Sean Edmund Burke, Developer in Centennial, United States
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Sean Edmund Burke

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Centennial, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 10, 2017

Sean is an experienced software engineer with strong academic and industry experience, skilled in Scala, Java, Python, machine learning, C++, and AWS. He holds a BS and M.Eng. in computer science with a focus in artificial intelligence from MIT. He focuses on the back end, solves challenging problems, and works well in a variety of environments.


Amazon Web Services (AWS), CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Factset, Ruby on Rails (RoR)
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Akka HTTP, Scala
Pattern, Inc.
RabbitMQ, Neo4j, Java, TensorFlow, Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)...




Preferred Environment

JetBrains, Sublime Text, Git, MacOS

The most amazing...

...challenge I've completed is developing and implementing the subgraph matching and rewrite algorithms for a distributed hypergraph database written in C++.

Work Experience

Principal Software Engineer

2019 - PRESENT
  • Maintained a large legacy Ruby on Rails application.
  • Implemented Factset services to switch over all of our external data providers.
  • Managed a remote developer to build new features that were more front-end heavy.
  • Upgraded and added functionality to the API.
  • Implemented better incident response technologies, such as Pager Duty.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Factset, Ruby on Rails (RoR)

Co-founder and Senior Software Engineer

2017 - 2019
  • Built an API that served our main platform that businesses used for uploading menus, hours, etc. Used the API to also server custom built websites so that when updating info on our platform, the information would show up on their website.
  • Implemented CI/CD with CircleCI and deployed a Docker image to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
  • Implemented a combination system of DynamoDB and PostgreSQL to create a highly scalable system while keeping costs down.
  • Implemented geolocation with PostGIS and the HERE API.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Akka HTTP, Scala

Principal Software Technologist

2015 - 2017
Pattern, Inc.
  • Designed and developed algorithms for a new distributed hypergraph database system in C++. Specifically focused on the system’s subgraph matching and rewriting part of the system.
  • Developed a Python Flask API back-end server hosted on AWS for a client's front end to communicate with.
  • Developed a machine learning system in Python to predict athletic scores for a mobile fitness app.
  • Built a Python microservice to ingest articles and perform NLP entity recognition, using NLTK and TensorFlow on the articles and then returning the results to a queue using RabbitMQ.
  • Developed an application in Java to create a wrapper around a Neo4J database to easily traverse graph results from queries.
Technologies: RabbitMQ, Neo4j, Java, TensorFlow, Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), Scikit-learn, Flask, Python, C++

Back-end Software Engineer

2014 - 2015
  • Redesigned and implemented a microservice in Scala and Akka to use much less memory to handle larger queries and perform almost 10x faster than the legacy system without losing any functionality.
  • Designed, developed, deployed, and supported a Scala Play REST API that was horizontally scalable. The API was able to handle all the traffic it needed, which could be over 100 million requests per day.
  • Developed several integration tests that could ensure new changes didn't break any part of the system, which could be run automatically any time a new branch was pushed to master.
  • Implemented several monitoring tools to ensure the system was up and running properly at all hours of the day. This included using AWS alerts, NewRelic, and Pingdom integrated with PagerDuty to alert of any issues.
  • Implemented several new features across the many different Scala microservices in our system leveraging Play and Akka concurrency.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EC2, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon S3 (AWS S3), MySQL, Akka, Play, Scala

MIT Thesis, Reactive Trajectory Adjustment

Research in reactive integrated motion planning and execution. Focused on the trajectory adjustment capability for motion execution of robots performing tasks in unstructured environments. Implemented techniques on robot hardware using the OpenRAVE simulation environment.

Algorithmic Trading System

Designed and developed an algorithmic trading system with my brother using different machine learning algorithms to predict stock trends and then execute based on the predicted trends. The system was developed in Scala and integrated with the IQ data feed and Interactive Brokers broker client. The system was entirely automatic and could predict and execute several trades across a variety of stocks in different sectors throughout the day.

Personal Website
Used Scala Play along with HTML/CSS to design a personal website. Wanted to learn more about front-end technologies and have a personal website to showcase projects and experience.

PatternSpace: Hypergraph Database

Designed and developed the algorithms for PatternSpace, a distributed hypergraph database written in C++. Developed an efficient subgraph matching algorithm as well as algorithms to search for paths between nodes and make changes to a subgraph.

REST API for Transactional Push

For Localytics, developed a Transactional Push API which was used by clients to send push messages to users as a one-off instance. The API was written in Scala with the Play framework, which used a MySQL database for authentication and a Redis cache to limit database queries. The API was horizontally scalable, capable of handling 100M+ requests/day. The API included basic authentication, rate limiting, and JSON validation, and was hosted on AWS EC2 with an ELB.


Scala, Python, C++, Java, Ruby, HTML, CSS, JavaScript


Akka, Flask, Play, Ruby on Rails (RoR)


REST APIs, Scikit-learn, TensorFlow, Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)


Git, Sublime Text, JetBrains, RabbitMQ, AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), MATLAB


Functional Programming


Amazon Web Services (AWS), MacOS, Amazon EC2


MySQL, Amazon DynamoDB, JSON, PostgreSQL, Neo4j, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon Aurora, Redis, Memcached


Machine Learning, Factset, Akka HTTP

2013 - 2014

Master's Degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Massachusetts

2009 - 2013

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Massachusetts