I am a software & systems engineer, polyglot, polymath, lifelong learner, published musician, and patented inventor. I have extensive professional experience developing products & services for startups, agencies, and F500 companies.
My specialties include:
- Rapid mastery of new computer languages, tools, processes, and stacks.
- Improving application security without destroying usability.
- Engineering high-performance, high-availability systems architectures for scaling web applications.
- Designing cross platform web application architectures for desktop, browsers, and native mobile.
- Encouraging use of agile/XP practices, esp. BDD/TDD, code reviews, and pair/mob-programming.
- Building and nurturing environments which encourage innovation.
- HTTP APIs
- web application security
- test automation
I am the engineering lead for over 100 software engineers, designers, analysts, & researchers working on the Veteran Services Platform. Together we build and maintain tools and infrastructure to support the hundreds of folks building apps for va.gov, and the over 9 million U.S. veterans they’re built for.
- Drove reduction of continuous-integration times from 90+ minutes to under 20 minutes, for the first time in over 3 years.
- Led effort to ensure 100% of veteran-facing applications are reviewed for privacy, security, and infrastructure readiness, before public launch.
- Introduced mob/ensemble coding for unblocking & collaborating.
- Worked closely with the infrastructure team to move VA.gov onto Kubernetes.
- Building high-performance teams requires maintaining an environment where trust is high, fear is low, and there is safety to make mistakes. It’s not easy, but we are succeeding!
- Led the architecture, implementation, and delivery of LendingHome’s first automated-underwriting solution.
- Introduced structured logging, across multiple stacks.
- Championed changes to the production-support rotation which improved our feedback loop with customers.
- Created rapid-development & testing tools, including code generators, automated and manual testing helpers, and event-sourcing data migrations.
- Led Rails upgrades from 4.x to 5.x, across multiple stacks.
- Contributed to Ruby 2.5 upgrades, across multiple stacks.
- Fixed application security issues raised by pen testers.
- Ruby on Rails application development: security & performance improvements, feature development, and bug squashing. Rails 3/4/5, MongoDB, PostgresSQL.
- Serverless application development with AWS Lambda & Cloud Formation, and Web Components.
- Performance testing and visualizations using Node.js, Elasticsearch, fluentd, and Kibana.
- Docker-ized all the development environments: Rails, Node.js, PostgresSQL, MongoDB, Nginx, etc.
- Various features and bug-fixes for Panda Strike’s open source projects, including Fairmont, Haiku9, Panda-9000, Panda-Sky and more. CoffeeScript, Node.js, npm.
- Principal architect for an in-house, rapid-development platform for Oracle Commerce, which reduced the developer hours required for implementations by 50%.
- Used linux containers (Docker) to isolate and scale each service in the Oracle Commerce application stack, both on bare metal and cloud servers.
- Automated development-environment management using Vagrant, Chef, Puppet and Docker; resulting in a reduction in initial developer ramp-up time per-project by 90%.
- Developed elastic-scaling solutions for Oracle Commerce using docker-swarm.
- Created tools to automate repetitive development and deployment tasks.
- Automated UI integration with server-side JSP code using grunt, assemble.io and Handlebars.
- Introduced agile project management, pair-programming, code-review, test-driven-development, continuous-integration and continuous-delivery processes using JIRA, Screenhero, Bitbucket pull-requests, RSpec/Groovy/Jasmine and Jenkins.
- Developed service-oriented APIs using Ruby on Rails (SOA architecture).
- Implemented response pagination and API versioning using HTTP request headers.
- Encouraged adoption of regular, frequent releases.
- Invented an automated, external, hardware testing framework for detecting whether a device in a test lab made an audible sound.
- Led iOS application-security efforts.
- Implemented SSL-certificate pinning for iPhone and iPad apps.
- Developed a cross-platform data visualization library using C/C++, with native interfaces for iOS (Objective-C) and Android (NDK, Java/JNI).
- Designed a declarative user-interface architecture for producing native user experiences with the flexibility of web applications to deliver immediate updates and dynamic experiences.
- Co-authored and co-researched an internal white-paper evaluating native, web, “hybrid,” and cross-platform mobile application development strategies.
- Key contributor to the Chase and J.P. Morgan iOS, Android and mobile web banking applications.
- Certified Mobile Application Security Champion.
- Led development of Resource’s Distributed Commerce Platform (formerly known as “Off the Wall”) from prototype to patented product platform.
- Created DCP’s high-performance, PCI/DSS-Level-1-compliant session proxying API and architecture.
- Led company-wide adoption of agile practices. Developed courses and training materials, and spearheaded mentorship and promotion.
Software architecture contractor for Resource/Ammirati, leading up to permanent placement. Please refer to the permanent role for details.
Invented the “distributed e-commerce” model, and the first applications in the market, Cartfly.com and Sellit.com.
- Inventor, principal creator & architect (software and systems) of Cartfly and Sellit.
- Created ActionScript 3 rapid UX development framework, derived from Ruby on Rails patterns. Used internally for Cartfly and Sellit “ShopBots,” reduced .swf file size from 450KB (Flex 2 framework) to 100KB (AS3 “on rails” framework).
- Engineered “enteprise-class” (high performance, high availability) systems architecture with CentOS, Apache, Mongrel, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and copious caching.
Clients included The Beastie Boys, Beck, USPS, Reebok, Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret, Shaw Floors, Genentech, Novartis, Kraft, Heinz, Ohio Health, Resource/Ammirati (now IBM IX), tracermedia. 2005 WebAward for Best Investor Relations Website.
Michael is one of those rare combinations of brilliant engineer and business visionary. He stays on top of both the technical and business sides of the Internet industry. Michael excels at software engineering, but can just as easily guide product direction, and can help non-technical business developers leverage the most of their technology assets and potential. I have worked with Michael for over half a decade and have always been impressed and inspired. I would work with him again in a heartbeat!
Michael is a rare talent. He is easily the most talented and versatile engineer I’ve had the pleasure of working with. A lot of programmers like to consider themselves "elite," but Michael is the only developer I’ve met who doesn’t consider himself so, though his peers unanimously do. Combine that with his rare humility, and what you have is a priceless mentor and leader for the junior members of your team. He is the kind of person who, when given a challenging goal, will deliver something even better than was hoped for. He is also unquestionably trust-worthy, and has a strong moral character.
Michael is that guy you bring in to figure out how to do the impossible. That’s what he does; he does the impossible and he does it really well. I have run in to very few people in this world with his amazing capability to find a creative technological solution to the seemingly unsolvable. Combine that with a sharp brain that’s always focused on the practical and (most importantly) the revenue, and you’ve got an invaluable addition to your team.
I miss having Michael on my projects! He was the crazy professor who could help anyone improve their projects whether it be through project management, training, or out of the box thinking. You can tell Michael received his vast spectrum of expertise in, seemingly, every field by his focused curiosity and his compulsiveness that won’t allow him to turn in sub-par work. I have also seen Michael take high school educated students who know a couple html nodes and turn them into self-supportive developers in as little as 2 years! Michael is literally a genius in every area of technology I have ever asked him a question about. Having him as a mentor, he patiently took me from a very limited amount of knowledge to a broad amount of experience. Michael has been the brains behind a multitude of organizations; not only developing the technology behind the business, but actually inventing the business models to create new revenue or expand existing models.
I met Michael in January 2007 when Ustrive2 was getting off the ground. In my capacity as a consultant responsible for crafting business plans and raising seed capital, I had the good fortune of working closely with Michael as the ideas for distributive e-commerce were taking shape. My experiences with programmers up till then had been less than satisfying. Michael was a breath of fresh air. He is personable, well-grounded, unique, responsible and a man of his word. He has a keen business mind which I believe is one reason why his execution is so effective and elegant. I enjoyed working with Michael and would love to so again.
Michael isn’t just a programmer. He is truly a visionary and fun to work with. He is the brains behind all of the programming and engineering for POPLOGIX. There is absolutely nothing I come up with that he can’t make better.
Michael is a true inventor and critical thinker. He continually showed his personal commitment to quality and on-schedule delivery by meeting established milestones and deadlines while being versatile, flexible, and proactive when resolving technical issues. It was a pleasure being able to collaborate and participate as a part of Michael’s team.
I hired Michael during his tenure at Disinovate to design and program my web sites, provide technical support for them, and help me maintain and upgrade my business equipment. And he always delivered - in spades. Michael is one of those people who was taking apart computers when he was just a kid, and he never stopped being fascinated by how things work and how to find better solutions to problems. But he is not an “I’m-too-busy-to-dumb-it-down-for-you” kind of guy. He has the unique ability and patience to explain complex technical issues and terms to those of us who are more “technically challenged.”” Michael has a real passion for his work and a professional work ethic. He is a talented programmer and engineer, as well as a true leader and visionary. He writes code that not just solves problems, but always has business needs at the forefront. His knowledge of online and software solutions is impressive. He never failed to find innovative answers to any problems I had. Michael has a brilliant and creative mind, making him a fascinating and fantastic person to have on your team. And he is just a really nice person to boot. Working with Michael was truly a highlight of my career. I highly recommend Michael for projects. Just give him some specs and watch him go!
I have had the immense honor of working with Michael on various projects for assorted companies for going on 8 years. Frankly in my 23 years of being in this field, I have never met a more talented, resourceful, or skilled developer. Michael easily and skillfully does in 1 hour, what would take 90% of the programmers in the field today 6 to 8 hours. If Michael says he can do your project, he can, and will produce results the likes you have never dreamed of. You simply can not hire a more talented, skilled, or knowledgeable person.
You can’t just call Michael an IT guy, or a developer, programmer, or the web guy– that would lump him in with too many average (or even above average) developers. Michael is truly a genius. If you can imagine it- he can develop it. If you can’t imagine it- let him help you bring something wonderful to life. A remarkably talented, deeply knowledgeable and inventive man. I can’t say enough good things about Michael’s talent, good nature, and work ethic; a true joy to work with. If you are considering hiring- make sure you keep him in the mix, his talent will speak for itself, and you won’t be disappointed.
Mike is one of the most brilliant developers I’ve ever met. What makes him great is not just that he is passionate about the code, but also so incredibly mindful of the business goals and intent of the project. He ALWAYS came up with something better than what was presented as original concept.