Bence Szalai, Developer in Budapest, Hungary
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Bence Szalai

Verified Expert  in Engineering

System Integration Developer

Location
Budapest, Hungary
Toptal Member Since
May 31, 2021

Bence has been working as a systems engineer with organizations from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for almost a decade applying his lifelong background in programming to overcome implementation difficulties and augmenting the shortcomings of off-the-shelf products in big IT transformation projects. For 5+ years now, his focus has turned to independently developing tailor-made applications to fulfill clients' specific needs with unique technical requirements and novel business goals.

Portfolio

Self-employed
PHP, JavaScript, Laravel, Themosis, Vue, Nuxt.js, Quasar, WordPress, MODx...
Perform IT
HP Operations Orchestration, IT Operations Management (ITOM), JavaScript...
Perform IT
HP Operations Orchestration, IT Operations Management (ITOM), JavaScript...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

Git, IntelliJ IDEA, Laravel, WordPress, Docker, MEVN Stack, LAMP, Full-stack Development

The most amazing...

...ROI I've delivered with a tailor-made automated system saves hundreds of weekly customer complaints and manual handling of stuck SIM replacement processes.

Work Experience

IT Consultant and Developer

2018 - PRESENT
Self-employed
  • Designed and developed a tailor-made, in-house business support system for a company handling international logistics to replace their paper-based workflows and facilitate their business's digital transformation.
  • Developed a custom WordPress plugin that can define, manage and run ETL workflows in asynchronous PHP processes to read information from the APIs of resellers and then compare, merge, fill, and update the products' information in a webshop.
  • Discovered and responsibly disclosed a critical (CVSS score 9.1) zero-day vulnerability in a WordPress plugin with over 200,000 active installations.
  • Developed an integration between an accommodation website's booking system and the back-office system of the owner to reduce confirmation turnover time and the amount of manual labor involved, including administration, emails, and phone calls.
  • Developed a store locator and mapping system for international dietary supplement manufacturers where they can manage their retail stores' information in an intuitive map-based interface.
  • Developed the missing integration for a specific online payment provider in a tailor-made, existing legacy webshop and managed functional and security testing and acceptance with the financial institution providing the service.
  • Cleaned up, fixed, and finished a half-done, abandoned website resulting from a failed project with another freelance, recovering part of the customer's existing investment and saving them from scratch.
  • Built authentication for the SPA web application using Laravel on the back end and Vuex or Pinia as the store on the front-end side, acting as the broker to handle user registration, login, token refresh, password reset, and editing profile fields.
Technologies: PHP, JavaScript, Laravel, Themosis, Vue, Nuxt.js, Quasar, WordPress, MODx, Bootstrap, ZURB Foundation, HTML, CSS, SCSS, CoffeeScript, jQuery, Twig, Blade, MySQL, Regex, Apache, LAMP, JSON-RPC, OpenAPI, Git, Composer, Satis, Gulp, PhpStorm, Webpack, Vagrant, Jest, PHPUnit, Xdebug, Postman, cPanel, Figma, Google Analytics, Core Web Vitals, Mailchimp, Drip Email, System Integration, Ubuntu Linux, JSON API, REST APIs, Unit Testing, APIs, Bitrix24, MailerLite, Vite, Pinia, Docker, NPM, Trello, IntelliJ IDEA, Databases, SQL, Solution Architecture, IT Business Analysis, Domain Name System (DNS), Algolia, i18n, Google Places API, Google Maps API, React, Laravel Mix, CodeIgniter, Linux, MariaDB, API Integration, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Architecture, Technical Consulting, Feasibility, Front-end, Node.js, Next.js, Web Development, Full-stack, Integration, Software Architecture, HTML5, MODX Revolution CMS, ETL, Back-end, Web UI Design, User Interface (UI), Due Diligence, Debugging, Front-end Development, PHP Performance, API Documentation, PHP Data Objects (PDO), Zapier, SEO Tools, Google SEO, TypeScript, PayPal API, Payment APIs, Web Architecture, Web Scraping, Back-end Architecture, Microservices Architecture, Domain-driven Design (DDD), Event Sourcing, CQRS, PlantUML, Animation, ESLint, NGINX, Software Design, Scalable Architecture, Maps, Responsive Layout, eCommerce, MEVN Stack, GitLab, GitLab CI/CD, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), WooCommerce, WooCommerce API, IT Security, Algorithms, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, WordPress SEO, WordPress Design, Third-party Integration, Responsive Design, CSS Animations, DevOps, Full-stack Development, Microservices, Redis, Credit Card Processing, Database Architecture, Data Structures, CI/CD Pipelines, Payment Gateways, GitHub, Content Management Systems (CMS)

Discovery and Automation Team Leader

2015 - 2017
Perform IT
  • Developed systems to facilitate the workflows associated with project due diligence, documentation, and automated reporting for regular KPI reviews, management scorecards, and dashboards.
  • Formalized and redesigned vendor-consultant-customer, multiple-party business processes affecting project areas, such as technical requirements and data gathering, implementation, QA, and sign-off.
  • Coordinated documentation efforts within a team of around 20 to ensure quality, accuracy, and structural and technical adequacy.
  • Developed custom tools to support internal processes, administration, and reporting.
Technologies: HP Operations Orchestration, IT Operations Management (ITOM), JavaScript, Bash Script, SQL, Virtualization, Data Centers, Solution Architecture, System Integration, HP SiteScope, VBScript, APIs, Databases, PHP, Regex, Postman, IT Business Analysis, Business Process Automation, Linux, API Integration, Architecture, Technical Consulting, Feasibility, Integration, ETL, Microsoft Excel, Due Diligence, Debugging, Business Services, Automation, Technical Leadership, Third-party Integration, Microsoft SQL Server, Database Architecture

IT Consultant and Systems Engineer

2012 - 2015
Perform IT
  • Developed scripts to extend standardized IT service monitoring solutions, progressively moving the IT operations from a reactive to a proactive approach and drastically reducing customer-perceivable service outages and related complaints.
  • Implemented a custom solution to automate the remote deployment of software in a wide-area IT infrastructure (country-wide network of retail stores).
  • Served as an on-call, first response team member for outages in a nationwide IT infrastructure-monitoring operations of a multinational telecommunication service provider.
Technologies: HP Operations Orchestration, IT Operations Management (ITOM), JavaScript, Bash Script, SQL, Virtualization, Data Centers, Solution Architecture, System Integration, HP SiteScope, HP Business Service Management, HP Real User Monitor, VBScript, HTML, APIs, Databases, PHP, Regex, Postman, IT Business Analysis, Business Process Automation, Linux, API Integration, Technical Consulting, Feasibility, Integration, Microsoft Excel, Due Diligence, Debugging, Front-end Development, Business Services, Automation, LAMP, Third-party Integration, Database Architecture

Systems Engineer

2008 - 2012
Enterprise Communications Magyarország Kft.
  • Took a major role in the systematic RFP preprocessing and architectural design of the computer-aided dispatch system in the Hungarian National Ambulance Command and Control project.
  • Participated in a competitive project bidding, applying technical knowledge and expertise in real-time in front of experts and decision-makers (customers and competitors), promoting and proving the benefits of our solutions.
  • Developed helper and companion apps for off-the-shelf telecommunication products to increase value, help sales, and fulfill specific customer needs for which OOB-Solutions did not account.
  • Calculated the optimal service outpost locations based on customer location clustering to minimize the average travel cost and on-site arrival time for maintenance services and to establish realistic, on-site-arrival SLA goals.
  • Designed and performed the functional and database-level integration of custom IT and telecommunication infrastructure in several critical infrastructure projects, including projects for the military and a national electricity service provider.
  • Developed customized tools to support corporate workflows, such as a sales calculator for voice-related infrastructure, a custom-made call center back-office, and a ticketing system to replace SAP and import historical data for continuity.
  • Implemented automated client computer management solutions, controlling group policies, settings, software, and rights in an MS AD environment.
Technologies: C#, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Geocoding, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), VoIP, System Integration, SQL, Virtualization, Data Centers, VBScript, MySQL, Regex, IT Business Analysis, APIs, Linux, API Integration, Architecture, Technical Consulting, Feasibility, Integration, HTML5, User Interface (UI), Microsoft Excel, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Debugging, API Documentation, Microsoft Access, Web Scraping, .NET, Maps, LAMP, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Full-stack, Algorithms, Third-party Integration, Database Architecture

Multinational Integrated CMS

Themosis-based, highly customized CMS for a multinational dietary supplement manufacturer. At the core, it is a WordPress site, which was the customer's specific requirement because they wanted their marketing team to maintain the content using a familiar interface. On the other hand, it runs inside a Laravel wrapper that provides the framework for the integrations to their corporate systems to pull in product information, forward information to CRM systems, and apply external indexing services to deliver powerful search capabilities. The project has been implemented, so that part of the integrations is presented to the content editors as custom-built Gutenberg blocks with a React-based dynamic admin UI and a low-overhead Blade templating-based rendering for the public.

The site also features a store locator, which allows content editors to pick places from Google Places to feature on the site. It applies multiple heuristics to show the most relevant results for various queries. The customer was so satisfied that they decided to extend the project to roll out the solution to eight additional countries across western and central Europe.

Custom Built ETL Data Synchronization Plug-in for WordPress

One of my first projects as a freelance was to build a solution for a webshop owner who needed their WooCommerce shop database to be populated and kept in sync with the databases of product vendors.

I've created an architecture that separates the extraction, transformation, and loading of the information. The plug-in is configurable regarding what transformations should be applied in each step.

Since the feeds contain around 30,000 products, performance is paramount. The plug-in has been optimized by profiling the PHP code to identify the most resource-hungry parts, rewriting them, applying them to the cache, and reorganizing loops to reduce overhead. The sync can process deltas to achieve faster completion or full sync if needed.

Since there are huge transformations to apply and download remote assets like product images, a sync run may take between 20 minutes to a few hours. To keep this feasible within the limitations of PHP, a custom task scheduler and workflow manager are created, which ensures execution always stays within the available execution time and memory limits and triggers a new process until the procedure is finished.

The solution is a standard WordPress plug-in, respecting the system's constraints.

Marketing Automation and Integrations

The project scope included integrating a public-facing website, a CRM system, and email marketing tools. The goal was to create forms on a website where visitors can submit questions and consultation requests and subscribe to newsletters.

The submissions, in turn, result in leads being created in the CRM system. Also, suppose the visitor checks the subscribe box on the form. In that case, the contact details are added to a third database, which acts as a data synchronization and distribution hub for email marketing systems that organize subscribers and run campaigns.

Another contractor working on a separate codebase handled the email marketing part, so we agreed on a shared format for the data representation.

I've created a small micro-service using the Codeigniter PHP framework that provided API endpoints to add subscribers and create lead forms. The micro-service was responsible for making the required changes in the CRM system and populating the predefined data tables with marketing data.

Submitting the web forms only required a single API call to the micro-service, which could perform multiple operations against the CRM, like looking up if there is an existing customer already or retrying failed API calls.
2005 - 2017

Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Budapest University of Technology and Economics - Budapest, Hungary

Libraries/APIs

Vue, REST APIs, WordPress API, WooCommerce API, jQuery, JSON API, Google Maps API, Node.js, JSON-RPC, OpenAPI, Shopify API, Google Places API, React, PayPal API

Tools

PhpStorm, Xdebug, MODX Revolution CMS, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Composer, NPM, Git, Vagrant, Trello, IntelliJ IDEA, Apache, Gulp, Postman, Google Analytics, MailerLite, Zapier, GitHub, MATLAB, Geocoding, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Webpack, Figma, Mailchimp, AutoHotkey, NGINX, GitLab, GitLab CI/CD

Frameworks

Bootstrap, Jest, Laravel Mix, Laravel, Quasar, ZURB Foundation, Twig, PHPUnit, Express.js, Nuxt.js, CodeIgniter, Next.js, .NET

Languages

JavaScript, SQL, HTML, CSS, PHP, SCSS, Regex, HTML5, TypeScript, VBScript, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Bash Script, C#, CoffeeScript, C++

Paradigms

Automation, Responsive Layout, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Unit Testing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Architecture, Back-end Architecture, ETL, Web UI Design, Microservices Architecture, Event Sourcing, CQRS, DevOps, Microservices

Platforms

LAMP, WordPress, MODx, WooCommerce, cPanel, Ubuntu Linux, Linux, KNIME, Algolia, Emarsys, Docker

Storage

Databases, MySQL, MariaDB, Database Architecture, Data Centers, PHP Data Objects (PDO), MongoDB, Microsoft SQL Server, Redis

Other

HP Operations Orchestration, HP SiteScope, Core Web Vitals, IT Business Analysis, System Integration, APIs, API Integration, Technical Consulting, Feasibility, Front-end, Web Development, Full-stack, Integration, Back-end, Due Diligence, Debugging, Front-end Development, API Documentation, Website Performance, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Third-party Integration, Responsive Design, Full-stack Development, Content Management Systems (CMS), Themosis, Blade, Solution Architecture, Business Process Automation, Domain Name System (DNS), HP Business Service Management, i18n, Bitrix24, Vite, Pinia, Architecture, Software Architecture, PHP Performance, Business Services, SEO Tools, Google SEO, Payment APIs, PlantUML, ESLint, Software Design, Maps, eCommerce, MEVN Stack, WordPress SEO, WordPress Design, Data Structures, Data Mining, Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), Genetic Algorithms, IT Operations Management (ITOM), Virtualization, HP Real User Monitor, VoIP, Satis, Drip Email, User Interface (UI), Web Scraping, Domain-driven Design (DDD), Animation, Electrical Engineering, Technical Leadership, Scalable Architecture, Zero-day Vulnerabilities, IT Security, Algorithms, CSS Animations, Credit Card Processing, CI/CD Pipelines, Payment Gateways

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