Nicholas Finelli, Developer in New York, NY, United States
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Nicholas Finelli

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 23, 2021

Nicholas is a senior software engineer with professional experience in back-end design, implementation, and systems maintenance to support millions of users. At Amazon, he designed and safely-automated the partitioning of seller data to reduce system hot-spotting for sellers with millions of listings. Nicholas is a strong technical leader with a history of collaborating with leadership to decompose complex business requirements into technical designs and manageable tasks.


Go, Redis, Cassandra
Java, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, Memcached, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Scala...
Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Elasticsearch, Oracle SQL, Node.js




Preferred Environment

MacOS, Slack, IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, Postman

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on is the petabyte scale Elasticsearch cluster at Amazon.

Work Experience

Senior Software Engineer

2021 - PRESENT
  • Collaborated with the Uber Direct team to bring any product to customers via same-day delivery.
  • Migrated acquired Postmates API into the existing Uber delivery stack to bring feature parity to both sets of users and reduce development time for new features.
  • Performed as a member of on-call rotation to provide high availability for customers and to handle service issues.
Technologies: Go, Redis, Cassandra

Senior Software Development Engineer

2018 - 2021
  • Served as a member of the search team, improving discovery and relevance of search results for millions of users by architecting scalable microservices and features while maintaining p99.9 SLOs for availability and latency.
  • Acted as technical lead for a new content discovery service, which provides a curated and personalized topics interface instead of traditional filtering and sorting to increase the conversion rate of searches.
  • Drove collaboration across multiple teams, including product for feature refinement, front-end to develop sustainable API contracts, back-end to incorporate internal teams' microservice functionality, and data science for machine learning models.
  • Led the implementation of a data science model serving infrastructure for TensorFlow and Annoy (K-nearest neighbors)-based models, which classify search keywords, expand search terms, and rank results.
  • Oversaw the scaling of multiple services based on 3x volume projections, direct testing to identify limitations, implement solutions, and provide scaling cost estimates.
  • Designed and implemented search product features leading to millions of dollars in diner lifetime value (LTV), along with query optimizations that reduced latencies by 40%.
  • Mentored junior and new team members through deep dives into the technology stack, providing guidance on task implementation and offering constructive feedback in code reviews.
Technologies: Java, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, Memcached, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Scala, Spark, EMR, Python, TensorFlow

Software Development Engineer II

2015 - 2018
  • Assisted within Amazon Marketplace to improve the experience for millions of third-party sellers by reducing latency, implementing new features, and maintaining system health for seller user interfaces and reports.
  • Directed design and implementation of the data access layer for our petabyte-scale datastore (Elasticsearch), servicing 2,000 reads/second, 100,000 writes/second, and p99 read latencies of two seconds.
  • Collaborated across teams to define the data access layer interface, including error handling to ensure no loss of data and persistent connection mechanism for maximum availability.
  • Developed tooling and monitoring software to provide continuous availability of a seller inventory back-end service, which is used both externally and internally by hundreds of teams.
  • Designed and safely-automated the partitioning of seller data to reduce system hot-spotting for sellers with millions of listings, while keeping their data intact.
Technologies: Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Elasticsearch, Oracle SQL, Node.js

Personal Project - Automated Investment Portfolio Balancer

An automated investment program that would purchase investments based on predefined percentage allocations to each investment, ensuring the desired portfolio balance is maintained. Runs periodically to check for new, investable capital and sends automated emails and text messages (via Twilio) about its activity.
2010 - 2015

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering

Northeastern University - Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Node.js, TensorFlow


IntelliJ IDEA, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Slack, PyCharm, Postman, Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR)


Java, Scala, Python, Go


Elasticsearch, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Cassandra, Memcached, Oracle SQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Redis


MacOS, Amazon EC2, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Twilio


Spark, Flask


Coding, Cluster Computing, Software Design, EMR

Collaboration That Works

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