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Kevin Sparks

Kevin Sparks

Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand
Member since May 30, 2013
Kevin is a self-motivated full-stack Python and JavaScript engineer with a bias for action and proven experience in delivering reliable software. He is passionate about learning and is particularly fascinated with collecting and analyzing data. He values people, relationships, communication, and Vim.
Kevin is now available for hire
  • JavaScript, 8 years
  • Python, 7 years
  • MySQL, 7 years
  • Django, 5 years
  • Agile Software Development, 4 years
  • GitHub, 3 years
  • PostgreSQL, 2 years
  • AngularJS, 2 years
Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand
Preferred Environment
Linux (Ubuntu), Vim, Git, AWS, Docker, Python
The most amazing...
...platform I've written is a search feature for one of New Zealand's top ten most-visited websites.
  • Co-Founder, Head of Engineering
    2016 - PRESENT
    Forwod, Ltd.
    • Designed and implemented the full system.
    • 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 insights presentation (Athlete + Coach dashboards).
    • Fully automated CI + CD and all infrastructure as code using Ansible (and Fabric).
    • Bootstrapped local development using Docker.
    Technologies: Python, Flask, Django, MySQL, AngularJS, Redis, Celery
  • Software Engineer
    2014 - PRESENT
    ClearCare (
    • Provided general maintenance as well as new features for the flagship SaaS web app (built with Django) and accompanying services (Flask, 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: Python, Django, Celery, GraphQL, Postgres, Redis, AngularJS, AWS
  • 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 (, 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
    Technologies: Python, Django, Solr, Memcached, MySQL, HTML5, CSS, Debian Packaging, Vagrant, Fabric
  • 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 (
    • 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: Python, PHP, MySQL, AJAX, JavaScript, CakePHP, jQuery
  • Director
    2008 - 2009
    • Built a range of smaller websites (agency type work).
    • Wrote my own light-weight proprietary CMS in PHP to facilitate rapid implementation.
    Technologies: PHP, JavaScript, MySQL
  • Web Developer
    2007 - 2008
    Trader Media (TNT Publishing)
    • Created new features and maintenance for as the sole developer.
    • Built a job/accommodation directory for the site.
    Technologies: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • 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: PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JavaScript, VisualBasic 6, VB.NET, MySQL, MS SQL
  • Yellow┬« NZ (Development)

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

  • Axle (sales and provisioning web tool) (Development)

    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, Python, JavaScript, PHP, GraphQL, Bash Script, UML
  • Frameworks
    AngularJS, Django, Jinja, Serverless Framework, Selenium, Jasmine, CakePHP, Bottle
  • Storage
    Memcached, MySQL, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, Redis, AWS S3, Google Cloud, MongoDB, Neo4j, AWS DynamoDB
  • Libraries/APIs
    React, WebSockets, NLTK, Charts.js, React Redux, jQuery, Tastypie, MailChimp API, Facebook API, Beautiful Soup, Backbone.js, Gevent
  • Tools
    Subversion (SVN), Adobe Photoshop, BitBucket, Apache, RabbitMQ, Git, GitLab, GitHub, Git flow, Vim Text Editor, Mocha, uWSGI, Apache Solr, Gulp.js, Vagrant, Nginx, Haystack, PyCharm, Crucible, Jenkins, JIRA
  • Paradigms
    Continuous Delivery (CD), Continuous Deployment, Continuous Integration (CI), Model View Controller (MVC), Agile Software Development, Scrum, Kanban, REST, Responsive Web Design (RWD), DevOps, Test-driven Development (TDD), Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Load Testing, Distributed Programming, Concurrent Programming, Responsive Layout
  • Platforms
    Amazon Web Services (AWS), New Relic, Ubuntu, Docker, AWS EC2, Linux, Arduino, Heroku, Django CMS, Google App Engine, Raspberry Pi, AWS Lambda, DigitalOcean
  • Other
    Single-page Applications (SPA), HTML5 WebSockets, AWS Route 53, Tornado, Sentiment Analysis, Data Mining, Loggly, mod_wsgi, GUI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Sprints, AJAX, QA Automation
  • Microsoft Certified Solution Developer degree in Computer Science
    2002 - 2004
    Torque IT - Johannesburg, South Africa
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