Ben Pochily, Developer in New York, NY, United States
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Ben Pochily

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
December 15, 2020

As a consultant at Pivotal Labs, Ben advised and collaborated with teams at United Airlines, Allstate, and Blue Cross Blue Shield to deliver an impressive array of applications and APIs. He has crafted modern software products for over a decade, ranging from full-stack web apps to Linux loadable kernel modules and everything in between. Ben brings craftsmanship, creativity, and discipline from his classical music training to produce high-quality, thoroughly tested, and highly readable code.


Stripe API, JSON, REST APIs, ECMAScript (ES6), CSS, HTML, Software Architecture...
Stripe API, JSON, REST APIs, ECMAScript (ES6), CSS, HTML, Software Architecture...
Pivotal Labs
JSON, REST APIs, CSS, HTML, Software Architecture, DevOps, Architecture...




Preferred Environment

Git, WebStorm, IntelliJ IDEA, MacOS

The most amazing...

...thing I've built is a hybrid AI algorithm, using principles of Monte Carlo search, machine learning, and heuristic evaluation to play the board game Monopoly.

Work Experience

Software Engineer (Co-team Lead)

2020 - PRESENT
  • Assisted with transforming a small, old-fashioned software department into a modern Agile team while serving as the co-team lead.
  • Played a central role in architecting the rewrite of a primary software product while simultaneously maintaining and interfacing with legacy systems.
  • Advocated for and implemented new processes, including continuous deployment, trunk-based development, and a focus on well-tested code.
  • Created and deployed several automated monitoring systems, catching multiple production incidents before customers were impacted.
Technologies: Stripe API, JSON, REST APIs, ECMAScript (ES6), CSS, HTML, Software Architecture, DevOps, Architecture, AWS Lambda, Node.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Continuous Deployment, Test-driven Development (TDD), Agile, SQL, PHP, Docker, Grafana, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Angular, React, TypeScript

Software Engineer II (Team Lead)

2020 - 2020
  • Led a team of five engineers, providing technical guidance, enabling productivity, and promoting individual growth. Promoted to team lead after seven months at the company.
  • Designed, implemented, and oversaw the migration of customers to an updated product version with zero downtime and zero data loss.
  • Advocated for and participated in Agile software craftsmanship in a rapidly growing startup.
Technologies: Stripe API, JSON, REST APIs, ECMAScript (ES6), CSS, HTML, Software Architecture, DevOps, Architecture, Serverless, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Node.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Test-driven Development (TDD), Agile, SQL, Stripe, Terraform, CircleCI, React, MySQL, TypeScript

Software Engineer

2016 - 2017
Pivotal Labs
  • Enabled and guided enterprise software teams to facilitate rapid Agile development and adherence to coding best practices while serving as a consultant.
  • Practiced the extreme programming methodology, including test-driven development and 100% pair programming.
  • Created a robust, user-friendly Android app used by United Airlines baggage handlers to scan, track, and load baggage.
  • Built a web application with Spring Boot and React/Redux, enabling Allstate call center associates to efficiently collect information and dispatch assistance to disabled vehicles.
  • Engineered a microservice-based API, facilitating reliable communication with more than 16 million Blue Cross Blue Shield policyholders by aggregating, organizing, and intelligently recommending contact info from multiple sources.
  • Created a Java/Spring API and Gemfire in-memory database, supplying lightning-fast access to Blue Cross Blue Shield basic member information.
  • Built a Kotlin API, performing pre-processing of insurance quote requests for CNA Insurance by integrating with existing SOAP and REST APIs.
Technologies: JSON, REST APIs, CSS, HTML, Software Architecture, DevOps, Architecture, AWS Lambda, Continuous Deployment, Test-driven Development (TDD), Agile, Extreme Programming, SQL, JavaScript, Jenkins, Apache Maven, Gradle, Docker, Android, Kotlin, Angular, React, Redux, Redis, VMware Tanzu Application Service (TAS) (Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF)), RabbitMQ, IBM Db2, MySQL, Spring, Java

Computer Engineering Co-op

2012 - 2012
Assured Information Security
  • Documented Linux kernel internals and facilitated kernel-level development by prototyping Linux loadable kernel modules.
  • Conducted research and modeled applications, using proprietary techniques and classified information in a high-security environment.
  • Became an expert on the Linux ELF file format by creating several ELF loaders and utilities.
Technologies: Agile, Operating Systems, Security, Linux, Linux Kernel Modules, Linux Kernel, C

Monopoly Artificial Intelligence
One of my more exciting personal projects is artificial intelligence to play the board game, Monopoly. It's the first serious Monopoly AI ever created. This is an intriguing problem with quite a few unique challenges; most notably, a massive decision tree that is far larger than the trees in games like chess.

To solve this problem, I devised a hybrid algorithm based on precomputed probability calculations, machine learning, and Monte Carlo tree search. The application uses a flexible, object-oriented design to facilitate customizable board configurations, house rules, and adaptive AI behavior. It’s still in progress, but when last benchmarked, it was able to simulate over 10,000 complete games of Monopoly per second!

You can read more about the probability component of this project at the GitHub link provided.


JavaScript, TypeScript, Java, C, SQL, HTML, ECMAScript (ES6), CoffeeScript, Kotlin, C++, Go, Python, PHP, CSS


Spring, Express.js, Angular, Redux


Node.js, React, REST APIs, D3.js, Stripe, Stripe API


Clean Code, Test-driven Development (TDD), Extreme Programming, Agile, Continuous Deployment, DevOps


Music, Collaboration, Software Engineering, Linux Kernel, Linux Kernel Modules, Operating Systems, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Genetic Algorithms, Calculus, Teamwork, Serverless, Architecture, Software Architecture


VMware Tanzu Application Service (TAS) (Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF)), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Android, Linux, MacOS, AWS Lambda


PostgreSQL, MySQL, JSON, MongoDB, IBM Db2, Redis, Amazon DynamoDB

Industry Expertise



Grafana, CircleCI, Terraform, RabbitMQ, Gradle, Apache Maven, Jenkins, IntelliJ IDEA, WebStorm, Git

2017 - 2019

Double Master's Degree in Viola Performance and Chamber Music

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2015 - 2016

Immersive Program in Software Engineering

Hack Reactor - San Francisco, CA, USA

2012 - 2015

Bachelor's Degree in Viola Performance

Eastman School of Music - Rochester, NY, USA

2010 - 2012

Coursework Toward Bachelor Degrees in Computer Engineering and Viola Performance

Binghamton University - Vestal, NY, USA