Neil, in profile, wearing welding goggles

Neil Kandalgaonkar

Hacker, maker of things

I’m happiest in a place that respects
kindness, enthusiasm, and individuality,
doing many kinds of work,
(mostly writing internet software,
but also design, writing, & leadership),
serving a clear and inspiring goal
that creates more value for others than ourselves.

VRChat

Senior Software Engineer / DevOps, March 2018 – June 2024

Scaled VRChat from a meme to a community of millions. As a very early employee, in a flat to no-hierarchy organization, I've created or worked on nearly every backend system, often coordinating with other teams to deliver features. VRChat has to process millions of user-submitted 3D assets and that was my focus area for the last few years – architecting, coding and deploying the backends of our big swing projects. I usually also delivered the web UI for my own features, and it was often praised for its usability. As a side project, dramatically simplified our test code and reduced time-to-deploy from almost an hour to minutes.

Node.js · Python · C# · Amazon Web Services (AWS) · Infrastructure as code (IaC) · Distributed Systems · Terraform · Elasticsearch · Hashicorp Packer · Unity · React.js · NoSQL · SQL · Redis · Test Automation

Square

Software Development Contractor, July 2019 – March 2020

Solved some of their unique security needs for iOS development, with an updated version of the open source isign library I had created several years earlier. All work open source. Managed one subcontractor (my former CTO).

Python · iOS · Cryptography · Team Management

Bench Accounting

Senior Software Engineer, March 2017 – March 2018

Web applications and microservices, written in Scala and Java, deployed on Amazon Web Services. Modernized the frontend stack from CoffeeScript to standard JavaScript. Led Internal Tools team for a few months. Made many improvements to hiring process.

Java · JavaScript · Scala · Team Management · MySQL

Sauce Labs, Real Device Cloud

Senior Software Engineer, December 2014 – March 2017

Our team created a cloud of real Android and iOS devices, made available for customers to run tests on. Many deep dives into obscure areas of mobile operating systems. Bespoke cloud engineering, on company-owned hardware, mostly with Python microservices.

Created and open sourced: isign, a reimplementation of Apple’s signing protocol, that works on Linux.

Python · Distributed Systems · iOS · Android

Solo projects / Contractor

April 2012 – December 2014

Mobile app project, GeoMind, displayed interesting locations inferred from the density of geotagged photos. Also entrepreneur-in-residence at a seed investment firm.

Amazon Web Services · Node.js · PostGIS · React.js

Wikimedia Foundation

Software Engineer, December 2009 – January 2012

The Wikimedia Foundation is the organization behind Wikipedia. I primarily worked on their collection of millions of images and videos, creating usable, modern, web-based interfaces to contribute and manage content. Mentored other paid and community developers, including Google Summer of Code 2011, and winning team for Wikipedia SF Hackathon in January 2012. Left amicably to pursue personal projects and reset visa status.

Created the library banana-i18n (originally jQuery.i18n), to localize frontends in hundreds of languages. This has been adopted across all Wikipedia and related sites.

PHP · MySQL · JavaScript

Yahoo (Upcoming.org, Flickr)

Senior Software Engineer, December 2006 – April 2009

Integrated Upcoming.org’s event listings into Yahoo Search, redesigned event and geographic data models, modernized frontend, wrote asset management and deploy system, and mentored new hires. Improved Flickr’s payment systems and FlickrMail. Received Excellence and Hack Day Awards in 2008.

PHP · MySQL · JavaScript

Google

Software Engineer, September 2005 – October 2006

Internationalization for Google Checkout, a Java-based commerce and payments system. Contributed to frontend, data store, order processing, taxation policy, and Merchant API. Created login flow for Google Accounts that allowed secure entry of payment info.

Java · MySQL · JavaScript

Other experience

Education

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies, Spring 2000
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

Languages

English, French