Richard Plotkin, Developer in New York, United States
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Richard Plotkin

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

New York, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 27, 2016

Richard has been writing code professionally for over 25 years. He's passionate about JavaScript—which he learned within a year of its creation. Richard is a full-stack software architect with particular expertise in advanced Angular, React, RxJS, Redux, and server-side rendering. Richard is currently writing a book on programming methods and has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.


Private Company
React, Next.js, Angular, NestJS, Redux, GraphQL, Scala, Architecture
FlowType.JS, Webpack, Jest, RxJS, Redux, React, JavaScript, MERN Stack
HP Enterprise
Blueprint, Knex.js, Bootstrap, Express.js, Mocha, CircleCI, Dredd, Bookshelf.js...




Preferred Environment

Slack, Tower, WebStorm, Next.js

The most amazing...

...and insane thing I've done is to refactor a 12,000-line function into a properly unit-tested class.

Work Experience

Senior Software Architect

2018 - PRESENT
Private Company
  • Saved millions in taxes and increased product revenue by 50%.
  • Delivered hundreds of millions in future cost savings after architecting the best-performing MVP in company history and designing savings around user friction costs as the solution was adopted across the corporation.
  • Selected to Master Builders, a group of the most respected technical thinkers in the company, providing technical guidance and governing to drive enterprise architectural processes.
  • Appointed Portfolio Architect for the entire health portfolio, delivering thought leadership for a collection of products impacting company operations and technology direction.
  • Engaged to re-architect and strengthen product performance and. Scalability for a multi-million-dollar massive user base.
Technologies: React, Next.js, Angular, NestJS, Redux, GraphQL, Scala, Architecture

React and Redux Front-end Developer

2016 - 2016
  • Created a mobile-friendly TV guide.
  • Implemented responsive designs in React and Glamor.
  • Optimized Redux and RxJS code into reusable components.
  • Contributed many React components to a growing library of custom code.
Technologies: FlowType.JS, Webpack, Jest, RxJS, Redux, React, JavaScript, MERN Stack

Senior Front-end Developer

2016 - 2016
HP Enterprise
  • Created a versatile account management application for deployment across multiple HP properties.
  • Created an Express-based API layer with support for multiple user roles.
  • Designed a PostgreSQL database, integrated with Node via Bookshelf and Knex.
  • Created an AngularJS front-end application to interact with the API.
  • Put all parts in separate docker containers.
  • Designed an approach to integrating the account management application into Kibana.
Technologies: Blueprint, Knex.js, Bootstrap, Express.js, Mocha, CircleCI, Dredd, Bookshelf.js, Docker, Node.js, PostgreSQL, Kibana, Emacs, AngularJS, JavaScript, APIs

Development Lead (US) and UX Specialist

2016 - 2016
  • Created customizable and reusable React/Redux components.
  • Implemented test-driven development workflow with Enzyme.
  • Streamlined the development process with an Agile workflow—focusing on incremental and reliable success.
  • Create wireframes in Balsamiq to clearly and quickly communicate to product owner and development team.
  • Led a team to create a more robust product with testing, documentation, and code review cycles.
  • Worked closely with the CEO to focus development efforts and priorities.
Technologies: Balsamiq, D3.js, NumPy, Python, Django, Enzyme, Ramda, Redux, React, JavaScript

Architect | Lead Developer

2016 - 2016
  • Architected a music notation feedback engine.
  • Developed responsive music notation web forms.
  • Created a web font for music presentations.
Technologies: Mongoose, Express.js, Node.js, Redux, React, JavaScript, APIs

Senior Developer

2015 - 2015
Cengage Learning
  • Implemented performance analysis and optimization.
  • Developed reusable, high-performance modules.
  • Developed an advanced calendar with a hybrid mobile/desktop drag-and-drop.
Technologies: AngularJS, Express.js, Node.js

Mobile Application Architect | Lead Developer

2014 - 2014
A Fortune 50 Financial Company
  • Architected the front end for the company's flagship banking app.
  • Implemented a cross-platform, high-use mobile web app.
  • Focused on high-performance data loading and animations.
  • Created a sophisticated cache mechanism to optimize content delivery.
  • Taught the development team how to implement useful units and perform automated testing.
Technologies: .NET, AngularJS

Senior UI Developer

2013 - 2013
Beche Group, LLC
  • Developed a custom implementation of Ext JS drag-and-drop that worked on desktop and mobile.
  • Created a high-performance user interface.
Technologies: Ext JS, Sencha UI

Senior Developer

2012 - 2012
Foreclosure Radar
  • Developed a responsive desktop/mobile site.
  • Created custom hybrid loading scheme for top performance on different platforms.
  • Taught best practices to the development team.
Technologies: Ext JS, Sencha UI, Sencha Touch

Application Architect | Senior Developer

2011 - 2011
A Fortune 50 Financial Company
  • Developed an iPad application for interacting with large amounts of data.
  • Created a high-performance, zoomable grid for displaying thousands of rows of data.
Technologies: Sencha Touch, Intranets

Lead Developer | Application Architect

2006 - 2011
Warner Bros.
  • Led the development on an internal management system using Ext JS.
  • Developed dozens of sites with Adobe Flash/ActionScript 3.
Technologies: Site Studio, Oracle, CodeIgniter, PHP, Flex, Flash, Ext JS, Sencha UI, Intranets


2003 - 2006
University of Chicago
  • Converted storyboards into fully functional websites.
  • Developed, from end-to-end, work sites with ColdFusion and SQL Server.
  • Implemented PHP performance optimization.
  • Created a PHP site from end-to-end.
Technologies: Microsoft SQL Server, PHP, Perl, Adobe ColdFusion

Sample Code from a Book I Author
A code I wrote using ES2015 and Jasmine, which deliberately avoids external libraries, except for Lodash in object enumeration. It's a single HTML file with script tags—which is how all jsBins export. You can follow the link above to run the script and view its source to assess it.

The code is from a chapter of a book I'm writing on computer-assisted music research. The chapter focuses on test-driven development. The single class in the example carries out a set-theoretic operation called "getting the normal form." You can get a quick description of "normal form" at Normal form can get a bit challenging when there's not an immediately clear answer, so you can see some recursion at multiple levels. Start with the "getNormalForm" method and work backward.

Even though this code does not show that I know anything about file organization, I can easily discuss my knowledge and screen share more detailed code examples from projects—for which I cannot upload code—demonstrating my expertise.


GraphQL, TypeScript 2, TypeScript, CSS3, CSS, XHTML, HTML, HTML5, SCSS, Sass, PHP, ECMAScript (ES6), ES7, JavaScript, Python, Less, Python 3, TeX, PL/pgSQL, Perl, Swift 2, Scala


Next.js, Redux, Angular, JSON Web Tokens (JWT), JsUnit, Prototype Framework, PhoneGap, Jest, Ext JS, Sencha Touch, Jasmine, AngularJS, Rx, Selenium, PixiJS, Express.js, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, .NET, Dredd, Bootstrap, Blueprint, Django, Adobe Flex, Flex, Appium, NestJS


Redux-Saga, React Redux, Lodash, JSONP, JSON-RPC, Flexbox, AngularUI, Moment.js, Chai, Underscore.js, React, Node.js, jQuery, jQTouch, NgRx, RxJS, ReactiveX, PhantomJS, NumPy, SciPy, Bookshelf.js, Ramda, D3.js, FlowType.JS, DHTMLX, OpenSSL, Passport.js, CreateJS


Redux Thunk, Karma, NPM, JSCS, YUI Compressor, Jira, Flash, Chrome Developer Tools, Adobe Photoshop, Grunt, Mocha, Adobe CC, WebStorm, TextMate, Sencha Cmd, Apache HTTP Server, JSX, Gulp, MySQL Workbench, Apache Ant, Balsamiq Mockups, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, Mongoose, Sencha UI, Tower, Slack, Adobe ColdFusion, Site Studio, Emacs, Kibana, CircleCI, Knex.js, Balsamiq, Webpack, NGINX, Xcode, BibTeX, LaTeX, Cinema 4D, Maxon Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Final Cut Pro, Babel, Adobe Illustrator


Model View Viewmodel (MVVM), Model View Controller (MVC), Unit Testing, Functional Testing, Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Test-driven Development (TDD), Scrum, Agile Software Development, Agile, Rapid Prototyping, App Development


iOS, Drupal, WordPress, Android, Drupal 6, Drupal 7, Oracle, Docker, Drupal 8


JSON, MySQL, PostgreSQL, NoSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB


Rich Internet Applications, Agile Software Testing, Adobe Flash Builder, Cordova, APIs, Intranets, MERN Stack, Shell Scripting, CSS3 Animation, Animation, HTML Email, Scrum Master, Safari Extensions, Enzyme, WordPress Plugins, Music, Architecture

2003 - 2010

Ph.D. in Music Theory

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL, USA

2001 - 2003

Master of Arts Degree in Music Theory

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL, USA

1997 - 2001

Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Music

Columbia College in the City of New York (Columbia University) - New York, NY (USA)

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