John Durkop, Developer in Austin, TX, United States
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John Durkop

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Embedded Software Developer

Austin, TX, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 11, 2020

John is an accomplished engineering professional with a proven track record of leading teams to develop cutting edge technology solutions across a wide range of industries including cybersecurity, embedded systems, enterprise servers, and mobile computing. His extensive experience working with embedded systems enables him to adapt to fast-paced work environments.


Practical Software Craftsmanship, LLC
Cybersecurity, LoRaWAN, Embedded C, Embedded Software, Embedded C++
Python, Embedded C, Embedded Systems, System Design, C++, Embedded Software...
Embedded Systems, Python, Embedded C, Reverse Engineering, Embedded Software...




Preferred Environment

Software, Agile, Git, Bitbucket, GitHub, GitLab, Jira, Python, Embedded C, C, Linux

The most amazing...

...thing I have worked on was a framework for delivering cyber payloads using existing RF platforms. The work earned my team Raytheon's EIET award.

Work Experience

Managing Partner

2017 - PRESENT
Practical Software Craftsmanship, LLC
  • Developed firmware for an IoT device using LoRA WAN technology for the customer. Firmware developed using Embedded C for ARM processors.
  • Performed cybersecurity services for other customers to be compliant with NIST standards.
  • Created SOP and POAM cybersecurity deliverables to maintain compliance.
Technologies: Cybersecurity, LoRaWAN, Embedded C, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Senior Principal Cyber Security Engineer

2017 - 2019
  • Served as a principal investigator for cyber R&D projects. Mentor engineers executing projects and provide technical subject matter expert guidance for all cyber projects.
  • Oversaw technology and budgets for cyber R&D projects.
  • Participated in business wide activities to push cyber technologies for customers including conducting R&D intellectual property submissions and presenting R&D technology to the board of directors.
Technologies: Python, Embedded C, Embedded Systems, System Design, C++, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Principal Cyber Security Engineer

2011 - 2017
  • Managed the software development team in Austin. Conducted staff performance reviews and aid staff in obtaining career goals.
  • Provided technical leadership on critical cyber R&D projects. Presented technical material for architectural reviews to senior staff. Presented at several customer presentations and demonstrations of R&D technology.
  • Performed recruiting and recruitment processes to help grow the site from 3 to 20+.
  • Earned SIGovs Top Engineer for Austin site 2015. Earned Excellence in Engineering and Technology (EIET) award from Raytheon in 2015 / 2017.
Technologies: Embedded Systems, Python, Embedded C, Reverse Engineering, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Software Applications Specialist

2011 - 2011
Imagination Technologies
  • Delivered and supported software drivers for PowerVR graphics IP for customers using ARM platforms.
  • Provided customer support for Linux Xorg and Android OS graphics driver and API.
  • Provided onsite support to customers by working at customer sites to debug issues with driver porting.
Technologies: Android, Linux Kernel Drivers, Graphics, Embedded C++

Senior Software Engineer

2009 - 2011
  • Designed and developed embedded Linux applications for the Chassis Management Controller.
  • Acted as the scrum master for the agile team developing iDRAC and CMC firmware.
  • Set up a new process for test/development team interaction.
Technologies: I2C, Servers, Enterprise, Agile, Linux, Python, Embedded C, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Manager 4G Platform Software

2005 - 2009
  • Oversaw development for WiMAX and LTE Host Platform drivers and applications for Windows and Linux platforms.
  • Led a team of six engineers to continue support for a growing customer base for WiMAX/LTE modem. Performed staff performance reviews. Implemented standardized development best practices.
  • Designed, developed, and tested Linux drivers and modules for WiMAX and LTE chipsets using C.
  • Developed SDIO drivers for three different Host processors for WiMAX. (OMAP 2420, OMAP 2430, and MSM6800). Developed USB drivers for Ubuntu 8.04 for both LTE and WiMAX.
  • Continued development of additional applications and drivers for WiMAX and LTE. Developed network drivers and specialty applications to configure and monitor WiMAX settings.
Technologies: USB, Secure Digital Input//Output (SDIO), Debugging, Hardware, ARM Assembler, Long-term Evolution (LTE), WiMAX, Python, Linux, Embedded C, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Systems Engineer

2005 - 2005
Ajilon Consulting (Texas Instruments)
  • Developed drivers for emulation software for ARM processors.
  • Enhanced memory access functionality for ARM7 and ARM9 processors to speed up program downloads.
Technologies: JTAG, ARM, Embedded C++

Software Developer

2002 - 2005
Psion Teklogix
  • Ported Windows CE.NET to proprietary hardware for both Intel SA1110 and PXA25x microcontrollers. Develop device drivers and applications for the devices using C/C++ and assembly as a member of a team.
  • Designed WinCE.NET OAL, kernel and drivers, including PCMCIA, display, touch, IrDA, fast IrDA, power, backlight, audio, GSM/GPRS, SD/SDIO, Bluetooth, 802.11/ZeroConfig, MMC, and corresponding Control Panels.
  • Worked on entire software development, testing, and user manual documentation for three devices over this three year period as part of a remote team of five in Houston.
Technologies: IEEE 802.11, Secure Digital Input//Output (SDIO), GPRS, GSM, C, Windows CE, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Firmware Design Engineer

2000 - 2002
  • Designed and implemented Server Management features for IA64 4-way and 8-way severs.
  • Developed code to interact with several system I2C devices including PCF8575, Heceta5, etc.
  • Managed a small team of evaluation engineers to meet testing requirements for IA64 4-way servers.
  • Developed a new system of team interaction to enable better testing coverage for all products. This new system produced firmware that came out of final testing with the fewest defects ever for server management firmware.
Technologies: Servers, Enterprise, I2C, ARM, Scripting, Tcl, Embedded C, Embedded Software, Embedded C++

Framework for Delivering Cyber Payloads

The framework for delivering cyber payloads was a complex system of proprietary and confidential modules to allow existing platforms the ability to deliver cyber payloads through existing interfaces. I was the lead architect and system designer for the project. I also implemented several of the system modules and conducted customer demonstrations of the technology.

Asset Tracker Bootloader

Developed a bootloader and device drivers for a proprietary custom asset tracking device using ST micro components and the ARM Kiel compiler tools. I was able to successfully deliver a multi-partion boot loader design allowing the customers the ability to do over the air firmware updates.

Reverse Engineering

I worked on several confidential and proprietary projects that required performing embedded firmware and hardware reverse engineering. I used tools like IDA Pro and hardware probes to diagnose and gather details to perform the reverse engineering.

Cyber Payload Builder

I worked on a proprietary and confidential tool that was required to build custom cyber payloads. I worked with another engineer as the main architect for the system and did the software design and implementation for all the low-level modules, custom features, and customer demonstrations.

iDRAC Firmware

I worked on the Dell Enterprise server team developing iDRAC firmware for enterprise blade servers. My main area of focus was power management drivers in embedded Linux. I was the scrum master for the agile team working on the power management features and lead developer and architect for the modules.

Chassis Management Controller Firmware

I was the lead software designer for a new feature for the chassis management controller cards that controls server management features for Dell enterprise servers in a multiple blade chassis. I designed and implemented the new firmware update feature to allow firmware updates to all systems simultaneously. This made updates more efficient and reliable.

Driver/Firmware Developer for 4G Modems

I was the lead software engineer for Platform Services in 4G modem development. I worked on device drivers for WiMAX and LTE modems for USB and SDIO interfaces. I designed and implemented the low-level drivers for Linux and worked with the MAC firmware to implement the low-level interfaces to work with those drivers.
1995 - 1999

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering

Texas A&M University - College Station, TX


Git, Jira, GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket




Embedded C++, Embedded C, C, C++, Python, ARM Assembler, Tcl

Industry Expertise



Linux, Windows, Windows CE, Android


Secure Digital Input//Output (SDIO)


Embedded Systems, Real-time Embedded Systems, System Design, Software Architecture, Debugging, Firmware, Leadership, Embedded Software, Reverse Engineering, Device Drivers, Software, LoRaWAN, ARM, JTAG, Graphics, Linux Kernel Drivers, Enterprise, Servers, I2C, WiMAX, Long-term Evolution (LTE), Hardware, USB, GSM, GPRS, IEEE 802.11, Scripting

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