Rafael Santillana, Developer in Morelia, Mexico
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Rafael Santillana

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Web Developer

Morelia, Mexico
Toptal Member Since
March 10, 2021

Rafael has about a decade of experience developing software, most of it working remotely. The projects have been diverse, from basic websites and mobile apps to large applications, interactive media, and art installations. These include clients from the US, Latin America, and Europe. In recent years, Rafael has focused most of his work on developing mobile apps in React Native.


JavaScript, React Native, Android, Redux, Redux-Saga, React Navigation...
React Native, JavaScript, React, Shopify API, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Beacons...
Freelance Jobs
React, Electron, JavaScript, Unity3D, Adobe Animate, Software Engineering...




Preferred Environment

Visual Studio Code (VS Code), MacOS, Slack

The most amazing...

...thing I've created is a high school social mobile app that has real-time status for all schoolmates and a fully functional cross-platform chat.

Work Experience

Senior Software Developer

2019 - PRESENT
  • Developed a React Native app for Android with real-time features, including a fully functional chat, with a high optimization level and minor error rates.
  • Built two native Android modules for React Native.
  • Served as a technical interviewer for candidates in React and React Native positions.
Technologies: JavaScript, React Native, Android, Redux, Redux-Saga, React Navigation, React Redux, REST APIs, Front-end, Mobile Development, Early-stage Startups, Vue, React, Koa, GraphQL, Express.js, REST, JSON, JSON REST APIs, Axios, HTML5, TypeScript, Git, App Development, Pusher, Cypress, CSS, Tailwind CSS

Full-stack Developer

2021 - 2023
  • Developed their mobile app in React Native, which included data visualization, BLE and LoRaWAN connectivity, and native modules.
  • Maintained and added features to their Shopify app, integrating Shopify services with shipping services and the company's own back end.
  • Maintained and added features to their web app's front end (React) and back end (Express.js/MongoDB), including data visualization, connection to Shopify, shipping services, and LoRaWAN devices.
Technologies: React Native, JavaScript, React, Shopify API, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Beacons, Express.js, MongoDB, Full-stack, App Development, Front-end, Mobile Development, Koa, JSON REST APIs, Google Maps API, React Navigation, CSS, Git, Node.js, Web Development

IT Consultant and Developer

2014 - 2020
Freelance Jobs
  • Developed multiple interactive installations for museums, including video and image galleries, mini-games, and simulations for large touch screens, using React Electron, Adobe Animate, and Unity3D.
  • Developed an AR-based interactive children book in Unity3D which included writing plugins in native code.
  • Developed several other mobile apps in React Native and native Android and iOS, which have included tools such as Firebase and Expo, as well API integrations such as Google Maps and Trello.
  • Developed many websites from small to large scale, working with many different tools such as React (CRA), Express, Laravel, WordPress, Firebase, Google Maps API, AWS among others.
  • Oversaw client relations, including collecting requirements, budgeting, assembling teams, and designing software and databases.
Technologies: React, Electron, JavaScript, Unity3D, Adobe Animate, Software Engineering, jQuery, PHP, React Native, React Navigation, Expo, Expo.io, Google Maps API, Trello API, Firebase, Laravel, React Redux, REST APIs, Front-end, Node.js, Web Development, Mobile Development, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), HTML, HTML5, CSS, Unity, SQL, Axios, JSON REST APIs, JSON, REST, App Development, MySQL, Git

Senior Web Developer

2018 - 2019
  • Maintained and developed an Angular web app for data analysis using Firebase and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Provided technical support to the data analyst that used the data analysis web app.
  • Developed and maintained an Angular web app that monitors solar panel systems.
Technologies: Angular, Firebase, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Cypress, Front-end, HTML, CSS, TypeScript, Axios, Git, JSON REST APIs

React Native Developer

2017 - 2018
Practio Aps
  • Developed their multi-platform mobile app that helps track and schedule birth control pills.
  • Successfully migrated their existing Swift app into React Native.
  • Integrated internationalization and multi-time-zone support into the app.
Technologies: React Native, React, Redux, Realm, React Redux, Front-end, Mobile Development, Cross-platform, Early-stage Startups, Git, App Development, JSON REST APIs

Mobile Developer

2015 - 2017
  • Developed, improved, and maintained the Android mobile app written in Java with the native SDK.
  • Integrated geolocation features such as activity tracking, location history, and geofencing.
  • Successfully migrated the Android app into iOS using Swift 3.
Technologies: Android, Android SDK, Java, iOS, Swift, Git, App Development, Mobile Development

University Professor

2008 - 2017
  • Taught in the fields of computer science and digital arts, including courses such as programming, web and mobile development, video games, electronic arts, among others.
  • Contributed to the development of many interactive art installations, educational tools, and apps with the collaboration of multidisciplinary students and fellow professors, using technologies such as IoT tools, VR, and AR.
  • Won, on two occasions, an award for outstanding teaching based on surveys conducted by students.
Technologies: University Teaching, Web Development, 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Video Games, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Arduino, Processing, Digital Electronics, Three.js, Raspberry Pi, Unity3D, 3D, Unity

Saturn Time Together

A mobile app for high school schedule management. The app includes social features such as a messaging service and real-time schedule sharing. I developed almost the entire Android version of the app written in React Native.

Pyramids, Sacred Mountains

An interactive installation for a temporary exhibition in a museum in Yucatán, Mexico. The installation contains image and video galleries and virtual books, presented using a large touchscreen. I developed the app using Electron and React.

Alice Adventures

A tablet app written in C# that uses Unity3D and Vuforia. It has native plugins for Android and iOS that create animations based on pictures taken from children's drawings. Users can interact with the images and share a resulting video on social media.
2008 - 2009

Master's Degree in Computer Science

UPC - Guadalajara, Mexico

2002 - 2007

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering

ITESM - Toluca, Mexico


React, React Redux, REST APIs, Vue, jQuery, Redux-Saga, React Navigation, Google Maps API, OpenGL, Node.js, Three.js, Trello API, Pusher, Shopify API


Adobe Animate, Git, Expo, Expo.io, Firebase Authentication, Slack, Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)


React Native, Redux, Unity3D, Laravel, CakePHP, Unity, Tailwind CSS, Express.js, Jest, Angular, Electron, Ionic, Android SDK, Cypress, Koa


JavaScript, SQL, HTML, HTML5, PHP, CSS, Processing, GraphQL, Java, Swift, C#, Objective-C, Python, TypeScript


REST, App Development, Mobile Development, Cross-platform, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)


MySQL, JSON, MongoDB, Databases, Realm, Cloud Firestore, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)


MacOS, Vuforia, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Android, Arduino, Firebase, iOS, Raspberry Pi, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)


Web Development, JSON REST APIs, Front-end, Push Notifications, Axios, Software Engineering, Programming Languages, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Usability, 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, Video Games, Computer Graphics, University Teaching, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Digital Electronics, Firebase Cloud Functions, Firebase Hosting, Full-stack, Early-stage Startups, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), 3D, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Beacons

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