Brian VanLoo, Developer in Newbury Park, United States
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Brian VanLoo

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Newbury Park, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 2, 2014

Brian is a freelance software developer with a long career in delivering technology value in the corporate world. Expertise with a variety of open-source technologies from those used in embedded systems to large-scale web applications.



Preferred Environment

Git, RubyMine, Sublime Text, Linux

The most amazing...

...thing I've done is help build several large-scale Internet and web services as part of NetZero/United Online

Work Experience

Director of Development and Operations

2012 - 2013
Virtual World Computing
  • Responsible for all development and production operations activities for company's Online protection product.
  • Production operations in multiple co-lo facilities running on Debian Linux, based on various open source technologies: Ruby (Rails and Sinatra), Squid, I-Cap, MySQL.
  • Deployed Operations support infrastructure on AWS cloud computing resources: Nagios, Git source repositories, WordPress blog.
  • Responsible for managing several outsourced development teams.
  • Responsible for all back-end and front-end web-based products, client-side browser plugins and mobile applications.
  • Converting development process to Agile: iteration-based planning, test driven development (TDD), and continuous integration.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Linux, Chef, MySQL, Squid Proxy Server, Firefox Extensions, Sinatra, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Manager, Software Development

2010 - 2012
  • Lead an International Software Development team responsible for providing core services for industry-leading network testing equipment.
  • Architectural Lead for Company’s First Web-Based Service Offering. Developed solution to offer existing virtual machine-based network testing technologies as a Testing as a Service (TaaS) offering running in AWS on EC2 instances. Introduced cutting edge web development technologies to the team: Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, etc.
  • Managed Multi-Disciplinary Team developing control systems applications. Planned, scheduleed and tracked all work to meet the requirements of various application development teams.
  • Improved the Software Development Process by implementing new-to-the-organization Agile methodologies to plan team’s work, insured all process steps are executed and drove team to meet quality and schedule goals. Consistently reduced open bugs at release by an average of 30% per release.
  • Rebuilt Development Team by establishing new off-shore teams, and shifting personnel and responsibilities for local teams to improve ability to deliver more innovative infrastructure improvements while still addressing a large volume of customer problems.
Technologies: C++, C

Vice President, Project Management

2000 - 2008
United Online (NetZero)
  • Formed a new project management organization under the direct report of the CIO. Directed 10-member team in managing a project portfolio for a 250-person software development and operations group, across multiple locations (domestic and overseas). Worked with senior executives to populate portfolio with projects, to drive business strategy.
  • Built world-class professional project management organization from the ground up within 1 year, and introduced several major programs that substantially improved project execution across the organization.
  • Oversaw all aspects of operational service quality for software development and service operations. Coordinated quality improvement projects and post-development activities (test to production release) of 200-member software development and operations teams. Managed operation of Oracle-based data warehouse for tracking user activity.
  • Founded and chaired cross-functional committee to evaluate service availability issues impacting targeted service metrics. Developed framework for monitoring metrics and sponsored quality improvement projects. Brought metrics up from 95% availability to targeted 99.9% in less than a year and improved user connectivity rates by 20%.
  • Led several teams (composed of staff from NetZero and Juno) in rapidly piloting integration strategies in M&A that formed United Online. Enabled combined company to realize benefits of merger (cost savings, increased revenue streams) within weeks. Became one of few dot-com era companies to reach true GAAP profitability.
Technologies: Linux, Oracle, Java

Software Engineering Manager

1984 - 2000
  • Managed all aspects of software quality department including operations, $1 million budget, quality improvements, and customer satisfaction. Hired, trained, and led team of 12 software test engineers. Introduced new test tools, processes, and strategies to ensure continued market competitiveness of software. Defined software quality goals and tracked quality metrics. Worked closely with software engineering, product management, applications engineering, and client staff.
  • Handpicked by senior management to build and manage division-wide reliability program. Led cross-functional teams in process improvements to meet client reliability demands. Set performance goals and reported on hardware reliability metrics to executive leaders. Direct liaison with largest client in market space.
  • Directed software engineering organization (20 direct and indirect reports) in developing and maintaining software to control VLSI automated test systems. Oversaw project scheduling, system administration, configuration management, software testing, release management, process documentation, software build processes, and customer relationships.
  • Led teams of 3-5 software engineers from different functional IT groups in developing software solutions. Project manager for on-time/budget system delivery.
  • Designed, coded, debugged, tested, and maintained variety of software programs.
Technologies: Embedded Systems, C++, C

Westmont College Admissions Application

I built entire admissions application from the ground up as a Ruby on Rails web application. Transitioned school from a shared application service to their own custom solution allowing them to better track students through the admissions process.


HTML5, Ruby, JavaScript, CSS3, SCSS, C++, Less, C, Java, PHP


Ruby on Rails (RoR), AngularJS, Ember.js, Sinatra


Devise, jQuery, Node.js, Puppet.js, Backbone.js


RSpec, cURL Command Line Tool, Vim Text Editor, Cucumber, Vagrant, Chef, VirtualBox, Nagios, NGINX, Apache HTTP Server, Sublime Text, RubyMine, Git, Squid Proxy Server


Test-driven Development (TDD), Agile Software Development, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Integration (CI)


Linux, Windows, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace, Oracle


MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL


Embedded Systems, Firefox Extensions

1996 - 1999

MBA Degree in Business

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

1980 - 1984

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

Washington State University - Pullman, WA