Derek Edwards, Developer in Columbus, OH, United States
Derek is available for hire
Hire Derek

Derek Edwards

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Columbus, OH, United States
Toptal Member Since
February 7, 2020

Derek is known for building and leading world-class technical organizations to understand complex challenges in regulated spaces and rapidly delivering scalable results. He has a track record of success spanning early-stage startups through Fortune 20 enterprises, leveraging his unique background of business acumen, hands-on technical ability, and deep domain knowledge. Derek has also been recognized as a thought leader in the healthcare industry through recent interviews and panel sessions.


Elevance Health
Leadership, Architecture, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud...
Swift, RTSP, Docker, Node.js, Java, TypeScript, React Native, React...
Talio Technology
Python, Jekyll, React Native, React, Electrode, Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS)...




Preferred Environment

G Suite, Postman, GitLab, GitHub, Docker, Git, Xcode, Android Studio, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Slack

The most amazing...

...thing I've created is a secure learning healthcare platform to rapidly deploy clinically validated machine learning models to 68 million health plan members.

Work Experience

VP AI Technology

2020 - PRESENT
Elevance Health
  • Drove rapid implementation of Generative AI tools and infrastructure across lines of business, including enterprise GPT chat and knowledge management, achieving validated team-level operational lifts of up to 60%.
  • Mobilized world-class AI, engineering, design (user research, experience, and interaction), product, and program teams. Recruited 150+ top-tier clinical researchers, ML scientists, platform and product engineers, and SRE/infrastructure eng talent.
  • Guided the AI and platform teams to create a secure learning healthcare platform to rapidly deploy clinically validated machine learning models, including a diabetes pre-screen model, saving $150 million initially with recurring savings of $95 million.
  • Deployed a cloud-native health operating system platform to enable enterprise-class applications with a data foundation of 68 million clinical, claims, and social data records updated daily in FHIR with a zero-trust security paradigm.
Technologies: Leadership, Architecture, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), CTO, Technical Project Management, Chatbots, Large Language Models (LLMs), OpenAI GPT-3 API, OpenAI GPT-4 API


2017 - PRESENT
  • Architected and implemented initial MVP using a combination of Ember.js on top of Django-REST-framework + Celery in conjunction with a native Android video streaming application.
  • Successfully migrated tightly coupled analysis pipeline from initial monolithic architecture to a portable, container-based execution model.
  • Worked with CTO to re-architect web and mobile clients around a unified React+React Native codebase, allowing us to share a substantial portion of our business logic and data models across all clients.
  • Developed and integrated a container-based embedded Linux IoT bridge device to enable live streaming of research instrumentation data to a central MQTT broker for persistence and real-time preview within web clients.
Technologies: Swift, RTSP, Docker, Node.js, Java, TypeScript, React Native, React, Django REST Framework, Python, Amazon Web Services (AWS), CTO, Technical Project Management


2017 - 2020
Talio Technology
  • Oversaw development of intensive, boot camp-format engineering onboarding labs for clients, including Walmart Labs, shortening time to engineering productivity from months to weeks.
  • Worked with senior engineering leaders across clients to develop targeted upskilling programs focused on emerging technologies, including React and React Native.
  • Crafted a high-impact AI workshop for VP and C-Suite business leaders in conjunction with the Applied AI conference two years in a row.
Technologies: Python, Jekyll, React Native, React, Electrode, Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Leadership, B2B, Sales, CTO, Technical Project Management

Founding CTO

2013 - 2017
  • Co-founded the SaaS executive coaching management platform that Dropbox, Medtronic, EY, and others used.
  • Recruited, built, and led an in-house product engineering org of ten.
  • Owned delivery of enterprise-grade MVP to market within one year.
  • Co-wrote proposals and closed contracts with multiple enterprise clients to achieve the first $1 million in revenue.
  • Successfully influenced talent development and CISO teams to approve global implementations of for multiple Fortune 500 enterprises, including Walmart, Linkedin, BNY Mellon, and Mayo Clinic.
  • Established employer brand through lightning talks and presentations to the San Diego JS meetup.
Technologies: VirtualBox, Vagrant, JavaScript, Ember.js, Django REST Framework, Python, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Leadership, Technical Recruiting, Product Management, Product Marketing, CTO, Technical Project Management

BehaviorCloud Platform
A fully cloud-native platform for preclinical research built to streamline data collection and enable better collaboration while creating a foundation for more reproducible science. I shared CTO duties with one of my co-founders, developing the original MVP using a combination of Ember.js on top of the Django-REST framework, leveraging AWS EC2, RDS, and S3. I later helped migrate to a React+React-Native front end and a Docker container-based back-end infrastructure, all deployed to CloudFront + ECS. Additionally, I maintained all marketing properties.


Python, ECMAScript (ES6), TypeScript, Java, Swift, JavaScript, Assembly, C++


React Native, Django, Django REST Framework, Ember.js


React, Node.js


Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), AWS CloudFormation, Slack, Android Studio, Xcode, Git, GitHub, GitLab, Postman, G Suite, Jekyll, Vagrant, VirtualBox, AWS Fargate, Amazon CloudFront CDN


Docker, Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Android, Visual Studio Code (VS Code)


Amazon S3 (AWS S3), MySQL, Google Cloud


CTO, Technical Project Management, Large Language Models (LLMs), OpenAI GPT-3 API, OpenAI GPT-4 API, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chatbots, RTSP, Electrode, Leadership, Architecture, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Product Management, Product Marketing, Amazon RDS, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Sales, Technical Recruiting



2001 - 2005

Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio


PMC-I Certification

Pragmatic Institute

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.


Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring