Phil Schanely, Developer in New York, NY, United States
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Phil Schanely

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Full-stack Developer

New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 10, 2022

Phil is a full-stack engineer and architect with 20 years of experience taking novel systems from design to launch, whether they are performing natural language analysis for a startup or processing trillions of data updates for Google Maps. Building a successful system is not a purely technical endeavor; Phil's track record is critically supported by his consensus-building skills and thorough comprehension of business objectives.


Python, REST, PostgreSQL, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT)...
Management, Maps, GIS, Software Architecture, C++, Java, Shell, Fuzz Testing...
Samsung NEXT
Python, Data Science, Machine Learning, SQL, Database Design, Flask, JavaScript...




Preferred Environment

MacOS, Linux, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Emacs, PyCharm

The most amazing...

...system I've developed is called CrossHair, which helps developers confirm or deny Python program properties by modeling Python semantics in the Z3 SMT solver.

Work Experience

Freelance Full-stack Developer

2021 - 2022
  • Developed end-to-end solutions as a full-stack developer for the Protagonist collaboration platform, including chat, forums, profiles, and a web publishing system.
  • Created a content recommendation system using deep neural network sentence embeddings.
  • Led the requirements gathering discussions in the early stages and much of the technology selection and design work.
Technologies: Python, REST, PostgreSQL, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Natural Language Processing (NLP), React, CSS, HTML, SQL, Database Design, TypeScript, Back-end, TensorFlow, APIs, CI/CD Pipelines, Auth0, Front-end, Docker, Terraform, Full-stack, Software Design, API Integration, REST APIs, Search Engines, Amazon Web Services (AWS), DevOps

Tech Lead | Tech Lead Manager

2016 - 2021
  • Redesigned and led the implementation of a data consistency enforcement system in Google Maps as the tech lead of the geo schema team. As a result, complex new data quality rules have been written and applied to billions of proposed map data changes.
  • Championed new projects as the tech lead manager of the geographic changes team to facilitate continuous data refreshing and drove consensus across the Google teams. Executing this vision required managing and expanding the team.
  • Owned and maintained the systems that understand address-related data and can put the structured data into a localized presentation format in Google Maps products and APIs. Prioritized requests and developed a long-term plan to evolve these systems.
Technologies: Management, Maps, GIS, Software Architecture, C++, Java, Shell, Fuzz Testing, SQL, Database Design, JavaScript, Go, Back-end, APIs, CI/CD Pipelines, Front-end, Architecture, Integration, Software Design, API Integration, Migration, Technical Leadership, Scalability, Data Engineering, DevOps

Data Scientist | Engineer

2014 - 2016
Samsung NEXT
  • Developed computer vision systems, including face detection and recognition. Implemented and trained convolutional neural networks to detect photos of pets, people, and sunsets.
  • Implemented a scalable photo analysis pipeline, back-end API, and photo storage system using Python and AWS.
  • Created classifiers to assign and identify user archetypes resulting from staff work-life quizzes. Analyzed quiz results to make inferences about company health.
Technologies: Python, Data Science, Machine Learning, SQL, Database Design, Flask, JavaScript, Back-end, APIs, CI/CD Pipelines, REST, Front-end, Docker, Full-stack, Software Design, API Integration, Node.js, REST APIs, Elasticsearch, Search Engines, Amazon Web Services (AWS), DevOps

Freelance Enterprise Architect

2012 - 2013
TRAC Intermodal
  • Designed TRAC's next-generation software stack for a team of 25 developers, which included language, framework, and library selections.
  • Redesigned the company's entire software development lifecycle, introducing automated unit and integration testing, configuration management, and deployment automation.
  • Assisted with hardware and software vendor analysis and selection.
Technologies: C#, Testing, Deployment, ASP.NET Web API, Software Architecture, Back-end, APIs, CI/CD Pipelines, REST, .NET, Architecture, Legacy Software, Integration, Legacy Code, API Integration, ETL, Technical Leadership, REST APIs


2004 - 2012
  • Developed a custom, distributed data storage system based on Apache Lucene to power Daylife's API, which supports filtering multiple arbitrary fields and sorting their weighted combinations over 100,000,000 news articles.
  • Implemented natural language processing algorithms for analyzing news articles through term vector clustering, classification, and named entity resolution.
  • Designed Daylife's microservices architecture and framework, segmenting Daylife systems into 50 independently deployable and testable subsystems.
Technologies: Python, Microservices, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, NGINX, Memcached, Apache Lucene, Software Architecture, PHP, SQL, Database Design, Back-end, APIs, CI/CD Pipelines, REST, NoSQL, Architecture, Full-stack, Integration, Software Design, API Integration, ETL, SQLAlchemy, REST APIs, HTML, Scalability, Data Engineering, Search Engines, Search Engine Development, DevOps

Senior Associate | Consultant | Senior Consultant

2001 - 2004
Princeton Consultants
  • Implemented various projects for CSX train dispatch, including software to simulate field equipment such as signals and switches.
  • Developed a technical disaster recovery plan and a strategic ten-year roadmap.
  • Maintained systems to manage a non-qualified deferred compensation plan for The Hartford.
  • Created printing press optimization prototypes for R. R. Donnelley.
  • Enhanced and customized intermodal logistics software for CSX and Crowley Maritime.
Technologies: C++, VB, Oracle, Java, SQL, Database Design, JavaScript, Back-end, APIs, Legacy Software, Integration, Software Design, Legacy Code, API Integration, ETL, Migration, HTML, Data Engineering

I created CrossHair to help people confirm or deny Python program invariants. CrossHair models the Python semantics in a formal language that SMT-based theorem provers can analyze. It is noteworthy that CrossHair's announcement reached the number one slot on Hacker News.

Music Tonight
Partnering with Songkick and Spotify, Music Tonight makes playlists of artists playing near you tonight or up to two weeks in the future. I designed and built the entire system: an AngularJS front end, a Node.js back end, and a MySQL database.

EmojiTactics is a simple turn-based strategy game. It also has a curious property: every graphical element in the game is an emoji. I built EmojiTactics fully on my own using regular old JavaScript.
You can read about the adventure at

ScoreDB is a database designed to order results by custom scoring functions written in Go. Phil designed the system and wrote most of the code. Scoredb uses a format on disk that is very similar to that used by text search systems like Solr and Elasticsearch but outperforms these systems when using dynamically supplied scoring functions.
1996 - 2000

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Engineering

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


REST APIs, Apache Lucene, Node.js, SQLAlchemy, React, Vue, TensorFlow, FFmpeg


GIS, Emacs, RabbitMQ, NGINX, Shell, PyCharm, Auth0, Terraform


Python, HTML, Java, SQL, JavaScript, CSS, C++, VB, C#, PHP, TypeScript, Go


Flask, ASP.NET Web API, AngularJS, .NET, Angular


REST, Management, Fuzz Testing, Database Design, DevOps, Data Science, Microservices, Testing, ETL


MacOS, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Linux, Oracle, Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS)


PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, Memcached, MySQL, NoSQL


Software Architecture, Back-end, APIs, Architecture, Full-stack, Software Design, API Integration, Scalability, Search Engines, Search Engine Development, Formal Methods, Natural Language Processing (NLP), CI/CD Pipelines, Front-end, Legacy Software, Integration, Legacy Code, Migration, Technical Leadership, Data Engineering, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Computer Science, Contract Testing, Maps, Machine Learning, Deployment, Progressive Web Applications (PWA), Cordova

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