Michael Kowalski, Software Developer in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Michael Kowalski

Software Developer in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Member since February 18, 2021
Michael has an exceptional background in finance, business, and software. He is a certified SuperForecaster and MBA with knowledge of machine learning. At Credit Suisse, he produced $24 million in profit using bespoke software tools to identify statistical arbitrage transactions in the sovereign bonds of 20 countries and built a yield curve-based pricing model for Australian Bank Hybrid Bonds. Michael has industry experience in finance, energy, telecommunications, and publishing.
Michael is now available for hire

Portfolio

Experience

Location

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

Python, React, Swift, GraphQL, TypeScript, Test-driven Development (TDD), Algorithms, Fintech, Financial Software, Git

The most amazing...

...product I have developed is a portfolio management tool tailored to very specific metrics that was relied on daily for several years.

Employment

  • Portfolio Manager

    2015 - 2018
    Cashwerkz Limited
    • Created algorithms to mimic the performance of popular actively-managed bond funds by analyzing historic fund and index returns.
    • Developed a yield curve-based pricing model in JavaScript and Node.js for Australian Bank hybrid bonds.
    • Built a budget reporting and forecasting tool to track business progress in weekly meetings.
    Technologies: JavaScript, Trading, Financial Markets, Finance, Fixed Income, Derivative Pricing, Statistics, Research, Bloomberg API, APIs, Startups, Currencies, Data Analysis, Algorithms, Algorithmic Trading, Fintech, Financial Software, Banking & Finance, Agile, Writing & Editing, HTML5, Finance APIs, Quantitative Research
  • Developer

    2014 - 2015
    Bolder Group Pty, Ltd.
    • Refactored client code of the Two Fat Guys app so that user actions and screen transitions had immediate (less than 300ms) results.
    • Designed and developed the Baby Name Game from the idea stage to an iOS and Android app for sale for several years in many countries. The app was a Single Page JavaScript app served to clients by Node.js using MongoDB for storage.
    • Maintained apps following release with smooth database, server, and version migrations.
    Technologies: JavaScript, Node.js, Meteor, Cordova, iOS, Android, Xcode, App Store, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, MongoDB, SQL, Front-end Development, React, APIs, Startups, Architecture, Algorithms, Server-side Rendering, Handlebars, Test-driven Development (TDD), GitHub, RESTful APIs, Unit Testing, Jest, CSS, Agile, Mobile Development, Mobile, HTML5, NPM
  • Consultant

    2013 - 2013
    Private Contractor
    • Advised one of Australia's largest landfill management software providers on customer requirements of Carbon Emissions portfolio tracking.
    • Produced acceptance tests using Cucumber to guide development and confirm user interface features.
    • Researched regulatory schemes to ensure accurate calculations and business rules were implemented.
    Technologies: Excel VBA, Cucumber, Ruby, Financial Markets, Finance, Fixed Income, Derivative Pricing, Research, Web Applications, APIs, Data Analysis, Fintech, Financial Software, Commodities, Banking & Finance, Agile
  • Group Manager

    2011 - 2012
    Ecofund Queensland
    • Achieved record carbon and renewable energy transactions revenue and profits by focusing on large, specialized transactions and customer acquisition.
    • Automated public data gathering to produce daily reports on supply and demand with JavaScript and Node.js.
    • Oversaw the launch of hedging products tailored to Australia's emissions trading scheme.
    Technologies: JavaScript, Financial Analysis, Marketing, Trading, Financial Markets, Finance, Fixed Income, Derivative Pricing, Research, Web Applications, Currencies, Data Analysis, Algorithms, Commodities, Banking & Finance, Writing & Editing, Finance APIs, Quantitative Research
  • Senior Contract Trader

    2010 - 2011
    Stanwell
    • Transacted electricity forwards and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to meet hedging and risk management policies.
    • Aggregated and profit tracking for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) with an Excel front end that linked to an SQL transaction database.
    • Executed the company's largest electricity transaction that year through negotiations with a key customer. The transaction required and received special board approval due to its size and complexity.
    Technologies: Derivative Pricing, Fixed-income Derivatives, Trading, Financial Markets, Testing, Finance, Fixed Income, Statistics, Research, SQL, APIs, Data Analysis, Algorithms, Algorithmic Trading, Commodities, Banking & Finance, Writing & Editing, Finance APIs, Quantitative Research
  • Manager

    2006 - 2009
    Macquarie
    • Enabled bespoke transaction booking for a new business through Python scripts representing details.
    • Designed and oversaw the customization of existing accounting, valuation, and risk management systems to accommodate environmental commodities.
    • Valued the bank's first carbon credit forward transaction using a Monte Carlo simulation of electricity production from a newly built Chinese power plant.
    Technologies: Python, Derivative Pricing, Fixed-income Derivatives, Financial Analysis, Trading, Financial Markets, Testing, Finance, Fixed Income, Statistics, Research, Bloomberg API, Architecture, Data Analysis, Algorithms, Fintech, Financial Software, Commodities, Banking & Finance, Writing & Editing, Finance APIs, Quantitative Research, Merchant Banking, Naive Bayes
  • Associate

    2004 - 2004
    Minyanville Publishing and Multimedia
    • Provided real-time market commentary with several publishing tools.
    • Reduced 90% of publishing platform costs by identifying external providers through a review of competitors and industry practices.
    • Identified marketing opportunities through trackbacks and partnerships with prominent market and economic bloggers.
    Technologies: Financial Analysis, Blogging, Marketing, Financial Markets, Finance, Fixed Income, Derivative Pricing, Bloomberg API, Web Applications, HTML, Startups, Currencies, Fintech, Financial Software, Investment Banking, CSS, Writing & Editing, HTML5, Merchant Banking
  • Director of Business Development

    2001 - 2003
    CyberBazaar India
    • Coordinated with the team in India to verify teleconference call quality. The data collected was used to identify fraudulent billing of Internet Protocol long-distance calls at voice calling rates.
    • Developed business partnerships resulting in a competitive bidding process and acquisition by WebEx Communications for $4 million.
    • Established dedicated international phone and data pipelines as a new product category through a new partnership.
    Technologies: Contracts, Business Development, Financial Markets, Startups
  • Associate

    1994 - 1998
    Credit Suisse
    • Wrote C/C++ tools for time series analysis and position tracking.
    • Produced $24 million in profit using bespoke software tools to identify statistical arbitrage transactions in the US sovereign bonds of 20 countries.
    • Tested and approved new firm-wide fixed income software that streamlined data collection and reporting. The databases and calculation engines enabled further automation of transaction confirmations and position reporting.
    Technologies: C++, Derivative Pricing, Trading, Financial Markets, Testing, Finance, Machine Learning, Statistics, Research, Bloomberg API, SQL, Linux, Front-end Development, APIs, Architecture, Currencies, Data Analysis, Algorithms, Algorithmic Trading, Fintech, Financial Software, Commodities, Investment Banking, Banking & Finance, Writing & Editing, Finance APIs, Quantitative Research, Merchant Banking, Naive Bayes

Experience

  • Documentation Generation from GraphQL Schema
    https://help.appdirect.com/api/graphql/index.html

    I worked with a unicorn company that was shifting from REST API to GraphQL. I built a customized static site generator that received the federated GraphQL schema and produced a responsive site hosting documentation of the API. I developed the site building tool and the front-end UI. Project milestones varied from accessing the federated registry directly to moving from legacy Mustache.js templates to server-side React. I created a complete set of tests from scratch. These ranged from unit tests parsing the GraphQL schema to snapshot tests comparing site pages from a static schema.

  • RSS Reader
    https://github.com/mikowals/simple-rss-next

    An RSS reader for browsing the news. I have used versions of it personally as a replacement for Google Reader since that service was discontinued in 2014. I am the only person involved in the project.

    A current back end uses Cloudflare's serverless workers to provide a GraphQL API. All state is kept in a key value store. The total response time to a client is around 100ms for queries, while mutations that require polling RSS feeds are bottlenecked by the slowest feed response.

    Front ends have been made in React and Next.js, React Native, and Swift UI. In each implementation, the UI is optimistic, with Apollo's client cache reflecting user actions across the entire app immediately. iOS implementations have features like pull-to-refetch latest articles on the 'News' page and slide-right to delete a subscribed feed on the 'Subscriptions' page.

    The back end can be browsed at https://worker-rss.mikowals.workers.dev/__graphql with the code repository at https://github.com/mikowals/cloudflare-worker-rss.

    The React Native front end for iOS is at exp://exp.host/@mikowals/rss-react-native.

    The code repository for the React and Next.js is at https://github.com/mikowals/simple-rss-next. It is not currently running anywhere.

  • React and Node.js Neighborhood Network and Chat iOS App

    The application was a locality-based social network that allowed people to connect and plan events. I joined the project already in progress and implemented features such as iOS notifications using Firebase and completing the build process to get the app into TestFlight for testing.

    I also did several rounds of bug fixes for the app. For example, the chat features would lose messages, so I debugged the Websocket connection implemented in socket.io to eliminate the problem.

    The app will be released in the App Store shortly.

  • Baby Name Game

    An iOS and Android game built to help expecting parents choose a name. Along with a partner, I designed, developed, and marketed the game from concept to launch. The game was available for download for several years. It had hundreds of people playing daily and attracted 100,000+ downloads.

    Requirements:
    • MongoDB database to host names, customer data, and game state.
    • A single-page application wrapped for iOS and Android store downloads.
    • Hosting with release and version migration scripts on the Meteor platform and DigitalOcean.

    Game features:
    • Freemium model progressing from anonymous play to paid customer.
    • Joint play with a secure invite system shared data between linked players.
    • Responsive UI for multiple phone and tablet sizes.
    • Fast game play with optimistic server interactions and user milestone updates.
    • Analytics and reporting interface to track usage and progress through an upgrade cycle.
    • Available in multiple countries with geographically appropriate names.

  • Batch Insert - Meteor Package
    https://github.com/mikowals/batch-insert

    A package for the Meteor JavaScript framework that makes inserting a large number of documents into MongoDB more efficient (100x improvement). The package maintains Meteor database security rules and enables Meteors' optimistic UI features for batch inserts from the client.

    The package has been used by 5,000+ developers and has been maintained since 2015.

  • Hedge Improvement with Bucket Duration - Bank Research Project

    The project research asked whether carefully allocating a bond's duration risk across multiple buckets would improve hedging efficiency. Hedge efficiency means how accurately the price change of a portfolio matches the estimated change based on duration and yield change.

    Working in C and C++, I built a back-testing harness and point-in-time model to produce the historic ratios for trades hedged with standard and bucket durations. Backtesting could report the daily standard deviation of realized profit from expected profit.

    The project discovered that the firm's treasury curve model had a computational quick where minor price changes could cause the curve to "pop" between curling up and curling down. The effect of this quirk on hedge efficiency was three times larger than the duration effects originally studied.

    This inefficiency was fixed by adding an extra step to the treasury model that forced the curve to pass through the on-the-run (most liquid) bond yields.

  • Two Fat Guys

    An iOS app that helps users tracks fitness goals. The app was available for a number of years in several countries through the App Store. A nice technical feature of the app was its animated page transitions while users were looking through graphs of their progress.

Skills

  • Languages

    JavaScript, Excel VBA, GraphQL, CSS, Python, Swift, Octave, C++, SQL, HTML, TypeScript, SCSS, HTML5, R
  • Frameworks

    Jest, Framework7, React Native, Laravel Mix, SwiftUI
  • Libraries/APIs

    React, Node.js, Bloomberg API, Handlebars, Mustache, CocoaPods, REST APIs, Socket.IO
  • Tools

    Xcode, NPM, GitHub, Git, Webpack, MATLAB, Cucumber, Google Analytics, CodeMirror
  • Paradigms

    Test-driven Development (TDD), Unit Testing, Mobile Development, Quantitative Research, Testing, Agile, Serverless Architecture, Data Science, MapReduce
  • Platforms

    Linux, Mobile, iOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Docker, Firebase, DigitalOcean, MacOS, AWS EC2, Meteor, Android, Mixpanel
  • Industry Expertise

    Accounting, Banking & Finance, Marketing
  • Other

    Finance, Strategy, Financial Analysis, Research, Derivative Pricing, Fixed-income Derivatives, Fixed Income, Blogging, Web Applications, Front-end, Trading, Financial Markets, Front-end Development, Startups, Currencies, Data Analysis, Fintech, Financial Software, Merchant Banking, Investment Banking, Commodities, Writing & Editing, RSS Feeds, Finance APIs, Venture Capital, Organizational Design, Machine Learning, Statistics, Contracts, Full-stack, APIs, Back-end, Cloudflare, Responsive UI, App Store, Mobile Apps, AWS, Architecture, Algorithms, Algorithmic Trading, Server-side Rendering, REST API, Lint, RESTful APIs, Serverless, Mobile UI, Apollo, Apollo Server, Logistic Regression, Linear Regression, Classification Algorithms, Predictive Modeling, Naive Bayes, Business Development, Optimistic UI, WebSockets, Cordova, Random Forests
  • Storage

    MongoDB, MySQL

Education

  • Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA)
    2005 - 2006
    Oxford University - Oxford, UK
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration
    1990 - 1994
    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Certifications

  • Neural Networks for Machine Learning
    FEBRUARY 2017 - PRESENT
    Coursera (University of Toronto)
  • Certified SuperForecaster
    JULY 2015 - PRESENT
    Good Judgment, Inc.
  • Practical Machine Learning
    JULY 2014 - PRESENT
    Coursera / Johns Hopkins University
  • Machine Learning
    JANUARY 2014 - PRESENT
    Coursera / Stanford University
  • Web Intelligence and Big Data
    DECEMBER 2012 - PRESENT
    Coursera / Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

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