Nick Johnson

Hello, I am a software developer living in San Diego. Contact me at nick@yonson.dev.

tl;dr

The bulk of my experience is in backend java and go development. I have a passion for developing tools which raise and simplify the user interface in complex domains. My code lives at Github and Source Hut. While I have spent quite a few years in the health/Big Data space, I am looking for a change of scenery.

code

My publicly available code is severely lacking. If you peek at the experience section below, you can see that it is dominated by working at a closed sourced company. I recently left the day job to take some time off and dive into some open source initiatives that have always been on the back burner for me.

  • mango // A CLI tool written in go which I use to keep personal user manuals on common commands. I always forget which set of flags my tar command needs and this is a quick way to create, persist, and view notes in markdown.

experience

fitbit

I joined Fitbit fresh out of school back in 2011 and had a crazy experience which ended with Google acquiring Fitbit in 2021.

I spent my last three years at Fitbit working on the Data Platform team where we worked on transforming Fitbit from a hardware company to a data company. Some of the projects we worked on:

  • Integrated Big Data projects into the CI/CD system shared by microservices (a.k.a. data producers)
  • Created a scala "harness" for developing, testing, and deploying research algorithms at scale with quality as a top priority
  • Rolled-out a terraform backed Data Warehouse based on BigQuery; this included a Slack frontend for users to grant, view, and revoke data privileges
  • Brought schema to a JSON world; learned lessons in and how to convince others through clear and concise writing

Prior to my time on the Data Platform team, Fitbit was a dramatically different company. We were in startup mode and engineers were spread thin as we scaled up fast. Some highlights from that time:

  • Developed a monorepo build system in Gradle
  • Introduced some NoSQL (Cassandra) to the tech stack in order to mitigate scaling challenges of social features (e.g. user step leaderboards)
  • Cranked out Finagle-based java microservices as we tore apart the old java monolithic app

Check out this nice story for more on my time at Fitbit.

education

UCLA B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering '11

activities

  • After spending a decade up in San Francisco I returned to my hometown San Diego in 2020. A side effect of the move was me investing more time in surfing. You can find me paddling out at Grandview.
  • I like to run long distances, including marathons and ultra trail races.
  • I am big into history and space podcasts.
  • I got lucky and read the bitcoin whitepaper in college. I joined Fitbit soon after and always found my job fulfilling and time consuming enough that I never hacked on any bitcoin projects. But I have followed the space and want to jump in.

If I could find a job that somehow combined all these things...like a coding up an old rocket which surfed to the moon...wow, the dream.