Ethan James, Software Developer in Brooklyn, United States
Ethan James

Software Developer in Brooklyn, United States

Member since December 6, 2015
Ethan has worked on many different stacks, but always returns to his first love: JavaScript. He delights in connecting RESTful APIs to painstakingly-engineered front-ends using AngularJS, or whichever other framework provides the best user experience for the project. He writes clean, semantic HTML5 and CSS3 and is as responsive as the sites he builds. He is pleasant and diligent.
Ethan is now available for hire


  • Radeeus, Inc.
    Parallax, CocoaPods, Objective-C, iOS, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3
  • Wide Open Technologies
    AFNetworking, Objective-C, WordPress, CoffeeScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby...
  • WaveRider, Inc.
    WordPress, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Objective-C, iOS, Adobe Photoshop...



Brooklyn, United States



Preferred Environment

Git, Sublime Text, MacOS

The most amazing...

...thing I've coded is a complex AngularJS form powered by a robust data model running on Node.js that I'm currently in the process of porting to ES6.


  • Contract iOS Developer/Web Developer

    2014 - 2015
    Radeeus, Inc.
    • Built a state-of-the-art website including custom parallax scrolling with jQuery to engage and entertain visitors.
    • Used advanced CSS3 techniques to create eye-catching transitions between embedded videos.
    • Integrated optimized SoundCloud API calls into the iOS app.
    • Overhauled the tutorial and in-app gallery for their music-sharing iOS app.
    • Upgraded oAuth authentication in their social networking music-sharing iOS app.
    Technologies: Parallax, CocoaPods, Objective-C, iOS, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3
  • Contract Front-end Developer/iOS Developer

    2013 - 2015
    Wide Open Technologies
    • Built out a large WordPress site utilizing advanced CSS techniques like Flexbox, plus numerous jQuery-based UI elements.
    • Built a powerful filtering interface for video-editing software using Backbone.js.
    • Overhauled an iOS app with a beautiful new iOS 7-inspired interface and additional functionality.
    • Maintained the web app of a slick, full-featured todo list app using CoffeeScript and Backbone.js.
    • Added new features to a RESTful Ruby on Rails API.
    Technologies: AFNetworking, Objective-C, WordPress, CoffeeScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Backbone.js, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5
  • Contract Web Developer

    2007 - 2015
    WaveRider, Inc.
    • Developed an administrative interface for their iPad-based loyalty program using Ruby on Rails and jQuery.
    • Developed a CMS using Backbone.js and CakePHP for a mobile-first surfing magazine.
    • Built a complex, interdependent series of forms for a self-improvement workshop series using Gravity Forms in WordPress.
    • Built over 30 websites from Photoshop comps using clean, semantic HTML and CSS.
    • Managed development of a collection of eCommerce sites and developed modules providing functionality ranging from single-page checkout to advanced usage tracking.
    Technologies: WordPress, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Objective-C, iOS, Adobe Photoshop, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML
  • Contract Software Engineer

    2013 - 2014
    Neuronic Games
    • Switched their math-intensive gradebook to a client-driven AJAX model.
    • Integrated Pusher for real-time synchronization of background jobs like PDF generation.
    • Optimized messaging queue to display correct notifications for deep comment threads.
    • Implemented functionality to clone complex data models, among other administrative tasks.
    • Streamlined registration process with invite tokens for various user roles.
    Technologies: PostgreSQL, CSS, HTML, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Pusher, jQuery, JavaScript
  • Front-end Developer

    2012 - 2013
    Advance Digital
    • Developed a responsive, modular header for their suite of news sites.
    • Implemented real-time commenting on the sports page using activity streams.
    • Deployed code to Akamai across all sites, serving 45 million users per month.
    • Conducted extensive research into Modernizr and other polyfill solutions.
    • Built a responsive page that emphasized news content for their entire platform.
    Technologies: Modernizr, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5
  • Web Developer

    2009 - 2011
    • Developed a slider-based interface for showcasing a winery's inventory using jQuery and the TrimPath JavaScript templating engine.
    • Built a 3-site "competency toolbox" for a human resources firm using extensive jQuery UI and CodeIgniter.
    • Built a personnel management app in Adobe AIR with jQuery.
    • Built a prototype for a single-page AJAX-based web app to promote awareness of congressional voting records.
    • Revamped the company website with a new slideshow to demo their new portfolio pieces.
    • Developed a .NET API in C# to power a classroom attendance-tracking iPhone app.
    Technologies: .NET, C#, Adobe AIR, jQuery, JavaScript, CodeIgniter


  • EScope Chrome Extension

    A browser extension was needed to detect and collect all types of ads displayed during the course of a user's web browsing. These ads were sent to the server for analysis in order to determine which ads were sponsored by political candidates or groups.

  • EScope Data Visualization

    A variety of D3.js graphs were required to show various statistics related to the political ads collected by the EScope browser extension.

  • Venticity

    These entrepreneurial brothers wanted to disrupt the wedding planning industry by connecting vendors directly to couples using geolocation and instant messaging capabilities. They needed a custom WordPress portal built from the ground up to facilitate stress-free wedding planning.

  • Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

    This green technology company needed a complete overhaul of their web presence. The new site is built on WordPress, with pixel-perfect layout of their complex blog structure including image galleries, an events calendar, training resources, and a Google Map showing their partners.

  • AngularJS Zilyo Demo

    I wanted to show off my growing AngularJS skills, so I built a little app using Angular and the Google Maps API. It demonstrates how easy it is to build a powerful single-page application using AngularJS.

  • Cheddar Web App

    I added a number of API endpoints to facilitate additional iOS & OS X app functionality, plus I added an archive view for browsing old lists & tasks using CoffeeScript and Backbone.js.


    I built a beautiful, highly-interactive site to very exact design specifications that demonstrates the iOS app's functionality using integrated video and extensive parallax scrolling.

  • RISK!

    I've taken over all development on the website for this popular podcast, including implementing their online store and adding search functionality to their expansive episode archive.

  • Levelfly Learning

    I added a host of features to this SPA that combines online education with social networking. I made their math-heavy gradebook more responsive, scheduled computationally-intensive jobs in background queues, and too much more to mention.

  • The Story Studio

    I implemented a complete redesign, bringing the look and feel of this website into the modern age. I added gift certificates, promo codes, a complex taxonomy for categorizing their workshops, and much more.

  • Get Your Angular 2 On: Upgrading from 1.5 (Publication)
    "So much of what’s new and exciting about Angular 2 is its new way of thinking rather than its new architecture," says Toptal Freelance Developer Ethan James. In this article, Ethan walks through the inner workings of a simple Angular 1.5 app and then shows us how to upgrade it to Angular 2 while giving us the necessary understanding to truly appreciate it.
  • For every tech project or business, there's inevitably the “client” and the “programmer”. Sometimes they make it work between themselves, but often someone has to step in to establish the ground rules, keep everyone honest, and facilitate communication between all parties. This someone, this hero, is the project manager. In this entertaining article, Ethan James gives his insights as to why you, the developer, and you, the client, should invest in a project manager... or at least employ the techniques outlined.
  • Toptal Mentor
    Ethan is a mentor in the Toptal Global Mentor’s Program. This program is a partnership between Toptal and General Assembly to provide high quality mentorship for students from minority and low income backgrounds who are looking to begin their careers as professional software engineers. Ethan shows commitment to diversity in tech by mentoring a General Assembly student every week for a year, covering everything from coding tips and tricks to advice on making it in the industry.


  • Languages

    PHP, HTML5, CSS3, Objective-C, JavaScript, ECMAScript (ES6), Ruby, HTML, CSS, C#, CoffeeScript
  • Libraries/APIs

    jQuery, Google Maps, Backbone.js, Node.js, Pusher, Modernizr, CocoaPods, Parallax
  • Tools

    Git, Adobe Photoshop, Karma, NPM, Bower, Subversion (SVN), Gulp, Grunt, Sketch, Sublime Text 2, Sublime Text, Adobe AIR, Mongoose
  • Paradigms

    Prototype-based OOP, Agile Software Development, Functional Programming
  • Platforms

    Linux, WordPress, iOS, MacOS
  • Storage

    PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB
  • Frameworks

    CodeIgniter, Jasmine, AngularJS, Ruby on Rails (RoR), AFNetworking, .NET, CakePHP


  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
    2002 - 2005
    University of California, Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

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