Tyson Jacobs, Developer in Seattle, WA, United States
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Tyson Jacobs

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Game Development Developer

Seattle, WA, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 24, 2018

Tyson is a skilled C++ specialist with over 12 years of industry experience. His background in the game industry, consumer electronics, and scientific simulation has given him a robust toolset—enabling him to tackle a wide spectrum of problem domains. He loves the challenge of reducing complex problems to simple, very usable solutions. He has worked on team sizes ranging from solo projects to hundreds of people.


Oculus VR
XML, Intel TBB, Standard Template Library (STL), Qt, OpenGL, C++
MQL4, Boost, GLSL, Standard Template Library (STL), OpenGL, SDL, C++
JavaScript, Embedded Systems, PEG.js, WebSockets, SIMD, ASM...




Preferred Environment

Visual Studio, Perforce, Mercurial, Git

The most amazing...

...thing I’ve designed and built was an optical simulator described as world-class by industry experts. My team vastly preferred it to the ($50,000/seat) standard.

Work Experience

Software Engineer

2017 - PRESENT
Oculus VR
  • Wrote a high-performance physical ray tracer/optical simulator; used C++, STL, and TBB.
  • Developed a visualizer for the ray tracer; used C++, Qt, OpenGL.
  • Authored a real-time reflection library; used C++ and XML.
Technologies: XML, Intel TBB, Standard Template Library (STL), Qt, OpenGL, C++

Independent Developer

2013 - 2017
  • Independently developed from scratch the game PlanNet, a casual RTS with a unique and addictive gameplay mechanic; used SDL and OpenGL 2.0, with C++ 11, STL, and Boost.
  • Developed automated trading software and optimizer; used C++, STL, and MQL4.
  • Developed an image-enhancement GPU shader for use in console and arcade emulators; used C++, OpenGL, and GLSL.
Technologies: MQL4, Boost, GLSL, Standard Template Library (STL), OpenGL, SDL, C++

Software Engineer

2007 - 2013
  • Wrote the majority of the UI for European TVs; used C++ and PEG.js.
  • Maintained a 2D software rendering library that was used by all the TV models; used C++.
  • Built a Full HD animated menu, using software rendering that ran at 60 frames per second. Before the project began, it was deemed impossible to run at a reasonable framerate at all; I used C++ and ASM/SIMD (Arm Neon).
  • Developed server-linking JavaScript UIs and platform APIs; used C++ and WebSockets.
Technologies: JavaScript, Embedded Systems, PEG.js, WebSockets, SIMD, ASM, Standard Template Library (STL), C++

Optical Simulator | Oculus VR

This is a full-stack replacement of an existing tool chain which included Zemax, a 50,000/seat piece of software. I designed and programmed this as the sole developer in C++ and Qt/OpenGL.

The performance of both the simulation and visualization wound up being hundreds of times faster than the existing software and my clients (a team of PhD optical researchers) couldn't have been happier!

Meta | Oculus VR

Meta is a C++ run-time reflection library that I wrote which is one of the core technologies used in the optical simulator. It is minimally intrusive and supports automated serialization, visitation, cloning, hashing, and more.


PlanNet is a real-time strategy game that I designed and programmed; used C++, OpenGL, and SDL. The game concept came to me in a dream and it was gratifying and instructive to build the entire game from scratch.

Full HD Animated Menu | Toshiba

The main menu for this TV was supposed to be simple and non-animated, due to the difficulty of rendering in Full HD with very limited hardware (200 Mhz and very slow 2D graphics).

I wanted to see if the original, animated design could be implemented. It turned out, with enough optimization, it could!
1995 - 1999

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

Williams College - Williamstown, MA, USA


OpenGL ES, SDL, OpenGL, Standard Template Library (STL), Intel TBB


Microsoft Visual Studio, Direct3D, Git, Mercurial, Perforce, Visual Studio


Boost, Qt, ASM, PEG.js


C++11, C++17, GLSL, C++, MQL4, XML, JavaScript, Assembly, Python, Java


Concurrent Programming, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Agile, Functional Programming


Linux, MacOS


Optimization, Game Development, SIMD, WebSockets, Embedded Systems

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