Dan Ellis, Software Engineer

Buffalo, NY


Versatile software engineer with 20 years’ experience and an additional background in networking, system administration and security.

Skilled in several programming languages, including C, C++, Python and Scala, and comfortable working at all levels of the stack from web apps to embedded firmware. Elegant design, maintainability and pragmatism.

Follow my Let's Build an Embedded OS! and Acorn A3000 (ARM) emulator in Rust live streams on Twitch: https://twitch.tv/isvara

For more detail, see my LinkedIn profile: https://linkedin.com/in/dellis

Reactive Dynamics / Co-founder

2016 - present, Buffalo, NY

  • Developed the LiveFeeds architecture and implemented backend services with Scala, Akka, Postgres, Cassandra and Apache Ignite from prototype to testing in private beta, including a real-time dashboard with TypeScript and Angular.
  • Designed and implemented the Mercator Engine, a transformation pipeline for cleaning and normalizing product data feeds using a Lisp-like language.
  • Created the LiveFeeds Loopback prototype, measuring social media engagement for brands, using the Neo4j graph database and integrations with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Set up Docker-based deployments to Kubernetes on AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

DigitalOcean / Software Engineer (SDN)

2015 - 2016, New York, NY

  • Co-designed the first iteration of the next-generation Droplet network based on Juniper's Contrail SDN, including reverse engineering undocumented protocols and building prototype tools in Go for the software networking team.
  • Aided in the design, development and deployment of the OpenVSwitch-based Floating IP service.
  • Maintained legacy Perl services for the compute platform.
  • Documented legacy networking to speed up the onboarding of new team members.

Half Tree Labs / Co-founder

2012 - 2015, Buffalo, NY

  • Created Confabulous, a real-time, text-based chat platform for the Web, using Scala, Akka, Play, Dart, Angular, Cassandra and Docker.
  • Designed and built prototype of VECTR: vehicle access control and tracking hardware integrating GPS, GSM telemetry and CAN bus control, including PCB layout, assembly and firmware implementation, as well as backend services in Python and a Dart front end integrating Google Maps.
  • Designed and implemented Radar, a pre-Docker Linux container-based build and deployment system using Scala, Akka, Spray, CoffeeScript, AngularJS and PostgreSQL.

Synacor / Senior Engineer

2010 - 2012, Buffalo, NY

  • Developed SAML-based federated identity services in PHP and Perl to integrate content providers such as Fox, Hulu and NFL with identity providers such as Dish Network and Charter.
  • Created the Java API powering Synacor’s operator picker menu embedded on programmer websites.
  • Refactored core services to enable rapid self-registration of new operators in time for Olympics on NBC.
  • Reduced integration debugging times by developing a suite of automated testing tools in Python.

Citrix Systems / Security Specialist

2007 - 2009, Cambridge, England

  • Audited C/C++ source of Citrix products and liaised with developers to resolve security issues.
  • Developed exploits to test vulnerabilities in a range of Citrix products.
  • Dissected, tested and extended exploits found in the wild, including reverse engineering x86-based attacks on Windows products.
  • Gave security training to developers, which raised awareness of secure coding practices.

ip.access / Senior Software Engineer

2005 - 2007, Cambridge, England

  • Built a high-performance SSL proxy for GSM-over-IP links for encrypted, authenticated deployments.
  • Instrumented mutex lock timing to produce charts that helped find inefficient locking.
  • Optimized the use of sockets, smart pointers and threads, which reduced processor usage for heartbeat processing by two thirds and allowed a higher call rate to be achieved.
  • Diagnosed platform and network problems in-house and on-site during rollouts on T-Mobile’s US network.
  • Designed a secure, fault-tolerant IP interface to customers’ equipment as part of a high-availability platform for a 3G radio network controller supporting 20,000 residential client devices.

Sophos / Software Engineer

2001 - 2003, Oxford, England

  • Developed cross-platform networking components as part of a large-scale distributed enterprise management application targeted at Windows, Linux, Mac OS 9 & X, OS/2 and NetWare.
  • Ported a C++ COM-like component framework from Windows to Linux, which helped other developers port components across platforms and integrated Python components.
  • Developed the configuration interface of a mail-scanning product, using a Python interpreter embedded into a C++ application, allowing customers to configure the product using Microsoft Management Console.

Designer Servers / Technical Developer

Idaya / Network Engineer

1998 - 2001, Manchester, England

  • Grew the hosting network from a single on-site LAN to an OSPF-based metropolitan network encompassing three sites in Manchester, including multi-homed BGP peering with transit providers and the MaNAP exchange.
  • Provided analog and ISDN dial-up access for customers using Lucent PortMasters.
  • Wrote a RADIUS server that allowed DSVR’s virtual ISP managers to maintain their own user databases and policies and still integrate with the DSVR network infrastructure.
  • Implemented proof-of-concept projects for upper management, including a fax-to-email gateway.