Nick McCrea, Software Developer in Miami, FL, United States
Nick McCrea

Software Developer in Miami, FL, 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




Miami, FL, United States



Preferred Environment

Mac OS, Linux/Unix, Atom, Vim, Git, iTerm

The most amazing...

...thing I've built is an autonomous robot simulator which allows users to practice robotic control theory and application.


  • 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: Ruby on Rails 5, Bootstrap, PostgreSQL
  • Technical Editor

    2014 - 2016
    • 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)

    2013 - 2013
    Worry Free Labs
    • 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 insulation (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

    2010 - 2011
    Pathfinder Software
    • 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

    2010 - 2010
    TZ, Inc.
    • 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

  • Kinspire (Development)

    A job-matching platform for those making a new life in America.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Introduction to Machine Learning Theory and Its Applications: A Visual Tutorial with Examples (Publication)
    This Machine Learning tutorial introduces the basics of ML theory, laying down the common themes and concepts, making it easy to follow the logic and get comfortable with the topic.
  • Toptal Mentor
    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, JavaScript, Python, Java
  • Frameworks

    Ruby on Rails (RoR)
  • Tools

    Git, TextMate, Sublime Text 3, Atom, Vim Text Editor
  • Paradigms

    Agile Software Development, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Test-driven Development (TDD), Behavior-driven Development (BDD)
  • Platforms

    MacOS, Linux, Windows
  • Storage

  • Other

    Technical Writing, Robotics, Algorithms, Robotics Engineer, Software Development, Technical Writer, Machine Learning, Cryptography, Control Systems
  • Libraries/APIs

    PyGTK, jQuery


  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Machine Learning
    2013 - 2013
    Coursera - Online
  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Cryptography I
    2013 - 2013
    Coursera - Online
  • Online Certificate (Informal) degree in Control of Mobile Robots
    2013 - 2013
    Coursera - Online
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering
    2005 - 2010
    University of Florida - Gainesville, FL

To view more profiles

Join Toptal
Share it with others