Ben Walton, Developer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Ben Walton

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Location
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Toptal Member Since
May 4, 2021

Ben is a seasoned full-stack developer who excels in guiding companies through their technical journeys towards profit. At Dubzzle, he grew traffic from almost nothing to 300 million page views per month and founded the R&D department. Ben is skilled in growing technical teams and was the first developer on the ground for companies such as Dubizzle and NOW Money. His passion lies in building products from databases through the back end and APIs up to the front end and single-page apps.

Portfolio

TeamSkip
OpenAI, OpenAI GPT-4 API, Python 3, FastAPI, MongoDB Atlas, Azure, LangChain...
Unit21, Inc
Python, Python 3, PostgreSQL, Flask, Protobuf, Microservices, React, TypeScript...
NOW Money
Node.js, MongoDB, Recruitment, IT Recruitment, Databases, Docker, Architecture...

Experience

Availability

Full-time

Preferred Environment

Node.js, Angular, React, MongoDB, Databases, APIs, Python 3

The most amazing...

...product I've built is a virtual bank for low-income workers in the Middle East enabling the unbanked to become banked.

Work Experience

CTO | Co-founder

2023 - PRESENT
TeamSkip
  • Built a running coaching chatbot from the ground up, combining generative AI and sports science.
  • Architected the system on the front end using OpenAI/ChatGPT API, Python FastAPI, MongoDB, and React. Also incorporated WebSockets for live chat handled by a Redis queue.
  • Handled all DevOps requirements using Microsoft Azure.
Technologies: OpenAI, OpenAI GPT-4 API, Python 3, FastAPI, MongoDB Atlas, Azure, LangChain, React, Create React App, CTO, ChatGPT, Live Chat, WebSockets, MongoDB, Microsoft Azure, Azure Cache, Redis, Software Architecture, Full-stack, Architecture, Software Design

Software Engineer via Toptal

2021 - 2023
Unit21, Inc
  • Helped design, architect, and convert existing monolith logic into a new service following microservice architecture and using Protobufs for communication.
  • Added several highly requested customer features from start to finish using Python and React.
  • Increased the test coverage on the module I worked on from practically zero to above 90%.
  • Built a new product vertical using FastAPI and MongoDB with 100% test coverage. It was seen as one of the most successful engineering projects in the company's history.
  • Developed a hashing algorithm to preserve privacy from 3rd parties but still allow data matching. Implemented into a new product vertical to much success.
Technologies: Python, Python 3, PostgreSQL, Flask, Protobuf, Microservices, React, TypeScript, FastAPI, MongoDB, SQLAlchemy, Algorithms, JavaScript, Databases, Docker, CSS, CSS3, Software Architecture, Architecture, Software Design, Technical Leadership

Technical Advisor

2019 - 2022
NOW Money
  • Assisted as a technical advisor after I stopped working with the company full-time.
  • Solved complex problems that often came up working with various financial institutions and technology providers.
  • Guided the recruiting of technical personnel and conducted interviews.
Technologies: Node.js, MongoDB, Recruitment, IT Recruitment, Databases, Docker, Architecture, Software Design

CTO

2019 - 2021
Houza
  • Built a scalable product from the ground up in a very short time frame to hit the launch deadline.
  • Reached feature-level of incumbent property portals in less than 12 months with a fraction of the team and budget size.
  • Migrated seamless deployment from Alibaba Cloud to AWS with zero downtime.
Technologies: Angular, MongoDB, Node.js, Hapi.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Elastic Beanstalk, JavaScript, TypeScript, Databases, Docker, CSS, CSS3, Full-stack, Architecture, Technical Leadership

CTO

2017 - 2019
NOW Money
  • Rebuilt the entire technology platform, integrating with a payment processor and multiple 3rd parties to create a virtual bank.
  • Built the region's 1st eKYC system to help onboard our customers and offer the service to 3rd parties.
  • Oversaw the launch for thousands of low-income workers in the Middle East.
Technologies: Node.js, MongoDB, Android, iOS, Ethereum, TensorFlow, Recruitment, Card Payments, Docker, Docker Compose, JavaScript, Databases, CSS3, Software Architecture, Full-stack, Architecture, Software Design, Technical Leadership

Co-founder and CTO

2015 - 2017
Styck FZ
  • Launched a startup to encourage UAE residents to move more and be less sedentary.
  • Achieved 20,000 registered users with zero marketing spend.
  • Became the biggest lead driver for Deliveroo's launch in the UAE.
  • Built iOS, WatchOS, and Android fully native apps for the application from the ground up.
Technologies: iOS, Android, Parse, MongoDB, JavaScript, Databases, WatchOS, Swift, Full-stack, Architecture, Software Design

Technical Lead

2015 - 2017
Unihorn Labs
  • Created a private workplace messaging tool allowing employees and management to interact anonymously. Built with Ionic and Parse.
  • Implemented an AI-based moderation tool for the communication app.
  • Assisted with an on-demand car washing application as part of the company.
Technologies: Meteor, Ionic, Parse, MongoDB, JavaScript, Databases, CSS, Full-stack, Architecture, Software Design, Technical Leadership

Director of Technology

2007 - 2015
Dubizzle
  • Grew the technology team from 2 to 30 people working in six different teams.
  • Grew traffic from almost nothing to 300 million page views per month.
  • Founded the R&D department, which spun out an additional marketplace app product that became its own company.
Technologies: Django, Management, Recruitment, Python, Databases, CSS, CSS3, Architecture, Software Design, Technical Leadership

AI Running Coach Application

http://teamskip.ai
A chat-based application designed to assist runners of all abilities with their training and planning towards their goals and races.
TeamSkip will assist users with live reactive training plans matched to their current running and future goals, help motivate the athlete, and get them to the start line ready to achieve their best.

Live Video Streaming Shopping Application

A React app supporting live video streaming combined with eCommerce. The host app allowed a host to broadcast on the platform and add an additional expert to the video call. The consumer side allowed one to watch the stream and purchase the demonstrated products. The host app was React Native, and the consumer side was React video streaming using Agora.

Real Estate Website

http://houza.com
I was the full-stack developer building out this project under a tight deadline. The back end was developed with Node.js using the Hapi framework. The front end was built with Angular 9. We reached the feature level of the incumbent competitors in less than 12 months.

"Virtual Bank" Mobile Application

http://nowmoney.me
Created the entire back end for a banking application and assisted with the native Android and iOS builds. The work included building REST APIs from the ground up, connecting to multiple 3rd-party services, and deploying in a PCI DSS-compliant way.

eKYC Platform

Created an eKYC platform in Node.js and native Android and iOS packages on the front end. Ran this as a standalone application that could also be integrated into other applications. The signature of the eKYC record was stored on the Ethereum blockchain for later verification.

Fitness Mobile Application

Built 100% of the application. It was a Facebook Parse back end, iOS (Swift), and Android application. The app rewarded people for completing a certain amount of steps per day. This was done by working with the accelerometers in mobile phones.
2000 - 2004

Bachelor's Degree in Business Computing

Leeds Metropolitan University - Leeds, UK

Libraries/APIs

Node.js, React, REST APIs, Protobuf, TensorFlow, Parse SDK, Accelerometers, SQLAlchemy

Tools

Docker Compose, Agora, MongoDB Atlas, Create React App, ChatGPT

Frameworks

Angular, Hapi.js, React Native, Tailwind CSS, Flask, Ionic, Django, Flutter

Paradigms

Microservices, Management

Languages

Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python 3, CSS, CSS3, Swift, Solidity

Platforms

Firebase, Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Android, iOS, Ethereum, Meteor, Parse, Azure, WatchOS

Industry Expertise

Project Management

Storage

Databases, MongoDB, Realm, PostgreSQL, Alibaba Cloud, Azure Cache, Redis

Other

Programming, Full-stack, Software Design, CTO, Architecture, Technical Leadership, Recruitment, Card Payments, IT Recruitment, APIs, PCI DSS, Video Streaming, FastAPI, Algorithms, OpenAI, OpenAI GPT-4 API, LangChain, Live Chat, WebSockets, Microsoft Azure, Software Architecture

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