Alexsander Akers

iOS Software Engineer

About

Alex left college to lead mobile engineering efforts at Branch, which Facebook acquired in late 2013. There, Alex worked on both the Rooms app and the React Native framework. After moving to Berlin, Alex spent a year at Shutterstock before joining Microsoft To-Do’s Apple platforms team.

Experience

  • Software Engineer

    Microsoft

    Berlin, Germany

    Dec 2016 - Present

    Working on the To-Do client apps for Apple platforms.

  • Software Engineer

    Shutterstock

    Berlin, Germany

    Nov 2015 - Oct 2016

    I worked on both of their mobile apps. One of which allows Shutterstock contributors to manage image metadata for their submissions, upload new submissions from their phone's camera roll, and view both their daily and monthly commission earnings. The other app allows Shutterstock customers to search for, view, and organize high-quality stock photography.

  • Software Engineer

    Facebook, Inc.

    New York, NY & London, UK

    Jan 2014 - Sep 2015

    Until December 2014, I worked on the Rooms app, since discontinued. Following that, I was a core team member of the React Native framework from January until September 2015. It made its open source debut in March of that year.

  • Lead Mobile Engineer

    Branch Media, Inc.

    New York, NY

    Aug 2013 - Jan 2014

    Led mobile engineering efforts at Branch. Wrote the mobile iOS client for Potluck, a link-sharing social network for friends to discuss online content. I also wrote the iOS app PhoneTag, a voicemail style app where friends can send voice memos to each other accompanied by some kind of contextual photo.

  • Intern

    Foursquare Labs, Inc.

    New York, NY

    May 2013 - Aug 2013

    Performed tests to quantify the battery effects of background location monitoring to surface useful tips for nearby restaurants and other venues. After iOS 7 was announced at WWDC a few weeks into my internship, I worked the rest of the summer to help update the Foursquare iOS client for the new interface design patterns.

  • iOS Developer

    Minus Inc.

    New York, NY

    Sep 2012 - Feb 2013

    Assisted in the iOS client rewrite for Minus, a social platform for meeting, chatting with, and sharing photos with nearby people. I was in charge of the messaging and inter-user communication features. I wrote the message conversation view and associated message sending and storage.

  • Intern

    Small Planet Digital, LLC

    Brooklyn, NY

    Jun 2012 - Aug 2012

    Added analytics tracking for user behavior to Dragon Brush, a storybook app for iPad. Coded custom controls and in-game aesthetics for Disneyland Explorer. I wrote the app Bean, a virtual counting assistant.

  • Chief Panda

    Pandamonia LLC

    Jan 2009 - Present

    Pandamonia is a creative outlet for Alex to publishing iOS and macOS apps. Some highlights include Lifelink, a nearby multiplayer MTG score counter, and Hydr8, a HealthKit-enabled water tracking app.

Education

  • Columbia University

    2012 - 2013

    Began a B.Sc. degree in computer science but took an indefinite voluntary leave of absence before joining the Branch team.

Projects

  • MessagePack.swift

    MessagePack is a data format not unsimilar to JSON. Written in Swift, this library provides serialization and deserialization functionality, taking advantage of Swift-only features that other Objective-C-based implementations lack.

  • JavaPay (formerly PebbleBucks)

    Formerly PebbleBucks, JavaPay provides a native Starbucks payment experience on the Pebble smartwatch platform. Originally providing automatic card detail fetching for Starbucks' online users, this functionality was removed at the request of Starbucks' legal team. Written in C and JavaScript.

  • React Native

    Facebook

    The core React Native for iOS team inherited the codebase from its previous authors with the intent of making the then-internal implementation ready for the open-source community. References to Facebook-specific code had to be removed, Objective-C++ was simplified to Objective-C, and the developer experience was greatly improved. I continued to work on React Native following its March 2015 open source debut until I left Facebook. While there I worked on developer experience, liaised with public users of the library on GitHub, and wrote UI features like text rendering and CSS-like border customization.

Skills

  • Advanced in iOS development
  • Skilled in Objective-C and Swift
  • Well-versed in Swift server-side technologies
  • Proficient in scripting languages like Ruby, Python
  • Web, mobile, and open-source experience for 5+ years
  • Advanced in modern source control (Git, Hg) and team-based workflows
  • Speaker at various international conferences and meet-ups

Contact