Rachel Vecchitto

Boulder, CO · rachel@magnetbox.org

Summary

Full-stack engineer with 20 years experience building high-traffic websites. Capabale technical leader with a strong product skillset.

Experience

REI, Advenure Projects

PHP, Laravel, Vue, AWS
Lead Software Engineer
February 2019 - May 2020
  • Acted as the primary point of contact between the larger REI organization and the Adventure Projects team. Made Adventure Projects data available to and discoverable by teams that needed it, established standardized ways to share this data between two separate stacks, ensured Adventure Projects sites met REI's SEO and accessibility guidelines, and generally coordinated the engineering side of all projects involving rei.com.
  • Worked to develop a more collaborative engineering culture as the Adventure Projects team grew to five engineers. Efforts included using PRs for increased team visibility into code changes, holding regular engineering meetings for both free-form topics and architecture reviews, instituting epic owners in Jira to promote code ownership by ICs, and encouraging 10% time for prototyping and experimentation.
Senior Software Engineer
August 2015 - February 2019
  • With one other web engineer, handled all frontend and backend development, infrastructure, and development tooling for five websites with tens of millions of sessions per year. Significant projects included:
    • Replaced MySQL full text search on all sites with a Solr search engine, resulting in drastically increased search performance and more comprehensive and accurate search results.
    • Created a mature, timestamp-based sync API to sync data between the web and mobile apps, reducing the time to sync items for users with thousands of data points by an order of magnitude.
  • Transformed the development process from one that only supported one engineer to one that could support a team, including moving all code to github, provisioning local & staging development environments, creating a continuous deployment process, and setting up monitoring & observability systems.
  • Guided the transformation of 10+ year old spaghetti code into modern web apps. Chose an MVC framework, rearchitected supporting components as necessary, refactored frontend code into templates, and integrated frontend and backend build systems to create a codebase that other engineers could work on enjoyably.

Twitter

Java, Scala, Ruby, Python
Senior Software Engineer
February 2014 - July 2015
  • Led a team building a system to send billing & compliance data from new services in Twitter's data center to legacy services in Gnip's data center. Implemtented a library for consitent message creation, a server to POST messages from Twitter to Gnip, and a receiving endpoint to deserialize and enqueue messages for Gnip systems.
  • Designed and developed deploy tools used by all developers to package applications, manage versions, and deploy applications through staging to production.
  • Developed an API used by partners to batch submit tweet resyndication and compliance events, allowing Twitter to bill appropriately for network impressions and honor user privacy for hundreds of thousands of tweets.

Etsy

PHP
Senior Software Engineer
August 2009 - January 2014
  • Led the migration of about 800k shops from a monolothic Postgres database to MySQL shards, redesigning the schema, t'ing writes, and then t'ing reads to gradually transition to the new database with no downtime.
  • As part of the original launch of Etsy's shipping services, designed and developed a service to allow uniform programmatic access to multiple shipping provider APIs (USPS, FedEx, etc).
  • Designed and developed a credit tier system to allow sellers to accrue only a given amount of outstanding fees, and move sellers between credit tiers based on billing history and payments.
  • Contributed to many critical site components, including checkout, the listing process, listing currency conversion, shop management tools, and mobile APIs.

Wee Web

Ruby, Rails
Lead Engineer
June 2008 - July 2009
  • Lead developer for Wee Web (since merged with JustFamily), a website launched by two of the Meetup co-founders that allowed families to privately & easily share photos, videos and stories about their children.
  • Built all site components from the gound up with one other developer.

The New York Times

PHP, Context (proprietary)
Search Platform Lead
January 2007 - June 2008
  • Acted as the development lead for moving the article archive out from behind the TimesSelect paywall.
  • Led the migration of search on NYTimes.com to the Google CSE platform, creating a flexible, scalable, and uniform search experience across all sections of the site.
  • Managed the development and maintenance of all search-related projects, including article categorization, topic pages and general search enhancements.

Meetup

Java
Software Engineer
November 2004 - January 2007
  • Responsible for the development of several major features and components.
    • Redesigned the payment process to accomodate a change from premium user accounts to a monthly subscription system.
    • Built a per-group wiki with change tracking, reversion capabilities, and multiple read/write permission levels.
  • Guided the development of various features through initial concept, implementation and final release.
    • Designed and developed a tool to allow groups to easily post ads to Craigslist, leading to over 1,000 clicks to Meetup per day.
    • Repurposed Meetup's affiliate program to appeal to bloggers and other personal publishers, leading to over 20 new registrations per day.

UBS Investment Bank

Software Engineer
June 2003 - November 2004

    GE Power Systems

    Software Engineering Intern
    May 2002 - May 2003

      IBM

      Software Engineering Intern
      Summer 2001

        Notable Side Projects

        Mountain Grown Hats

        Small Business Owner
        2016 - present
        • Handled everything involved in securing hats from China, getting designs created, and selling toddler-sized Colorado trucker hats.

        Slope Squad

        Sole Designer & Engineer
        2012 - present
        • Designed and developed a ski day tracking site for passionate skiers that has been used to track over 15,000 ski days.

        Education

        Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

        B.S. Computer Science, Magna Cum Laude
        1999 - 2003