Ryan Wilcox, Developer in Hartford, CT, USA, United States
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Ryan Wilcox

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Ruby on Rails Developer

Hartford, CT, USA, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 4, 2016

Ryan has over 12 years of programming experience and extensive knowledge of Ruby on Rails, iOS/Cocoa, JavaScript, C++ (STL, Boost, wxWidgets), Python, SQL, VisualBasic, and 12 additional languages. He is an expert in workflow analysis, optimization, and technical writing.


Objective-C, Ruby, CoffeeScript
Wilcox Development Solutions
VB, SQL, Cocoa, JavaScript, Node.js, wxWidgets, C++, PyObjC, Python...
Green River
Cocoa, CoffeeScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR)




Preferred Environment

FreeBSD, Linux, Windows, MacOS

The most amazing...

...app I've ever built is the Automated Instagram Printer, which automatically downloads images identified by a certain tag and prints them at a kiosk.

Work Experience


2013 - PRESENT
  • Developed a social/fashion iOS app backed by Node.js (CoffeeScript).
  • Formulated and implemented an error/exception reporting/rescuing strategy for the Node.js app.
  • Maintained a large Rails 2.3 codebase that had been previously upgraded from Rails 1.2.3.
  • Assisted with future product direction and design.
  • Handled data migration and synchronization work between two related products.
Technologies: Objective-C, Ruby, CoffeeScript

Lead Developer

2002 - PRESENT
Wilcox Development Solutions
  • Contributed to versions 1.2, 2.0,, and 2.0.1 of the W.E.L.D.E.R iPhone/iPad/Mac OS X game. The game was featured on Apple's New and Noteworthy section of the App Store starting June 21, 2012. The Mac OS X version was an Editor's Choice pick and rose to #8 on the Top Paid apps list (#2 in the Game category) around July 1, 2012.
  • Designed the automated Instagram printer kiosk used during Coachella 2012 (H&M's #kissforacause campaign).
  • Worked as project manager and Ruby developer during the development of a Ruby on Rails/Spree eCommerce-based telephony site that made the front page of www.slashdot.org (December 6, 2011) and was featured on Ars Technica (Dec 27) (http://www.reverserobocall.com).
  • Worked on a pocket streaming radio publishing iOS app with heavy ties to the Facebook and Spotify APIs.
  • Worked on Promiflash.de iPhone and Android apps for mobile news consumption with push notifications. On launch day, the Android app went to #1 in the News category for the German marketplace.
  • Created a web and QuickBase-based application for the Washington, D.C. Public School Special Education Department to manage massive special education complaint/case loads. Later developed a Ruby on Rails version of the same system.
  • Developed Ruby on Rails Large (26,000+ LOC) C.S.R for Wreal TV (http://www.wreal.tv/), including integration with UPS logistic services.
  • Worked as a Dancing with the Stars (2007) Production Supervisor, designing a Python application to read from a USB timecode device vCal parsing library (2,100 lines of Python + 6,300 lines of unit tests).
  • Created various desktop applications using PyObjC, including one application consisting of over 3,000 lines of code.
  • Worked for QSAToolworks.com porting one of the original Mac apps (created circa 1983) to Mac OS X with C++ and the wxWidgets framework.
  • Authored a whitepaper on Node.js best practices (http://www.wilcoxd.com/whitepapers/node_js/).
  • Worked on an OS X app with heavy design elements and hardware interactions that was later featured as one of the Top 10 paid apps on the Mac App Store in January 2013.
Technologies: VB, SQL, Cocoa, JavaScript, Node.js, wxWidgets, C++, PyObjC, Python, Ruby on Rails (RoR), QuickBase, iOS

Software Developer

2012 - 2013
Green River
  • Worked on projects of varying size using technologies such as Ruby on Rails and Cocoa.
  • Self-initiated and self-directed a position with DevSales. Served as point of first contact, with a high level of involvement in sales calls.
  • Improved a Cocoa library wrapper for a custom network protocol, enabling greater abstraction and better speed for developers.
  • Implemented a training program for selling via eCommerce platforms. Implemented workflow to take the user through the steps involved in the training process.
  • Worked on a social network for teachers that included the ability to share via Google Docs so that users can quickly create and share a document with fellow teachers.
Technologies: Cocoa, CoffeeScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR)


Contributions include: muliplayer chat, push notifications (which involved communicating with parse.com and our own server via the RestKit Cocoa framework).

Incoming SMS Service

Implemented a service-oriented architecture (SOA) web service to handle incoming and outgoing SMS messages from mobile aggressors. Developed in Ruby with Sinatra and EventMachine.

Node.js Whitepaper (2011)

I investigated Node.js for a potential project several years ago. I found the resources were very scattered (at the time) and it was difficult to separate fact from fiction, so I wrote this whitepaper to organize the information in a more cohesive manner. I'm working on version 2.0 of this at the moment.

RWSwitch (open source project)

An iPhone-like "swipe to" switch for Mac OS X.

Lifehacker: The Beginner's Guide to Working From Home

On July 9, 2013 I wrote a blog article for TopTal called "How to Work Remotely and Still Be the Best", in which I talked about my tools and techniques for working remotely. I was fortunate enough for this article to be picked up and republished on Lifehacker.

Ruby on Rails/Spree eCommerce

(Now defunct) Featured on Ars Technica on December 27, 2011. Integrated the Spree eCommerce Ruby on Rails store with a telephony app that lets users send recorded voice messages (via robocall) to select politicians or groups.


Ruby, Python, Objective-C, ECMAScript (ES6), Groovy, C++, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, SQL, VB, Bash, Pascal


Cocoa, Ruby on Rails (RoR), .NET, Ionic, UIKit, Bootstrap, Cocoa Touch, Core Data, AngularJS, Boost


AWS OpsWorks, RVM, Vagrant, Git, Zsh, Make, Chef, Subversion (SVN), Solr, CVS, Mocha, Adobe Photoshop, Xcode, LaTeX, Mercurial, CodeWarrior, Adobe ColdFusion


Behavior-driven Development (BDD), Agile Software Development, DevOps, Continuous Integration (CI), Design Patterns, Asynchronous Programming, Scrum, Functional Programming


MacOS, Heroku, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, Linux, Docker, Windows, FreeBSD


Spree Commerce, Spotify, Embedded Software, Domain-driven Design (DDD)


Puppet.js, Node.js, Resque, Rack, Underscore.js, jQuery, PyObjC, wxWidgets


QuickBase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Azure Active Directory, Couchbase, MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch

1998 - 2002

Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems

Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY

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