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

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Lake Forest, CA, United States
Toptal 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.



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.

Work Experience

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, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon 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


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, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), 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 is a fun new app for discovering, creating, and sharing video stories.


Secure Customizable Financial Management and Expense Tracking for All Your Accounts


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.
1995 - 1997

MBA Degree in Business

The Edinburgh Business School - Distance Learning

1988 - 1991

Master's Degree in Mathematics & Computation

Oxford University - Oxford, England

1988 - 1991

Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics & Computation

Oxford University - Oxford, England


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


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


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


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


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


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


SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL

Industry Expertise

Project Management


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, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT)

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