James Allen, Developer in Mentor, OH, United States
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James Allen

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Education Developer

Mentor, OH, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 23, 2018

James loves creating things with technology and teaching others to do the same. He is an efficient coder and ensures that whatever he produces can be understood by other developers with minimal effort. James also enjoys helping people understand how technology works at a level of understanding appropriate for them.


Vertical Knowledge
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Celery, Django, Python
PHP, C#, JavaScript, Python
We Can Code IT
Entity Framework, Model View Controller (MVC), C#




Preferred Environment

Git, Python, Linux

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on delivered normalized documents from a variety of publicly available information sources in real time at a high volume.

Work Experience

Senior Software Engineer

2016 - PRESENT
Vertical Knowledge
  • Architected and implemented portions of a system collecting large volumes of publicly available information.
  • Mentored junior developers.
  • Developed tutorials and documentation for client-facing APIs.
  • Maintained a legacy system before transitioning users to its replacement.
  • Contributed to and created relevant open-source projects.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Celery, Django, Python

Developer | Technology Consultant

2001 - PRESENT
  • Developed full-stack web applications as a consultant for Offerpop, Color Splash Studio, University of Michigan, and others.
  • Put together an affordable plug-and-play looping video display system using custom software on Raspberry Pi.
  • Consistently completed projects within estimated timeframes.
  • Designed and programmed interactive Konfabulator Widgets for various clients and the general public using JavaScript.
  • Recorded and edited professional videos for school and community events.
  • Created WordPress plugins and themes.
Technologies: PHP, C#, JavaScript, Python

Software Development Instructor

2016 - 2016
We Can Code IT
  • Designed and taught full-time boot camp courses in web development using C#, MVC, and Entity Framework.
  • Addressed needs of a diverse student population and adapted teaching to meet various learning styles.
  • Rebuilt the curriculum to meet accelerated goals based on employer feedback.
  • Acted as product owner and mentor to guide students through building complex final projects following Scrum methodology.
Technologies: Entity Framework, Model View Controller (MVC), C#

Data Science Instructor | Online Content Author

2015 - 2016
The Iron Yard
  • Taught intensive 12-week full-time “boot camp” courses in web development and data science using Python, Django, and Pandas.
  • Planned and led crash course workshops introducing new developers to the joy of programming with Python through the use of turtle graphics.
  • Mentored and managed students through the planning and execution of marketable final projects.
  • Created online lessons covering a wide variety of topics relating to web development.
Technologies: JavaScript, Pandas, Django, Python

Director of Center for Technology and Invention

2008 - 2015
Hathaway Brown School
  • Oversaw and mentored programs encouraging and recognizing students to pursue engineering and design, including a high school robotics team.
  • Laid the groundwork for the creation of a schoolwide digital fabrication lab, securing funding and administrative support.
  • Used low-power systems such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino microcontrollers in applications ranging from computer vision to hacking remote control cars.
  • Created and taught computer science classes for 5th to 12th-grade girls.
  • Served as a key member of the Technology Review Committee, spearheading major changes including campus-wide WiFi and a 1:1 program for students in grades 3 to 12.
  • Provided technical support for faculty and staff while promoting more technology independence via workshops and community user groups.
  • Presented at educational technology conferences using the Python programming language as part of an introductory computer science course.
Technologies: Java, Python

Computer Programmer

2005 - 2006
  • Developed, profiled, and optimized .NET web applications.
  • Enhanced developer tools for automated project building.
  • Transitioned a large codebase from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0.
  • Identified and fixed errors in existing code.
Technologies: .NET, C#

Python Singletons

An open source library for creating singletons with different scopes.


An open source tool to create iCal files for unusually repeating schedules such as those encountered in independent schools with non-weekly rotations


A code I wrote, which deals with the data models and utility functions associated with a web app. It's a tool to generate iCal files for schools that don't follow a typical weekly schedule. The code is runnable online at calfiller.jamesmallen.net/hbus.


Python 3, Python 2, HTML, CSS, Python, PHP, PHP 7, PHP 5, PHP 3, JavaScript, C#, SCSS, C++, Java, C, Sass, Processing, Scratch, SQL, Bash, Bash Script


Celery, Photoshop CC, Atom, PyCharm, Sublime Text 3, Git, GitLab, GitLab CI/CD, GitHub, Illustrator CC, Zsh, Oh My Zsh, Subversion (SVN), CVS, Grafana, AWS ELB, Moodle


Computer Vision, K-12 Education, Educational Portals, Test Cases, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Robotics, Curriculum Development & Delivery, Networks, Videos, Sound, 3D, Python Performance, GitFlow, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins, Architecture, Graphite, Programming, Mentorship, Education, Education Technology (Edtech), iCalendar


Django, Django REST Framework, ASP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails (RoR), .NET, Flask, AWS HA


Django ORM, Requests, Entity Framework, jQuery, OpenCV, Pandas, LINQ, REST APIs, iCal


Model View Controller (MVC), Agile, REST, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Integration (CI), Pair Programming, Scrum, Test-driven Development (TDD)


Amazon Web Services (AWS), WordPress, Android, Unix, Linux, Amazon EC2, Web


MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), SQLite

2014 - 2019

Master of Science Degree in Computer Science

Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA, USA

2001 - 2005

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science Engineering

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI, USA