Mike Urbach, Developer in Denver, CO, United States
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Mike Urbach

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Denver, CO, United States
Toptal Member Since
February 13, 2020

Mike has designed and implemented high-performance systems his entire career. Working at the intersection of data ingestion, processing, storage, and retrieval, he is an expert in building products fueled by big data. His work has powered life-saving tools and been awarded multiple patents.


Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, Flink, RabbitMQ, Apache Kafka, Cassandra...
Redis, Protobuf, Redshift, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), RabbitMQ, MySQL, iOS, JavaScript...




Preferred Environment

Racket, Go, Lua, Elixir, Scala, Python, Ruby, Java

The most amazing...

...system I've developed could ingest, normalize, process, and annotate any type of text, image, video, or audio data, to detect emergencies in real-time.

Work Experience

Software Engineer, Project Lead, and Platform Architect

2015 - 2019
  • Helped lead migration away from a monolithic Ruby on Rails application to a service-oriented architecture using Kubernetes for orchestration and Kafka for a message bus.
  • Led efforts to ingest public social media into a system composed of a dozen services that processed up to 5,000 messages per second.
  • Helped design the next generation data ingestion system capable of ingesting and normalizing private signals from any partner, and enforcing authorization rules.
  • Helped design and implement a data API capable of providing filtered streams of events to thousands of customers with under 200 milliseconds of latency and 99.9% availability.
  • Led design and implementation of a rules engine to process complex rules about streams of events and send notifications to customers in real-time.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, Flink, RabbitMQ, Apache Kafka, Cassandra, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, Memcached, Redis, Python, Ruby, Java

Software Engineer

2014 - 2015
  • Developed ad conversion rate prediction systems using Java microservices that made thousands of predictions per second and updated models online.
  • Worked on a Ruby on Rails app that rendered ads with under 100 milliseconds of latency to end users and displayed dashboards to customers and internal users.
  • Added modules to an iOS SDK to support mediating third-party ads and tracking internal metrics.
Technologies: Redis, Protobuf, Redshift, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), RabbitMQ, MySQL, iOS, JavaScript, Ruby, Java

Banjo Live-time Platform

A real-time platform that consumes the world's signals, detects emergencies, and provides enriched context to decision-makers. I started as a junior software engineer on the platform team and grew into the roles of senior engineer, and project lead and platform architect. I worked with the platform team, other teams' leads, product managers, project managers, quality assurance, and executives to design, implement, and verify dozens of core systems that solved different business needs over the years.

Elixir Kafka Client

In late 2016, I was dissatisfied with the currently available clients for connecting to a Kafka cluster with the Elixir programming language, and I created my own from scratch. I used it as an opportunity to learn both the Kafka protocol and how to build a moderately complex, high-performance Elixir application. To my knowledge, it was the first Elixir Kafka client to use a GenStage design until the official client from the core Elixir team was developed in 2019. This makes it seamlessly compatible with the Flow and Broadway libraries for Elixir in a way other clients are not.
2010 - 2014

Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Computer Engineering

Dartmouth College - Hanover, New Hampshire, USA




RabbitMQ, Flink, NGINX


Java, Ruby, Python, Elixir, Racket, GraphQL, Scala, Lua, JavaScript, Haskell, Go


Apache Kafka, Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)


Functional Programming


Memcached, Redis, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Redshift




Prometheus, Geospatial Data, Stream Processing

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