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Sean Sawyer

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Education

BS in Computer Science, December 2002, University of Georgia

Qualifications

Sean is a versatile and skilled engineer with a proven ability to adapt to an organization’s changing needs. He is well-versed in the ways of agile development and is passionate about innovation, having been a part of Atlanta’s startup community for more than seven years.

Requisite language/concept laundry list:

  • Erlang
  • Ruby
  • SQL and relational database concepts
  • JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • REST, JSON, XML
  • ZeroMQ

Laundry list of tools:

  • Emacs
  • PostgreSQL and MySQL
  • MongoDB, Redis and Memcached
  • Unicorn and Nginx
  • Mochiweb, Webmachine and Yaws
  • Tsung

Sean has also dabbled in Common Lisp and ChucK, and is an avid Linux enthusiast.

Professional Experience

Staff Engineer at Vitrue

July 2010 to present

As a lead developer on Vitrue’s Core Services team, Sean is instrumental in the ongoing efforts to modularize and scale the core APIs behind Vitrue’s social marketing platform, including:

  • Developing a social API data harvesting/notification service and caching API using Erlang/OTP, ZeroMQ, Redis and MongoDB. This application, running on two servers, replaces 18 servers running the previous Rails solution and performs a superset of its predecessor’s tasks in a fraction of the time.
  • Rearchitecting and leading development of Vitrue Publisher’s conversational features for Facebook and Twitter.
  • Prototyping Vitrue’s location-based marketing offering: a self-service toolkit with Foursquare and Facebook Places integration.
  • Collaborating with other members of the team on devops-focused efforts, building and maintaining Vitrue’s EC2 infrastructure using Chef and Scalr.
  • Providing practical and conceptual guidance to fellow engineers.

Senior Software Engineer at Mobilization Labs

May 2008 to July 2010

Sean helped drive development of Wildfire Platform, a SaaS web application that assists organizations in managing and mobilizing their supporters to grassroots action. The application has been used by a diverse crowd of organizations such as the Jonas Brothers, the National Urban League, Atlanta Union Mission and Chick-fil-A.

Wildfire was built using Spring and Hibernate (with PostgreSQL under the hood) and deployed to a cluster of Tomcat app servers.

  • Lead development of the platform’s REST API and implemented a number of client applications powered by the API, including an SMS survey application written in Scala/Lift and a number of smaller-scale PHP solutions.
  • Planned and implemented new features for and improvements to the Wildfire Platform in an iterative fashion.
  • Collaborated with other engineers in the maintenance of Mobilization Labs’ production and QA environments and the wide variety of associated systems, database and network administration.
  • Collaborated with other engineers in scaling the platform to handle the large amounts of traffic and the resulting mountain of data. This included integration of Terracotta into the application cluster and serving static resources from Amazon S3.

Senior Software Engineer at InComm

January 2008 to May 2008

Sean helped guide the growth of InComm’s web development team through his programming expertise, by agitating for better development practices, mentoring other developers on the team and updating the technology stack on which the team’s new and existing applications run.

  • Designed and implemented internal and customer-facing web applications using Spring and Hibernate, as well as supervising up to five other developers working in concert on these applications. Also designed the UI for several of these applications.
  • Planned and implemented a number of much-needed improvements to existing production applications on a variety of platforms (Rails, Spring/Hibernate and ColdFusion). These included vast UI improvements, performance optimizations and critical feature additions, as well as migration from Struts to Spring MVC.
  • Collaborated with management on analyzing and setting project roadmaps and feature sets for upcoming releases.

Extracurriculars

Sean is the co-organizer of the Atlanta Lisp Users Group.

He also volunteers at the Grant Park Community Garden.

Epilogue

In previous lives, Sean did time as a Java developer at Hannon Hill and as an SA and PHP developer at a small law firm.