Ted Cohn, Developer in Incline Village, NV, United States
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Ted Cohn

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Mobile Developer

Incline Village, NV, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 9, 2014

Ted has 30+ years as a senior architect, technologist, developer, entrepreneur, and CTO. He led Barnes & Noble's Nook team in Palo Alto, developed Pleo the dinosaur as well as Orderscape restaurant search/food ordering voicebot, and worked for Apple, Excite, and NeXT. He enjoys developing new concepts and technology, leading teams, innovating, and delivering incredible products. Ted has superb communication and presentation skills.


Alchera Incorporated dba SafeinHome (Toptal Projects)
Kotlin, Android, Android Wear, Firebase, Android Watch, Android Wearables...
React, Next.js, TypeScript, Neo4j, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Vercel, AWS Lambda...
Orderscape, Inc.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), RabbitMQ, Heroku, MongoDB, Elasticsearch...




Preferred Environment

Linux, Unix, Git, iOS, Android, Node.js, Python

The most amazing...

...thing I've built was the BugByter Apple II debugger, which I sold to Apple.

Work Experience

Lead Developer

2022 - PRESENT
Alchera Incorporated dba SafeinHome (Toptal Projects)
  • Completed MVP and expanded functionality into phases two and three for a mobile and smartwatch monitoring platform.
  • Solved complex issues involving battery life, overheating, and doze prevention.
  • Responded to an emergency with the company's original MDM provider faltered on the job. Sourced, evaluated, and configured a new device management vendor for the company to deploy its health care app on Wear OS devices.
Technologies: Kotlin, Android, Android Wear, Firebase, Android Watch, Android Wearables, Splunk, Mobile Development, Dagger 2, Postman, IntelliJ IDEA, REST, Mobile App Development, API Design, Android SDK, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Algorithms, REST APIs


2020 - PRESENT
  • Developed an MVP for BidToTalk, a service that connects influencers with followers to have paid conversations.
  • Built a recruiting business, placed candidates, spoke with clients, and learned about the industry to develop a pitch and thesis for a major global talent platform.
  • Started building MVP for the talent platform to demonstrate the concept and attract the team, investors, candidates, and clients.
Technologies: React, Next.js, TypeScript, Neo4j, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Vercel, AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Memgraph, REST APIs, Kotlin

CTO and Co-founder

2016 - 2019
Orderscape, Inc.
  • Developed a guided conversation with an ad-hoc NLP user queries IP.
  • Created a facade-adapter object layer for an extensible interface to plug in many online ordering service integrations.
  • Developed advanced NLP features that switch menu entities per user session and switch on/off intents with smart context switching based on anticipated answers to support a proprietary conversational model.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), RabbitMQ, Heroku, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Node.js, JavaScript, Mobile Development, HTML5, UX Design, SQL, Firebase, Neo4j, iPhone SDK, Final Cut Pro, Postman, TypeScript 3, IntelliJ IDEA, REST, Unix Shell Scripting, CTO, Mobile App Development, API Design, Full-stack, API Architecture, Android SDK, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Algorithms, REST APIs

Senior Android Architect

2014 - 2016
GameOn Technology
  • Developed solo for GameOn's Android sports chat app supporting state-of-the-art notifications and extended media experience across numerous channels using error-free, performant, asynchronous code. Helped re-architect the cloud and API to enhance simplicity, reliability, and performance.
Technologies: Android Studio, RxJava, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Natural Language Processing (NLP), PubNub, Node.js, Android, Mobile Development, UX Design, Firebase, Postman, Network Programming, REST, Mobile App Development, API Design, Android SDK, REST APIs

Senior Software Architect

2012 - 2014
  • Enhanced mobile uploader speed and reliability.
  • Wrote a cool, fun, and complex custom view for displaying, selecting, and deleting favorite photos.
  • Added comprehensive video media support to the photo app.
  • Wrote a slew of new UI features for an upcoming release (confidential).
  • Enhanced wovenshow.com to display video using Flowplayer.
  • Fixed bugs to enhance product reliability.
Technologies: PubNub, JavaScript, HTML5, Git, Python, Java, Android, Mobile App Development, Android SDK

Senior Software Consultant

2012 - 2012
  • Designed and wrote a to-be-released, cutting-edge Android app demonstrating 802.11's mesh networking technology, involving complex multi-device file distribution and synchronization logic, localized NTP time servers, and more.
Technologies: Java, Android, Mobile Development, Firebase, Mobile App Development, Android SDK

Senior Software Architect and Tech Lead (Nook E-reader)

2009 - 2012
Barnes & Noble
  • Hired first at the company's Nook engineering team in Palo Alto.
  • Interviewed and contributed to hiring decisions for the entire original Nook team as lead interviewer.
  • Generated architecture and requirements for Nook Classic, Nook Color, and Nook Tablet as tech lead.
  • Wrote the entire Shop App across generations.
  • Co-led the Nook Advanced Technologies Group focusing on new UX and product concepts. Filed seven patents.
  • Acted as internal and external team liaison.
  • Mentored several younger engineers.
  • Gave several presentations to the CEO and board of directors.
  • Spearheaded exciting NFC initiatives and technologies for in-store experiences.
Technologies: IntelliJ IDEA, Java, Subversion (SVN), SQLite, REST, Android, Mobile Development, HTML5, SQL, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Mobile App Development, API Design, Android SDK, Algorithms, REST APIs

Lead Consulting Engineer

2008 - 2009
iPhone Game Developer
  • Consulted for a Las Vegas-based company that developed cutting-edge interactive touch games.
  • Wrote a complex touch-interactive and shake video-based game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app included full eCommerce store GUI (like App Store) to purchase and download additional titles.
  • Interfaced with the osCommerce server including authentication, downloads, presentation, and updates.
  • Developed custom scripting and scoring engine as well as complex branching logic.
Technologies: Subversion (SVN), Final Cut Pro, Shell Scripting, iOS Simulator, Xcode, Objective-C, iPhone SDK, Cocoa, JavaScript, Mobile Development, 3D, Mobile App Development, C#

President, CTO, and Co-founder

2007 - 2008
FohBoh - Restaurant Business Network
  • Led the development of FohBoh, the world's first and leading social-business network for the $500 billion US restaurant industry with a worldwide following using Ning.
  • Enhanced core Ning features with PHP and JavaScript for a customized user experience.
  • Developed technology roadmap, trademarks, presentations, and product requirement documents.
  • Co-wrote business plans and presentations and helped with contract negotiations.
  • Assisted with business development and fundraising efforts.
  • Served on the board through 2009.
Technologies: PHP, SQL, CTO

President, CTO, and Co-founder

2006 - 2008
  • Founded and headed up Talktiva, which sought to deliver the world's first voice entertainment network enabling consumers to converse verbally and interactively with famous virtual electronic personalities 24/7 by phone in multiple languages.
  • Helped develop the business plan, architecture, technology roadmap, patent strategy, trademarks, presentations, and product requirement documents.
  • Put together a star-studded technical advisory board with luminaries in speech technology and Silicon Valley from General Magic.
  • Developed an exciting, working proof-of-concept, TalkToSanta, using VoiceXML.
  • Researched the market, evaluated numerous third-party technology providers, and assisted with business development and fundraising efforts.
  • Developed strategy to digitize celebrity voices for TalkTo programs using leading edge voice tech companies at substantially lower cost.
Technologies: CTO

CTO and Co-founder

2004 - 2006
UGOBE Life Forms
  • Ugobe Life Forms is a consumer robotics company that develops revolutionary, synthetic life forms that move fluidly and behave like living creatures. Its first life form was Pleo, the pet dinosaur.
  • Helped bootstrap the company from startup to Series-A, serving in numerous capacities by developing the business plan, product concept, prototype, product requirements, company brand, market research, technology roadmap and engineering plans.
  • Assisted with business development, trade shows, investor presentations, and relations, along with sales calls to national retailers including Radio Shack and Sharper Image.
  • Interviewed and recruited staff and vendors, including PR, engineering, and design firms. Developed motion-control firmware and emotional response software in C, Assembly language, and Python.
Technologies: Python, Java, C, Assembly, CTO, REST APIs

CTO and Chief Architect

2003 - 2004
  • Co-architected a teleconferencing server using JBoss to provide fault-tolerant services interfacing with partner bridges.
  • Developed presentation-audio synchronization playback and web presentation billing service using SOAP technology integrating with partner platforms.
  • Developed technical strategy and architecture for company's new VoIP teleconferencing service to lower operating costs and increase competitiveness.
  • Negotiated service contracts with Ubiquity, PointOne Communications, and Peer 1.
  • Managed consultants and performed industry research.
Technologies: JMS, Oracle, JBoss, Java, SQL, CTO, REST APIs

Principal Engineer

2001 - 2002
BridgeSpan Corporation
  • Developed core features of the eMortgageAxis online escrow platform (in partnership with Fannie Mae), including complex fee calculations for HUD forms, proximity search algorithms, and a search engine.
  • Helped define/implement advanced XML SmartDoc standard in conjunction with Fannie Mae and MISMO to represent secure, electronic notes.
  • Used Java, XML, XSLT, CVS, Oracle, regression tests and developed highly complex Excel spreadsheets.
Technologies: XML, Java, SQL, JPEG, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms, REST APIs

Director of Engineering

1999 - 2001
Ten Square
  • Built and managed engineering, QA, and IT departments (staff of 31) as the company's first employee reporting to the CEO.
  • Designed enterprise architecture for the company's advertising and eCommerce service for gas pumps at service stations nationwide.
  • Wrote marketing requirements and functional specs for five-tier network architecture: WebLogic enterprise server with Java, Oracle Database, Ten Square's AMBOS station controller, client-based station controller, and thin client gas pumps.
  • Developed capital equipment budgets, handled purchasing, mocked up user interfaces, and developed board and partner presentations.
  • Developed a unique coupon data packing method using 2D barcodes for the POS.
  • Evaluated and purchased ETAK GeoEngine for mapping and turn-by-turn directions. Evaluated and purchased Engage's AdEngine to manage ad delivery on thin client gas pumps.
  • Assisted with business development efforts, technical due diligence, and contract negotiations.
  • Researched wireless market and technology to enable telematics and internet access for vehicles at stations.
  • Chaired the company's technical advisory board, handled investor/partner technology audits, and worked with partners Chevron, BP/Amoco, Marconi, VeriFone, IVI Checkmate, Exxon, and others.
Technologies: Assembly, HTML, XML, Java, SQL, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms, REST APIs

CEO and Founder

1997 - 1999
SurveySez Corporation
  • Developed SurveySez SaaS, an application allowing online customers to construct, run, and embed interactive surveys within their websites using Perl and Apache web server.
  • Provided real-time reports and invented PowerAds, which were mini-surveys within banner ads.
  • Sold intellectual property to ClickToMarket.
Technologies: Perl, Apache, SQL, Unix Shell Scripting, CTO, REST APIs

Senior Consultant

1996 - 1997
  • Developed anti-spam algorithms to cleanse Webcrawler's search index.
  • Re-engineered the entire search pipeline as well as streamlined database schemas and indices to achieve a 2x performance increase.
  • Developed keyword-based search-result advertising, the precursor to Google's AdWords.
  • Independently developed ImageCrawler, a unique image search engine technology.
Technologies: Oracle SQL, C, SQL, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms, REST APIs

Software Engineering Manager

1994 - 1996
Catapult Entertainment, Inc.
  • Developed XBAND, the first peer-to-peer video game network over phone lines for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.
  • Helped design an entire embedded operating system on bare metal platforms, developing key libraries including resource manager, pattern allocator, image compressor, and smart card driver.
  • Developed call-waiting detection (US Patent #5,651,060) letting calls interrupt games and then recover game play.
  • Led the development team on a back-end player matching service, comprehensive national telephone database, top ten calculations, and player statistics.
  • Led the research project to determine network performance for internet gaming.
Technologies: Java, C, Assembly, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms

Software Engineering Manager

1991 - 1994
RasterOps Corporation
  • Managed the core team developing software for the company's entire line of video products.
  • Wrote low-level and application software for the new line of MoviePak, video capture/playback products for Macintosh.
  • Used C and Assembly language, motion JPEG, and MPEG standards.
  • Interacted closely with LSI Logic chip engineers.
  • Worked with Adobe Premier and Apple QuickTime team on protocols, drivers, and compatibility.
Technologies: JPEG, MPEG, C, Assembly

Senior Software Engineer

1989 - 1991
NeXT Computer, Inc.
  • Developed innovative graphics and media software for NeXTstation and NeXTdimension Color workstations, adding multiple frame buffer support and real-time image compositing functionality.
  • Extended the window server to support multiple displays (awarded US Patent #5,388,201 for multiple bit depth windows), developed live video media capture, and wrote a comprehensive 2D alpha compositing library to enhance Adobe's Display Postscript.
  • Worked on real-time video recording and playback product support for workstations, writing low-level drivers and high-level application examples.
  • Contributed to Mac OS kernel development, wrote tablet drivers, and served on the department's performance team.
Technologies: 3D, Compositing, JPEG, MPEG, Assembly, Objective-C, Network Programming, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms

Software Engineer

1987 - 1989
  • Wrote and consolidated Radius display firmware for Radius' entire line of large-screen display products.
  • Developed cutting-edge tear-off menus, a real-time screen magnifier, and comprehensive control panel software, all first-to-market product features.
Technologies: Assembly, C, Unix Shell Scripting, Algorithms

Software Intern - International OS Group

1986 - 1986
  • Developed custom compression algorithms for ideographic kanji and Arabic fonts.
Technologies: Assembly, C


I was the first Palo Alto team hire and lead software architect on the Nook client. We developed award-winning readers from classic B&W to color HD tablets in record time, in Android.

Piehole iOS Unity3D Game

Piehole is a wild, fast-action 3D shooting-gallery arcade extravaganza. Destroy hundreds of targets using an array of crazy weapons, finding treats and treasure along the way. Annihilate your Facebook friends in fiery explosions for mega-bonus points in multi-gravity environments with realistic physics simulation for hours of fun.

I wrote this entirely from scratch in C# and JavaScript. I developed the original concept, many of the assets, and optimized for the iPad and iPhone. See video at www.rocktonic.com/trailer.

Woven Favorites

For Litl (Woven app), I developed a cool, complex, and custom view widget to represent favorite photos and videos on a scrolling rows of clotheslines and pins. It includes realistic swaying animations of thumbnails when scrolling, deleting, and changing screen orientation.


I co-founded Ugobe in 2005 and developed Pleo, a life-like pet dinosaur and a major robotic innovation. Bootstrapped from start-up to Series-D funding. Co-wrote the business plan, investor presentations, product concept, software prototypes, product requirements, motion control firmware, personality AI control in Python, assisted with company branding, conducted market research, and developed a technology roadmap and engineering plan.

XBAND Online Console Gaming for SNES and Sega Genesis

As senior software engineer, I co-developed XBAND at Catapult Entertainment, the first peer-to-peer video game network over phone lines for Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo (before the Internet took off).

Helped design its embedded operating system on bare metal platforms, developed key libraries, including resource manager, pattern allocator, image codecs, and smart card driver. Developed call-waiting detection (US Patent #5,651,060) allowing calls to interrupt games and then recover gameplay. I led the development team on back-end player matching service (using Oracle SQL), built a comprehensive national telephone database, developed top ten leaderboard calculations and player statistics. Also led a research project to determine network performance for internet gaming.

US Patent #5651060

Method and apparatus for detecting and recovering from call waiting interruptions to modem communications.

US Patent #5388201

Method and apparatus for providing multiple bit depth windows.

US Patent App #20140026101

Accessible menu navigation techniques for electronic devices.

US Patent App #20140026055

Accessible reading mode techniques for electronic devices .

US Patent App #20130159850

Enhanced rapid serial visual presentation speed-reading for electronic reading devices.

US Patent App #20130152011

System and method for navigating in an electronic publication.

US Patent App #20130134213

System and method for providing product information.

US Patent App #20130132237

System and method determining and displaying actions taken on digital content.

US Patent App #20130125016

System and method for transferring content between devices.


I developed a number of applications and games in high school and early college:

• 1979-1982 Consulted for a number of small businesses developing custom applications and reports in Basic, Pascal, and Assembly language.
• 1980-1982 Developed and licensed a number of educational games for computer advanced ideas (CAI).
• 1981 Created and sold BugByter™, the most widely used, commercial, real-time 6502 debugger for the Apple II, distributed by CAI. Licensed BugByter to Apple for inclusion in its ProDOS development kit. BugByter was advanced for its time, sporting resizable windows, variable speed interpretive debugging, real-time view of registers and memory and more. It served as a model for the Macintosh's Macsbug debugger.
1984 Consulted for Professor Theodore Cohn (now deceased) of UC Berkeley's Optometry Dept. developing real-time assembly coded optical experiments testing visual acuity and reaction times.
• 1984 Developed Flappy™, a commercial game for Apple II sold by Unison Corp. of Berkeley, CA.

Champs Trade Show Website

Developed a high profile, last minute trade show booth demo system using Wordpress/MAMP Pro. It lets attendees register and then select up to 10 from over 90 flavors to add to their custom liquid mix for an electronic inhaler. Custom PHP plugin, database tables, Bootstrap, jQuery and Masonry.


Project lead for GameOn's Android mobile sports chat entertainment app. Helped design and launch company's bot strategy.
1983 - 1987

Computer Science Degree in BA Computer Science and Anthropology

University California at Berkeley - Berkeley, CA


Node.js, REST APIs, RxJava, PubNub, jQuery, Amazon API, JMS, React


Postman, Android Studio, Git, IntelliJ IDEA, Terminal, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop, MAMP, Final Cut Pro, Xcode, GNU Debugger (GDB), GCC, Apache, Memgraph, iOS Simulator, Subversion (SVN), Blender, RabbitMQ, Splunk


Android SDK, Dagger 2, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Bootstrap 3, Unity3D, Cocoa, iPhone SDK, Next.js


Kotlin, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, Java, HTML5, Assembler, C, TypeScript 3, TypeScript, Perl, CSS3, C#, PHP, SQL-99, XML/XSLT, Objective-C, GraphQL, Assembly, XML, Python, Ruby, Bash


API Architecture, Rapid Prototyping, UX Design, Unit Testing, REST, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Mobile Development, App Development, Web Architecture, Agile Software Development, Test-driven Development (TDD), Cross-platform, Plugin-Based Architecture, Design Patterns, Procedural Programming, Rule-based Programming


Heroku, Android, JSE, Java EE, Android Watch, JVM, Unix, Linux, Firebase, AWS Lambda, JBoss, Oracle, Amazon Web Services (AWS), iOS, WordPress, Vercel, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)


Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Elasticsearch, SQLite, MongoDB, Neo4j, Oracle SQL, MySQL


Compositing, Bots, API Design, Integration, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Back-end Development, Requirements & Specifications, Data Structures, Data Modeling, Prototyping, CTO, Full-stack, Mobile App Development, Software Development, Software Engineering, iPhone, Remote Work, Offshore Development, Mobile Apps, Android Wear, Android Wearables, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Algorithms, Shell Scripting, MPEG, JPEG, 3D, Google Fit, Front-end, Apache Commons, Network Programming, Web App Development, Unix Shell Scripting, Push Notifications, Game Development, Game Design, Development

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