Michael W. Nail
I started writing software early, on the Apple II at school. Since then I have written programs in over a dozen languages including optimization, artificial intelligence, embedded, ecommerce, and distributed data processing systems as well as games and mobile apps. I also spent many years building, growing, and managing engineering teams and organizations.
I worked for Amazon.com for over ten years. I was fortunate to learn a great many skills as the company grew. At various times I was engineer, architect, project or program manager, engineering manager, QA manager and org leader. I learned about building best-in-class software - scalable, robust, maintainable, and secure - but also all aspects of growing and running a business from product development to marketing to customer service to operations.
I have a degree in Applied and Computational Mathematical Science from UW in Seattle. I have worked for other tech companies in engineering and management roles. I have helped others deliver technology as a consultant or mentor. I have also occasionally run small businesses of my own.
In my spare time I am a multimedia artist. My primary work is based on algorithmic or interactive computer music and visuals using both digital and analog sound sources. I am also an avid cyclist (both bicycle and motorcycle), fisherman, and homebrewer.
These are examples of some of the software projects I have worked on in the past:
- Built an online media application using Ruby on Rails on AWS - everything necessary for a startup MVP, including design and development.
- Platform for recommending and serving customers with real-world products and services physically near to them. This was a large, distributed, multi-language system that with B2B and B2C elements including catalog management, purchasing, recommendations, search, and customer service. I inherited and owned this system and team and lead them to make significant improvements as well as guided the direction of the product.
- Built a multi-team, 40+ person technical org to build the buying experience for digital devices on Amazon.com and build features on various devices as necessary. I owned some of the most visible pages on Amazon.com as well as features across web, mobile, and hardware devices that were heavily used.
- Built a distributed, global, mostly java-based system for finding physical assets in the real world. This system was flexible and pluggable and found use in various systems including allowing customers to choose locations to deliver or pick up packages, and for merchants to manage their physical locations.
- Built a language-agnostic API set for integrating point-of-sale devices with Amazon payment systems. The system was written in Java but fronted by web APIs that allowed it to be called by many different clients, and was used around the world.
- Optimized multiple databases and migrated many TB of data to help enable the Amazon customer service scale their infrastructure.
- Built a system to thread together a customer's contacts with the business to facilitate the rapid resolution to their problems and drive cost out of the business.
- Enhanced a large java-based optimization engine based on genetic algorithms to speed internet traffic.
- Built multiple c++-based DSP algorithms for audio processing.