Ryan Felton, Developer in Leawood, KS, United States
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Ryan Felton

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Full-stack Developer

Leawood, KS, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 23, 2015

Ryan Felton is a Facebook Innovation Award-winning executive and a highly technical software developer specializing in Ruby on Rails. Ryan is also a veteran, an MBA graduate, and a passionate software entrepreneur who has led the software engineering of three businesses from concept to acquisition.


Leadership, Architecture, Business, Finance APIs, Ruby on Rails (RoR)...
Pulse Platform, LLC
Sidekiq, Redis, PostgreSQL, WordPress, Kotlin, Android, Swift, iOS, Angular...
Trilogy Education Services
Homebrew, GitHub, MySQL, Express.js, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Node.js, React...




Preferred Environment

GitHub, MacOS, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Terminal, Heroku, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Full-stack, SQL, HTML, minitest

The most amazing...

...project was building a 3D virtual tour of a real estate apartment where a user could view the floor plan, 3D renderings of the building, and specific units.

Work Experience


2021 - 2021
  • Guided the Founder/CEO, bringing his vision of democratizing hedge funds by building a fully automated hedge fund tool, using machine learning to analyze and trade securities based on rapidly changing market conditions as a fractional CTO.
  • Architected the overall system platform. Led the software engineering teams to build out the Ruby on Rails back-end API, connect to third-party financial APIs, and develop the React Native mobile application.
  • Implemented end-to-end testing and continuous delivery systems.
Technologies: Leadership, Architecture, Business, Finance APIs, Ruby on Rails (RoR), React Native, TypeScript, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, minitest, CTO, CSS, Fractional CTO


2017 - 2020
Pulse Platform, LLC
  • Led a team of globally distributed remote web, iOS, Android, and API developers, QA teams, UI and UX designers, and product managers to build an award-winning mobile and web HIPAA compliant platform connecting doctors and patients.
  • Inherited a team that was using older technologies, couldn't achieve scale, and had not adopted standard agile software development practices.
  • Led both the team's technical adoption of upgrading to the latest version of Angular.
  • Added monitoring, crash monitoring, and performance optimizations to the back-end Ruby on Rails API as well as implemented 100% unit test coverage as well as end-to-end test coverage using Capybara and RSpec.
  • Re-architected the data model within PostgreSQL to optimize logical data storage and utilized foreign key constraints to ensure data integrity.
  • Added Redis as a data store and caching layer and Sidekiq Pro for asynchronous multithreaded background workers to send emails, push notifications, and generate PDF reporting.
Technologies: Sidekiq, Redis, PostgreSQL, WordPress, Kotlin, Android, Swift, iOS, Angular, Ruby on Rails (RoR), TypeScript, React, Full-stack Development, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, minitest, CTO, CSS, Fractional CTO

Adjunct Instructor

2017 - 2018
Trilogy Education Services
  • Taught in-person and virtual classrooms of 30+ students for a six-month intensive bootcamp to equip them with the key skills for full-stack web development.
  • Taught students how to set up their computers as a development environment, work with GitHub, write code locally, collaborate with peers using GitHub pull request reviews, and deploy their code to production sites on Heroku.
  • Had a 97% graduation rate and a 86% job placement rate within the first three months of graduation, proving the education students gained in this program was effective in landing them their ideal job in software development.
Technologies: Homebrew, GitHub, MySQL, Express.js, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Node.js, React, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, CSS

Lead Developer

2016 - 2016
Checkmate, Inc.
  • Led a team of developers from concept to successful launch of the Checkmate iOS app and Ruby on Rails back-end application.
  • Mentored the team and built out a secure and scalable solution that seamlessly allowed the iOS app to interact directly with the restaurant's point-of-sale platform, the Stripe API for payment processing, and the Facebook and Twitter API for social sharing.
Technologies: Point of Sale, X (formerly Twitter) API, Facebook API, Stripe API, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, CSS


2015 - 2015
Penrose Senior Care Auditors
  • Leveraged my talents as not only as senior developer but also helped to clearly understand the founders' vision for their product and translate that into a beautiful application. Together, we clearly defined the MVP, laid out expectations, and got to work, ultimately delivering an amazing mobile-friendly MVP.
  • Built a Ruby on Rails web application and implemented Stripe's credit card payment processor to charge the client monthly for use of the service.
  • Built a mobile-friendly web app and PhoneGap native iOS app so that auditors can perform their audits while on site, providing instant feedback to their clients on the wellness of their loved one.
  • Implemented extensive integration tests that allowed me to implement continuous delivery so that bugs could be identified, fixed, and automatically deployed in only minutes.
  • Set up a Heroku pipeline for rapid QA, story acceptance, and production deployments.
  • Won AARP's Innovation@50+ LivePitch for the Penrose Senior Care Auditors platform on April 27 2016.
Technologies: PostgreSQL, RSpec, Stripe, jQuery, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, CTO, CSS, Fractional CTO


2014 - 2015
  • Upgraded multiple web applications in their SOA from Rails 3 to Rails 4.
  • Spearheaded the transformation of deployment for our web applications to continuous delivery for all apps in our SOA utilizing Rspec, Capybara, Factory Girl via third-party integrations with GitHub, TravisCI, CodeClimate, and Engine Yard.
  • Implemented stunning interactive big data visualizations utilizing d3.js.
  • Built and launched our iOS and Andriod smartphone applications implemented via PhoneGap framework.
  • Implemented multiple API-based integrations with third-party products such as ZenDesk, Constant Contact, Pivotal Tracker, and more.
Technologies: Authorization, Authentication, CAS, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), D3.js, jQuery, RSpec, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, CTO, CSS, Fractional CTO

VP of Technology and Product

2010 - 2014
BLiNQ Media
  • Established the product vision, strategy, and development in creating the product Local LiFT, which launched in under six months and won the Facebook PMD Innovation Award in Oct 2013.
  • Built Facebook's first ever third-party ad management platform that created multi-variant social ads for their Facebook Ads API before it was publicly released.
  • Implemented a custom in-house ad optimization algorithm that systematically determined winners and losers for advertising campaigns and make budgeting, day-parting, and other optimization decisions based on that that intelligence.
  • Developed a brand analysis algorithm and application that would allow big brands to evaluate their Facebook social presence against that of their competitors, find overlaps, and discover new keywords and demographics for optimal targeting all without spending a single dollar.
  • Upgraded the entire SOA stack from Rails 2 to Rails 3 and then Rails 4 as well as switching from Resque to Sidekiq, which delivered nearly 8x in performance improvements.
Technologies: Facebook Open Graph API, Engine Yard, Resque, Sidekiq, MySQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, OAuth 2, Facebook Connect, Facebook Ads API, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, SQL, HTML, CSS


2005 - 2010
Calculated Combustion
  • Built a custom marketplace for the biotechnology industry using Merb, DataMapper, and Solr Search.
  • Helped found the Ruby Midwest conference, creating an amazing conference for people passionate about Ruby to network and learn in the heart of the Midwest. Organizer of KC Ruby.
  • Built an in-image and in-screen advertising platform, driving brand engagement for advertisers. The patented in-image ads are overlaid on editorial photos where a user's attention is actively focused, creating higher viewability and engagement, to a better consumer experience.
  • Built a social management dashboard that connected to Facebook and Twitter for compliance-based content creation, multi-network engagement and listening, and reporting.
  • Built a revolutionary knowledge e-learning service which dramatically increased retention and learning speed.
Technologies: Unobtrusive JavaScript, XML, Solr, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, SQL, HTML


The iOS version of the Checkmate application.

BLiNQ Media | Local LiFT

Local LiFT is truly one of a kind. No other solution can provide this kind of automated ad creation with local-level, market-specific targeting. Retailers, consumer packaged goods makers, and shopper marketing teams have been looking for an effective solution that delivers local reach with both scale and efficiency.

BLiNQ Media | BLiNQ Ad Manager (BAM)

BLiNQ Media, a social engagement advertising company and the pioneer of performance-driving Cost per Social Action (CPSA), recently announced the release of the beta version of BAM (BLiNQ Ad Manager), a new technology designed to make it easy for big brands to deliver breakthrough results in social networks. The technology, built on the Facebook Ads API, provides sophisticated brand marketers and agencies with unprecedented targeting, performance, and scale in Facebook social ad campaign management.

Penrose Senior Care-check Audit

Penrose Senior Care Auditors is the first and only tech-enabled senior care auditing solution to ensure seniors are okay and receiving the care they need while providing families peace of mind. We built the online platform that allows clients to connect with Penrose Certified Auditors as well as the native application that allows auditors to perform their senior care checks from their smartphones.

Link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/game-changer-penrose-launches-next-gen-app-for-family-senior-care-oversight-300180546.html


After receiving $1 million in VC funding from Andreessen Horowitz, it was clear it was time to scale this company to rapidly bring their passion for great food delivered to your door globally. I came on board specifically to build out their integration with Amazon Fresh on-demand grocery delivery service.


Revamped the existing SOA platform to have amazing visuals powered by big data and D3.js charts and animations. Spearheaded the transformation of deployment for our web applications to continuous celivery for all apps in our SOA utilizing RSpec, Capybara, Factory Girl via third-party integrations with GitHub, TravisCI, CodeClimate, and Engine Yard.

SocialVolt | Social Media Management Software

Built a social management dashboard that connected to Facebook and Twitter for compliance based content creation, multi-network engagement and listening, and reporting.

Obsidian Portal

I was the co-founder of this niche social network. My co-founder was well aware of the problem GMs faced with Tabletop RPG, in which the game information is stuck in their notebook. We replace the notebook with an online planning, wiki, and social network for gamers willing to pay a monthly subscription for the service. Can you imagine having to pay $5/month for Facebook? Well, we found an audience that loved to pay us monthly for the service. In fact, the service was so loved we won a Gold ENnie Award at GenCon every year I was a member of the team.

DoLeaf | eCommerce Marketplace

DoLeaf is an online marketplace to find and buy plants from speciality nurseries and independent garden centers.

GumGum | In-image Advertising Platform

Built an in-image and in-screen advertising platform, driving brand engagement for advertisers and increased revenue for publishers across every screen. This project was tricky because it had to load JSON and ad images from a third party after the image on the page had already been rendered. We accomplished this utilizing JSONP to overcome the cross-domain restrictions and deliver these patented in-image ads.

Total Recall Learning

Each lesson on the Total Recall Learning platform includes a variety of videos and audio lessons. These rapid fire lessons are followed by interactive question and responses. Students can instantly see which answers you get correct. When you miss a challenge, we'll quickly show you how to improve.

Second and Delware

Built a full stack Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and Modernizr with SVG images and Pano2VR 3D renderings to delivery a 3D virtual real estate website to all potential customers to visual what the interior and exterior views from within their select unit. Customers are given several simple sliders allowing them to select their preferences and a custom algorithm sorts through all available units to find the optimal unit for that customer. Data for availability, pricing, and reservations synchronized through a third party integration with RealPage.

Dreamcatcher Real Estate Co.

Built a powerful real estate search tool to search all MLS listings for single-family homes, land/lots, commercial, and multi-family real estate available with customizations specifically targeted for real estate for sale within the Northern New Mexico region. Custom integration with Google Maps and Bootstrap to provide visualization of each property available within the region.

Social Volt

Built the full-stack web application that connects to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media APIs for creating, managing, and monitoring social media content across multiple social media channels in one place.

Crate Coffee

Built out the Crate Coffee eCommerce storefront on Shopify, creating and uploading products and variants, and customizing a purchased theme for this retailer via Shopify's theme kit API tool. Given the company having a physical storefront, I integrated the "Store Pickup + Delivery" Shopify application to allow customers to choose the additional options of in-store pick-up or delivery for customers within specified zip codes at the check-out.
2014 - 2015

Professional Degree in Rails for Zombies and AngularJS

Code School - https://www.codeschool.com/

2009 - 2011

MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

University of Missouri Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

1998 - 2001

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Facebook API, jQuery, Sidekiq, Facebook Open Graph API, Facebook Ads API, React, ThinkingSphinx, Social APIs, Resque, Selenium WebDriver, Underscore.js, Node.js, Stripe, Stripe API, X (formerly Twitter) API, Modernizr, Google Maps, D3.js, Backbone.js


Git, GitHub, Facebook Connect, RSpec, Homebrew, Solr, Multiple Listing Services (MLS), Adobe Illustrator, NGINX, Apache, Passenger, Adobe Photoshop, Terminal


Bootstrap, Capybara, Factory Girl, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Selenium, AngularJS, Angular, minitest, OAuth 2, Express.js, PhoneGap, Slim, React Native


JavaScript, Ruby, HTML5, Haml, HTML, CSS, CSS3, SQL, TypeScript, XML, Swift, Kotlin, SCSS, CoffeeScript


Test-driven Development (TDD), Agile Software Development, Continuous Integration (CI), Scrum, Unit Testing, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Delivery (CD), Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Kanban, Unobtrusive JavaScript


MacOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Engine Yard, Heroku, Docker, DigitalOcean, Ubuntu, Linux, Amazon EC2, Shopify, Mobile, WordPress, iOS, Android, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), AWS Elastic Beanstalk


JSON, Redis, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL


CTO, Leadership, Stripe Payments, Full-stack, Lean Startups, SaaS, Ajax, Lean Development, Product Management, Product Development, Lean Canvas, Software Development, Story Carding, Integration Testing, Capybara-Webkit, APIs, Software, Software Consulting, Front-end Development, eCommerce, Architecture, API Integration, Full-stack Development, Fractional CTO, Social Media Optimization, Open Source, Ad Optimization, Digital Advertising, Ruby Gems, Software Architecture, CAS, Authentication, Authorization, Point of Sale, Real Estate, SOAP, SVG, Virtual Reality (VR), Digital Media, Digital Marketing, Puma, Business, Finance APIs

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