Shelley Nason, Developer in Chicago, IL, United States
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Shelley Nason

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Full-stack Developer

Chicago, IL, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 15, 2015

Shelley is a full-stack engineer with 15 years experience building software in a variety of industries. She is comfortable starting with rough requirements and working with stakeholders to turn an idea into a useful, appealing piece of software. Shelley writes clean, fast, well-documented, and well-tested code, provides realistic estimates, and works well with teammates. As a student, Shelley spent several years in an AI Ph.D. program and she maintains a strong interest in that field.


Scratch Engine LLC
Back-end, Node.js, APIs, TypeScript, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Data Science...
Kudelski Security
Elasticsearch, TypeScript, Auth0, Kubernetes, Docker, Java, Web Development...
Java, Agile Software Development, IntelliJ, Spring, Git, MacOS...




Preferred Environment

Git, IntelliJ, MacOS

The most amazing... I've done recently was to build, from the ground up, a web application to benchmark my employer's threat detection capabilities against MITRE ATT&CK.

Work Experience

Senior Back-end Developer

2022 - 2022
Scratch Engine LLC
  • Handled data engineering for an ML project learning to predict NFT prices.
  • Worked with the ML engineer to locate data sources, like social media APIs, NFT, and crypto APIs, and to evaluate data quality.
  • Built, deployed, and monitored the project's data pipeline (AWS Lambda functions writing to DynamoDB).
  • Developed a detailed data inventory describing the data assets generated by the project.
  • Architected and built the back-end services to support the project's web app in Node.js/TypeScript and Python.
Technologies: Back-end, Node.js, APIs, TypeScript, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Data Science, Amazon DynamoDB, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Python, AWS Lambda, Docker, Serverless

Software Expert

2017 - 2021
Kudelski Security
  • Architected and built the Use Case Manager, an internal-facing web application used by Kudelski's MDR team to benchmark their threat detection capabilities against the MITRE ATT&CK framework.
  • Wrote the code for much of Secure Blueprint, a SaaS web application for CISOs to assess, manage and report on their company’s cybersecurity program.
  • Built a POC API to provide medical cannabis product recommendations as part of a blockchain-related venture. Utilized a Drools-based expert system meant to bootstrap data collection for future machine learning.
  • Served as an alpha customer for Kudelski's internal DevOps platform and contributed to its design.
  • Introduced the idea of database versioning to my team and converted our database deployment process to use Flyway.
  • Served as a careful and detailed code reviewer with a good track record of catching bugs in review.
Technologies: Elasticsearch, TypeScript, Auth0, Kubernetes, Docker, Java, Web Development, Agile Software Development, IntelliJ, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SQL, Python, Node.js, Go, MySQL, Redis, React, Spring, Git, MacOS, JUnit, Jira, Microservices Architecture, Full-stack Development, DevOps, Automated Testing, Full-stack, gRPC, Gradle, GitLab CI/CD, Code Review, Scrum, PostgreSQL, Google Guava, REST APIs, Logback, Spring Boot, Docker Compose, Redux, Hibernate, Cypress, Prometheus, Flyway, Postman, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Integration Testing, Unit Testing, Multithreading, OAuth, Back-end

Senior Software Developer

2016 - 2017
  • Worked on greenfield development of Java web APIs to be used by all customer-facing applications at a major airline.
  • Influenced the decision to use a JWT-based client-side cache, which greatly simplified the API while maintaining performance and statelessness.
  • Trained junior developers through pair programming.
Technologies: Java, Agile Software Development, IntelliJ, Spring, Git, MacOS, Automated Testing, Gradle, Scrum, REST APIs, Logback, Google Guava, Postman, Apache JMeter, Integration Testing, Unit Testing, Back-end

Software Engineer

2015 - 2016
DEVEXI (Toptal Client)
  • Wrote Java and SQL to execute retrospective longitudinal studies over a database of medical records and correlated environmental/socioeconomic data. Queries ran on AWS Redshift over billions of records.
  • Sped up a central algorithm for matching cases to controls to run 50 times faster. Optimizations included re-representing a join table to be 10X smaller and reducing the size of the input by randomly sampling from the set of controls.
  • Coded data perturbation and suppression algorithms to satisfy HIPAA de-identification requirements.
  • Designed HTML emails for invoicing and built the service that generates and sends invoice emails.
Technologies: Redshift, PostgreSQL, Java, Web Development, IntelliJ, SQL, MacOS, Full-stack Development, Automated Testing, Full-stack, REST APIs, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Flyway, Unit Testing, Back-end

Software Engineer

2011 - 2014
Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Developed a new SPA-style web app for administering firewalls and specifying access policies for classified web-based services.
  • Overhauled a complicated GWT-based application module for handling the workflow for requesting and approving personnel access to classified programs.
  • Designed and implemented a stand-alone service to perform content inspection on uploaded files for use in a classified file-sharing system.
  • Integrated new and existing applications into an OpenAM-based single-sign-on framework to support access-controlled user sessions based on authorizations returned by the SSO server.
  • Profiled and diagnosed performance issues in our SSO service until it met performance requirements and doubled the requests/minute.
  • Offered meaningful and polite feedback in hundreds of code reviews for teammates and student co-ops.
Technologies: Hibernate, Spring, JavaScript, Java, Web Development, Agile Software Development, IntelliJ, HTML, CSS, SQL, MacOS, Full-stack Development, Automated Testing, Full-stack, Code Review, Google Guava, REST APIs, Unit Testing, Multithreading, Back-end

Software Engineer

2006 - 2011
Veloxiti, Inc.
  • Designed and implemented the next version of Veloxiti's core product, a C++-based cognitive engine, as part of a small development team.
  • Developed a graphical knowledge editing tool for Veloxiti's cognitive engine, built as a set of Java plugins to the Protege ontology editor.
  • Built a Java application to extract structured data from military operation orders and tactical chat using the GATE natural language processing toolkit.
  • Implemented Java and Soap-based web services to communicate among Veloxiti's cognitive engine, a tool processing tactical mIRC chat, and the Army's Command Post of the Future.
  • Performed background research, interviewed experts, and wrote the final report for an SBIR Phase I projected to build an expert system to assist in estimating Human Systems Integration costs in Naval acquisitions.
Technologies: GPT, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Java, SQL, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Unit Testing, Apache Maven, Back-end

Use Case Manager (Kudelski Security)

Kudelski's MDR team used an internal-facing web application to benchmark their threat detection capabilities against the MITRE ATT&CK framework. It provides a variety of visualizations and filters to help identify detection gaps and robust search capabilities to facilitate research and development of new detections.

I participated in the planning and design from the project's start, and I architected and built most of the app's services and front end. Kudelski was developing its own Kubernetes-based DevOps platform at the time, which allowed me to use a microservices architecture that included a collection of Java and Node.js services, variously attached to PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, and Redis containers for data and fronted by a React/TypeScript UI.

Secure Blueprint (Kudelski Security)
A SaaS web application for CISOs to assess, manage, and report on their company's cybersecurity program. It was built with Java, SQL, and React/Redux.

I joined the project immediately after the completion of the MVP and was the lead developer after that. I wrote the functional specifications and most of the code for many of the modules described in the linked website, specifically initiative planning, operational metrics, and board communication. My proudest project accomplishment was finding a relatively painless way to export slides designed in the browser by the user into a PowerPoint deck for board presentations.

Soar-RL (University of Michigan)
A research project in AI and ML.

As part of my graduate school research, I built a version of the Soar cognitive architecture that incorporated a new reinforcement learning mechanism. This work was published in the journal Cognitive Systems Research.


Java, JavaScript, SQL, CSS, HTML, TypeScript, Python, Go


Git, IntelliJ, Jira, Auth0, Gradle, GitLab CI/CD, Postman, Flyway, Docker Compose, Apache JMeter, Apache Maven


Agile Software Development, Scrum, Automated Testing, Unit Testing, Microservices Architecture, DevOps, Data Science


Web Development, Full-stack Development, Full-stack, Code Review, Back-end, Data Structures, Integration Testing, Multithreading, Algorithms, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Logback, Prometheus, OAuth, APIs, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Serverless, GPT, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT)


Google Guava, JUnit, Spring, Mockito, Spring Boot, Hibernate, gRPC, Redux, Cypress


JDBC, Jackson, Node.js, React, REST APIs


MacOS, Linux, Kubernetes, Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS Lambda


PostgreSQL, JSON, Redshift, Elasticsearch, MySQL, Redis, Amazon DynamoDB

2001 - 2005

Master of Science Degree in Computer Science

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI, USA

1996 - 2000

Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL, USA