Nick McCrea, Developer in Denver, CO, United States
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Nick McCrea

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Denver, CO, United States
Toptal Member Since
July 8, 2014

Nick is a seasoned software engineer experienced in both front-end and back-end web development. His work has encompassed real estate and geodata modeling and mapping, robotic simulations, and home solar power modeling. Nick is proficient in TypeScript, React, Node.js, and cloud computing architectures. He enjoys working on cutting-edge projects where teamwork and effective communication are key.


GIS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, React, Redux, TypeScript, Node.js
GIS, Mapbox, Firebase, Redux, React, TypeScript, Node.js
React, TypeScript, JavaScript, Node.js, Mapbox, SaaS




Preferred Environment

GitHub, Git, Terminal, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), MacOS

The most amazing...

...thing I've built is a real-time, in-browser, 3D real estate development modeling tool that allows users to model financials, zoning, and massing on any parcel.

Work Experience

Engineering Consultant

2020 - 2021
  • Delivered several critical GIS and mapping capabilities to the Deepblocks platform.
  • Trained junior developers in the latest React and Redux development.
  • Provided guidance and expertise on cloud infrastructure strategy.
Technologies: GIS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, React, Redux, TypeScript, Node.js

Lead Engineer

2018 - 2019
  • Owned the design and architecture of the entire software stack (React, Redux, TypeScript, Node.js).
  • Managed daily engineering operations, including project planning, software design, code review and approval, integration and acceptance testing, deployments, training, and mentorship.
  • Collaborated with the engineering team to quickly break down complicated problems, explore the available solutions, and develop action plans.
  • Communicated technical risk to the CEO in order to reach a consensus on engineering strategy decisions.
  • Wrote and maintained comprehensive engineering guidelines and technical documentation.
  • Maintained a lean engineering operation with low-cost tools and services.
Technologies: GIS, Mapbox, Firebase, Redux, React, TypeScript, Node.js

Chief Technical Officer (CTO)

2017 - 2018
  • Took over responsibility for all engineering from outgoing technical leadership.
  • Built an MVP that garnered a 50% boost in seed funding from investors.
  • Led screening, interviewing, and hiring decisions to build a small, elite engineering team.
  • Established a culture of high technical standards and security-first thinking throughout the company.
  • Sought and identified a qualified successor for the executive role to focus on operations and coding.
Technologies: React, TypeScript, JavaScript, Node.js, Mapbox, SaaS

Lead Engineer

2016 - 2017
  • Partnered on a startup, leading engineering for a platform serving immigrants to the US.
  • Delivered a job-matching platform that matched users across six dimensions.
  • Built and managed the promotional website.
Technologies: PostgreSQL, Bootstrap, Ruby on Rails 5

Technical Editor

2014 - 2016
  • Authored popular articles about fundamentals of machine learning and mobile robotics control theory.
  • Took over all content responsibilities from the outgoing editor, including author sourcing, topic brainstorming and curation, draft reviews and guidance, copy editing, technical illustration direction, SEO configuration, and publication.
  • Published dozens of lucid, technically precise, and evergreen articles on a wide range of topics, including fluid dynamics simulation, Linux namespace isolation, video game physics, and advanced programming design patterns.
  • Identified talented authors to join the editing team.
  • Increased publication output by four times and website traffic by ten times.
Technologies: Google Docs, Skype

Software Engineer

2011 - 2013
  • Built and shipped a home solar power modeling and optimization tool using Ruby on Rails.
  • Corresponded with Argonne National Laboratory scientists to develop a high-fidelity solar insolation model.
  • Contributed to business and technical strategy decisions.
  • Followed strict test-driven development techniques using RSpec and Cucumber to build a comprehensive test suite.
  • Participated in complex design and architecture decisions daily.
Technologies: Agile Software Development, Test-driven Development (TDD), RSpec, MongoDB, jQuery, JavaScript, Haml, SCSS, CSS, HTML, Ruby on Rails (RoR)

Software Development Intern

2010 - 2011
Pathfinder Software
  • Implemented finished design mockups in HTML/CSS, including slicing and coding.
  • Learned the ins and outs of Ruby on Rails.
  • Practiced state-of-the-art lean web development, including small teams, development sprints, test-driven development, and other agile development methods.
Technologies: Agile Software Development, Test-driven Development (TDD), Haml, CSS, HTML, RSpec, Ruby on Rails (RoR)

Software Tester

2010 - 2010
TZ, Inc.
  • Implemented scientific testing of control software for remotely-controlled storage locks.
  • Encountered some common challenges of embedded systems, such as correctly sensing and controlling the physical state of large banks of electromechanical locks via software.
Technologies: Networks, Embedded Systems

Sobot Rimulator
Sobot Rimulator is robot simulator and programming tool, built for practicing mobile robot control theory. It is an open-source project built in Python.

Georgia Institute of Technology provided a link to Sobot Rimulator as an option to students of the January 2014 iteration of their Coursera course "Control of Mobile Robots."

Recursor is a tree fractal creator.

This is a small project that I did with React, Redux, and TypeScript to help me practice the latest best practices in these technologies. I found the entire experience very enjoyable and fun.


Rooftop solar system engineering is a complex task which requires the combination of panels, inverters, and other components with the right properties and in the right configuration to produce the most power for your buck. Traditional solar engineers may take several days or weeks to come up with the correct inventory of components.

SolarBear was a free online tool which allowed users to generate these optimal configurations within seconds simply by providing their budget, power requirements, and other factors.

Autonomous Navigation Control for Mobile Robots

The script delineates the operational conduct of a mobile robot navigating close to an obstacle's surface. By leveraging positional data from wheel odometry and proximity sensor readings, the algorithm calculates the relative location of the obstacle's surface to the robot. Subsequently, it generates control parameters that facilitate the robot's movement along the obstacle's surface, maintaining a predetermined "standoff" distance.

This script represents one of the numerous potential behaviors the robot can adopt. For instance, without obstacles in the robot's trajectory, an alternative controller would guide it directly toward its ultimate destination. A state machine that continuously scrutinizes sensor readings manages the transition between different behaviors, exemplifying the "hybrid automata" approach to mobile robot control design.
2005 - 2010

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering, Hardware Concentration

University of Florida - Gainesville, FL


Machine Learning



Cryptography I



Control of Mobile Robots



React, REST APIs, Node.js, Redux-Saga, jQuery, Scikit-learn, Pandas


Atom, Git, GIS, GitHub, Vim Text Editor, Webpack, RSpec, Skype, Google Docs, Terminal


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Redux, Ruby on Rails 5, Bootstrap


JavaScript, Ruby, TypeScript, HTML5, CSS3, SCSS, SQL, Python 3, Bash, C++, C, Python, HTML, CSS, Haml, Java, GraphQL


Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Functional Programming, Scrum, CRUD, Agile, Web Architecture, Agile Software Development, Data Science


MacOS, Firebase, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Mapbox, Linux, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Windows, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker


NoSQL, Relational Databases, MongoDB, PostgreSQL

Industry Expertise

Project Management


Writing & Editing, Algorithms, Software Development, BaaS, SaaS, Documentation, Real Estate, Communication, Software Architecture, Geodatabases, Squarespace, Analytics, Cloud Architecture, Online Payments, Serverless, Security, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Regression Modeling, Optimization, Google Tag Manager, Classification, Embedded Systems, Networks, Machine Learning, Cryptography, Control Systems, Robotics, Neural Networks, Differential Equations, Statistics, Data Analysis, Styled-components, Embedded Software

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