Colin Young, Developer in Chicago, IL, United States
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Colin Young

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Chicago, IL, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 26, 2016

Colin is a staff-level engineer and engineering manager with a decade of experience spearheading product development and two additional years of managing people. He specializes in high-value React and React Native consulting and serverless architectures. Colin is confident in several back-end languages and frameworks, including Node.js, Ruby, and Python. This expertise enables him to create resilient and high-performing API back ends, catering to both the clients and applications they serve.


Solar Mosaic
React, AWS CLI, Terraform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Node.js, Python...
Agile Software Development, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Node.js, React...
Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Lambda, Python, Node.js, React Native, React...




Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), MacOS

The most amazing... experience I've had was leading a microfrontends architecture transformation for multiple teams.

Work Experience

Engineering Manager

2021 - 2023
Solar Mosaic
  • Managed and mentored 4-5 full-stack software reports.
  • Led agile rituals and teams to rapidly deliver full-stack projects for internal and external clients.
  • Led a microfrontends transformation and design system.
Technologies: React, AWS CLI, Terraform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Node.js, Python, Scala, JavaScript, CSS, SQL, Front-end, SaaS, Data Privacy

Staff Software Engineer

2020 - 2021
  • Led the development of a React and GraphQL point-of-sale application for financing estimates, credit applications, and loan signing.
  • Led tech designs for architecture decisions on AWS.
  • Provided mentoring and engaged in pair programming activities, extending my support to offshore teams as well.
Technologies: Agile Software Development, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Node.js, React, JavaScript, CSS, SQL, Front-end, SaaS, Data Privacy

Solutions Architect

2017 - 2019
  • Defined software and server architecture for large, global firms.
  • Designed and delivered several React Native applications for mobile startups.
  • Supported sales activity, meeting both in person and via phone to help define scopes of work for six-figure contracts.
  • Led software development teams and provided mentorship.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Lambda, Python, Node.js, React Native, React, JavaScript, CSS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), SQL, Front-end, SaaS, Geographic Information Systems, Data Scraping

Senior Software Engineer

2016 - 2017
Lambda Digital Consulting
  • Developed a multi-platform app that runs out of a single repository, using React Native and code reuse with React Native for Web, as well as a desktop app in Electron.
  • Wrote a desktop app in Electron for the construction industry.
  • Administered a large AWS infrastructure for an SMB client with Elastic Beanstalk, RDS, S3, continuous deployment, and more.
  • Built a consumer-facing iOS application with Parse.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), RxJava, Swift, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Node.js, React Native, React, JavaScript, CSS, Sinatra, SQL, Front-end, SaaS, Google Maps API, Data Scraping

Lead Engineer

2015 - 2016
  • Added tests and continuous integration to four discrete software applications in different languages.
  • Triaged and refactored legacy, untested code across the stack in a constrained-resources environment.
  • Managed a remote team and held frequent pair programming sessions.
  • Collaborated on an Android project and quickly identified key performance issues, despite having less than six months of Android experience.
  • Architected and deployed application servers using several AWS technologies.
Technologies: AngularJS, Zend Framework, PHP, Android, iOS, CSS, SQL, Front-end

Product Lead and Senior Software Engineer

2012 - 2015
  • Acted as "technical founder-in-residence," making architecture and feature execution decisions for two to three startup companies per year.
  • Helped approximately six startups at which I built the first version of their software to raise over $4.5 million in seed funding.
  • Built using Agile and TDD principles and enjoyed team support of our testing focus through peer-reviewed code.
  • Handled the largest server administration role on the team, responsible for leading multiple startup infrastructures at once.
  • Created an iOS application using Swift immediately after Swift's release.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Heroku, Ember.js, Angular, Swift, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, CSS, Front-end


Dosimetron is a cross-platform mobile and arcade game that was custom-built for LANDAUER, a radiology company that wanted to market a new product in an extremely novel way. They took a chance on a really cool marketing idea: Launch a product using a playable game in a real live arcade cabinet at a tradeshow. The arcade game had lines throughout the weekend because it prioritized actually being fun to play over including the company's marketing. I was very proud to make something replayable and enjoyable, having studied games in college but never shipping one of my own until Dosimetron. It was coded in Cocos-2D and HTML5, and as a fully cross-platform app, also has an Android version. It was delivered as a Mac App, an iOS app (linked above), and an Android app.

Introduction to Minecraft Modding
Last fall, I taught a ten-week course on Minecraft modding to middle schoolers at a local code school here in Chicago. I collaborated on this curriculum with the founder of the school, Tamasin, across several meetings prior to the class and during. We iterated on it like any other software project, and taught kids to code in the process. I'm very passionate about teaching code, and taught MIT Scratch through Citizen Schools prior to this course.

Cancan_strong_parameters Gem
cancan_strong_parameters has over 50 stars on GitHub because it solved a key problem for those using the popular cancan gem in 2012-2014. While the gem is now inactive--cancan's developers themselves have finally solved the underlying problem after a 3 year wait--it is a great example of my code quality and ability to manage a repository that others depend on.


Ruby, CSS, Swift, Objective-C, JavaScript, SQL, Python, PHP, Java, Groovy, Elixir, Scala


Sinatra, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Laravel, Zend Framework, AngularJS, Angular, Ember.js, React Native


React, HTTP API, Ruby on Rails API, Rack, Google Maps API, Node.js, RxJava


CircleCI, Xcode, Android Studio, AWS CLI, Terraform


Agile Software Development, Unit Testing, REST


Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Heroku, Linux, MacOS, AWS Lambda, Android, Docker, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)


UI Testing, Agile Software Testing, Front-end, SaaS, Computer Science, OpenAI GPT-4 API, Geographic Information Systems, Data Privacy, Data Scraping


MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MySQL

2008 - 2012

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

DePaul University - Chicago, IL, USA