino Controller with Delta-sigma Modulation

For an art project that required extremely smooth and slow low level fades, I custom designed a PCB board with 4 x TI TLC5971s (16-bit PWM LED driver) and wrote custom controller code that used delta-sigma modulation to dither the 16-bits for an extra few bits of resolution, depending on the speed of the processor. Because of the speed requirements, this project ran better on Teensy than Arduino, but the code was compatible with both.

Process Request Interface

Rewrote a request interface for the University of Texas, translating older mainframe calls to a modern Java/Groovy REST API using Jersey and Spring. The API was a business process middleware that later sat between the Oracle database and the end-user web applications. Test-driven development and a full suite of unit tests and integration tests were developed while building the API. Newer functional Groovy features such as closures were included as appropriate.

Arduino-based Matrix LED Display/DJ Stand

Created a 560-LED matrix grid using LED strips and custom coded LED animations and control software for use on a laptop DJ stand.

BonitaSoft Web Form Integration

Java, Groovy, and Spring. Technical lead on a project to integrate a BonitaSoft web form BPM system for use in provisioning a new authentication system at the University of Texas. My role included researching potential solutions, assisting with the decision to use BonitaSoft, and writing a custom Java/Groovy library that simplified the interface between the BonitaSoft BPM software and the pre-existing UT middleware.


Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, PHP, Groovy, Swift


Stripe, Node.js, React, Google Geocoding API


Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Continuous Integration (CI), Functional Programming, Unit Testing, REST


Magento, iOS, Nexus, Amazon Web Services (AWS), OS X, WordPress, Amazon, Twilio, Linux


MySQL, Oracle SQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL


Laravel, React Native, Jersey, CodeIgniter, Symfony, Cocoa, Redux, Vert.x, Spring


Git, Jenkins, Apache Maven, Gradle, GitHub, IntelliJ, WebStorm, PhpStorm, Infusionsoft, WishList Member, Auth0, Adobe Photoshop


Location Services

2013 - 2013

Certificate in SEC 401: Computer Security Essentials -

1995 - 2000

BA Degree in Biochemistry

Rice University - Houston, TX

AUGUST 2013 - AUGUST 2017

GIAC Security Essentials