Tom Lovett, Developer in Somerville, MA, United States
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Tom Lovett

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Full-stack Developer

Somerville, MA, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 23, 2019

Tom is a senior full-stack developer, team lead, and architect. He specializes in team augmentation, greenfield builds, and even writing technical documentation. A former Coast Guard mechanical engineer, Tom's leadership, communication skills, and technical insight enable him to turn raw business requirements into high-quality, robust code.


Vital Network
Software Design, Architecture, Leadership, Full-stack, React, SaaS, Security...
Ruby on Rails (RoR), Salesforce, Communication, Team Mentoring, Architecture...
Squeaky Clean Energy Ltd
Agile Software Development, C#, Node.js, Writing & Editing, Documentation...




Preferred Environment

Git, MacOS, Apache Pulsar

The most amazing...

...thing I've achieved was when my 3-month solo project was deployed to tens of thousands of Wayfair customers without a hitch—all while I was on vacation.

Work Experience

Architect | Lead Developer

2023 - 2023
Vital Network
  • Acted as lead architect, gathered business needs from non-technical clients, proposed a product offering, wrote an end-to-end build plan, brought on a second developer, and then built the application.
  • Architected all aspects of the greenfield back end, including API structure, database structure, CI/CD, and testing.
  • Designed the database structure to integrate with AI-powered data analysis to better understand customer needs.
  • Deployed the new application to Heroku and added CI/CO on production builds, email integrations, and nightly recurring jobs.
  • Managed the client's limited budget and urgent deadlines by discussing the most important needs and prioritizing features based on ROI for development time.
Technologies: Software Design, Architecture, Leadership, Full-stack, React, SaaS, Security, Ruby on Rails (RoR), OAuth, PostgreSQL, Tailwind CSS, TypeScript, Heroku

Senior Ruby on Rails Engineer

2022 - 2023
  • Overhauled critical yet unreliable services like Zoom and Salesforce integrations to reduce the QA team's costly manual work. The refactored code allowed the team to expand functionality and lessen QA effort.
  • Reduced rate-limit incidents by 97% by reworking the Zoom integration to prevent excessive API requests. Added a new table to the database, refactored the cron job that ran every five minutes, and expanded the Salesforce model.
  • Mentored two junior developers, one of whom was working their first job as a developer. Taught them test-driven development and how to architect services and provided core tips and tricks to optimize daily tasks.
  • Standardized processes for an unstructured team by implementing CI/CD, code standards, and Slack communication protocols.
  • Onboarded a senior developer and first-time junior developer after the team lost its tech lead and ranking developer in short order. The senior developer was able to ramp up and own features quickly, and the junior developer contributed meaningfully.
Technologies: Ruby on Rails (RoR), Salesforce, Communication, Team Mentoring, Architecture, Freelancing, Git, Agile, Web Development, RSpec, Refactoring, Testing, Full-stack, Ruby, Front-end, SQL, CSS, REST APIs, PostgreSQL, HTML5, Database Design, HTML, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, Ruby on Rails API, APIs, Technical Design, API Integration, Integration

Technical Writer

2021 - 2022
Squeaky Clean Energy Ltd
  • Documented the client's entire codebase as a report for non-technical leadership and to potential investors as technical due diligence.
  • Consulted with non-technical employees to learn complex green energy regulations and explain the workings of the codebase.
  • Refactored the client's billing service to improve runtime and robustness. Advised leadership on technical architecture for the next product.
  • Explained technical workings of the codebase to non-technical employees. These conversations led to improved processes between the development team and the (non-technical) billing team.
  • Presented documentation to company leadership, explaining the operations of the codebase using flow diagrams built in Lucidchart.
Technologies: Agile Software Development, C#, Node.js, Writing & Editing, Documentation, Technical Writing, Freelancing, JavaScript, Web Development, REST APIs, JavaScript 6, SQL, Requirements Analysis, APIs, Team Mentoring, MySQL, MongoDB

Full-stack Developer

2020 - 2021
  • Initiated and retired multiple experimental products, quickly building entirely new applications in a fast-paced environment.
  • Researched multiple potential video integrations for the client's unique needs for a solution that accommodates hundreds of simultaneous viewers and strict moderation. Found the ideal product by consulting directly with sales engineers.
  • Wrote end-to-end build plans to incorporate the video conferencing application into multiple codebases. The detailed nature of these tickets allowed developers to deliver features on time despite the fast pace and lack of direct oversight.
Technologies: React, Node.js, APIs, Front-end, Freelancing, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, Single-page Applications (SPA), Architecture, Testing, Full-stack, SQL, JavaScript 6, PostgreSQL, HTML5, Redux, Jest, Database Design, HTML, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, Enzyme, Team Mentoring, Material UI, Technical Design, API Integration

Full-stack Developer

2020 - 2020
The Upside Travel Company, LLC
  • Spun up three new codebases while the client was making a lifesaving pivot away from travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Developed separate client- and internal-facing single-page React applications that shared a single Node.js REST API.
  • Refactored and re-purposed the application as the client made three major pivots in two months.
Technologies: Material 2, Node.js, React, Front-end, Freelancing, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, Refactoring, Single-page Applications (SPA), Architecture, Testing, TypeScript, Full-stack, SQL, JavaScript 6, PostgreSQL, HTML5, Redux, Jest, Database Design, HTML, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, Enzyme, APIs, Team Mentoring, Material UI, Technical Design, MongoDB, API Integration

Back-end Developer

2020 - 2020
Peer Collective
  • Independently planned, built, tested, and deployed the client's 1st back-end platform.
  • Developed an algorithm to match users with mental health counselors based on their unique needs and preferences.
  • Collaborated with the front-end developer to design an intuitive and robust API.
  • Designed a new database structure for the client's 1st automated application.
Technologies: RSpec, Ruby on Rails API, Freelancing, Git, Agile, REST APIs, Refactoring, Architecture, Testing, Ruby, SQL, Web Development, Ruby on Rails (RoR), PostgreSQL, Database Design, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, APIs, Technical Design, API Integration

Full-stack Developer

2019 - 2020
Church Community Builder
  • Planned and developed the client's first third-party integration. The integration allowed users to order background checks without leaving the client's site.
  • Designed and built a third-party integration that generated $60,000 in revenue from 200 customers in the first 90 days.
  • Designed, built, and tested new tables and API endpoints for integration. Updated the structure to accommodate three major strategic pivots.
  • Taught modern React practices to the client's developers, leading to a cleaner, more efficient codebase.
  • Onboarded new clients to developers to projects during team re-structuring.
Technologies: SQL, PHP, React, Front-end, Freelancing, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, Refactoring, Single-page Applications (SPA), Architecture, Testing, Team Mentoring, Full-stack, JavaScript 6, PostgreSQL, HTML5, Redux, HTML, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, Enzyme, APIs, Technical Design, MySQL, API Integration

Full-stack Developer II

2018 - 2019
  • Overhauled legacy pages, from server-side-render to lazy-load through GraphQL endpoints.
  • Took the initiative to lead engineering meetings after the departure of the manager.
  • Designed and implemented a new development process to accommodate a team owning six independent features.
  • Expanded test suite to cover long-standing unsupported features.
  • Designed, planned, and built the team's first GraphQL endpoints to improve API performance.
Technologies: PHP, SQL, GraphQL, React, Front-end, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, Refactoring, Architecture, Testing, Full-stack, JavaScript 6, HTML5, Redux, HTML, Requirements Analysis, Data Architecture, Enzyme, APIs, Technical Design, API Integration

Full-stack Developer

2018 - 2018
  • Expanded the integration with Stripe payment processing.
  • Connected the application's error reporting to the Sentry error-tracking platform.
  • Refactored legacy code for performance and maintainability.
Technologies: SQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Ember.js, Front-end, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, RSpec, Refactoring, Single-page Applications (SPA), Testing, Full-stack, JavaScript 6, PostgreSQL, HTML5, Jest, HTML, Enzyme, Ruby on Rails API, APIs

Full-stack Web Developer

2016 - 2017
  • Gained positive customer feedback for a prototype I built of the company's current primary product. I designed and created the MVP based on the CEO's ideas for a comprehensive data dashboard, which was then developed into a full product.
  • Led the solutions engineering team, working directly with the customer success department and clients.
  • Researched and incorporated new frameworks like Addepar Ember Charts into the Jebbit platform. Overwrote 3rd-party source code to fit design requirements.
  • Structured a young, small engineering team through sprint planning, ticket writing, and splitting the team into dedicated groups.
  • Designed the interview process and led the hiring for a solutions engineer opening, employing an exceptionally-qualified candidate.
  • Integrated company data with external platforms like Salesforce, Google Ads, and HubSpot.
Technologies: PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ruby, Ember.js, Front-end, JavaScript, Git, Agile, CSS, Web Development, REST APIs, RSpec, Refactoring, Single-page Applications (SPA), Architecture, Testing, Full-stack, SQL, JavaScript 6, HTML5, Jest, HTML, Data Architecture, Enzyme, Ruby on Rails API, APIs, Technical Design, Bootstrap, API Integration

Machinery Technician

2011 - 2015
United States Coast Guard
  • Assigned as E-4 but worked as E-6, offering senior-level services despite my junior classification. Led 2-month in-port maintenance projects with client ships.
  • Planned and executed repairs, installations, and preventative maintenance with client leadership. Finished top one in my class from Machinery Technician "A" School at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown.
  • Trained and evaluated new crew members on shipboard qualifications like in-port security, engineering rounds, firefighting, and damage control.
Technologies: Agile Project Management

Peer Collective API
An entire REST API planned and built from scratch. The automated platform relieved the CEO/founder of the need for manual matching and scheduling, achieving a five-fold increase in customer base.

Peer Collective is a peer-to-peer counseling service that reduces the cost of mental health counseling by not mandating professional certification. Before this project, the CEO manually matched users with therapists, and clients-therapists were responsible for arranging meetings. I was hired to build an automated platform from scratch.

The CEO/founder was non-technical, so I architected all back-end aspects, including the database structure, API endpoints, and client-therapist matching algorithm. The custom-designed algorithm took in the user's needs and preferences for counseling and returned a list of counselors ranked by best fit. The app included integrations with Acuity Scheduling and Vonage, enabling users to book sessions with their counselors and the application to schedule video conferencing. A full test suite also supported the code, allowing later developers to quickly expand and modify the application.

PPP Advisor Pro
A React/Node.js TypeScript app that enabled Upside employees to expedite applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness relating to COVID-19 loans. The user-facing app would walk users through the application process, while another front end served as an internal tool to manage these applications.

A strategic pivot from a travel company built during the height of the pandemic, myself and two client developers quickly spun up two separate front ends with a shared back end. The user-facing app was a single-page application (SPA) that prioritized speed and ease of navigation. The internal tool prioritized requesting, displaying, and manipulating rows of user data.

I wrote most of the customer-facing application, utilizing Material UI to build an intuitive SPA. The client developers and I paired to build the back end. The app was a success, allowing Upside Travel to keep employees on staff during a massive drop in business-related travel—their primary industry and source of revenue.

EU Energy Labels
Replaced server-side rendered components with lazy-loaded React components, hitting GraphQL endpoints in a massively-complex codebase. The code was a success—the improved loading time encouraged our team to overhaul other components similarly.

EU regulations required Wayfair to display energy-consumption ratings for the thousands of its electricity-based products. The complex database lookup would slow down the render speed of the product page, so I was tasked with building lazy-loaded front-end components and their GraphQL endpoints.

I built the new front-end components behind a feature flag to not disrupt the existing server-side render components. These GraphQL endpoints were among the first of their kind at Wayfair. They needed to cover thousands of products, but my teammates nor I had prior experience with GraphQL, so I covered them extensively with tests and coordinated with the QA team for manual testing.

Pushpay | Checkr 3rd-party Integration
An API integration project with Checkr, a background-check processing service. I architected the API endpoints and database tables and built them alongside a client developer. I also redesigned the project to accommodate two strategic pivots. The project was a massive success, bringing in $60,000 in revenue in the first 90 days.

The client wanted to add a Checkr integration to their volunteer-management platform to allow users to request background checks. No one within the company had experience with 3rd-party integrations, and I quickly realized the project was unplanned and under-scoped. I offered to research Checkr and write a step-by-step build plan, which was approved, so I then wrote tickets for each step of the process.

A client developer and I built the first phase by working through the tickets. Users loved seeing the status of background checks, so Product wanted to allow users to request background checks. I replanned our API endpoints and database schema, wrote up another set of tickets, and built that functionality.

Then Product wanted providers to be able to upload their own background checks. I planned and built open-access API endpoints for the client, including new database tables.
2004 - 2008

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Japanese Language

Wesleyan University - Middletown, Connecticut, USA


Ruby on Rails API, React, REST APIs, Node.js, Material 2, Vue


Git, RSpec


Ruby on Rails (RoR), Ember.js, Redux, Bootstrap, Jest, Material UI, Next.js, Tailwind CSS


JavaScript 6, SQL, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Ruby, Python, GraphQL, HTML5, PHP, TypeScript, C#


Agile, Testing, Requirements Analysis, Refactoring, Database Design, Agile Software Development, Agile Project Management


PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB


MacOS, Heroku, Salesforce


Single-page Applications (SPA), Front-end, Freelancing, Web Development, Architecture, Data Architecture, APIs, Apache Pulsar, Team Mentoring, Technical Writing, Documentation, Technical Design, API Integration, Full-stack, Enzyme, Communication, Writing & Editing, Critical Analysis, Research & Critical Thinking, Software Design, Leadership, SaaS, Security, OAuth, Integration

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