Erik Heath Thomas, Developer in Washington, DC, United States
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Erik Heath Thomas

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Engineer and Developer

Location
Washington, DC, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 11, 2023

Erik is a principal-level engineer, architect, teacher, and writer specializing in iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, iPadOS, IoT product development, and related cloud services. With over 20 years of experience, he has worked with teams and independently to deliver products for startups and Fortune 500 companies in the media, finance, education, and healthcare industries. Erik has a proven track record of developing production-ready applications and helping organizations deliver on top priorities.

Portfolio

The Weather Group - Main
Swift, Apple TV, UIKit, iOS TV, Over-the-top Content (OTT), iOS Video...
Kinsa Group
iOS, MacOS, Core Bluetooth, Bluetooth Beacons, Localization, Core Location...
Curated Cocoa
AVFoundation, Core Data, Core Media, Core ML, Core Location, UIKit, SwiftUI...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

MacOS, Unix, Xcode, Amazon Web Services (AWS), GitHub

The most amazing...

...thing I've built is a video player framework used across all CBS TV channels, now Viacom and Paramount, that serves millions of viewers every year.

Work Experience

Swift Developer (via Toptal)

2023 - PRESENT
The Weather Group - Main
  • Served as a sole developer for all Apple mobile and connected TV (iOS, tvOS, iPadOS) apps, including Local Now, HBCU GO, and upcoming white-label apps for those products and the Weather Channel app.
  • Converted existing apps to using modern technology stacks (SwiftUI, Modern Concurrency) and universalized apps so that one app can work on multiple platforms.
  • Built a CI/CD pipeline and reporting tool using Xcode Cloud, Git, Slack, and shell scripting.
Technologies: Swift, Apple TV, UIKit, iOS TV, Over-the-top Content (OTT), iOS Video, TV Broadcasting, Broadcasting, Smart TV, Cross-platform App Development, Mobile App Development

Director of Software Engineering | Principal Mobile Engineer

2020 - PRESENT
Kinsa Group
  • Managed and drove the direction of multidisciplinary teams delivering market-leading, high-quality, multilingual, and at-scale consumer thermometers and consumer mobile apps that serve six million yearly active users (YAU).
  • Designed and optimized workflow processes such as sprint and release schedules, key feature delivery, technical capability roadmaps, product outcomes, and operation contingency planning.
  • Provided multiplatform technical direction for iOS, Android, and back-end services on AWS.
  • Implemented engineering and UI/UX frameworks and standards for iOS, Android, and in-house server-driven UI.
  • Built a desktop app to run software simulations in C for firmware thermometer systems, enabling algorithmic explorations for predictive temperature calculations.
  • Developed Kinsa's iOS app components using Swift, SwiftUI, Objective-C, C++, UIkit, Core Location, CoreData, Core Animation, Combine, and structured concurrency, including async and await tasks.
  • Created an SVG-based data visualization pipeline and email communication services using Python, XSLT, AWS Lambda, Amazon S3, and Braze.
Technologies: iOS, MacOS, Core Bluetooth, Bluetooth Beacons, Localization, Core Location, Core Data, GraphQL, Apollo, Xcode, Swift, Objective-C++, C, Firmware, Device Firmware Updates (DFU), iCloud, AWS Lambda, JSON, Mixpanel, Braze, Sports, App Store, AWS CloudTrail, Datadog, SwiftUI, UIKit, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Sentry, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, XML, XSLT, SVG, Jira, Unix Shell Scripting, Python, Combine, Concurrency, Contentful, Async/Await, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Agile, iOS SDK, Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Design & Configuration, Software System Architecture Development, Event-driven Architecture, SQL, PostgreSQL, Functional Programming, APIs, Object-oriented Databases, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Event-driven Programming, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Desktop App Design, Desktop App Development, Shell Commands, UI Animation, Lottie-iOS, iOS Extensions, Apple HomeKit, Sirikit, Android

Principal Consultant

2015 - 2020
Curated Cocoa
  • Defined, managed, and provided engineering and UI/UX services for mobile and mobile-cloud strategic initiatives for both B2C and B2B companies.
  • Led the product domain, UX research, UI design, and product development work for Tether EPMR, LLC, delivering an iOS app prototype and a robust back-end system for household emergency preparedness, management, and response.
  • Guided UX research, UI design, and product development efforts for Unison's iOS app, a prototype for a new real estate buying model.
  • Created the Premo Media iOS and tvOS app, a streaming media platform that showcases films made by and for under-represented groups.
  • Delivered mobile-cloud architecture, mobile-optimized data and video framework, and iOS native development for the Realtor.com B2C iOS app.
  • Developed and delivered the iMessage proof of concept for the Realtor.com B2C iOS app.
  • Managed, evaluated, recruited, and trained Realtor.com vendors and engineering teams, covering core computer science areas, CD/CI, and TDD.
Technologies: AVFoundation, Core Data, Core Media, Core ML, Core Location, UIKit, SwiftUI, Swift, Objective-C++, C, Cloud Computing, AWS Lambda, GitHub, Unix, Test-driven Development (TDD), User Experience (UX), UX Research, Rapid Prototyping, iCloud, Ooyala, SDKs, Brightcove API, Conviva, JSON, tvOS, iOS, MacOS, Apple TV Markup Language (TVML), HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), XML, XSLT, SVG, Reveal, Xcode, PostgreSQL, Core Animation, Core Graphics, Localization, Unix Shell Scripting, Vapor, Python, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon Web Services (AWS), App Store, FileMaker Pro, REST APIs, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Apple TV, Apple TV UI, Combine, iOS SDK, iOS TV, iOS Video, Over-the-top Content (OTT), TV, Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Architecture Development, Software System Design & Configuration, SQL, Objective-C, Object-oriented Databases, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Functional Programming, APIs, Event-driven Programming, Event-driven Architecture, Shell Commands, Databases, UI Animation, Apple HomeKit, Sirikit, iOS Extensions, Apple Mail, Apple Pages, Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion

Lead iOS Developer | Video Technology Team

2014 - 2016
CBS
  • Designed, developed, tested, maintained, and deployed the iOS HTTP live streaming (HLS) video player framework used by app development teams across CBS Interactive properties like CBS.com, CBS News, CBS Sports, and CNET.
  • Integrated tracking, analytics, and quality of service (QoS) technologies like Comscore, Nielsen, and Conviva.
  • Implemented internal tracking, ad serving, content serving, closed captioning, and revenue technologies in the player framework.
  • Developed desktop tools used for testing and real-time diagnostics of the video player framework and content stream.
Technologies: iOS, tvOS, MacOS, C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, AVFoundation, Core Audio, Core Media, Core Video, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), SDKs, Conviva, Comscore, Brightcove, Ad Serving, Closed Captions, Diagnostics, Real-time Streaming, Framework Design, UIKit, Core Graphics, Core Animation, Xcode, Charles Proxy, API Design, Unix Shell Scripting, Swift, XML, XSLT, REST APIs, Apple, Apple TV, Apple TV UI, Apple TV Markup Language (TVML), iPhone, iPad, Video Streaming, iOS SDK, iOS TV, iOS Video, Over-the-top Content (OTT), TV, TV Broadcasting, Broadcasting, APIs, Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Design & Configuration, Software System Architecture Development, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Event-driven Programming, Event-driven Architecture, Desktop App Design, Desktop App Development, Shell Commands, UI Animation

Lead Software Engineer | Senior Software Engineer

2013 - 2014
IMVU
  • Produced the technical design and implementation of IMVU's social networking iPad app.
  • Developed technology solutions for notification services and synchronous and asynchronous chat using REST-based services and custom communication protocols via WebSockets.
  • Served as a technical architect and code reviewer for iOS.
  • Provided training for engineers moving to iOS development.
Technologies: MacOS, iOS, UIKit, C, Objective-C, Xcode, Test-driven Development (TDD), Core Animation, Core Graphics, JSON, Jira, Framework Design, WebSockets, iPhone, iPad, Apple, Agile, iOS SDK, Architecture, API Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Design & Configuration, Software System Architecture Development, Event-driven Architecture, Event-driven Programming, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Desktop App Design, Desktop App Development, Shell Commands, UI Animation

iOS Architect | Engineer

2012 - 2013
Pearson
  • Defined the core systems of an iOS app architecture suitable for extension by internal iOS developers.
  • Built the core systems into a multi-platform static library suitable for use on iPhones, iPads, and macOS X.
  • Delivered an iOS app prototype that used the library as a proof-of-concept for an in-classroom and mobile learning system.
Technologies: iOS, Xcode, Core Animation, Core Graphics, Core Audio, Core Media, Core Video, XML, XSLT, Technical Writing, Unix, MacOS, FileMaker Pro, UIKit, Core Data, REST APIs, Framework Design, Core Location, Apple, iPad, iPhone, iOS SDK, iOS Video, Event-driven Programming, Event-driven Architecture, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Architecture, Software Architecture, APIs, Shell Commands

OS X Engineer

2012 - 2012
PayPal
  • Built macOS X Cocoa-based instant messenger client for PayPal's customer service team.
  • Analyzed PayPal's internal communication systems and built a custom SOAP interface to enable multi-platform communication.
  • Provided rollout support for the internal engineering team.
Technologies: MacOS, Xcode, AppKit, Core Data, Objective-C, XML, XSLT, launchd, SOAP, Cocoa, Unix, Unix Shell Scripting, C, API Design, Architecture, Software Architecture, Event-driven Programming, Event-driven Architecture, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Desktop App Design, Desktop App Development, Shell Commands

Lead Experience Architect

2010 - 2011
PenLink
  • Built and managed an experience design team from the ground up that reimagined and architected a unified experience for the collection, analysis, and visualization of telephonic and IP communications data.
  • Worked hand-in-hand with data and software architects and various domestic and international law enforcement agencies.
  • Developed prototypes, user flows, training documentation, and a complete UX design package.
Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, OmniGraffle, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Adobe InDesign, MacOS, Windows, Cross-platform UX, Technical Writing, Technical Drawing, Iconography, User Experience (UX), UX Research, Cognitive Science, New Products, UI Research, Rapid Prototyping, Desktop App Design, User Interface (UI)

Experience Design Lead

2006 - 2010
Intuit
  • Worked with professionals from various disciplines, including product management, tax professionals, marketing, engineering, IT services, quality assurance, and user experience, on TurboTax, Intuit's multi-platform flagship product line.
  • Led the research and development (R&D) efforts for Intuit's first iOS mobile tax preparation app, SnapTax.
  • Developed innovative in-field and remote UX research tools to predict user behavior and understand user motivations.
  • Designed UI/UX for critical moments in the decision journey that improved completion rates and times.
  • Prototyped UI/UX for complex data entry tasks that reduced input error rates.
  • Awarded multiple patents for novel user experience methods.
Technologies: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, User Experience (UX), UX Research, Cognitive Science, Mobile UX, New Products, UI Research, Rapid Prototyping, Patents, OmniGraffle, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, iOS, MacOS, Web UX Design, Windows, Cross-platform UX, Fintech, UIKit, Desktop App Design, User Interface (UI)

Senior Software Developer | Instructional Systems Lead

2005 - 2006
Yahoo!
  • Architected and built a multi-lingual Jakarta EE Lucene-based instructional system for the rewrite of Yahoo! 's Ad Manager platform.
  • Managed a team of writers, instructional designers, and 3rd party localization vendors.
  • Integrated my team's work with a multi-office, multiple-continent cross-disciplinary team consisting of engineering, marketing, IT services, creative, product management, quality assurance, and user experience design.
Technologies: JBoss, Java, XML, XSLT, XSL-FO, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Apache Lucene, Apache, Apache Tomcat, Linguistics, DocBook, Oxygen, Subversion (SVN), Adobe Illustrator, Technical Writing, Technical Drawing, Windows, Unix, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Localization, APIs, Software Architecture, Shell Commands, User Interface (UI)

Software Engineering Consultant

2000 - 2005
Freelance Clients
  • Planned and coordinated a student data migration from a custom-built data management system to a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) system using a PostgreSQL back end.
  • Implemented a multi-campus, synchronized information technology solution.
  • Architected and built a student and teacher portal using PHP and MySQL and integrated it with an LDAP-based student management system.
  • Built the macOS X interface for administrators and teachers interfacing with MySQL and PostgreSQL.
  • Developed a cross-platform application that connects with an optical scanner to score the Career Occupational Preference System Interest Inventory (COPS) used by thousands of schools throughout the USA.
Technologies: MacOS, Windows, Cocoa, AppKit, Optical Systems, Hardware Drivers, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, LDAP, Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Technical Writing, Technical Drawing, Payment Processing, Cognitive Science, Technical Diagrams, Database Schema Design, Database Migration, Distributed Software, Objective-C, C, C++, Visual Basic, REALBasic, Cross-platform UX, Adobe Illustrator, Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Design & Configuration, Software System Architecture Development, APIs, Event-driven Programming, Event-driven Architecture, SQL, Object-oriented Databases, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Desktop App Design, Desktop App Development, Automation, Shell Commands, Databases, User Interface (UI)

Kinsa Health App

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/kinsa/id1469151284
A Swift-based app for measuring and recording temperatures and providing in-home triage care. Connecting via Bluetooth to retail thermometers, the app acts as an input node in the illness prediction sensing network.

I directed the team that developed new features and fixed bugs in the Android and iOS apps. I also architected and built new features and coordinated with team leads to manage their deployment. Additionally, I maintained the firmware used in the connected Bluetooth thermometers and developed the code to meet evolving standards.

CBS Video Player

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cbs/id1540866664
An Objective-C and later Swift-based video player framework used across all CBS properties, including CBS.com, CBS Sports, 60 Minutes, CNet, Chow, and more, supporting both on-demand and live broadcasts.

Realtor.com iOS Mobile App

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/realtor-com-real-estate/id336698281
An Objective-C and later Swift-based consumer real estate app. I built the custom JSON for the core data transformation data layer, provided an updated architecture for a new version of the consumer app, and developed an iMessage extension for the app. Furthermore, I recruited and trained a new internal team on quality-centered development practices.
2008 - 2009

Graduate Coursework in Computational Linguistics

San Diego State University (SDSU) - San Diego, CA, USA

1997 - 2002

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

San Diego State University (SDSU) - San Diego, CA, USA

1997 - 2002

Bachelor's Degree in Information Decision Systems

San Diego State University (SDSU) - San Diego, CA, USA

MARCH 2022 - MARCH 2025

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon Web Services

NOVEMBER 2016 - PRESENT

Apple Certified Support Professional

Apple, Inc.

DECEMBER 1997 - PRESENT

Instructional Technology

San Diego State University (SDSU)

Libraries/APIs

iOS Extensions, Brightcove API, Core Animation, Core Graphics, Core Audio, REST APIs, Apache Lucene, Lottie-iOS

Tools

Xcode, GitHub, Braze, Adobe Illustrator, Comscore, Charles Proxy, OmniGraffle, Apple HomeKit, Sirikit, Apple Mail, AWS CloudTrail, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Sentry, Affinity Designer, Jira, FileMaker Pro, Apache, Apache Tomcat, Subversion (SVN), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, REALBasic, Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Adobe InCopy

Frameworks

Core Bluetooth, Core Location, Core Data, SwiftUI, UIKit, Core Media, Cocoa, iOS SDK, Combine, AppKit, Core Video, Core ML, Vapor

Languages

Swift, XML, XSLT, Objective-C, GraphQL, C, Apple TV Markup Language (TVML), CSS, HTML, SQL, Python, C++, Java, XSL-FO, JavaScript, DocBook, PHP, Visual Basic

Paradigms

Rapid Prototyping, Agile, Event-driven Architecture, Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Object-oriented Analysis & Design (OOAD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), API Architecture, Event-driven Programming, Desktop App Development, Cross-platform, Instructional Design, Test-driven Development (TDD), Functional Programming, Automation, Web UX Design, Object-oriented Design (OOD)

Platforms

MacOS, iOS, tvOS, Apple, Apple TV, Unix, iCloud, AWS Lambda, Conviva, WatchOS, Android, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Cloud Computing Services, Mixpanel, Contentful, Brightcove, JBoss, Windows, Firebase

Storage

JSON, Databases, Datadog, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), PostgreSQL, MySQL, Database Migration

Other

Localization, Computer Science, Technical Writing, App Store, Concurrency, AVFoundation, Closed Captions, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV UI, Video Streaming, iOS TV, iOS Video, Over-the-top Content (OTT), TV, TV Broadcasting, Broadcasting, Architecture, Software Architecture, Software System Design & Configuration, Software System Architecture Development, APIs, Desktop App Design, User Interface (UI), Mobile App Development, Cross-platform App Development, Systems Engineering, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior (OB), Bluetooth Beacons, Apollo, Objective-C++, SVG, Unix Shell Scripting, User Experience (UX), UX Research, SDKs, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Ad Serving, Diagnostics, Real-time Streaming, Framework Design, API Design, Patents, Cross-platform UX, Fintech, Database Schema Design, Distributed Software, Async/Await, Object-oriented Databases, Shell Commands, UI Animation, Smart TV, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Cloud Computing, Cloud Platforms, Cloud Services, Firmware, Device Firmware Updates (DFU), Sports, Ooyala, Reveal, Oxygen, Technical Drawing, Mobile UX, New Products, UI Research, Iconography, launchd, SOAP, Optical Systems, Hardware Drivers, LDAP, Payment Processing, Technical Diagrams, iMessage, WebSockets, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Apple Pages

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