Justin Michela, Developer in Boston, MA, United States
Justin is available for hire
Hire Justin

Justin Michela

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Boston, MA, United States
Toptal Member Since
June 26, 2018

Justin is a technical professional with a passion for learning and 18+ years of experience leading teams to build enterprise-grade distributed applications that solve real-world problems. Justin firmly believes that collaboration across all facets of a business, from development to marketing to sales, is required to succeed in this endeavor.


Fidelity Investments
Architecture, Consulting, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Java, Node.js, Angular...
Cox Automotive
PagerDuty, Splunk, JavaScript, Ruby, Spring, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)...
Foureyes Labs
Robot Operating System (ROS), Node.js, AWS Lambda, C++, C, TensorFlow, Solidity...




Preferred Environment

Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Git, Docker, Python, Java

The most amazing...

...thing I've coded is a marketing automation engine that took in product info and consumer purchasing data and modeled what best to advertise to which consumers.

Work Experience

Vice President of Architecture

2020 - PRESENT
Fidelity Investments
  • Led the technical direction and implementation for the department in Fidelity that managed the interplay between Fidelity's two main lines of business—personal and workplace investing.
  • Conducted a six-month-long endeavor involving hundreds of people across multiple teams and departments to determine the correct technical direction for the company, resulting in a comprehensive multi-year plan.
  • Guided the project and managed the teams that opened up alternative investments to high-net-worth and retail investors.
  • Built the first iteration of Fidelity's crypto offering.
Technologies: Architecture, Consulting, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Java, Node.js, Angular, Back-end Development, SQL, Apache Kafka, Elasticsearch, Kafka Streams, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems


2015 - PRESENT
Cox Automotive
  • Awarded a seven-figure contract to rebuild a client’s CMS using Adobe Experience Manager, defined best practices for its use, and implemented a framework that enabled the business to iterate up to 1,000x faster on its marketing initiatives.
  • Created a domain-specific language (DSL) that converted pseudocode and HTML+JavaScript into JSPs and XML that Adobe Experience Manager could understand so new developers could be onboarded 10x faster.
  • Implemented a transaction marker that helped pinpoint the source of issues within their massively distributed, multi-team application infrastructure (multiple languages).
  • Built a throttling system in Java that could be used by any team to throttle HTTP requests based on the responsiveness of the endpoints, and could, therefore, be responsive to increased demand.
Technologies: PagerDuty, Splunk, JavaScript, Ruby, Spring, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Java, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Managing Partner

2015 - PRESENT
Foureyes Labs
  • Performed technical due diligence on deals ranging from $100,000 to $10,000,000 for various clients.
  • Designed and implemented a rapid-development plan with the goal of testing the revenue potential of at least one new product idea each month, achieving a 20% success rate in the program’s first year.
  • Managed all corporate finances including taxes, budgets, cash flows, and the development of a financial model for budgeting and forecasting.
  • Built a distributed lottery application on the Ethereum blockchain using Solidity.
  • Created a self-driving car operating system using ROS, C++, Python, and TensorFlow that won a competition to be implemented and tested on live roads.
Technologies: Robot Operating System (ROS), Node.js, AWS Lambda, C++, C, TensorFlow, Solidity, Vue, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Serverless, Spring, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Chief Technology Officer

2020 - 2020
Human Factors, LLC
  • Designed and built the back-end API using NestJS from scratch in just three weeks to be ready for FDA studies.
  • Created local development environments and pipelines using Docker that mirrored production for rapid developer onboarding.
  • Onboarded and managed three new developers over the next eight weeks, successfully delivering the second phase of functionality for FDA studies.
  • Acted as the product owner, lead architect, and project manager for the back-end functionality, leading to a successful launch with no known bugs.
  • Led the effort for proactive error detection and mitigation by implementing Sentry.io and configuring integrations.
Technologies: MySQL, Docker, TypeScript, NestJS, JavaScript, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Distributed Systems

Python Developer

2019 - 2020
  • Implemented systems to reduce the application's fragility, such as retry logic and bug fixes.
  • Augmented the existing API to add new functionality.
  • Migrated an integration from one service to another by swapping out the implementation but maintaining all underlying working functionality.
Technologies: HubSpot, MySQL, Python, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Distributed Systems

Lead Architect

2018 - 2020
  • Ported an existing Excel spreadsheet to a web app that enabled better data tracking, sharing, and usability, increasing sales.
  • Worked with the client to define and estimate the tool's features and functionality.
  • Created the original framework for the application and infrastructure.
  • Brought on four team members and led them through the implementation of the remaining functionality.
  • Built the deployment and testing pipelines for the application and team.
Technologies: Docker, Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, Angular, .NET, C#, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Elasticsearch, Distributed Systems

Senior Java Developer

2018 - 2020
  • Ported over legacy functionality to cloud web apps in Azure.
  • Implemented systems to reduce the application's fragility.
  • Deployed systems to maintain the application's performance across releases.
Technologies: Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, Spring, Java, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Elasticsearch, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Chief Technology Officer

2018 - 2019
SupPorter, Inc.
  • Built plan for integrations and development required to provide cryptocurrencies as a fundraising option.
  • Developed technical team and streamlined development process using Agile methodology.
  • Led and oversaw all of the technical direction in the company.
Technologies: Cryptocurrency, SQL, Distributed Systems

Chief of Engineering

2018 - 2019
  • Hired six months before the sale of the company with objectives to assist in the sale, improve quality and efficiency of the engineering team, reduce development time and costs, streamline business operations, and provide startup M&A experience.
  • Assisted in the sale of the company for upwards of $40 million in assets and led the transition team.
  • Reduced release cycle time by 60% by implementing automated regression testing focusing on automated deployments.
Technologies: HTML, JavaScript, Jira, Git, C, SQL, Distributed Systems

Enterprise Architect

2016 - 2018
Surefire Social
  • Coordinated the integration effort to sell Promio's product offering as an up-sell to Surefire's application suite.
  • Re-architectured queries in PHP and MySQL code to increase performance on the dashboard and other reports.
  • Managed a team of five remote developers across the world.
Technologies: Python, JavaScript, Angular, React, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, C#, PHP, Back-end Development, Freelancing, SQL, Distributed Systems

Chief Technology Officer

2016 - 2016
  • Led the architecture of a new product line that became the face of the business after only six months.
  • Moved the business from post-billing to pre-billing, drastically increasing cash flows.
  • Designed two-way integrations with three major digital advertising channels - Google, Facebook, and Bing.
  • Helped in the sale of the company to a larger marketing technology company called Surefire Social after only 11 months.
Technologies: JavaScript, React, Windows PowerShell, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft SQL Server, .NET, C#, Back-end Development, SQL, Elasticsearch, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Chief Technology Officer

2014 - 2015
m2M Strategies
  • Directed product strategy through market research and interactive customer analysis.
  • Led two teams of eight engineers, one that managed the technology products and another that reacted to the day-to-day needs of the business.
  • Designed a data integration framework used to streamline client onboarding, cutting onboarding time down by a factor of 10.
  • Managed all client and strategic request prioritization across the organization.
  • Implemented a queue-based load leveling communication system to assure high reliability and scale between 13 highly utilized production systems.
Technologies: Python, Go, Windows PowerShell, Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, Java, Microsoft SQL Server, .NET, C#, Back-end Development, SQL, Elasticsearch, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Director of Technology

2014 - 2014
m2M Strategies
  • Architected the integration between GetOne and m2M's products into a single product suite.
  • Managed a technical team of six on-site developers.
  • Coordinated the consolidation of third-party mobile applications development to be in-house again.
  • Implemented project management tools to increase team efficiency and better track deadlines.
Technologies: Windows PowerShell, Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, .NET, C#, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

President and Chief Technology Officer

2012 - 2014
GetOne Rewards
  • Directed product strategy through competitive and market analysis.
  • Oversaw all technological decisions and implementation.
  • Managed a team of eight developers, five on-site and three off-shore.
  • Redesigned web architecture for scale using Amazon AWS infrastructure.
  • Managed third-party mobile applications development for Android and iOS operating systems.
  • Coordinated and negotiated funding contracts for Series A and B investment rounds.
  • Contributed to ongoing business plan and strategy for the company.
Technologies: Python, iOS, Android, Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, JavaScript, Spring, Apache Tomcat, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Distributed Systems

Software Development Engineer

2012 - 2012
  • Built infrastructure through Amazon’s Simple Workflow Service to efficiently process the amortization of 20 million Amazon Prime payments each month.
  • Gathered and organized project requirements from various stakeholders throughout the organization.
  • Compiled design and test-case documentation to facilitate the ease of continued development.
Technologies: Workflow, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hibernate, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Distributed Systems

Co-founder and Lead Developer

2010 - 2012
GetOne Rewards
  • Managed technology-based business decisions for the company.
  • Assured simple integration of team member’s products.
  • Constructed internal database from scratch in JDO and then SQL.
  • Built mobile device communication API employed by 500,000 users.
  • Developed smartphone applications for Android operating system.
  • Coordinated and negotiated corporate organization contracts between LLC owners.
  • Contributed to original business and funding plan for the company.
Technologies: Android, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, Google App Engine, Apache Tomcat, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Distributed Systems

Software Engineer

2011 - 2011
  • Built Google Docs plug-in for the publisher portal of the Google Currents application used by thousands of publishers worldwide.
  • Architected and built a versioning system using analogous to A/B testing that facilitated the release of new features in phases to different users.
  • Created an Android integration for Google Docs plug-in.
Technologies: BigTable, JavaScript, Android, Java, Back-end Development, SQL, Distributed Systems

Teaching Assistant

2009 - 2011
Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Taught recitations twice a week to advance students’ course material knowledge.
  • Created programs to efficiently grade submitted homework and projects quickly and efficiently.
  • Maintained grade-book records for 100+ students per semester.
  • Hosted office hours during the week to enhance availability and increase hands-on learning.
  • Assisted students in any way that helped further their education.
Technologies: Assembly, C++, C, Java

Mechanical Inspection Tool

A web application that aggregates information about car sales and allows for users to enter in data about inspections for the vehicles. The car sales data comes from an external API and is pulled into the tool.

The tool is written in Node.js with a MySQL database and leverages various frameworks such as typescript, docker, serverless, many AWS services (S3, Kinesis, Lambda, API Gateway, etc), terraform, etc

Pricing Tool

A web application used to manage pricing information related to shipping cars from one location to the next. Users can upload rates for carriers and for routes, and the tool will use that information to calculate a price for a given car and route when asked. A user can override a price quote at any time. The decision logic for calculating a price quote uses existing rate information as well as historical price overrides.

The tool is written in Node.js with a SQL Server database and leverages various frameworks such as typescript, docker, serverless, many AWS services (S3, Kinesis, Lambda, API Gateway, etc), terraform, etc

Run Tracker API

A JSON REST API that tracks jogging times of users.

* API Users can create an account and log in.
* All API calls are authenticated using a form of OAuth.
* There are three roles with different permission levels:
** a regular user can CRUD on their owned records,
** a user manager can CRUD only users,
** and an admin can CRUD all records and users.
* Based on the provided date and location, the API will connect to an external weather API provider and get the weather conditions for the run, and store that with each run.
* A report endpoint exists that aggregates average speed & distance per week.
* Filtering capabilities exist for all endpoints that return a list of elements.
** Parenthesis are used for defining operations precedence and on any combination of the available fields.
** The supported operations are or, and, eq (equals), ne (not equals), gt (greater than), lt (lower than).
* Pagination exists for all endpoints that return a list of elements.
* Testing was done with unit tests and integration tests.

The project was built using a Java Spring Boot back-end, a MySQL database, and docker to spin up the modules.
Integration tests written in Ruby.

JOOQ used for application to database communication.

Calendar Sync

A web application (and console library) used to sync Microsoft and Google Calendars. Users can link a Microsoft account and a Google account, and the events on a calendar in the Microsoft account will copy over to a chosen calendar on the Google account.

The tool is written in Python with a MySQL database and leverages various services and frameworks such as typescript, SCSS, Flask, Jinja2, SQLAlchemy, Stripe, docker, serverless, etc

Distributed Raffle

A distributed application (DApp) used to allow anyone from across the world to play a series of raffle games. The players of the raffle play only against each other and randomness is provided by the players of the game and the miners on the Ethereum network.

The game is written in Solidity and runs on the Ethereum network.

Git Poller

A console application that polls a git repository and performs an action when changes are detected.

The tool is typically used as a deployment application, but also has uses for notification and other purposes. The tool was developed to allow for decentralized deployments in a distributed microservice infrastructure.

The tool is written in python and uses a yaml file for configuration.

Queue Service

A service used to run distributed work queued from various microservices.

The tool has gone through many iterations and has complex logic to do things such as caching, locking, re-queueing, etc.

The tool was originally written in Java but was ported to C#, and leverages various frameworks such as .NET, docker, many AWS services (S3, Kinesis, Redshift, SQS, etc), Windows Powershell, terraform, etc.

JIRA Reporting Tool

A console application used to import and manage task reporting information related to an agile team's performance metrics.

The tool is written in Go Lang with PostgreSQL database and leverages various AWS services (S3, Redshift, etc).

Auth and Auth Service

A REST API used to manage user authentication and authorization. Users can create accounts and administrators can manage those users' access to resources.

This tool is used by multiple microservices to manage user access across a suite of products.

The tool is written in Java with a MySQL database and leverages various frameworks such as docker, Spring Boot, many AWS services (S3, EC2, etc), terraform, etc


TypeScript, Dart, HTML, SQL, Python, JavaScript, C#, Java, SCSS, Go, Bash, CSS, C++, Solidity, Scala, C, VHDL, Assembly, PHP, Less, Ruby


Spring, Spring Boot, NestJS, Windows PowerShell, .NET, React Native, Hibernate, Hadoop, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Bootstrap, Angular


Node.js, jQuery, React, Vue, TensorFlow


Data Science, Agile, DevOps, Functional Programming, Management


Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Ethereum, Apache Kafka, Android, Google App Engine, iOS, AWS Lambda, PagerDuty, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Visual Studio Code (VS Code)


Amazon DynamoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, BigTable, Cassandra


Freelancing, Back-end Development, Leadership, Software Architecture, Software Development, Consulting, Distributed Systems, Machine Learning, Full-stack, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Amazon Kinesis, Front-end Development, Embedded Software, Serverless, Robot Operating System (ROS), Workflow, HubSpot, Architecture, Cryptocurrency, Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Operations, Programming, Computer Vision, Computer Security


Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Git, Splunk, Jira, MATLAB, Apache Tomcat, Kafka Streams

Industry Expertise

Project Management

2012 - 2013

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Distributed Microcomputing

Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA, USA

2011 - 2012

Master's in Engineering Management Degree in Engineering-Business

Duke University - Durham, NC, USA

2006 - 2011

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA, USA


Self-Driving Car Engineer


Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.


Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring