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John Olmsted

john@olmsted.io | https://olmsted.io | https://github.com/qsymmachus

Skills

At the end of the day, I'm more interested in the problem I'm solving than the tool I'm using to do it.

  • Used recently: Go, Scala/Finagle, Kubernetes/Helm, Thrift & gRPC, MySQL
  • Used less recently: Typescript/Node, Ruby/Rails, React/Redux, PHP, Scheme, Elixir, Kafka, PostgreSQL

Being a great engineer requires more than pure technical skills, especially at the senior level. Here are some I think are important:

  • Project management: I have experience leading technical projects from start to finish. I enjoy collaborating with other teams and non-technical coworkers to solve shared problems. I also leave my ego out of it.
  • Why, not just how: The best code is code that doesn't have to be written. I aim to prioritize work that will have the highest impact.
  • Collaboration: Engineers work in teams – I do my best work when I multiply the impact of my teammates. I regularly mentor those who can learn from me, and seek out mentorship from those who can teach me.

Experience

Senior Software Engineer II, Credit Karma 2019/06 – present
  • Twice the power of an ordinary senior software engineer(?)
  • Lead engineer on the dev efficiency team, a group of force multipliers building tools that speed up software development across the company.
  • Currently building powerful and elegant tools that allow teams to manage their service deployments on a Kubernetes cluster.
    • Blue/green deploys, service scaling, job management, and more through a slick web UI and CLI.
Senior Software Engineer, Credit Karma, 2017/03 – 2019/05
  • Built a performant, distributed system for selecting, rendering, and sending notifications (email and push notifications).
  • My design tripled notification throughput and daily volume, at half the cost.
  • Lead engineer within the team: I multiplied the impact of my team members by
    • Spearheading the design of new services,
    • Learning new technologies when needed, and sharing that knowledge with the team,
    • Collaborating with other senior and staff engineers to align company-wide engineering goals.
Software Engineer, Credit Karma, 2015/04 – 2017/03
  • Lead engineer for a key user-facing API that provides financial advice.
  • Helped with a complete re-design of our internal member support tools.
  • Helped onboard new engineers by teaching classes on our toolset and best practices.
Software Engineer, New Avenue Inc, 2014/04 – 2015/04
  • Developed the core features of a project management platform for home construction.
  • Designed and implemented RESTful APIs and ETL processes for managing client data.
  • Led A/B marketing experiments that tripled our conversion rate. At a small startup, you wear a lot of hats.

Education

  • M.A. history, UC Berkeley 2013
  • M.A. medieval studies, University of Toronto 2011
  • B.A. history, summa cum laude, Carleton College 2009
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