Ethan Drower, Developer in Chicago, IL, United States
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Ethan Drower

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Chicago, IL, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 12, 2017

Ethan has a unique blend of development and infrastructure experience. Chicago based, he has multiple years of hard-earned experience in the dynamic electronic trading industry both as a developer and a Linux engineer. His experience in fast-paced environments enables him to jump in and provide technical value in almost any situation. Today, Ethan works primarily with Python and JavaScript technologies and focuses on web scraping.


Luxury Goods Corporation (via Toptal)
Heroku, AWS Lambda, Django, Amazon CloudSearch, Python, B2B, Technical Writing...
Cite Medial Solution
Linux, React, Selenium, Python, Software Development Management, CTO, B2B...
Gram Advisors
PHP, Laravel, Python, Software Development Management, CTO, Team Management...




Preferred Environment

Django, Web Scraping, Linux, Python

The most amazing...

...thing I've worked on was a production-ready piece of trading software for electronic options market-makers.

Work Experience

Cloud Architect | Python Developer | DevOps

2020 - PRESENT
Luxury Goods Corporation (via Toptal)
  • Implemented AWS CloudSearch and Web Services for document/PDF processing pipelines.
  • Built and deployed a fully automated document import process with AWS Lambda and Textract.
  • Designed automated testing and deployment pipelines via GitLab CI/CD.
  • Wrote world-class documentation for non-technical users to manage the tools after each project was built.
Technologies: Heroku, AWS Lambda, Django, Amazon CloudSearch, Python, B2B, Technical Writing, Team Management, Architecture, Technical Leadership, Amazon Web Services (AWS), API Gateways, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, Containers, GitHub, Redis Cache, APIs

CTO | Tech Lead

2017 - PRESENT
Cite Medial Solution
  • Managed a fully distributed technical team grown from zero.
  • Built and deployed an MVP from zero to profitability, a platform for systematic scientific literature reviews.
  • Conducted active code reviews and managed tasks via GitHub/Trello.
  • Oversaw several hiring cycles of developers and shaped all product visions.
  • Built a Django back end to store articles and research data.
  • Wrote multiple Selenium browser automation scripts to search for and upload results to the back end.
  • Wrote technical documentation for all employees and drafted SOPs that were easy to read and follow.
  • Wrote promotional articles on technology, software, and entrepreneurship, published in places like Forbes, Business Insider, Techcrunch, etc.
Technologies: Linux, React, Selenium, Python, Software Development Management, CTO, B2B, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Sales, CRM APIs, Technical Writing, Architecture, Technical Leadership, Amazon Web Services (AWS), API Gateways, Microservices Architecture, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, Containers, GitHub, Redis Cache, APIs, REST

CTO | Tech Lead

2018 - 2020
Gram Advisors
  • Built a back-end system for managing existing customers. Used Django APIs and Laravel full sites.
  • Wrote all of the sales copy and marketing materials for acquiring new clients.
  • Developed back-end systems to automate client's marketing strategies (primarily over Instagram) and also did custom Python package work.
  • Architected unique content assessment/detection system.
  • Managed a fully distributed team and regularly reviewed code via GitHub/Trello.
  • Worked with an open souce PHP library to perform different automations on social media.
Technologies: PHP, Laravel, Python, Software Development Management, CTO, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Amazon Web Services (AWS), API Gateways, Microservices Architecture, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, Containers, GitHub, APIs


2019 - 2019
Trading Advisory Service (via Toptal)
  • Developed an autonomous alerting system based on a Django back end.
  • Built admin dashboard for client (Django).
  • Integrated with TD Ameritrade API to automatically receive market data and trade executions.
  • Wrote custom integrations for the client's funnel using front-end scripts and Zapier automation.
  • Developed an integration for Stripe to verify customer subscription status.
  • Built custom theme views and functions on Thinkific to suit the client's desired workflow.
  • Leveraged Thinkific API to enhance the subscriber experience.
Technologies: Trading Applications, Zapier, Django, Python, Team Management, People Management, Thinkific, Amazon Web Services (AWS), API Gateways, Microservices Architecture, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, Containers, GitHub, APIs, REST

Technical Consultant | Temporary CTO

2019 - 2019
An App Company
  • Took feature ideas from the founding team and turned them into technical specifications for a remote development team.
  • Oversaw the committed code and reviewed the documentation.
  • Delivered functioning features to production by operating within the company's existing workflow/processes.
Technologies: Django REST Framework, Linux, WordPress, React Native, Software Development Management, CTO, B2B, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Amazon Web Services (AWS), API Gateways, MySQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Ticket Platform Automation - Research

2018 - 2019
Ticket Broker
  • Implemented various types of automation on ticket sales platforms.
  • Build several automated workflows for the ticket broker.
  • Performed extensive research on optimizing scrapers and automated purchasing of inventory.
Technologies: Browsers, Chrome, Python, Selenium, API Gateways, MySQL, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Tech Lead

2018 - 2019
An eCommerce Company
  • Built a distributed system from the ground up to monitor pricing across Amazon marketplaces.
  • Documented and built a team to manage further updates.
  • Deployed improvements on a weekly basis.
Technologies: Amazon MWS, Linux, Django, Python, CTO, Team Management, People Management, Architecture, MySQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Lead Developer | Web Scraper Developer

2018 - 2018
Trading News Service
  • Built a multitude of web scrapers to detect news events.
  • Maintained server environment to continuously run web scrapers at the shortest intervals possible.
  • Oversaw the proxy network, analytics, and performance checking.
  • Built the front end with React and Firebase hosting to view the scraping results.
Technologies: Firebase, React, Django, Python, PhantomJS, Scrapy, Selenium, Software Development Management, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Microservices Architecture, MySQL, REST APIs, GitHub

CTO | Co-founder

2017 - 2018
The New FM
  • Managed a remote team to get the project MVPs launched, a music streaming service for independent artists.
  • Facilitated code reviews on GitHub and Trello, built and managed our deployment pipeline, and automated testing processes.
  • Implemented updates, including PayPal payment processing for music purchases and an infrastructure migration to Heroku and AWS.
  • Wrote marketing materials and user guides for the different classes of users (artists and listeners).
Technologies: Heroku, AngularJS, Node.js, Software Development Management, CTO, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Technical Writing, API Gateways, MySQL, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub, REST

Web Scraper Developer

2017 - 2017
Charity Sales Organization
  • Developed a complete web scraping system for lead discovery.
  • Ran distributed Linux server environment.
  • Built a Django back end to process lead data.
  • Wrote Selenium and PhantomJS scrapers to crawl various sites.
  • Worked with Hubspot API to manage new leads and contacts.
Technologies: HubSpot, Linux, Python, PhantomJS, Selenium, API Gateways, Microservices Architecture, MySQL, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Software Developer

2016 - 2017
Market Track
  • Helped improve and maintain a large web-scraping environment.
  • Built and managed web services to support digital ad collection.
  • Wrote various Chrome plugins.
  • Used MS SQL for database storage and wrote daily queries for reporting/troubleshooting purposes.
  • Maintained a 50+ physical server Linux environment with Ansible.
  • Wrote multiprocessing jobs in Python to utilize CasperJS and PhantomJS for web scraping.
Technologies: Microsoft SQL Server, Flask, PhantomJS, JavaScript, Linux, Python, API Gateways, Microservices Architecture, MySQL, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub, APIs, REST

Founder | Operating CTO

2015 - 2017
  • Built an online dashboard service to improve treatment capabilities for speech-language pathologists.
  • Managed a remote team of developers to build a Unity 2D game targeted towards children with developmental disabilities.
  • Continued to manage all technical staff and review code via GitHub/Trello.
Technologies: Unity2D, AngularJS, Software Development Management, CTO, B2B, Team Management, People Management, Apps, Content Writing, Writing & Editing, MySQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Lead Developer

2015 - 2017
No Measure Ventures
  • Built an iOS application from scratch that enables booking of spa services from licensed/verified mobile professionals.
  • Wrote and continued to manage all payment processing Python web services/servers needed to operate production apps.
  • Maintained a virtual server environment with Ansible and live monitoring services.
  • Performed work for clients in various web technologies (PHP, AngularJS, WordPress).
  • Wrote and deployed highly available web services in Node.js and Python (Flask).
  • Built a transaction email infrastructure using Flask and the MailGun API.
  • Managed and was responsible for all networking/DNS related troubleshooting; added DKIM/SPF records to improve IP reputation as well as issued/managed all SSL certificates for the various web services.
Technologies: Stripe, iOS, Flask, Python, Objective-C, AngularJS, REST APIs, GitHub

C# Developer | Systems Engineer

2014 - 2016
Foxo Trading
  • Worked with a small team to improve a trading platform for options market markers/traders.
  • Pushed new features/bug-fixes daily to production.
  • Built and modified a front-end trading GUI based on feedback from traders.
  • Worked directly with traders to understand their needs and build features to enhance profitability.
  • Maintained physical trading servers and assisted in more complex troubleshooting tasks.
Technologies: Bash, Python, Linux, Windows Forms (WinForms), C#, Team Management, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub, REST

Systems Engineer

2013 - 2016
DePaul University
  • Supported a large virtualized server environment using VMware.
  • Worked daily with enterprise storage devices (NetApp and DellEqualLogic).
  • Built and maintained a mass emailing SMTP server environment using Postfix; managed IP reputations and worked with ISPs to increase campaign effectiveness.
  • Created and maintained Ansible processes used for configuration management and maintenance of all Linux servers.
  • Performed onsite data center work and physical hardware troubleshooting/repair in multiple co-locations.
Technologies: Postfix, Bash, NetApp, VMware, Ansible, Python, Linux, Team Management, REST APIs, GitHub, APIs

Linux Server and Desktop Administrator

2011 - 2013
Jump Trading
  • Supported all the onsite trading hardware and applications.
  • Handled and was responsible for builds and decommissions of trading servers.
  • Built a Nagios monitoring system for in-house device service checking.
Technologies: Bash, Nagios, Python, Windows, Linux, PostgreSQL, REST APIs, GitHub

Kneadit Chicago

An iOS application connecting customers with a licensed and verified massage therapist in the Chicago area.


An iOS game and web dashboard product that enables speech-language professionals to assign fun and interactive homework to their clients via an iPad game.


TheNew.FM is a platform for independent musicians and fans of new music. The intent is to provide fans with an endless stream of new music while also giving artists a platform to sell their music (and keep the vast majority of the profit).


A Chrome extension that automatically applied for refunds on the user's behalf for incorrectly charged Uber rides

This is an Instagram promotional service for tattoo artists. I completed the site build, back end, and wrote the marketing copy.

Food Truck King

*Not Currently Operating*

Premise was an app for ordering "to-go" from food trucks that are nearby. Streamline order/pickup process on the trucks with a proprietary tablet app.

I managed a remote development team to build a hybrid mobile app and accompanying tablet app.

Trade The News | Scraper and Dashboard

Trade The News was a distributed system of scrapers built to "watch" for updates in various new sites and alert the stakeholder via a live-updating web app. Scrapers were primarily written in Scrapy and ran on virtual Ubuntu servers.

Technologies: React. Google Firebase
2010 - 2014

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

DePaul University - Chicago, IL, USA


Generative AI With Large Language Models



Flask-RESTful, Instagram API, Django ORM, REST APIs, Stripe Connect, Stripe API, Node.js, PhantomJS, Windows Forms (WinForms), Stripe, React, Amazon MWS, Braintree API, WordPress API, Interactive Brokers API


GitHub, CasperJS, Postfix, Braintree SDK, Ansible, VMware, Mongoose, Zapier, Nagios


Django, Selenium, Flask, Unity2D, React Native, Django REST Framework, Chrome, AngularJS, Scrapy, Laravel


Python, JavaScript, SQL, Bash, PHP, C#, Objective-C, PHP 7


B2B, REST, Microservices Architecture, Agile Software Development


Linux, AWS Lambda, Mailgun, Linux RHEL/CentOS, Ubuntu Linux, Ubuntu, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Windows, Heroku, HubSpot, Firebase, WordPress, Thinkific


MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, NetApp, MSSQLCE, Redis Cache


Ubuntu Server, Web Scraping, Scraping, Screen Scraping, Stripe Payments, Data Scraping, Server Administration, Instagram Marketing, CTO, APIs, Scope Management, Software Development, Software Development Management, Team Management, People Management, Engineering Management, Architecture, Technical Leadership, Software Project Management, Documentation, Solution Architecture, Chrome Extensions, BrainTree, Trading, Technical Writing, API Gateways, Containers, Large Language Models (LLMs), PEP 8, Fintech, Prompt Engineering, Options Trading, Electronic Trading, Trading Bots, Trading Applications, Browsers, Amazon CloudSearch, Algorithmic Trading, Sales, CRM APIs, Apps, Content Writing, Writing & Editing, Generative AI, Machine Learning, AI Agents

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