Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus, Software Developer in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus

Software Developer in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

Member since October 19, 2015
Peter received a B.S. in Computer Science, with distinction, from WPI in 2005. Immediately after, he took a decade to broaden himself professionally. He's spent that time as an English teacher in Japan and a Blackhawk pilot for the US Army, and has recently left the Army. He writes computer games in his free time.
Peter is now available for hire




Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany



Preferred Environment

Cygwin, Git, Linux, Windows

The most amazing...

...thing I've written in the last year was an exotic-architecture processor emulator, in Rust.


  • Freelance Back-end Developer

    2016 - 2017
    Cardamom (via Toptal)
    • Implemented the back-end for a social network using Django and Django REST Framework. This involved duplicating all features of the client's 37 KLOC PHP project, as well as adding new features, in 17 KLOC of Python.
    • Integrated Google+ and Facebook authentication for this social network.
    • Managed all staging and production environments on AWS, including ElasticBeanstalk hosting, RDS DB hosting, SQS communications queues, and SES email services for communication with users.
    • Analyzed the client's prototype database and usage needs. Designed new, more rational DB schema. Built an ETL tool which could move and rationalize all data from the old DB to the new.
    • Wrote comprehensive unit and integration tests.
    • Prototyped a serverless Lambda implementation of the back-end.
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS, petl, SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL, Django REST Framework, Django, Python
  • Freelance Back-end Developer

    2016 - 2016
    Bauxy (now Patch; via Toptal)
    • Implemented a core API used by the flagship app using Python, Django, and the Django REST Framework. This app eased out-of-network medical insurance claims, and the back-end I wrote did all the work.
    • Implemented several hundred unit and integration tests, testing both new and existing functionality.
    • Ported the company's existing web app Flask to Django. This app handled third-party site scraping using customer-provided authentication.
    • Prototyped continuous integration for the company.
    • Testimonial:
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), HIPAA Compliance, Aptible, AWS, REST APIs, Integration Testing, Unit Testing, Test-driven Development (TDD), Git, Python, Django REST Framework, Django
  • Blackhawk Pilot

    2007 - 2015
    US Army
    • Logged approximately 650 hours of accident/incident-free flight.
    • Spent 4 years in MEDEVAC.
    • Deployed on 1 tour in Afghanistan.
    • Based in Alabama, Korea, Germany, and Texas.
    • Never fired a weapon in anger.


  • How to Integrate OAuth 2 Into Your Django/DRF Back-end Without Going Insane (Publication)
    So you've implemented user authentication. Now, you want to allow your users to log in with Twitter, Facebook, or Google. No problem. You're only a few lines of code away from doing so. But while there are hundreds of OAuth 2 packages that pip knows, only a few actually do what they’re supposed to do. In this article, Toptal Software Engineer Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus explains how to integrate OAuth 2 into your Django or Django Rest Framework using Python Social Auth.
  • Eliminating the Garbage Collector: The RAII Way (Publication)
    Manual memory management is a nightmare that programmers have been inventing ways to avoid since the invention of the compiler. Programming languages with garbage collectors make life easier, but at the cost of performance. In this article, Toptal engineer Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus gives us a peek into the history of garbage collectors and explains how notions of ownership and borrowing can help eliminate garbage collectors without compromising their safety guarantees.


  • Languages

    Python, Rust, C#, PHP, SQL, Java, CSS, Haskell, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), HTML
  • Frameworks

    Django REST Framework, Django, Unity3D
  • Libraries/APIs

    Django ORM, SQLAlchemy, REST APIs
  • Tools

    GitHub, Git, Microsoft Excel, Cygwin, Microsoft Access, LaTeX
  • Paradigms

    Object-relational Mapping (ORM), Agile Software Development, Test-driven Development (TDD), Unit Testing, HIPAA Compliance, Functional Programming
  • Platforms

    Aptible, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows, Linux
  • Storage

    PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite
  • Other

    Integration Testing, AWS, petl


  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
    2001 - 2005
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, Massachusetts

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