Max Bruce, Developer in San Francisco, United States
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Max Bruce

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

San Francisco, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 21, 2020

Max is a self-taught engineer with over 10 years of experience on a variety of platforms. Max has worked within large teams and led small teams to develop products from the ground up and maintained, improved, and iterated upon existing user-facing and infrastructureproducts. His background includes some formal education and a ton of open source work and contributions.


Rust, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Embedded Linux
Rust, Blockchain
JavaScript, Go, Rust, Web Security




Preferred Environment

Redis, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, Rust, C

The most amazing...

...thing I've ever done is reverse engineer a security product in high school that got me hired as an intern and then hired full-time by my first year of college.

Work Experience

Software Engineer

2022 - PRESENT
  • Designed and implemented the cloud infrastructure and embedded integration for fleet management.
  • Led the design and implementation of a core embedded robotic management system.
  • Worked on the design and implementation of the firmware integration software in a high-reliability context.
Technologies: Rust, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Embedded Linux

Software Engineer

2021 - 2022
  • Rewrote a smart contract compiler to support optimization passes, improve type safety, and avoid buggy code patterns.
  • Revised a blockchain network node to be functional at scale, optimize performance issues, and manage network migration.
  • Developed a framework to integrate Rosetta API into blockchain nodes.
Technologies: Rust, Blockchain

Security Software Engineer

2020 - 2021
  • Designed and implemented a new key management system. Delivered ahead of schedule and amidst changing requirements. Gave a presentation at CNCF Rust Day available at, now open source.
  • Spearheaded the design and implementation of an email security platform performing HTML and CSS analysis at scale under heavy performance constraints.
  • Analyzed existing solutions for web anti-automation and designed changes to improve efficacy.
Technologies: JavaScript, Go, Rust, Web Security

Software Engineer

2019 - 2020
  • Improved back-end and front-end site performance by over 300%.
  • Led a project to rewrite the critical user-facing website, improving margins by 13%.
  • Refactored internal pipelines for robustness/error correction in event of partial failure.
  • Discovered and resolved several critical security vulnerabilities including SQL injection, authentication bypass, etc.
  • Created a comprehensive testing framework for a large project with no existing tests.
  • Resolved countless PostgreSQL scaling problems, including missed indices, extraneous indices, schema modifications, sharding, partitioning, hardware tuning, and more.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), JavaScript, Rust, Go, PostgreSQL, React, Ruby on Rails (RoR)

Software Engineer

2017 - 2019
Shape Security
  • Optimized an in-house JavaScript virtual machine.
  • Led a project to rewrite a domain-specific language engine, optimizing for business needs.
  • Created a regular expression parser/acceptor for ES2016-ES2018.
  • Improved internal JavaScript parsers and compiler to support ES2017 standard.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), JavaScript, Java

Avuna HTTPD is a fully functional web server implementation in C that supports HTTPS, virtual hosts (with SNI), FCGI, and more. This was a personal project designed to maximize the request throughput.

Avuna DNSD
A fully functional DNS nameserver written in C. This project is used for running a public DNS nameserver that I administer and a few people use. It is capable of loading zones from MySQL (for a web UI to interact with) or configuration files.

Basin is a Minecraft server rewrite in C, designed for high-performance execution under extremely constrained resources. The original goal was to provide a way to play the game, Minecraft, from hacked embedded devices, such as routers, modems, or IoT devices. The project is ongoing and has a small community of followers.

JASM: JVM Disassembler and Java Decompiler
JASM is a JVM disassembler and Java decompiler. The project was originally conceived as a JVM bytecode editor but has since pivoted into a full decompiler in order to aid in the rapid development of my Basin project.

Shift Regexp Acceptor
This is an open-source project I was the lead developer on for Shape Security. Shift Regexp Acceptor determines the validity of ES2016, ES2017, and ES2018 regular expressions in JavaScript code, part of the large Shift JavaScript parser ecosystem.

Bandolier is an open-source project that I made large contributions to, owned by Shape Security. I was in charge of a large rewrite of much of the core logic of Bandolier, including specifying a generalized approach to JavaScript module bundling that would be guaranteed to work in all possible situations.
2017 - 2019

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

University of California, Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, California


Node.js, React, OpenGL, OpenSSL


Git, V8


Ruby on Rails (RoR), OpenCL, Express.js


C, Java, Kotlin, Rust, JavaScript, Ruby, CSS, C++, Go, PHP, Python


Functional Programming, Procedural Programming, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Agile


Linux, JVM, Android, Docker, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, Blockchain, Embedded Linux


PostgreSQL, Redis, MySQL, NoSQL


LLVM, Linux Kernel Drivers, Web Security

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