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Alejandro Rivera

Alejandro Rivera

Principal/MTS 2 Software Engineer

Pacific Time (US & Canada) (-08:00)
Spanish, English
MS in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Over 10 years of professional experience working for small and big names like Zynga and eBay. Passionate about programming since I was 11 years old. Love mentoring people who are truly interested in learning
Javascript expert help JavaScript - 8 years experience
I started coding in JS around 1998, back when the term DHTML was still popular. Since back then there was no JQuery, I learned to do everything the long way. I'm not even sure back then JS supported Prototype-based programming. I've continued to use JS for simple stuff and have played with a few libraries/frameworks like MooTools, Prototype, JQuery, etc. I'm able to detect and fix issues related to JavaScript. Create simple to moderate behavior and I can navigate my way around JQuery plugins easily. Since my day-to-day job is mostly back-end, I don't consider myself an expert in the quirks about JS.
Html css expert help HTML/CSS - 10 years experience
I'm not a front-end engineer, but I worked with HTML/CSS/JS since I was 15 years old. I have a good understanding of the DOM model and best practices for optimizing pages for browsers. I don't have much exposure to many new HTML5 elements/practices, but I can definitely build a website from scratch with or without the help of 3rd party utilities.
Php expert help PHP - 5 years experience
Started working with PHP when I was in college. I found it very practical and easy to learn. Then I worked on it professionally for 2 years and I started disliking the language a bit. I haven't touched PHP in maybe 4 years now, but I still have a good understanding of it. I also much prefer the Object Oriented features of PHP than using it as a big script. Learned a lot from working with and reading the code from Magento, Zend Framework, etc.
Android expert help Android - 1 year experience
My Android experience is derived from developing an app to scratch my own itch. This app is somewhat sophisticated since it requires video playback to be synchronized with images (slides). This app turned out to be so good that I'm in the process of selling it to the company who caused my itch to happen in the first place :) In short, I have experience with a) App/Activity lifecycle (avoid leaks, async tasks) b) Analytics integrations (Google Analytics, Mixpanel) c) Ads (AdMob, InMobi) d) A few Android libraries
Java expert help Java - 8 years experience
I started playing with Java when I was 17. During college, Java was the language of choice for most programming classes. I loved learning about the different frameworks, integrating with libraries, discovering ways of making Java less verbose and obviously all Java-related things. I've been coding Java professionally for the past 5 years. Spring is what I've been using the most (MVC, Data, Security, AOP, etc.). Most of my work has bee using Java 6 and Java 7. I'm familiarized with Java EE and some of most of the important JSRs (REST, Validation, etc.). I know many handy libraries to make things easier. I don't like designing things that scream "enterprise" (like FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition), but I do like following best OOD practices (SOLID) and well understood Web standards. I can get my hands dirty with Java profilers to understand performance issues, but I'm NOT an expert in JVM tweaking though.
Sql expert help SQL - 15 years experience
SQL is something I learned early on (15 y.o.) when playing with MS Access. I found it very powerful and fascinating so I went to play with more heavy-duty SQL servers. MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL. (Oracle is my least favorite :P) I can help build complex queries, explain long queries, design or help with schemas, etc. I can explain the different types of joins, how aggregation works, etc.
Ruby on rails expert help Ruby on Rails - 2 years experience
Ruby on Rails is definitely NOT my strongest suit. I understand Ruby pretty well, I've coded on Rails while working at Zynga. I know the idiosyncrasies of the language, but what I lack is more exposure to the ecosystem. I don't know the many different gems as well as I would like to. I can't recommend solutions that won't present issues later in terms of integration with the framework or other gems. I can help figure out where issues are coming from by performing debugging.
Mysql expert help MySQL - 8 years experience
I've started using MySQL since I was 17. It's been a while since I had to do anything interesting with this DB, but I have vast experience designing schemas, writing complicated SQL queries, using views, stored procedures, indexes, sharding, a couple db engines, etc. I don't have much experience as a db admin though so tweaking MySQL to (replication, multi-master setup, memory, etc.)
Amazon expert help AWS - 2 years experience
I have experience creating "simple" auto-scaling AWS systems, selecting images, connecting intances, configuring Load Balancers, simple security, installing required software, EC2, S3, Elastic Beanstalk, etc.
Git expert help Git - 5 years experience
I can't claim to know the in and outs of Git, but I'm well versed into it from using it myself and having gotten into many nasty situations. I can easily recognize what's been done wrong and what needs to happen to fix issues with merges, "lost" commits, git hooks, multiple remotes, branching strategies, even Git-SVN.
Server expert help Server - 7 years experience
I have experience setting up and managing personal servers for different purposes. I'm most comfortable with Linux distros (Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, OpenSUSE, etc.) but I can work with Windows Servers as well. I have experience setting up and tweaking Continuous Integration workflows as well.
Mongo db expert help MongoDB - 3 years experience
My experience dealing with Mongo has been mostly creating complicated queries, using Mongo directly through MongoDriver or through some ORM like SpringData or Morphia. I've had experience managing/designing complex collections and document models, including indexes and stuff. I know the quirks about BSON and I know what kind of things can get you in trouble when designing your documents that will become a PITA in the future when you try to query. I don't have much experience doing db/sysadmin kind of work with Mongo. Setting up replicas, scheduling backups, etc. is not something I've had to deal with so far.
Wordpress WordPress - 1 year experience
I have experience installing and configuring WordPress installations. I can also help customize little things in a Theme. I have played with many plugins. I can also help debug PHP errors. I've never developed a plugin by myself but I would be able to do it simply because of my experience with PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, etc.
Average Rating
(7 ratings)
Awesome mentor!
Pretty good
Could've been better
Needs improvement

Alejandro was very helpful and quickly answered my problem that I could not get elsewhere.
Jacob Sherman Mar 12, 2015

Very helpful
James Isilay Mar 02, 2015

Alejandro was very professional, knowledgeable, and fast! I will not hesitate to contact him in the future.
Kenneth Bushman May 06, 2014

Quickly helped to identify the problem, friendly guy too.
Matthew Weber Mar 10, 2014

I reached out to Alejandro because I had a complicated problem that I wanted solved and I wanted it done the right way. My experience in working with him was A+ all the way around. The first thing I noticed was his level of professionalism. He started by asking me detailed questions to first see if he could even help. I knew that was a good sign. He then took the time to get a very detailed understanding of what I was looking to do and walked me through how to do it in a way that I could only describe as masterful. Not only was it done right and well, he got it done very quickly, took the time to coach and walk me through the process as was very professional. If you are looking to improve your code or better your understanding of what great code looks like Alejandro is your man. I will without a doubt work with him more in the future.
dunnston Feb 14, 2014