Nick McCrea

Nick McCrea

Miami, United States
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Nick McCrea

Nick McCrea

Miami, United States
Member since February 5, 2014
Nicholas is a professional software engineer with a passion for quality craftsmanship. He loves architecting and writing top-notch code, and is proud of his ability to synthesize and communicate ideas effectively to technical and non-technical folks alike. Nicholas always enjoys a novel challenge.
Nick is now available for hire
  • SQL, 4 years
  • Ruby on Rails, 3 years
  • Git, 3 years
  • JavaScript, 3 years
  • Python, 1 year
  • Java, 5 years
  • Machine Learning, 1 year
  • Control Systems, 1 year
Miami, United States
Preferred Environment
Mac OS, Linux/Unix, TextMate, Vim, Git, Terminal
The most amazing...
...thing I've built is an autonomous robot simulator which allows users to practice robotic control theory and application.
  • Technical Editor
    2014 - PRESENT
    • Contributed to the technical editing team responsible for the Toptal Engineering Blog and other Toptal materials.
    • Engaged the Toptal developer network to write and publish interesting, useful, and informative articles. This work includes brainstorming topics, providing reviews, feedback, and guidance of drafts, copy editing and formatting, preparing custom illustrations, and finalizing and launching finished articles.
    Technologies: Skype, Google Docs
  • Software Engineer (Remote)
    Worry Free Labs
    2013 - 2013
    • Contracted to help get a client's project to launch by the deadline.
    • Solved problems integrating conditional behaviors based on the different possible user roles.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails
  • Software Engineer
    2011 - 2013
    • Worked with a small team to build and launch SolarBear - a solar power configuration and purchasing tool - from the ground up.
    • Performed vital development at every level of the software stack, from database schema design to JavaScript ajax loading and HTML/CSS page layout.
    • Developed algorithms for efficient, on-the-fly generation of optimal solar component combinations.
    • Consulted with Argonne National Labs scientists to write code for modeling annual insolation (cumulative incident sunlight) on a solar panel at different orientations and global coordinates.
    • Compiled several meteorological data sets into a unified program knowledge base.
    • Followed strict test-driven development techniques using RSpec and Cucumber to build a comprehensive test suite.
    • Participated in complex design and architecture decisions on a daily basis.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS/SCSS, Haml, JavaScript, jQuery, MongoDB, RSpec, TDD, Agile Development
  • Software Development Intern
    Pathfinder Software
    2010 - 2011
    • Transferred full design comps to HTML/CSS, including slicing and coding.
    • Learned the ins and outs of Ruby on Rails.
    • Became familiar with today's state-of-the-art tools and techniques for lean web development, including small teams, development sprints, test-driven development, and other agile development methods.
    Technologies: Ruby on Rails, RSpec, HTML, CSS, Haml, TDD, Agile Development
  • Software Tester
    TZ Inc.
    2010 - 2010
    • Provided scientific testing of control software for remotely-controlled locks.
    • Encountered some common challenges of embedded systems, such as correctly sensing and controlling via software the physical state of large banks of electromechanical locks.
    Technologies: Embedded Systems, Networks
  • Sobot Rimulator (Development)

    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".

    With this project, I gained my first hands-on experience in the following technical areas:
    • Mobile Robot Control Theory
    • Physical Simulations
    • Python
    • Cross-Platform Compatibility
    • GUI Design

  • SolarBear (Development)

    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.

    I learned a great deal while working on this project. It was ahead of its time, and I would love to work on something like this again.

  • Learn to Code: Wisdom and Tools for the Journey (Publication)
    It's no surprise that more and more people, from all kinds of backgrounds, are deciding to learn to code. But, each person who tackles the task is soon faced with an unpleasant reality: Learning to program is hard. Contrary to expectations, the feeling of "I don't get it," may persist unabated long into the journey, making once bright-eyed beginners feel hopeless, lost, and ready to give up. The moral of the story is this: Be prepared. The path to programmer paradise is a long one, and without the right mindset at the beginning, it can quickly lose its appeal. In this article, I'll attempt to give you some guidance on what to expect on your journey, how best to go about it, and what tools and resources you may find helpful along the way.
  • A Digital Nomad Adventure: Traveling with Hacker Paradise (Publication)
    The nomadic lifestyle is not a vacation. There remains an impermeable barrier between the work world within the computer, and the real world outside of it. Yet there is so much intellectual stimulation and inspiration to be found on the road, it's a genuine shame that we can’t build on it in the work we do, and with those we find around us. Making that dream a reality is the goal of Casey Rosengren and Alexey Komissarouk, founders of Hacker Paradise.
  • An Introductory Robot Programming Tutorial (Publication)
    Let's face it, robots are cool. In this post, Toptal Engineer Nick McCrea provides a step-by-step, easy-to-follow tutorial (with code samples) that walks you through the process of building a basic autonomous mobile robot.
  • An Introduction to Machine Learning Theory and Its Applications: A Visual Tutorial with Examples (Publication)
    This article introduces the basics of Machine Learning theory, laying down the common themes and concepts, making it easy to follow the logic and get comfortable with the topic.
  • Nick is a mentor in the Toptal Global Mentor’s Program. This program is a partnership between Toptal and General Assembly to provide high quality mentorship for students from minority and low income backgrounds who are looking to begin their careers as professional software engineers. Nick shows commitment to diversity in tech by mentoring a General Assembly student every week for a year, covering everything from coding tips and tricks to advice on making it in the industry.
  • Languages
    Ruby, SQL, Python, JavaScript, Java
  • Frameworks
    Ruby on Rails
  • Tools
    Git, TextMate, Vim
  • Paradigms
    Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Test-driven Development (TDD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Agile Software Development
  • Platforms
    Mac OS X, Linux, Windows
  • Storage
  • Libraries/APIs
    PyGTK, jQuery
  • Misc
    Cryptography, Machine Learning, Control Systems
  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Machine Learning
    Coursera - Online
    2013 - 2013
  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Cryptography I
    Coursera - Online
    2013 - 2013
  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Control of Mobile Robots
    Coursera - Online
    2013 - 2013
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering
    University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
    2005 - 2010
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