Erik Ostrom, Developer in Minneapolis, MN, United States
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Erik Ostrom

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Minneapolis, MN, United States
Toptal Member Since
July 29, 2019

Erik has been developing web applications for over 20 years, mostly with startups, solo entrepreneurs, and small nonprofits. He values clear communication, good design, mutual responsibility, and efficient use of time and money. He has worked extensively with Ruby on Rails and with a variety of front-end tools including Vue.js, Angular, D3, Electron, React, and TypeScript.


Teaching Excellence Network
Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, Sass, MySQL, Highcharts, Angular, Vue...
Software for Good
R, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
Erik Ostrom
Java, GraphQL, REST APIs, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sass, CSS, HTML, jQuery, Gatsby...




Preferred Environment

Git, RubyMine, MacOS

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on is a platform to help K-12 teachers understand the needs of their communities and improve their teaching to meet those needs.

Work Experience

Web Developer (Contract)

2015 - PRESENT
Teaching Excellence Network
  • Developed chart UI using Highcharts, Vue.js, and Vuex.
  • Improved performance through SQL query tuning, view caching, etc.
  • Replaced overengineered SPA with simple Rails app (but kept SPA-style fluid interaction for features that needed it).
  • Upgraded applications from Bootstrap 3 to 4.
  • Added automated tests and code quality checkers to legacy codebase.
  • Developed data model and UX for community surveys.
Technologies: Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, Sass, MySQL, Highcharts, Angular, Vue, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Web Developer (Contract)

2013 - PRESENT
Software for Good
  • Developed tool to generate XML file for pharmaceutical regulatory information.
  • Developed app to generate instructions for liquid handling robot.
  • Added features to crowdsourced real estate application.
  • Mentored interns in Ruby on Rails development.
  • Updated ActiveAdmin to work with Rails 4.
Technologies: R, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Web Developer (Contract)

2009 - PRESENT
Erik Ostrom
  • Built web sites and applications for various clients.
  • Learned new technologies as needed to support client needs.
  • Made architectural decisions for web applications.
  • Performed devops services as needed.
  • Managed projects to identify key requirements and ensure they are delivered on time.
  • Developed visualization for decision intelligence system with Vue.js and D3.js.
  • Developed cross-platform desktop scheduling app with Electron and Vue.js.
Technologies: Java, GraphQL, REST APIs, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sass, CSS, HTML, jQuery, Gatsby, D3.js, Electron, Angular, Vue, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Web Developer (Contract)

2012 - 2017
South Arts
  • Integrated Salesforce on customer signup and updates.
  • Simplified billing and subscription system implementation.
  • Added automated tests to legacy codebase.
  • Developed payment history feature.
  • Added admin CMS features including outgoing email previews.
Technologies: HTML, CSS, Sass, MySQL, jQuery, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Web Developer (Contract)

2010 - 2011
  • Developed eCommerce app for high art collection and acquisition.
Technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Web Developer (Contract)

2008 - 2008
  • Developed prototype for list-building app.
  • Implemented rules for user-generated content and sharing.
Technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby

Software Engineer (Contract)

2005 - 2006
  • Improved UX for advanced webmail app.
Technologies: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, C

Software Engineer (Contract)

2004 - 2004
  • Developed UI and infrastructure for web-based instant messaging and teleconferencing app.
Technologies: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Java

Senior Web Engineer

2000 - 2003
  • Developed UI features for web conferencing application in Java and JavaScript.
  • Investigated and fixed deep browser bugs.
Technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C++, Oracle SQL, AWT, Java

Senior Web Engineer

1998 - 2000
Liquid Audio
  • Developed eCommerce web application for downloadable digital music.
  • Developed web application for international exchange of voice auditions for a major animation studio.
Technologies: MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, HTML, Perl

Member of Technical Staff

1996 - 1998
AT&T Labs
  • Served as a member of the user interface research group.
  • Developed GUI toolkit for multi-user real-time interaction.
  • Developed voice-controlled tools for programmers with repetitive stress injuries.
Technologies: Emacs, C, MOO, Java

Teaching Excellence Network

This web application used community surveys to help define classroom priorities for teachers, and to help teachers see whether they were meeting those needs. I improved the code quality and performance of a legacy codebase while adding features and upgrading the design. Technologies included Ruby on Rails, Angular, Vue.js, SASS, and Bootstrap.

Time Management Desktop App

My colleague and I designed and developed a time management tool for professional photographers, helping them organize and visualize the tasks and activities that make up a typical work week. Our implementation used Vue.js/Vuex in an Electron desktop app, with a custom design using CSS Grid.

Exercise Tracking App

Mobile-friendly app for recording progress at assorted weight-training exercises. Implemented with Angular, TypeScript, Ruby on Rails, and Bootstrap.
My current web site. An experiment in design. Built from the ground up with Gridsome, GraphQL, Vue, PostCSS, and Ramda.
1994 - 1998

Master's Degree in Computer Science

Northeastern University - Boston, MA, USA

1992 - 1994

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

Gustavus Adolphus College - St. Peter, MN, USA

1990 - 1992

Courses in Liberal Arts

Williams College - Williamstown, MA, USA


Vuex, Vue, jQuery, REST APIs, Highcharts, AWT, D3.js


RSpec, Cucumber, Git, RubyMine, Emacs


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Capybara, Angular, Bootstrap, Vuetify, RailsAdmin, Jest, Electron


Ruby, JavaScript, ECMAScript (ES6), HTML, CSS, Sass, R, GraphQL, Java, C++, C, Perl, MOO, SQL


Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior-driven Development (BDD), REST, Functional Programming


MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle SQL


Web, MacOS


Debugging, Web Accessibility, Vue Router, Gatsby

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