Andy Potanin, Developer in Durham, United States
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Andy Potanin

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Network Protocols Developer

Durham, United States
Toptal Member Since
February 9, 2018

Andy is a businessman who understands the fundamentals of business and who knows how to code. Overall, he's very experienced in nearly all aspects of contemporary web development, deployment, DevOps, and the elements of building a solid stack that can scale. Early on in his career, he was a very early adopter of Docker and Node.js and has a strong development background with the WordPress API.


Docker, Windows PowerShell, Jenkins, Octopus Deploy, Azure Service Fabric...
Usability Dynamics
Platform as a Service (PaaS), Cloud Computing, DevOps, Technical Leadership...
Usability Dynamics
NGINX, HAProxy, RabbitMQ, CircleCI, Elasticsearch, CoreOS, Docker, Node.js...




Preferred Environment

Google Compute Engine (GCE), Docker, SFTP, SSH, Atom

The most amazing...

...thing I've created was a container-driven hosting platform focused on CI and workflow that allows developers to deliver quicker and more efficiently.

Work Experience

Senior DevOps Engineer

2018 - PRESENT
  • Automated Dockerized microservice deployments to Azure Service Fabric.
  • Automated microservice deployments and infrastructure updates using Octopus Deploy.
  • Automated HA (multi-region) service and infrastructure deployments.
  • Modularized deployment scripts and modules for reuse.
  • Provisioned multiple Azure resources, including Key Vaults, CosmosDB, ServiceBus, EventHub, and others.
Technologies: Docker, Windows PowerShell, Jenkins, Octopus Deploy, Azure Service Fabric, Azure, Terraform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Technical Leadership, Kubernetes, Redis, Load Balancers, Azure DevOps

CEO | Partner

2011 - 2020
Usability Dynamics
  • Worked with a team of brilliant engineers, project managers, designers, and copywriters to deliver top-notch technology services.
  • Led by example by always learning and staying on top of emerging technology trends while mentoring and developing team members.
  • Enhanced and managed the distributed product release flow by automating the testing, tagging, packaging, and releasing of public plugins and modules and libraries.
  • Handled the business development efforts in the B2B space by defining the organizational mission and business objectives.
Technologies: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Cloud Computing, DevOps, Technical Leadership, Load Balancers, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

Senior Technical Manager

2014 - 2017
Usability Dynamics
  • Migrated 140 client applications from single-node deployments to containerized horizontally scalable clusters on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Engineered various deployment strategies on AWS, GCE, and Azure.
  • Trained team members on stateless application development patterns and continuous integration (CI) patterns.
  • Gained a great deal of experience with Docker while building a proprietary Docker-based hosting platform.
  • Implemented container-based continuous deployment (CD) and development and workflow principles.
  • Published 13 public packages and 17 more private packages; more information can be found at
  • Published over 40 Docker images. (more information can be found at
  • Oversaw the development of multiple Node.js-based web services.
Technologies: NGINX, HAProxy, RabbitMQ, CircleCI, Elasticsearch, CoreOS, Docker, Node.js, Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Technical Leadership, Kubernetes, Redis, Load Balancers

Full-stack Senior Developer

2012 - 2014
Usability Dynamics
  • Developed a WordPress hosting infrastructure based on Docker; oversaw the development of WP-Property, WP-Invoice, WP-CRM, and WP-Stateless.
  • Leveraged a variety of technologies (Elasticsearch, RabbitMQ, and Percona) and deployments on numerous long-term projects.
  • Published and participated in over 400 repositories.
  • Made over 7,000 codebase contributions and revisions; more information can be found at the link:
  • Reached the top 11% in 2017 on Stack Overflow; can be seen using the link,
  • Oversaw the development of WordPress products with over 630,000 downloads; more information can be found at
Technologies: VMware vCenter, Linux, MySQL, HHVM, PHP, WordPress, GitFlow, GitHub, Varnish, Load Balancers

Systems Engineer | Applications Developer

2010 - 2012
Northrop Grumman | TASC
  • Oversaw the development of a web-based ERP system customized for the unique business process of the technical engineering and assistance team (TE&AT) with an objective to support the US Marine Corps logistics forces.
  • Supported the Marine Corps' mission as a member of a 25-person team.
  • Improved daily operations by leveraging various technologies.
  • Created methods for analyzing and quantifying team member performance.
Technologies: Linux, MySQL, PHP, WordPress, Load Balancers

Information Technology Chief

2005 - 2010
United States Marine Corps
  • Led a group of eight-to-eleven IT personnel in the day-to-day operations.
  • Coordinated and scheduled IT training sessions which were tailored specifically for the individual at hand.
  • Conducted performance evaluations and recommendations for promotion.
  • Implemented a SharePoint powered asset and task tracking system for section cohesion.
  • Delegated and supervised a monthly average of 42.5 individual tasks and projects within IT.
  • Managed an inventory valued over $1.2 million—achieving a 100% compliance in a field supply and maintenance analysis office (FSMAO) inspection.
Technologies: Linux, Security, WiFi, SharePoint, Windows Server 2003, Cisco Networking, Technical Leadership Container Platform on Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

A robust PaaS for a Node.js, WordPress, and PHP application deployment that is focused on the GitHub workflow. The platform was created to be a hosting solution that puts the workflow first, making it one of the first hosting platforms that can handle the entire CI process.

This platform predates Kubernetes but is very similar in many ways. However, many things that Kubernetes does not provide, our platform handles very well, most notably a native caching and proxying layer.

The platform is a self-healing network of CoreOS machines that are moving production and staging containers around the data center with zero-downtime due to a status-aware state-of-the-art proxy, powered by a tightly coupled HAProxy, Varnish, and Node.js proxy layer.

Containers are provisioned automatically when new GitHub branches are created and retired when a branch is removed. Developers can SSH or SFTP into any running environment using their GitHub credentials.

The stack provisions CloudFront distributions for each application and handles invalidation requests automatically. Meanwhile, the data layer is handled by client-specific Percona clusters with a Memcached-based object-caching.

BoxMLS Infrastructure on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

A San Francisco-based company that is changing the real estate scene, BoxMLS runs a highly distributed network of Node.js microservices with a rock-solid continuous integration process. Millions of records are stored in an optimized Elasticsearch cluster with tasks and jobs being distributed via RabbitMQ.

BoxMLS service monitors a number of multiple listing services (MLS) for data changes, normalizes and standardizes real estate data, and can send change notifications to subscribers even faster than MLS serverless.

WP-Stateless WordPress Plugin for Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
A WordPress plugin that helps make WordPress sites operate more like proper "twelve-factor" applications by moving media assets to Google Cloud Storage Bucket, used as a backing service, allowing for WordPress sites to be migrated and scaled horizontally without having to migrate the media files. The integration is entirely seamless with WordPress being unaware that the actual files are stored on a remote bucket.


Git Docker
A CLI utility that allows developers to easily provision a Docker container for any locally cloned Git directory simply by running "git docker start" from the directory root. The utility automatically abstracts the Docker-run arguments to start a container immediately with the Git directory being volume-mounted to the container which allows the developer to continue doing their work with all the necessary services running inside of their container.

Developers could override default container settings by modifying simplified options in the Git config file. Although this method was very useful and reliable, we later depreciated it in lieu of our more robust GitHub-driven Rabbit CI Container Platform.

Docker Blackbox

This was one of our first experiments with Docker that actually ran Docker inside Docker; we did this to compartmentalize the client environments so that they could then be migrated and redeployed as a single package, with Docker containers being packaged inside the main Docker image.

I wanted to mention it because it's worth mentioning failures and things that didn't end up working out but that you learned a lot from.

UDX Product Updates API

A hosted Node.js service that builds WordPress plugins and themes on each GitHub commit for specified branches, assuming the tests have been passed.

This allows users of distributed WordPress products to enable pre-release updates that are handled by the native WordPress update functionality.

The API emulates the responses by letting WordPress treat each GitHub commit as an updated version of the distributed product.

Red Door Company Infrastructure
A cutting-edge brokerage based out of Durham, NC has a native-feeling React.js front-end powered by the WordPress API. The application platform runs in a distributed Docker cluster and is backed by a Percona Cluster for the data layer, augmented by Elasticsearch.

The application consumes MLS changes in real-time, analyzes each listing's data, and constantly generates unique landing pages to deliver market updates to the web faster than any competitor.


PHP, Bash Script, PHP 5, JavaScript, Markdown, Less, CSS, HTML5, Go


Express.js, Windows PowerShell, Knockout (Knockout.js), AngularJS, PHPUnit


Google Cloud API, Google Geocoding API, RequireJS, Lodash, jQuery, jQuery Plugins, WordPress REST API, GitHub API, WordPress API, Node.js, Slack API, Stripe API, Backbone.js,, PayPal API, Google Maps API


Git, Varnish, CircleCI, WP-CLI, NPM, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Amazon CloudFront CDN, Mocha, Docker Swarm, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), NGINX, RabbitMQ, Composer, PageSpeed, Atom, GitHub, Jenkins, Azure Key Vault, PHP-FPM, VaultPress, Google Analytics, Let's Encrypt, AWS CloudFormation, Ansible, Makefile, Grunt, Gulp, Terraform


REST API Architecture, DevOps, Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Deployment, Automated Testing, Agile Software Development, Unit Testing, Azure DevOps, API Architecture, Management


WordPress, Docker, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), CoreOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure Service Fabric, Kubernetes, Debian Linux, Apache2, Azure, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 14.04, Linux, SharePoint, Windows Server 2003, SharePoint 2013, Percona, Amazon EC2, Heroku


MySQL, Elasticsearch, JSON, Azure Active Directory, MySQL Clustering, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Azure SQL, Google Cloud SQL, Datadog, JSON/XML Schemas, Memcached, Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft Exchange Server, Azure Blobs, MySQL Server, MariaDB, Redis, MongoDB

Industry Expertise

Network Security, Security


Octopus Deploy, Load Balancers, Proxy Servers, RETS, IDX, IDX Integration, RESTful Web Services, Network Protocols, Unix/Linux Virtualization, WordPress Plugins, Security Clearance, Build & Release Engineering, Caching, Amazon Route 53, WordPress Themes, HAProxy, GitFlow, Google, Technical Leadership, Infrastructure Monitoring, JavaScript Libraries, SaaS, WebSockets, Google Cloud Functions, SSH, Private NPM Modules, HHVM, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), SFTP, Cloud Computing, Cisco Networking, WiFi, VMware vCenter, Azure Service Bus, TCP/IP, TCP, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business, Procurement, Acquisitions, IT, IoT Security

2017 - 2019

Master's Degree in General Business Administration and Management (MBA)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2010 - 2012

Master's Degree in Business Administration and Management, Procurement, and Acquisitions (MBA)

Webster University - Camp Lejeune, NC, USA

2005 - 2010

Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology Management and Security

Campbell University - Camp Lejeune, NC, USA