Joseph Ruff, Software Developer in Tucson, AZ, United States
Joseph Ruff

Software Developer in Tucson, AZ, United States

Member since May 9, 2020
With a master's degree in applied physics from Stanford, Joseph excels at using data to find the most efficient algorithms. Joseph's knowledge ranges from Nest Learning Thermostat house models and extremely low-latency OnLive cloud gaming to using AWS to process enormous datasets or even drawing Apple's user interface widgets. Whatever the project, Joseph knows that instrumenting and measuring code performance provides invaluable insights.
Joseph is now available for hire


  • Spatial
    Bash Script, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS, Networking, Unix, C, C++
  • Nest
    Bash Script, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, EMR, AWS, C, C++
  • OnLive
    Bluetooth, Networking, Unix, C, C++


  • Linux 20 years
  • Distributed Computing 20 years
  • IP Networks 20 years
  • Electronic Sensors 20 years
  • AWS 7 years
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) 7 years
  • Embedded Systems 5 years
  • Matplotlib 3 years


Tucson, AZ, United States



Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Embedded Hardware, AWS, Unix, C, C++

The most amazing...

...algorithms I've developed was for the Nest Learning Thermostat which reduced carbon emissions around the world.


  • Software Developer

    2017 - 2019
    • Developed some of the basic technology required by the platform which creates deeply immersive audio environments.
    • Created a cloud-based server to support the locally deployed set of nodes.
    • Performed measurements and researched on possible future algorithms.
    • Wrote bash scripts to bootstrap server processes on new computers and restart those processes upon reboot. The script monitored and restarted stopped processes as well as reported the failures. Scripts also uploaded log files to S3.
    Technologies: Bash Script, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS, Networking, Unix, C, C++
  • Software Developer

    2010 - 2015
    • Researched, designed, and implemented several of the algorithms for the Nest Learning Thermostat including the time to temperature and heat pump control.
    • Loaded data into the cloud and used tools such as map reduce to research possible future algorithms for the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect.
    • Designed and implemented several of the extremely energy-efficient algorithms required to allow the Nest Protect to run for years on battery power.
    • Wrote bash scripts to run and monitor jobs in Amazon EMR as well as upload and download research data from S3.
    Technologies: Bash Script, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, EMR, AWS, C, C++
  • Software Developer

    2008 - 2010
    • Created a firewall and gateway for delivering packets into and out of the OnLive network, designed to support very low-latency streaming sufficient for OnLive's cloud gaming service.
    • Added embedded Bluetooth support to the micro-console for audio gaming headsets.
    • Developed an in-network server to support audio communication between players in multi-user games.
    Technologies: Bluetooth, Networking, Unix, C, C++
  • Software Developer

    2000 - 2008
    Tellme Networks, Inc. | Microsoft Corporation
    • Created an internal tool for managing millions of audio assets from scripting, through recording and editing to deployment onto the telephony platform.
    • Wrote user applications on the interactive voice portal such as "Wake up Calls" and "Fandango."
    • Developed a prototype for voice-enabled smartphone apps on the Windows Mobile platform.
    • Acted as the customer technical liaison to help with integration into our telephony platform.
    Technologies: Bash Script, Windows Mobile, Oracle SQL, Mod_perl, Perl, VXML, C, C++
  • Software Developer

    1995 - 2000
    Netscape Communications Corporation | America Online
    • Developed the Macintosh version of Netscape Navigator 3.0 Gold which included a WYSIWYG HTML editor. I continued to work on the HTML editor component of the Macintosh Netscape Communicator 4.0.
    • Created a network server API for temporarily reserving IDs during user signup on Netscape's website, Netcenter.
    • Worked on the team which created Netscape Custom Netcenter, an web portal which could be both cobranded and personalized.
    Technologies: Networking, Unix, C, C++
  • Software Developer

    1994 - 1995
    Apple Computer, Inc.
    • Developed a novel way for the Apple Macintosh OS to display user interface elements (menus, windows, and controls) as part of the Appearance Manager using data rather than a new type of code for each different theme (Patent US6909437B2).
    • Implemented a prototypical image-search application based on wavelet decomposition research from the University of Washington.
    • Served as the technical lead for the Apple Appearance Manager team.
    Technologies: MacOS, C


  • Personal Image Viewer

    Like Google Photos, this software provides the ability to efficiently store, view, and search through millions of family photos stored locally. The project emphasis is on the highest possible speed which utilizes local distributed storage and the maximum available local network bandwidth and processing power rather than cloud-based services.

    Although the search capabilities are not as impressive as those provided by Google Photos, the local storage is cheaper, the local bandwidth is higher, and the current speed bottleneck is the video card.

  • Security Camera Video Processing

    By reimplementing the activity notification or ROI feature included in most security cameras, this project allows experimentation and continuously tweaking the algorithms as well as custom notification options. The software runs on any computer on the network which allows it to support any inexpensive commodity priced IP camera.

  • Smart Home LED Lighting

    This IoT Raspberry Pi-based LED controller software project has Amazon Alexa integration and allows for voice control, custom switches, or motion sensors to gradually turn on or off lights (fade). This project also allows for endless experimentation with different animations and patterns of RGB LED strips.


  • Platforms

    Linux, MacOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Unix, Windows Mobile
  • Other

    Electronic Sensors, IP Networks, AWS, Embedded Systems, Embedded Hardware, VXML, EMR, Networking, Bluetooth
  • Languages

    Bash Script, XML, JavaScript, HTML, SQL, Python, Perl, Swift, Assembly, C++, C
  • Tools

    Git, Subversion (SVN), Xcode
  • Paradigms

    Distributed Computing
  • Libraries/APIs

    NumPy, Matplotlib, Mod_perl
  • Storage

    JSON, Oracle SQL


  • Master's Degree in Applied Physics
    1987 - 1994
    Stanford University - Stanford, CA, United States
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics
    1983 - 1987
    Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA, United States

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