Richard Forsythe, Software Developer in Lake Forest, CA, United States
Richard Forsythe

Software Developer in Lake Forest, CA, United States

Member since November 11, 2015
Richard’s success in managing large mobile development projects stems from in-depth experience in a multitude of roles covering development, product ownership, and QA engineering. This client-centered experience, combined with a successful track record in managing global teams of remote talent, helps maximize project outcomes.
Richard is now available for hire




Lake Forest, CA, United States



Preferred Environment

Linux, MacOS, GitHub, PhpStorm, Komodo Edit, Xcode

The most amazing...

...program I've written is a game for the ZX Spectrum, written entirely in assembly language.


  • Project Manager

    2017 - 2019
    Insurance Broker (via Toptal)
    • Guided the Toptal client from initial concept to a web-based application handling their mission-critical functions from customer enrollment through to invoicing.
    • Opened the project with in-depth discussions on requirements, created a detailed backlog, and presented project proposal for time, budget, and scope.
    • Coordinated closely with each team member to build the envisioned product according to specifications and within tight delivery deadlines.
    • Worked with the client to ensure that the highly complex set of business requirements was implemented in an optimal fashion and within expectations.
    • Collaborated with third parties, including ADP Payroll, to implement data integration functions as needed for the system.
    • Selected and onboarded Toptal team members, including a designer, developers, and QA.
    Technologies: ADP, Heroku, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby
  • Freelance iOS Developer

    2015 - 2019
    Superlative Home Shopper
    • Took responsibility for existing code base for an app targeted at home buyers.
    • Implemented improved search functionality within the app.
    • Upgraded the app to iOS 9 compatibility.
    • Upgraded Core Location functionality to iOS 8 compliance.
    Technologies: Objective-C
  • Project Manager + iOS Team Lead

    2016 - 2018
    Duodecad (via Toptal)
    • Managed a rapidly expanding team of worldwide iOS developers.
    • Converted Parse-based iOS code to a custom back end.
    • Implemented significant new video editing functionality.
    • Converted an app to HTTP Live Streaming.
    • Enhanced layer-based video messaging functionality.
    Technologies: HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), AVFoundation, Core Animation, Objective-C
  • Lead Back-end & iOS Developer

    2016 - 2016
    Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturer
    • Led ground-up development effort of an iOS app and back-end services that communicate with a hardware device via Bluetooth.
    • Worked with hardware engineers to ensure maximum data throughput between device and iPhone.
    • Built the interface to a Bluetooth device via Apple's ExternalAccessory Framework.
    • Designed app wireframes for review and approval by business owners.
    • Implemented a Laravel-based API, including documentation and automated tests.
    Technologies: External Accessory, Bluetooth, Laravel, PHP, Swift
  • Project Manager

    2016 - 2016
    Brightfox (via Toptal)
    • Led the team in a fast-start initiative to scope and estimate an educational iPad concept.
    • Worked closely with the client to create a detailed set of user stories.
    • Completed the project successfully, on time, and comfortably within budget.
    • Delivered wireframes, product backlog, and related technology advice during concept development.
    Technologies: Agile, iOS
  • Project Manager

    2016 - 2016
    The Ansel Adams Gallery (via Toptal)
    • Led the team in a fast-start initiative to scope and estimate a mobile app concept.
    • Worked closely with the client to create a detailed set of user stories.
    • Completed the project successfully, on time, and comfortably within budget.
    • Delivered wireframes, product backlog, and graphic design.
    Technologies: Agile, Mapping, Linux, PHP, iOS
  • SDET for iOS App

    2016 - 2016
    Minds + Assembly (via Toptal)
    • Led daily and weekly planning meetings throughout the project.
    • Handled the QA process from conception to App Store submission.
    • Tested mission-critical AWS SNS-based push notification functionality.
    • Managed the user acceptance testing process and resulting issue resolution.
    • Supervised App Store submission process for a successful on-time launch.
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Firebase, AWS Simple Notification Service (AWS SNS), Swift, Scrum, Agile
  • iOS & Back-end Developer

    2016 - 2016
    Glass Financial (via Toptal)
    • Migrated the app from Parse to a custom-built PHP/MySQL API.
    • Created the database and PHP-based API used by the iOS app.
    • Set up and maintained the AWS infrastructure required for the project.
    • Implemented in-app purchases for three recurring subscription options.
    • Integrated the app with Plaid API for financial transactions.
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Plaid, MySQL, PHP, Objective-C, Parse
  • iOS Developer & Product Manager

    2015 - 2016
    • Took responsibility for the pre-existing codebase.
    • Stabilized code in preparation for App Store submission.
    • Worked with the founder to prioritize and implement required features.
    • Optimized the design to facilitate sharing of audio files.
    Technologies: AVFoundation, GitHub, Objective-C
  • App & Web Developer, Server Admin

    2015 - 2016
    SESH Release (via Toptal)
    • Took responsibility for pre-existing code, fixing remaining issues.
    • Updated Objective-C to support ARC and iPhone 5 screen layout.
    • Reconfigured handling of image files to reduce bandwidth requirements.
    • Optimized AWS configuration for web and database server, and implemented SSL support.
    • Made critical enhancements to the mobile and web applications prior to App Store submission.
    Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), ImageMagick, HTML, jQuery, Ubuntu, MySQL, WordPress, Objective-C
  • Technical Product Manager

    2015 - 2016
    Insight Notes
    • Joined a small team as the first product manager, formalizing the role and coordinating product releases.
    • Functioned as lead QA engineer, working closely with the developers on enhancements and bug fixes.
    • Handled server setup and configuration for both live and dev environments.
    • Introduced a structured process for version management.
    Technologies: NGINX, RHEL, iPad, Encryption, Objective-C, iOS
  • CTO

    2013 - 2016
    • Managed a programming team from concept to beta delivery.
    • Took over QA responsibility to maximize app stability.
    • Directly oversaw significant enhancements to the app since 2014.
    • Implemented support for VoiceOver, Apple's accessibility function for the visually impaired.
    • Implemented full support for iOS 9 search functionality, NSUserActivity, and CoreSpotlight API, making the app compliant with AMSO standards.
    • Implemented deep links, universal links, and web markup to fully support iOS Applebot search functionality.
    • Implemented Apple push notification service for back end and front end.
    • Handled all work on PHP and MySQL back end, implementing REST API for the app.
    • Implemented SQL queries and procedures to support business reporting requirements.
    Technologies: CSS, Apache, CentOS, HTML, MySQL, PHP, Objective-C
  • App Developer

    2015 - 2015
    Crew Tools
    • Developed an app from the ground up, designed both for iPhone and iPad.
    • Wrote code to scrape the existing website, gathering complex data for presentation in the app.
    • Coordinated with a graphic designer for layout and branding.
    • Implemented Auto Layout to support iPad and iPhone screen formats, including split landscape view.
    Technologies: Huhtamaki PPL, WebKit, XPath, Objective-C
  • Project Manager

    2013 - 2014
    Major Insurance Services Company (via Toptal)
    • Guided the client from concept to a web-based application that imports data files from a number of client customers, emails a survey to the appropriate people based on complex and customizable criteria, records responses, and manages business workflow based on customizable response criteria.
    • Kicked off the project with an in-depth process of business analysis, story-writing, and backlog building to define scope.
    • Worked closely with client executives to build an agreed-upon project plan and budget, based on 250+ stories in the backlog.
    • Coordinated with the client as product requirements evolved, ensuring maximum agility during product development while avoiding unnecessary rework.
    • Selected and onboarded the Toptal team, including designer, developers, and QA.
    • Worked closely with each team member to build the client's product according to specifications.
    Technologies: Oracle, React, Spring Boot, Java
  • Project Manager

    2013 - 2014
    Global Pharmaceutical Company (via Toptal)
    • Managed a team of developers and QA engineers building an internal web-based business application.
    • Led Agile development processes with weekly sprints and daily stand ups.
    • Handled the transformation of user requests into actionable, implementation-ready Jira stories within a highly specialized scientific domain.
    • Managed the implementation of formal QA processes.
    • Supported the resolution of issues raised by PostgreSQL database over one terabyte.
    Technologies: AngularJS, Django, Python, PostgreSQL
  • Technical Project Manager

    2013 - 2013
    Multi-dwelling Real Estate Developer (via Toptal)
    • Developed specifications for a futuristic smart home concept, incorporating custom voice interface and IoT control.
    • Designed technical architecture for the proof-of-concept application.
    • Worked with the designer to create a complex, cross-platform UX/UI framework.
    • Evaluated a variety of voice interaction platforms for strategic incorporation into proposed solution.
    Technologies: IFTTT, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Speech to Text, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Internet of Things (IoT)
  • ERP Product Management

    1994 - 2005
    Sage Group, Plc.
    • Negotiated with engineering teams to establish project scope and timelines.
    • Prioritized features and ROI to align sales and marketing objectives with engineering schedules.
    • Facilitated senior executive decision-making regarding product release cycle and resource allocations.
    • Represented sales and marketing in engineering design discussions.


  • VU2

    VU2 is a fun new app for discovering, creating, and sharing video stories.


    Secure Customizable Financial Management and Expense Tracking for All Your Accounts

  • LoveTapp

    LoveTapp is a completely anonymous and super simple emotional network, designed to do one thing and one thing only: provide support for those who are struggling, when they need it most.

  • NoteStream App

    NoteStream’s unique format unlocks the magic of reading for mobile users, and delivers an incredibly powerful platform for content marketers.

  • Superlative HomeShopper App

    App allows home-buyers to collaborate with their personal agent or broker to find the perfect home.

  • Insight Notes iPad App

    Insight Notes simply & intuitively provides HIPAA-compliant & encrypted note-taking, basic record keeping, & secure record sharing for therapists & other health professionals.

  • Demystifying iOS 9 Spotlight Search for Developers (Publication)
    Spotlight search in Apple iOS 9, compared to earlier versions, has been made much more prominent and personal. With suggestions from Siri and integration opportunities for third-party apps, iPhone's search functionality is no longer limited to the scope of Apple's own apps. In this article, Toptal engineer Richard Forsythe explores some iOS SDK functionalities that allow apps to make content available to the user via Spotlight search.


  • Languages

    Objective-C, PHP, Swift, XPath, Python, Ruby, Java, JavaScript, CSS, HTML
  • Frameworks

    Cocoa Touch, External Accessory, Django, AngularJS, Spring Boot, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Laravel, AFNetworking
  • Tools

    Xcode, SourceTree, Komodo Edit, PhpStorm, GitHub, Plaid, AWS Simple Notification Service (AWS SNS), Google Assistant, AWS SDK, NGINX, Apache, Git, Adobe Photoshop
  • Paradigms

    Agile Software Development, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), REST, HIPAA Compliance, Agile, Scrum
  • Platforms

    iOS, Firebase, WordPress, MacOS, CentOS, Ubuntu, Parse, Oracle, Heroku, Amazon Alexa, Amazon EC2, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Linux, Linux RHEL/CentOS
  • Industry Expertise

    Project Management
  • Storage

    SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Other

    Bluetooth, Encryption, iPad, RHEL, AVFoundation, WebKit, Huhtamaki PPL, Mapping, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), ADP, Internet of Things (IoT), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech to Text, IFTTT, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Libraries/APIs

    jQuery, ImageMagick, Core Animation, React, Parse SDK, Facebook iOS SDK, CocoaPods


  • MBA Degree in Business
    1995 - 1997
    The Edinburgh Business School - Distance Learning
  • Master's Degree in Mathematics & Computation
    1988 - 1991
    Oxford University - Oxford, England
  • Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics & Computation
    1988 - 1991
    Oxford University - Oxford, England

To view more profiles

Join Toptal
Share it with others