Wichert Akkerman, Developer in Leiden, Netherlands
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Wichert Akkerman

Verified Expert  in Engineering

System Design Developer

Leiden, Netherlands
Toptal Member Since
May 11, 2020

A former CTO at multiple startups, Wichert has the experience needed to get your product or service off the ground. Working either solo or with a team, he enjoys building solid products that people enjoy using. Wichert would describe himself in five terms as pragmatic, experienced, open-source, full-stack, and social.


Kubernetes, WebRTC, React Native, React, XMPP, SQL, JavaScript, Python
Robot, Communication, Realtime, C++, Python, TypeScript, JavaScript
React, Mobile Apps, SQL, Python




Preferred Environment

MacOS, Go, JavaScript, Python

The most amazing...

...product I have built is a digital personal stylist that worked so well that many women wrote in completely unprompted to tell us how amazing it was.

Work Experience

Senior Full-stack Developer

2019 - 2020
  • Designed a WebRTC signaling protocol and build web implementation for audio/video calls.
  • Set up a Kubernetes-based deployment platform, preparing for on-premise hosting at customers of the Crypho product.
  • Set up CI/CD infrastructure on Azure Pipelines and GitHub to guarantee software quality.
  • Cleared up the technical debt by updating outdated dependencies and fixing various design problems.
Technologies: Kubernetes, WebRTC, React Native, React, XMPP, SQL, JavaScript, Python


2015 - 2019
  • Designed and build a virtual personal stylist that can provide clothing recommendations via tips in eCommerce sites, personal newsletters, in-store kiosks, or humanoid robots.
  • Build a back end for the clothing recommendation system that processed traffic for over a million users on a single day.
  • Led an international team of developers building and maintaining all services.
Technologies: Robot, Communication, Realtime, C++, Python, TypeScript, JavaScript

Chief Technology Officer

2015 - 2018
  • Remotely led a team of developers and QA, building and launching multiple applications in the Myanmar market.
  • Oversaw implementation and maintenance of all products at the company.
  • Designed and implemented data model and back-end for loyalty platform targeting SME retailers.
Technologies: React, Mobile Apps, SQL, Python

Release Manager

2006 - 2010
  • Introduced time-based releases with Plone 3.x, leading to a predictable cycle for service providers who were using Plone.
  • Arranged for coordinated releases between Plone and the frameworks it was using.
  • Reviewed a book, making sure it accurately describes the new technology in Plone 3.
Technologies: Zope, Python, Plone

CurveTips Virtual Personal Stylist

An automated personal stylist that could provide detailed clothing recommendations to women, based on their unique body type. Starting as a basic affiliate site, this grew info a complete service for fashion retailers, providing them with a virtual personal stylist called Barbara. She could be used in many ways: integrated in existing e-commerce sites with a trivial 2-line change in HTML templates, via personalized mailings, on in-store kiosks, and even robot assistants: we had proof of concepts running on Pepper and TiKi robots.
I was responsible for multiple aspects of this project, from being part of the product development to architect and lead developer. I designed the architecture, implemented the back end, and build most front ends, with help from a small global team.
Some data on the service:
- available in seven languages
- used by over a million women
- could handle traffic from all customers of a large European retailer with just three servers.
- custom data pipeline to import feeds with product data from retailers
- custom input system for labeling clothing items
- newsletter had unique content for every user, resulting in an opening rate of 40%, dropping to 25% for users who have been subscribed for over two years.

Online Interactive Risk Assessment

For TNO and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), I designed and build a platform to help companies identify health and safety risks and determine how to remove those risks.
Though the project initially started with most of the requirements not known. By carefully looking at similar existing systems and talking with domain experts we determined what the product should be, and evolved it from there. The end result is a success: it has been translated into twelve languages, has multiple actively used deployments, and has been an official EU tool for over a decade.
All code is open source and hosted on GitHub.

JZoo Customer Loyalty Program (Myanmar)

I was responsible for the architecture and implementation of a customer loyalty program targeting SME retailers in the Yangon area. Our goal was to get a better understanding of customer behavior, using a loyalty program to gather data.
This was implemented by providing stores with a simple Android tablet that staff could use to enter sale data, and from which users could scan a QR code to collect points. These points could then later be redeemed for rewards.
During this process we had to deal with many expected and very unexpected issues such as very bad 3G/4G network connectivity leading to devices being offline frequently, shop staff not charging tablets, telcos not being able to track and report data usage for SIM cards and people trying to use tablets as hotspots for personal use. This required us to build extra monitoring tools and improve the training of shop staff.
The system was deployed to 120 stores throughout Yangon, before eventually being shut down.
1993 - 2000

Propedeuse Diploma in Computer Science

Leiden University - Leiden, The Netherlands

1993 - 1995

Propedeuse Diploma in Mathematics

Leiden University - Leiden, The Netherlands


React, RADIUS, Node.js, WebRTC, Facebook API


Git, CircleCI, Sentry, AWS CloudFormation


Plone, Pyramid, Realtime, Robot, React Native, Zope


Back-end Architecture, REST, Unit Testing, Requirements Analysis, Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD)


Python 2, Python, JavaScript, Python 3, SQL, TypeScript, Go, C++, GraphQL


PostgreSQL, Redis


Docker, MacOS, Kubernetes


Back-end Development, Back-end, Technical Leadership, Internationalization, Content Management Systems (CMS), System Design, GitHub Actions, Azure Pipelines, CTO, Front-end Development, Front-end, Communication, Mobile Apps, XMPP, Team Leadership

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