Frank Kotsianas, Software Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
Frank Kotsianas

Software Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States

Member since March 2, 2017
Frank is a full-stack developer with experience in Rails, React, Angular, and various supporting technologies including MySQL, Postgres, AWS, and Firebase. He enjoys working in a test-first (TDD) workflow, on agile teams, preferably with a designer.
Frank is now available for hire




San Francisco, CA, United States



Preferred Environment

OSX, Vim, Git, AWS/Heroku, any custom tooling

The most amazing...

...project I've worked involved working directly with two motivated founders to design and implement a web and mobile app using agile sprints and TDD.


  • Lead Developer

    2017 - PRESENT
    CottageClass, LLC
    • Took over and led new features & maintenance for React+Golang webapp.
    • Ported React components into composable component framework and instituted Redux.
    • Led UX research and customer experience for 2 new features: accounting dashboard and onboarding flow reorganization.
    • Refactored payments processing to take advantage of Stripe features (eg subscriptions, refunds).
    • Led reorganization of back-end API from page-based handlers to RESTful endpoints.
    Technologies: React, Go, Rails, Redux, MongoDB, Google Cloud Platform
  • Lead Developer

    2017 - 2018
    Pique Scholarships, LLC
    • Took over development and maintenance of React+Rails web application.
    • Worked closely with product manager to define scope for features and carefully balance new feature development and technical debt.
    • Led sprints in an agile fashion using Pivotal Tracker.
    • Led development of new features: Scholarship Provider Onboarding, Student Referral Tool, AWS -> Heroku migration.
    • Migrated application from SPA+Firebase architecture to relational database (Postgres) to support complex data queries and provide user- and admin-facing data dashboards.
    Technologies: React, Rails, Postgres, Heroku, AWS, Git
  • Founding Engineer

    2016 - 2017
    Zeal Learning, LLC
    • Served as the back-end developer responsible for managing API server and data dashboards.
    • Implemented variety of frontend features on Zeal's realtime coaching platform.
    • Caught bugs in realtime tutoring system, reducing user disconnects by 20%.
    • Extended agile process for team, adding weekly IPM and end-of-week Retrospective to existing daily Standups.
    • Communicated with customers around data dashboards feature, channeling feedback to product manager and aided in designing final solution.
    Technologies: Angular 1.x, Ruby on Rails, HTML5/CSS3, Firebase, MySQL, AWS
  • Software Engineer

    2014 - 2016
    Pivotal, Inc.
    • Managed new feature development and existing maintenance for APIs serving as endpoint to all of Cloud Foundry as a member of the API team.
    • Contributed to API and front-end development for Cloud Foundry web GUI; entirely TDD workflow as a member of the front-end team.
    • Developed tooling and benchmarking framework for deploying and monitoring a highly-available MySQL cluster addon to Cloud Foundry with 100% TDD workflow on the MySQL team.
    • Led Fully Agile/XP process in the Pivotal style with daily standup, weekly IPM, and Retro.
    Technologies: Ruby, Rails, Sinatra, Angular, React, MySQL, Postgres, AWS, TDD, Agile


  • CottageClass (Development)

    React+Golang+MongoDB web application supporting 5000+ independent schoolteachers in the United States.

    I was brought on to take over development at a critical time for the client - they had just found product-market fit and started to gain traction.

    My tasks were various - redesigning the payments system for scale, creating various internal dashboards and tools, visualizing accounting data for our course providers, and creating marketing automation tools.

    In all these I was involved from design down to implementation. I ran weekly sprints with the PM, designer, and any other developers involved, focusing us around weekly goals.

    My favorite project was probably our accounting dashboard, as I was able to communicate directly with users and push out features in responsive cadence to their requests.

    This project is ongoing.

  • Pique Scholarships (Development)

    React+Rails, on Postgres MVP for scholarship search and discovery.

    I was brought on to take a front-end-only React+Firebase proof-of-concept and add a back-end backed by a relational database as the company brought on its first users.

    I defined the data models in consultation with the product owner, identified contracts between the front-end and the existing NoSQL datastore, and implemented a RESTful API in Rails that fulfilled the contracts expected by the front-end.

    I chose to implement in Rails for two reasons: 1) because of the vast ecosystem of tools and packages available for common tasks a SaaS app would need; and 2) because its prevalence allows for quick hiring and onboarding of any future developers. As an pre-revenue SaaS application, these decisions were appreciated by the client.

    This project evolved into front- and back-end development as new features came along or were requested by users. I moved the authentication flow from standard Devise to token-based authentication, added an applicant-scoring feature, and made small changes and bug fixes.

    Throughout this work I attempted to adhere to clean code practices, enforcing separation of concerns and migrating all client-side data storage to Redux.


  • Languages

    Ruby, JavaScript, SQL, ECMAScript (ES6), HTML5, CSS3, Go
  • Frameworks

    Ruby on Rails (RoR), Redux, AngularJS, Sinatra, Material-UI
  • Libraries/APIs

    jQuery, React
  • Tools

  • Paradigms

    Agile, XP
  • Platforms

  • Storage

    MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB


  • Master's degree in Cognitive Science
    2012 - 2013
    Harvard University - Cambridge, MA
  • Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science
    2006 - 2010
    University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

To view more profiles

Join Toptal
Share it with others