Joshua Ballanco, Ruby on Rails Developer in Miami, FL, United States
Joshua Ballanco

Ruby on Rails Developer in Miami, FL, United States

Member since January 14, 2014
Joshua is an architect, engineer, and scientist with experience building large-scale systems dealing with everything from massive amounts of video data to heavy web traffic. He also has experience breaking monoliths into scalable microservice architectures and going the other way 'round. He's worked for Apple and AOL and has also led a group of 50+ consultants as their chief scientist.
Joshua is now available for hire




Miami, FL, United States



Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Heroku, VS Code, Git, Emacs, Vim Text Editor, Linux, OS X

The most amazing...

...bug I've fixed required taking a system that couldn't even handle two machines and scaling it to over twenty in less than four weeks before shipping a new OS.


  • Senior Software Developer

    2013 - 2019
    Glencoe Software
    • Supported the migration of a Spring/Hibernate system from PostgreSQL to Oracle.
    • Designed and implemented a distributed messaging system to connect various components in a data collection pipeline.
    • Created JNI-based bindings for a JPEG-XR decoder written in C.
    • Wrote a library to coordinate submission of jobs to a HPC grid facility from a Python/Django web app.
    • Implemented a custom Window's URL handler to enable launching local applications against data on a central server from within a browser window.
    Technologies: Django, Python, Hibernate, Spring, Java
  • Senior Architect

    2017 - 2018
    Simple Global, Inc.
    • Led company-wide planning for a transition from a single monolith to microservice-based architecture.
    • Guided decision making around the selection of technology stack, deployment infrastructure, and the continuous delivery pipeline.
    • Designed and implemented OpenAPI specification, driven API documentation, and automated testing.
    • Assisted with metrics collection and ETL workflow for accounting data.
    Technologies: DevOps, Code Architecture, API Architecture, API Design, Spring, Java
  • Senior Software Engineer

    2014 - 2018
    Hendrick Automotive
    • Designed and deployed AWS CodeDeploy/CF-based architecture for deploying internal back-office apps.
    • Developed APIs to support business analytics.
    • Migrated an existing code base from Datomic to PostgreSQL.
    • Developed a Clojure-based web application to manage employee performance and goal setting.
    • Developed middleware services to connect an array of third-party back-office systems.
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), React, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Datomic, Clojure
  • Software Engineer — RoR

    2014 - 2014
    • Extended a CMS-like system to host FAQ content.
    • Updated HTML and CSS for various static pages.
    • Implemented a dynamically resizing button menu.
    • Updated responsive design elements for mobile browsers.
    • Fixed a variety of minor bugs in a legacy Rails codebase.
    Technologies: Clojure, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • Chief Scientist

    2011 - 2013
    Burnside Digital
    • Developed client infrastructures using various components of Amazon Web Services.
    • Worked with teams at RedHat to build solutions on the JVM and JBoss platforms.
    • Developed components of an SOA infrastructure that supports a variety of client projects, including the CityEats platform we developed for Scripps Network Interactive.
    • Presented technical solutions at software conferences around the world.
    • Helped introduce and develop new technologies with our team of 20+ software engineers.
    Technologies: Chef, Java, Clojure, Objective-C, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • Support Engineer

    2011 - 2011
    • Fixed bugs reported on the main app.
    • Responded to support requests from Exceptional customers.
    • Developed integration between Exceptional and Pivotal Tracker.
    • Monitored servers for service interruptions and helped to diagnose, troubleshoot, and fix emerging issues.
    • Assisted with transitioning the technology stack to new owners.
    Technologies: AWS Push Notification Service (AWS SNS), Amazon SQS, Redis, Memcached, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • Back-end Software Engineer

    2010 - 2011
    • Migrated the primary CMS application from Ruby Enterprise Edition to Ruby 1.9.2.
    • Optimized database performance and helped maintain consistent page load times across an order of magnitude increase in traffic.
    • Scaled the platform from less than 100 locations to over 800 in less than three months.
    • Designed a service-oriented architecture overhaul of the entire publishing platform.
    • Participated in a company-wide effort to embrace open source and encourage employees from all departments to participate in the open-source community.
    • Implemented A/B testing in consultation with marketing and editorial to gather feedback on headlines and advertising layouts.
    Technologies: JavaScript, Redis, MongoDB, MySQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • Server Software Engineer

    2006 - 2010
    • Developed a Grand Central Dispatch-based web server for MacRuby called ControlTower.
    • Upgraded the product for two major Rails revisions and one Ruby version.
    • Managed the QA process for the team’s deliverables.
    • Implemented a web interface, including a near real-time video preview system built with only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
    • Improved server and database performance from less-than-acceptable to ready-to-release.
    Technologies: SANs, Quartz Composer, QuickTime, C, Objective-C, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Xcode Server


  • CityEats

    CityEats was a platform for customers to make reservations at popular restaurants, and also for restaurants to manage availability and offer special reservations for promotional events. With Burnside Digital, I assisted in maintenance and the development of new features. I also led a team that re-implemented the integration between the customer-facing site and the reservation management back-end utilized by restaurants using a service-oriented architecture.

  • ControlTower

    ControlTower is an HTTP application server for MacRuby. As a member of the OS X Server team at Apple, I developed ControlTower to meet the needs of a larger project, as there were no existing application servers at the time that worked with MacRuby and met all of the project requirements.

  • Evolver

    Evolver is a "toy simulation" of an evolutionary system that I implemented as part of my doctoral thesis research in the field of evolutionary biology. Utilizing Ruby, it allows for all of the important parameters of the simulation to be specified via configuration file, while still running fast enough to complete simulations in a reasonable amount of time.

  • Y-Combinator for Objective-C

    In the process of studying both Objective-C and the various fixed-point combinators from the lambda calculus, I conceived of a way to utilize Objective-C's blocks to implement the Y-combinator. This is more of a fun, exploratory project than something intended for production use (though there's no reason it shouldn't work in a production system).

  • Learning Swift Programming: Is it Ready for Prime Time? (Publication)
    Since Apple's launch of Swift this past June, many iOS developers have been struggling with the question of if, how, and when to transition from Objective-C to Swift. This article explores some important points to consider before jumping into Swift development.


  • Languages

    HTML, HTML5, Java, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, C, Julia, CSS, Objective-C, Clojure, Lua, C++
  • Frameworks

    Sinatra, RubyMotion, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Cocoa, WebObjects, Padrino, Redux, Next.js, Django, UIKit, Spring, Hibernate, AngularJS
  • Libraries/APIs

    Node.js, React, Compojure, Rack, jQuery, Nokogiri, Xcode Server, Twitter API
  • Tools

    Vim Text Editor, Jira, GitHub, GitHub Pages, Bitbucket, Emacs, TextMate, GitLab, Chef, Amazon SQS, AWS Push Notification Service (AWS SNS), Quartz Composer, Xcode, Git, Mercurial, VS Code, Reagent
  • Paradigms

    Gang of Four (GOF) Design Patterns, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Agile Software Development, Functional Programming, Kanban, Scrum, Distributed Programming, API Architecture, DevOps, Logic Programming
  • Platforms

    Android, Amazon Web Services (AWS), MacOS, iOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OS X, Heroku, Docker, JBoss
  • Storage

    SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, Memcached, MongoDB
  • Other

    API Design, Architecture, API Integration, APIs, Software, Back-end, Mobile App Development, Software Development, Merb, QuickTime, SANs, Code Architecture, Datomic


  • Doctorate in Computational Evolutionary Biology
    2008 - 2011
    Stevens Institute of Technology - New Jersey
  • Master's Degree in Chemical Biology
    2005 - 2008
    Stevens Institute of Techonolgy - New Jersey
  • Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry
    1998 - 2002
    Stevens Institute of Technology - New Jersey

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