Kevin Sparks, Developer in Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand
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Kevin Sparks

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Location
Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand
Toptal Member Since
January 23, 2014

Kevin loves to build software for companies in the pre-product/market fit stage because that's where he believes true innovation lies. He's self-motivated with a bias for action and has proven experience in delivering software that is fit for use. He values relationships with people, autonomous systems, and Vim. In terms of tech, Kevin is proficient in full-stack Python and JavaScript, NLP, prompt engineering, Docker, AWS, Postgres, MySQL, React, React-Admin, GraphQL, Hasura, Django, and Git.

Portfolio

Flode AI
Python, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT)...
EY (Ernst & Young) - EY Global Innovation (USA)
Python, SQL, Docker, JavaScript, Node.js, Azure, Azure Databricks, Full-stack...
Forwod, Ltd.
Celery, Redis, AngularJS, MySQL, Django, Flask, Python, Apache Kafka...

Experience

Availability

Full-time

Preferred Environment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python, Docker, Git, Vim Text Editor, Linux, Full-stack, Web Development, Agile, JSON, Pub/Sub

The most amazing...

...platform I've written is a search feature for one of New Zealand's top ten most-visited websites.

Work Experience

Technical Founder

2022 - PRESENT
Flode AI
  • Led the development of a full suite of services for a stealth-mode startup operating in the AI, NLP, and voice interfaces using LangChain space.
  • Implemented data modeling and GraphQL backend using Hasura, secured by Auth0 JWT-based authentication. Utilized Node-RED for workflow automation and developed a low-code front end using React.
  • Managed the complete software development lifecycle, following Agile and Lean startup principles.
Technologies: Python, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Node-RED, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AWS Textract, LangChain, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, Artificial Intelligence (AI), React, Node.js, JSON, Pub/Sub, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Staff Engineer

2018 - 2022
EY (Ernst & Young) - EY Global Innovation (USA)
  • Joined the project in-flight as an effort to speed up delivery and also bring the project in-house.
  • Extended the EY Global Tax Platform to include a secure tenant-isolated file transport service.
  • Extended the EY Global Tax Platform to include a data transformation service.
  • Built an AI-driven "dynamic mapper" for the EY Global Tax Platform ingestion service.
  • Performed data modeling and performance tuning for both OLAP and OLTP systems.
  • Designed and implemented an ETL pipeline, ensuring data validation and orchestration.
  • Developed and designed cloud-based SaaS product lines for Azure and AWS platforms.
  • Provided thought leadership in re-architecting solutions for cost reduction purposes.
  • Designed automation processes for quality assurance.
  • Created comprehensive end-user technical and product support documentation.
Technologies: Python, SQL, Docker, JavaScript, Node.js, Azure, Azure Databricks, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, Artificial Intelligence (AI), React, JSON, Webpack, Pub/Sub, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Co-founder | Head of Engineering

2016 - 2020
Forwod, Ltd.
  • Designed and implemented the entire system from the front end, back end admin, and API suite. Also built out the data processing environment by which metrics for each movement were calculated and aggregated.
  • Architected data for the web tier and data processing tier (OLAP warehouse). This was my first attempt at using an FRP paradigm to handle the data stream that rolled up into an insights presentation (Athlete and Coach dashboards).
  • Automated CI and CD fully and all infrastructure as code using Ansible and Fabric.
  • Bootstrapped local development using Docker and Docker Compose.
Technologies: Celery, Redis, AngularJS, MySQL, Django, Flask, Python, Apache Kafka, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, Node.js, JSON, Webpack, Pub/Sub, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Senior Software Engineer

2014 - 2018
ClearCare Inc
  • Provided general maintenance as well as new features for the flagship SaaS web app built with Django and accompanying services with Flask and GraphQL.
  • Created a microservice to track usage metrics throughout the platform in order to aid client billing using Serverless (AWS Lambda).
  • Implemented security features around user sessions to better support HIPAA + PII compliance goals.
  • Served on the on-call DevOps SRE rotation, helping keep platform up-time on our AWS stack at 99.99%.
  • Integrated a third-party background-check vendor using Restful APIs and webhooks.
  • Extended the core accounting system to support advance billing, as well as migration scripts for historical data.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), AngularJS, Redis, PostgreSQL, GraphQL, Celery, Django, Python, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, Node.js, JSON, Webpack, Pub/Sub, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Python Tech Lead, Senior Web Developer

2010 - 2014
Yellow Pages Group
  • Served as tech lead for seventeen Python developers. Facilitated TDD, code reviews, system design, and continuous integration. Ensured that features built actually matched business requirements.
  • Worked as lead developer for the rebuilding of Yellow's flagship properties (yellow.co.nz, whitepages.co.nz) in Python. Contributed to a search feature (Solr) built as a platform to service multiple client front-ends and third party apps.
  • Worked as lead developer for the sales and provisioning web tool. Built the components for servicing content/asset administration and provisioning.
  • Contributed to the design of a custom JavaScript framework for handling a multi-component AJAX approach to the UI, codenamed "Helio."
  • Served as lead developer for the hyperlocal property YellowLocal.co.nz.
Technologies: Fabric, Vagrant, Debian Packaging, CSS, HTML5, MySQL, Memcached, Solr, Django, Python, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, Artificial Intelligence (AI), JSON, Pub/Sub, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Senior Web Developer

2009 - 2010
The Folio Society
  • Flew solo as the developer in a small online team, responsible for all development and maintenance of the company's primary eCommerce website (www.foliosociety.co.uk).
  • Implemented a fresh new "skin" along with a "gift certificates" feature, a tremendous feat considering FS's complex marketing channels.
  • Handled database administration, which constituted around 30% of my overall workload. Wrote and optimized queries for large-ish datasets (200k - 2M rows in some cases).
  • Handled all development operations, deployment, and system administration (Linux, MySQL, Python).
Technologies: jQuery, CakePHP, JavaScript, Ajax, MySQL, PHP, Python, Full-stack, Web Development, JSON, Webpack, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Director

2008 - 2009
Just-digital.net
  • Built a range of smaller websites (agency type work).
  • Wrote my own light-weight proprietary CMS in PHP to facilitate rapid implementation.
Technologies: MySQL, JavaScript, PHP, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Agile, JSON, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Web Developer

2007 - 2008
Trader Media (TNT Publishing)
  • Created new features and maintenance for www.tntmagazine.com as the sole developer.
  • Built a job/accommodation directory for the site.
Technologies: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, JSON, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Software Developer

2004 - 2007
Sweet Mamma Software
  • Handled the full development life cycle on small websites (PHP). Supported key clients' corporate intranet.
  • Designed and implemented the desktop app Liquid Metal.
Technologies: Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, VB.NET, Visual Basic 6 (VB6), JavaScript, ASP.NET, Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP, System Architecture, Agile, JSON, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Yellow® NZ

http://yellow.co.nz
I was the lead developer for rebuilding Yellow's flagship property (yellow.co.nz) in Python. I built a search feature (Solr) platform to service multiple client front-ends and third party apps. Yellow.co.nz is one of New Zealand's top 10 most visited sites.

Axle (sales and provisioning web tool)

https://axle.yellow.co.nz/
I was the lead developer for our sales and provisioning web tool. I built the components for servicing content/asset administration and provisioning.

Languages

SQL, JavaScript, Python, GraphQL, PHP, Bash Script, HTML5, CSS, HTML, Active Server Pages (ASP), Visual Basic 6 (VB6), VB.NET, UML

Frameworks

AngularJS, Django, Jinja, Serverless Framework, ASP.NET, Flask, CakePHP, Jasmine, Selenium

Paradigms

Agile, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Continuous Delivery (CD), Continuous Deployment, Continuous Integration (CI), Model View Controller (MVC), Scrum, Agile Software Development, Responsive Layout, REST, Kanban, Responsive Web Design (RWD), Test-driven Development (TDD), Concurrent Programming, Distributed Programming, Load Testing, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), DevOps

Storage

MySQL, Memcached, JSON, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, Redis, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon DynamoDB, Google Cloud, Neo4j, MongoDB

Other

Full-stack, Web Development, System Architecture, Single-page Applications (SPA), GitFlow, Web Scraping, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Pub/Sub, Debian Packaging, Sentiment Analysis, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Graphical User Interface (GUI), Data Mining, Loggly, WebSockets, QA Automation, Sprints, Amazon Route 53, Tornado, Ajax, Mailchimp API, mod_wsgi, GPT, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Azure Databricks, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AWS Textract, LangChain

Libraries/APIs

React, Chart.js, Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), React Redux, jQuery, Node.js, Fabric, Gevent, Bottle.py, Beautiful Soup, Facebook API, Tastypie, Backbone.js

Tools

Bitbucket, Apache, RabbitMQ, Subversion (SVN), Git, Vim Text Editor, GitLab, GitHub, Adobe Photoshop, Webpack, Solr, Celery, Gulp, Mocha, Jira, uWSGI, Crucible, PyCharm, Haystack, Jenkins, NGINX, Apache Solr, Vagrant, Node-RED

Platforms

Ubuntu, Docker, Amazon EC2, Linux, New Relic, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apache Kafka, AWS Lambda, Raspberry Pi, DigitalOcean, Google App Engine, Django CMS, Heroku, Arduino, Azure

2002 - 2004

Microsoft Certified Solution Developer Degree in Computer Science

Torque IT - Johannesburg, South Africa

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