Jay Johnston, Developer in Nashville, TN, United States
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Jay Johnston

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Full-stack Developer

Nashville, TN, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 26, 2013

Coding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript since his armed forces days in 1997, Jay enjoys bringing value to clients via eCommerce solutions, legacy integrations, and optimized PHP and JavaScript-driven applications. His preferred DevOps environment is AWS, where he has strong skills in (and not limited to): Relational Database Services (RDS), Redshift, Dynamo DB, Data Migration Services (DMS), Lambda (serverless and microservices), Cloudwatch, Cloudtrail, and Event Bridge.


Tatango, Inc.
MySQL, PHP, Linux, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon EC2, SQL, HTML5, Front-end...
Modern Essentials
LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Linux, Bash, SQL, Front-end...
Redstone Chiropractic
LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Linux, Bash, SQL, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS...




Preferred Environment

Git, Vim Text Editor, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache, Linux, AWS CLI, Redshift, Amazon Aurora, Amazon

The most amazing...

...success I've enjoyed is reducing server errors while serving on the Architecture and Compliance board with NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Work Experience

DevOps Manager

2020 - 2023
Tatango, Inc.
  • Managed big data tables, data warehouse, and microservices to create, read, update, and delete data, managed reports, and supported ad-hoc data requests.
  • Worked directly with triage teams to uncover issues in the application as they related to data processing.
  • Implemented cost savings with reserved instances for Elastic Compute Cloud and Relational Database Services (EC2, RDS).
  • Managed a team of 2-3 (including myself) as a team lead.
Technologies: MySQL, PHP, Linux, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon EC2, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, DevOps, Terraform, Amazon CloudWatch, Microservices, CSS, Node.js, Amazon Aurora, HTML, MacOS, Email Marketing, AWS CLI, Agile, Scrum, System Administration, G Suite, Gmail, Google, Cloud Services, Slack, Admin Support

Full-stack Developer and DevOps Specialist

2013 - 2023
Modern Essentials
  • Implemented a presentation layer (graphics, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript).
  • Finalized responsive design while solving specific customer needs regarding display elements.
  • Set up Linux server, Apache virtual host configurations, and DNS records.
  • Created a highly customized content management framework in PHP 5.
  • Coded on a highly customized order management system using PHP 5.
  • Maintained night/weekend status as per-issue support for the client.
  • Upgraded site in December 2022 from PHP 5 to PHP 8 (and legacy MySQL to the latest MariaDB).
  • Moved site in December 2022 from Media Temple to AWS infrastructure (EC2, Aurora, Route53, SES).
Technologies: LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Linux, Bash, SQL, Front-end, Amazon Web Services (AWS), DevOps, Full-stack, CSS, HTML, AWS CLI, System Administration, G Suite, Gmail, Google, Migration, Cloud Services, Admin Support

Full-stack Developer and DevOps Specialist

2004 - 2022
Redstone Chiropractic
  • Maintained site hosting and responded to minor, ongoing client needs.
  • Created an information portal for back pain support. Created an online ordering system for emergency medical staff housing mattress and furniture discounts on domestic and foreign items.
  • Implemented a content management administrative area for portal management.
  • Trained a small business owner in portal information updating methodology.
Technologies: LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Linux, Bash, SQL, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, Stripe, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, Google, Admin Support

Web Developer

2019 - 2019
ORX Rail
  • Consulted with the client on options for developing an internal-use web application.
  • Developed a proprietary web application for use in manufacturing processes.
  • Worked with a highly technical representative possessing a mechanical engineering degree in nearly all phases of development.
  • Completed all complex requirements for forms, including custom form builder widgets.
  • Delivered a working version of the internal-use manufacturing process web application.
  • Pushed code repository updates to GitHub for code reviews at the end of each coding session.
  • Sent animated GIFs, screenshots, and occasional videos daily to demonstrate finite progress constantly.
Technologies: LAMP, Git, PostgreSQL, PHP, Linux, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, Google

Web Developer

2015 - 2019
A/R Concepts
  • Stabilized legacy software that improperly records patient data into other patients' records.
  • Led Windows and Linux infrastructure and reverse engineering of a complex deployment process for which the original, editable files had been lost.
  • Managed Amazon Web Services (EC2, RDS, IAM, and Route53).
  • Worked directly with end users as a technical support line.
  • Set up an SFTP server for secure file management for patient records that would be transferred outside the application to the home office.
  • Created National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) XML file format messages for reporting compliance.
  • Automated National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) reporting to the TX Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
  • Created administrative controls over system functions.
  • Hired and managed three programmers, including assignment of duties, code review, branch management, and code deployment.
Technologies: LAMP, jQuery, PHP, MySQL, Apache, Windows, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, Google, Migration, Admin Support

Web Developer

2015 - 2019
  • Took legacy code and brought it into an MVC pattern proprietary framework by encapsulating existing code structures.
  • Wrapped a web app in iOS and Android and released it to both app stores.
  • Supported Android and iOS app store versions of the wrapped web app.
  • Oversaw server infrastructure at AWS (EC2, RDS, S3, SNS).
  • Managed a push notification service called OneSignal.
  • Tracked and solved end user and client tickets via Trello.
  • Set up automated email responses in Mandrill for new user sign-ups to be delivered at intervals.
  • Led a team of three developers (including myself).
Technologies: LAMP, WordPress, jQuery, PHP, MariaDB, MySQL, Apache, Linux, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, Stripe, DevOps, HTML, HIPAA Compliance, AWS CLI, System Administration, G Suite, Gmail, Google, Migration, Cloud Services, Slack, Admin Support

Full-stack Web Developer and DevOps Manager

2009 - 2016
Mlily USA
  • Implemented a highly customized order management system.
  • Consulted on stakeholders' marketing and web marketing strategies.
  • Photoshopped marketing photos to prepare them for print and web.
  • Created a style order management system using Twitter Bootstrap and custom CSS.
  • Developed a ledger system for tracking customer payment accounts.
  • Synchronized two PHP, Smarty, and jQuery model-view-controller (MVC) systems such that they swapped out modules.
Technologies: Authorize.net, LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, SQL, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, Google, Migration, Admin Support

Full-stack Web Developer and DevOps Manager

2008 - 2016
The Bed Boss
  • Created an eCommerce site with product management capability.
  • Implemented an order management system that allows office users to fulfill orders and track status.
  • Devised a method to display dynamic products in a distributable client-side widget.
  • Obtained and maintained payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
  • Styled a site's HTML and CSS from designer brand guidelines and imagery.
  • Maintained responsive design elements to fit a prescribed list of devices from 320px to 1900px+ and responded within two hours to all comments and feedback from UX testing.
Technologies: Authorize.net, LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, SQL, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, Google, Migration, Admin Support

Web Developer and DevOps Consultant

2014 - 2015
Music Professor
  • Maintained high availability during and outside office hours for rapid response and quick fixes.
  • Updated small, visually concerning, or just plain wrong elements.
  • Conducted server maintenance, including log research and minor forensics after outages, and reported to the client.
  • Suggested monitoring and hosting options and services.
  • Provided the best service as quickly as possible while maintaining a professional foot forward to the public at all costs.
Technologies: LAMP, Grunt, Compass, Less, Bootstrap, jQuery, CodeIgniter, PHP, MySQL, Apache, Linux, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, Laravel, Full-stack, CSS, HTML, System Administration

Web Developer and DevOps Consultant

2014 - 2015
  • Maintained a smoothly running site and prevented site overload issues at all costs.
  • Developed and consulted on Google API for SMTP authentication and PHP mail delivery via that API.
  • Upgraded and consulted the Linux and Apache Webserver and second Linux server for MariaDB.
  • Placed a maintenance message on the login screen reminding users to start at least 48 hours before any scheduled maintenance and perform that maintenance after 12:30 am CST with a roll-back time of 3:00 am CST.
  • Sustained a Git source repository and a staging site hosted on identical hardware and can be used as a remote from a master running in production to accomplish simple merging for source upgrades and patches.
  • Maintained and did daily troubleshooting on email processes that market for the recruiting process.
  • Managed one overseas development team of an unknown number of unseen people, did code reviews of their work, and handled branch management and merging.
Technologies: LAMP, Cron, cURL Command Line Tool, PHP, SMTP, jQuery, JavaScript, PHP 5, MariaDB, MySQL, Apache, Linux, SQL, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, HTML, System Administration, Admin Support

Front-end Engineer

2014 - 2014
Beats by Dr. Dre
  • Joined the project as one of a team of two front-end engineers.
  • Distributed work within the project to equally share responsibilities.
  • Received artwork to be sliced into HTML with fast loading performance.
  • Fashioned CSS to exactingly style HTML to match received artwork.
  • Replied with near-immediate updates to requested changes from the Dr. Dre project manager both during and outside office hours.
Technologies: Bootstrap, HTML, Front-end

WordPress Developer

2013 - 2014
Charity Dreams
  • Created a complete checkout mechanism using Stripe and following intricate designs provided by the Charity Dreams designer.
  • Included custom templates for every type of post and custom post type.
  • Used Advanced Custom Fields plugin to store custom data entry fields on a per-custom post and regular post-type basis.
  • Coded some jQuery sliders driven from custom post and post metadata.
  • Helped implement a framed-up site from an Italian startup, assisted as a monitor for various performance indicators, and reported these to the client.
  • Rescued a virtual box image that several previously hired programmers could not get spun up. This image had the current working version and was kept on the task because it was previously impossible to complete.
Technologies: Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), WordPress, Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, DevOps, HTML, VirtualBox

Senior PHP Developer

2008 - 2014
ICGLink (Internet Consulting Group), Inc
  • Provided web development estimations for web modules and complete web applications (server-side estimations).
  • Guided clients in finding appropriate, cost-effective solutions for the challenges to their businesses.
  • Teamed with creative elements of the company to produce dynamic, template-driven sites.
  • Provided group skill development sessions to junior developers.
  • Assisted hosting administrators with Mysql and Linux maintenance and various challenges, especially related to implementing complex web in-house developed applications.
Technologies: Authorize.net, LAMP, JavaScript, MySQL, Adobe ColdFusion, PHP, Bash, Linux, SQL, HTML5, Front-end, Laravel, Full-stack, CSS, Stripe, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, IT Support, Google, Migration, Admin Support

Development Manager

2013 - 2013
Iostudio, LLC
  • Managed eight reports: seven in-house, three senior roles, and one local contractor.
  • Assisted the development director with Agile implementation.
  • Disseminated creative direction to developers and supported self-managing scrum teams.
  • Championed Dale Carnegie leadership training to aid with assertive communications in the workplace.
  • Bought donuts out of my pocket and tried to gather a sense of teamwork in a struggling organization frustrated by layoffs of key individuals before my hire.
Technologies: JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, SQL, Front-end, CSS, Linux, DevOps, HTML, Agile, Scrum

Director of Engineering

2012 - 2013
Moontoast, LLC
  • Managed 15 reports: five in-house, senior roles and 10 outsourced roles in India, the Philippines, and Mexico.
  • Oversaw and facilitated continued PCI DSS Compliance (Level 1).
  • Raised team and company morale through servant leadership and camaraderie.
  • Worked with the CTO and VP of Engineering to manage company spend for human and infrastructure resources.
  • Monitored Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) auto-scaling web server.
  • Assigned technical leads to forward looking workstreams.
  • Developed Magento integration for delivery of Facebook posted eCommerce orders running within clients of the Moontoast CMS.
Technologies: JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Bash, Linux, Front-end, CSS, DevOps, HTML

NASA Contractor

2006 - 2008
BG Smith & Associates
  • Served as a member of the architecture and compliance board at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
  • Designed, developed, implemented, and maintained numerous internal and external NASA and MSFC websites in PHP and ColdFusion.
  • Integrated NASA Agency level authentication via Lightweight Active Directory Protocol (LDAP) and "eAuthentication" methods.
  • Configured Apache on MSFC development, staging, and production web servers.
  • Automated and maintained MSFC self-signed and Entrust-signed SSL certificate creation and installation process.
Technologies: Front-end, Full-stack, CSS, Linux, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, IT Support

Data Coordinator, Linux Admin, and PHP Developer

2003 - 2006
  • Supported the missions of facilitating workers' compensation claims' data transfers.
  • Maintained ClaimPort, the main data transfer network, by administering RedHat, Apache, Informix SQL, Perl, and JavaScript codebase.
  • Automated business needs using shell scripts, batch files, and PHP scripts.
  • Provided website outage response (on-call around the clock, 365 days per year).
  • Received a promotion from technical support (data coordinator) to admin and developer positions.
Technologies: JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Perl, Bash, Linux, Front-end, CSS, DevOps, HTML, System Administration, IT Support, Admin Support


This singleton class lets us connect to Google's site search index and perform keyword queries. As Google only allows paginated responses in groups of 10, we have implemented functionality to accumulate listings, allowing retrieval of a larger number of listing returns.

An example of usage involves passing a Smarty PHP template object and an Amazon ElastiCache object. These objects are provided through a mini-controller that handles the request.

$gss = new google_site_search($this->sto, $this->_ec);
$gss->search_for('spicy asian buffalo wings');
die('', print_r($gss->search_listings, true));
2001 - 2004

Masters of Science Degree in Management of Information Systems

University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL, USA

1999 - 2001

Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management

Oakwood College - Huntsville, AL, USA

1995 - 1997

Associates of Arts Degree in General Curriculum

University of Maryland, Asian Pacific Division - South Korean


AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon Web Services Training and Certification


MySQL Developer



Zend Certified Engineer




Linux Professional Institute


Stripe, jQuery, Node.js, Authorize.net, YouTube API, Amazon API, Google Maps, FedEx API, Backbone.js, Facebook API, Facebook Open Graph API, Facebook Ads API, Doctrine, DHL API, Google API, FusionCharts, jQuery UI


AWS CLI, G Suite, Slack, cURL Command Line Tool, Apache, Git, GitHub, Vim Text Editor, Amazon CloudWatch, Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), Cron, Grunt, OmniGraffle, Charles, Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Basecamp, GitLab, Redmine, Adobe ColdFusion, Terraform, VirtualBox, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)


SQL, PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, HTML5, Bash, Perl, PHP 5, Less, Bash Script


Responsive Web Design (RWD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), HIPAA Compliance, DevOps, Microservices, Agile Software Development, Scrum, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Agile


Amazon EC2, LAMP, MacOS, XAMPP, Windows, Rackspace, MS-DOS, Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Server, WordPress, Oracle, OpenCart, Unix, Amazon


Amazon Aurora, Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), MariaDB, SQLite, Memcached, IBM Informix, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Redshift, Amazon DynamoDB


Compass, Bootstrap, Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, Smarty


Ajax, NEMSIS XML, Full-stack, Software Development, Front-end Development, System Administration, Gmail, IT Support, Migration, Admin Support, PCI Compliance, ANSI X.12, SVG, AWS DevOps, Front-end, Google, Cloud Services, SMTP, BIND9, GitFlow, Facebook Ads, Email Marketing, Identity & Access Management (IAM)

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