Scott Nelson, Developer in Ithaca, United States
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Scott Nelson

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Ithaca, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 3, 2022

Scott is an independent software developer with over a decade of experience building systems at every layer of the stack, from embedded firmware to back-end servers and interactive UIs. An experienced and knowledgeable developer, he loves working with clients and teams around the world to deliver high-quality digital products and services.


Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, Pandas, NumPy, Pytest, React, TypeScript...
Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy...
CoLab Coop
Ruby, Ruby on Rails (RoR), PostgreSQL, JavaScript, React, React Native, Node.js




Preferred Environment

Linux, Emacs, Git

The most amazing...

...system I've worked on ingested, processed, and analyzed EPA electric grid emission data into a time-series database with over 36 million records a year.

Work Experience

Lead Back-end Developer

2019 - PRESENT
  • Helped develop an interactive web application giving insights into grid-scale energy usage patterns and projections.
  • Integrated, tested, and deployed research team's models into production code.
  • Devised and implemented data schema and Python framework for abstract representation of parameterized models and helped researchers use these abstractions.
Technologies: Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, Pandas, NumPy, Pytest, React, TypeScript, Data Visualization, SQLAlchemy, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ansible

Independent Contractor

2013 - PRESENT
  • Augmented software development teams worldwide to help build a mix of custom web services, front-end web applications, API integrations, data ingest, munging, and analysis tools, and operations infrastructure.
  • Worked in-person and remotely with existing software teams to create new systems or maintain legacy codebases.
  • Created a trusted network of clients who repeatedly sought my expertise for their projects.
Technologies: Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, Pandas, NumPy, React, GraphQL, Apollo, Clojure, ClojureScript, Node.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Data Analysis

Senior Software Developer

2014 - 2021
CoLab Coop
  • Collaborated with a distributed team of developers, designers, and project managers to deliver software for socially-minded nonprofits and startups.
  • Worked closely with clients to understand the domain and technical requirements as well as assist in project planning and estimation.
  • Provided technical mentorship to teammates and clients.
Technologies: Ruby, Ruby on Rails (RoR), PostgreSQL, JavaScript, React, React Native, Node.js

Software Developer

2010 - 2013
  • Developed numerous web and native iOS applications for small businesses and creative non-profits.
  • Worked as the sole developer on numerous in-house products launched to the iOS app store.
  • Collaborated with clients to discover technical requirements and devise project plans.
Technologies: JavaScript, Node.js, Objective-C

Software Developer

2008 - 2010
Cornell University
  • Collaborated with the bioacoustics research department to develop desktop sound analysis software.
  • Focused primarily on Linux platform support and worked through many Linux-specific bugs.
  • Developed a product used by ornithologists and other animal researchers around the world.
Technologies: Java, Swing

Lithium Battery Management System (BMS)
This battery management system monitors the health and safety of 4-series lithium battery packs. I designed the schematic and printed circuit board (PCB) layout in KiCad and wrote the custom firmware in C using the Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS).

Peerpipe is an auto-discoverable, encrypted network pipe for peer-to-peer (P2P) data transfer written in Rust. I built it as part of my time at the Recurse Center while learning about the Rust language, P2P networking, and cryptography.

Jot App
This mobile web application for plain text notes is built with ClojureScript and React. It features offline support via an application cache manifest and optional Dropbox syncing. Additionally, it is iOS standalone capable.


Python, Ruby, JavaScript, C, Rust, TypeScript, Objective-C, GraphQL, Clojure, Java


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Flask, React Native, ClojureScript, Re-frame, Swing


React, Node.js, Pandas, NumPy, SQLAlchemy


Pytest, Ansible, Zephyr, KiCad, Reagent


Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, Bluetooth LE




Data Analysis, Embedded Systems, Cryptography, Peer-to-peer Networking, Data Visualization, Apollo, P2P, Nordic nRF52, Nordic nRF51

2019 - 2019

Self-study Program in Embedded Linux, Peer-to-peer Networking Topologies, and Cryptography

Recurse Center - Brooklyn, NY, United States

2006 - 2010

Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science

McGill University - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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