Josh Gachnang, Developer in Madison, WI, United States
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Josh Gachnang

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Madison, WI, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 3, 2018

Josh was the first engineering hire at Triggr Health, a startup working to support people going through addiction recovery and mental health issues. With previous professional experience at Triggr and Rackspace, he has done back-end, front-end, mobile, and DevOps development. Josh learns quickly and focuses on delivering impactful features.


Triggr Health
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Parse, MongoDB, Ubuntu, Ansible, Backbone.js, Java...
Docker, CoreOS, Ansible, OpenStack, Python




Preferred Environment

Git, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Ubuntu, Linux, MacOS, WebStorm, React, React Native, Expo

The most amazing...

...feature I've built was adding a full social network to the Una app in three weeks.

Work Experience

Freelance Software Developer

2018 - 2019
University of Maryland - CATT Lab
  • Migrated existing Flash apps to React and Redux.
  • Implemented large performance improvements, including renderings tens of thousands of shapes on a map without lag.
Technologies: Django, Redux, React

Software Developer

2016 - 2018
Triggr Health
  • Migrated the entire back-end from Parse and a hosted database to Node.js and MongoDB.
  • Migrated the entire native iOS app and Android app to one React Native codebase to speed up feature development.
  • Led the team to implement a social network inside the app in three weeks.
  • Built a continuous integration and deployment system for React Native.
  • Automated deployments of the back-end Node.js code and front-end React code with Ansible on AWS.
  • Helped build a complex React app to support our recovery advocates chat with hundreds of users at a time.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Parse, MongoDB, Ubuntu, Ansible, Backbone.js, Java, Android, Swift, iOS, Node.js, React Native, React

Software Developer

2014 - 2015
  • Helped bring OpenStack Ironic into production for the Rackspace OnMetal project.
  • Led the open sourcing of our OpenStack Ironic driver for the Ironic Python Agent to make deployments scalable across thousands of servers.
  • Became a core reviewer on the Ironic Python Agent, tasked with ensuring we kept the code quality high and minimized bugs.
  • Contributed to building a series of scripts and tools to manage our fleet of bare metal servers.
  • Presented at the OpenStack Paris Summit on decommissioning bare metal servers with Ironic based on our downstream implementation.
  • Led design and implementation of Ironic's decommissioning workflow, which securely erased and prepared a bare metal server for a new tenant. We upstreamed the private code we wrote for OnMetal.
  • Spoke at the OpenStack Vancouver Summit about managing a large fleet of bare metal servers with OpenStack Ironic, including the tools we created to manage them and fix them, and the dashboard we developed to track them.
Technologies: Docker, CoreOS, Ansible, OpenStack, Python

Software Developer

2012 - 2013
  • Built a spider back-end to scrape all the apartment companies in the area to make the most complete apartment search engine for Madison apartments.
  • Implemented the first interactive version patented Swoop interface, which allowed the user to express multiple search preferences and weight them with a simple user interface.
  • Built a backend that supported quick search engine queries and dynamic weighting of search terms.
  • Built automation to deploy the Django back-end to AWS.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), MySQL, Ubuntu, jQuery, Django, Python

Una App

The Una app is the React Native I led rewriting from native Swift and Java to support quicker feature development. The app is a moderated social network for people to help each other, with a focus on anonymity. It includes groups based on topics and interests. You can also chat with a recovery advocate in a totally private fashion to help you with whatever you want to improve in yourself.


HomeSafe is an app I developed on my own to text your mom/significant other/family/friends when you make it home safely. My mom always tells me to text her after I drive home, but I never do. So I built HomeSafe to automatically send her a text when I get where I'm going.

The app is cross-platform and built with React Native, React, Redux, and Firebase.

Rackspace OnMetal
Rackspace OnMetal is a bare-metal cloud, allowing you to provision high-performance servers in minutes, as opposed to hours or days for traditional dedicated servers. The product was built on the open source OpenStack Ironic project and integrated with the Rackspace Cloud. I helped launch the first and second versions of the product, and open source our changes to Ironic.

Val Chatbot
Val is a chatbot platform forked from Hubot. It allows creating a user across messaging platforms, so you can interact with Val via Slack, SMS, Alexa, or any other communication platform. It has a simple plugin interface and a lot of plugins built in. It is based on Node.js for the back-end and uses Firebase for storage.

Portfolio Site

I built this app with React and Gatsby to showcase the articles I've written and provided a point of contact. It is hosted by Netlify.

Magic Mirror
An application for running on displays in a house pretending to be mirrors and displaying important information. It displays the date, time, calendar events, forecast information, pickup time for Uber, and public transit information in a very unobtrusive way. The app is built in React and interacts with the Val chatbot framework I wrote to get the back-end information.
2009 - 2013

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Madison, WI


Node.js, React, Backbone.js, jQuery


Git, Ansible, AWS ELB, AWS CLI, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), WebStorm, Expo


JavaScript, Python, Swift, Java


Express.js, React Native, Redux, Django


Linux, Amazon EC2, Docker, Ubuntu, MacOS, iOS, Android, Parse, OpenStack, CoreOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Visual Studio Code (VS Code)


MongoDB, MySQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)


Software Development

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