Sam Johnson


Tech Lead

2017 - 2022

Specialize in managing remote teams, providing constructive code reviews, leveling up junior developers through mentoring, and balancing quality and performance with stakeholder needs and deadlines.

Software Engineer

Since 2007

Have developed software professionally and on an open-source basis for over a decade.

Research Computer Scientist


Was involved in numerous DoD and DoE-funded research projects involving artificial neural networks, computer vision, distributed systems, and static analysis.


  • Rust
  • Ruby
  • Crystal
  • C/C++
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • NodeJS
  • PostgreSQL
  • PHP
  • Java
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • SQL
  • Rails
  • AWS
  • GCP
  • Deep Learning
  • Blockchain
  • Algorithms
  • Data Structures
  • Computer Vision
  • Compilers



Brown University

2017 | Master of Science in Computer Science

Dickinson College

2014 | Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

2014 | Bachelor of Science in Philosophy



Nov 2023 – Present | Lead Backend Engineer

Rust, Blockchain, Distributed Systems, Backend

Parity Technologies

Aug 2022 – Nov 2023 | Rust Core Runtime Developer

Rust, Blockchain, Distributed Systems, Rust Macros, Static Analysis

Worked directly with Gavin Wood (original Ethereum CTO) on the Polkadot blockchain ecosystem as a core member of the FRAME team

Authored "benchmarking v2" syntax, the pallet tasks API, and numerous other additions to FRAME

Arist (YC 'S20)

Sep 2020 – July 2022 | CTO

Ruby, Rust, Lambda/Serverless, PostgreSQL, NodeJS, AWS

Led ground-up rebuild of core platform and obtained SOC-2 Type II within first 12 months

Scaled up processes and systems to handle exponential growth and web-scale messaging traffic

Hired and managed a team of 11+ engineers

Guided Arist through seed round and a $24m combo Series A+B round led by Peakspan Capital

Platform is now used at 20% of the Fortune 500


Feb 2020 – Sep 2020 | Tech Lead

Crystal, Rust, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, GCP, AWS

Hired and managed a team of 6 software engineers

Architected web-scale, global, low-latency infrastructure for a privacy oriented search engine

Developed distributed approach to scrape Bing and Google search with low latency at scale

BlockVue Inc.

May 2017 – November 2019 | CTO

Crystal, Deep Learning, Ruby/Rails, PostgreSQL, NodeJS, AWS

Managed and mentored a team of 5 engineers across three web and one mobile product

Designed serverless Rails app and frontend that drives 360 degree CRE virtual tour platform

Leveraged artificial neural networks to automatically generate and furnish 3D scenes from floorplans

Starburst Labs Inc.

Sep 2015 – Apr 2017 | Software Engineer

Ruby/Rails, CoffeeScript, Lambda, NodeJS, PostgreSQL, C++

Major contributor to Rails-based CRM for financial advisors (WealthBox)

Wrote high performance PostgreSQL queries and indexing schemes

Developed high-speed database anonymizer in C++

Applications Online, LLC

Aug 2014 – May 2015 | Software Engineer

Ruby/Rails, SASS, CoffeeScript, JQuery, PostgreSQL, Heroku

Major contributor to Rails-based college application platform used by Harvard, JHU, Princeton, etc.

Mentored junior developers and made architecture decisions across a suite of high-traffic products

Developed an analytics product that provided in-depth multi-tenant traffic analysis for college applications


Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport

Jul 2017 – Feb 2020 | Scientist | SMART Recipient

Deep Learning, C/C++, Python, Rust, Cafe, R-CNN

deep learning • computer vision • machine learning • automated target recognition • algorithms development

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

2014 - 2015 | NREIP Recipient

Deep Learning, C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby, SciRuby

Founded the RAPTOR computer vision project, which trains neural networks on synthetic high quality 3D renderings for object detection and 3D pose estimation

Assisted AI research team in dissecting Pedro Domingos' infamous Sum Product Networks paper

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

2014 - 2015 | DHS HS-STEM Recipient

Rose Compiler Framework, C/C++, Java

Worked with ROSE compiler team to add static analysis code security "checkers" to Compass

Devised a novel technique for efficient memory leak detection in C/C++ code

Received medal for placing in top 10% at the LLNL 2013 Summer Research Symposium


sin Crates.io Star

WIP alternative to David Tolnay's syn/proc-macro2 ecosystem focused on dev UX and exotic syntax parsing

macro_magic Crates.io Star

Foundational Rust crate that enables importing tokens from foreign items when writing Rust proc macros

docify Crates.io Star

Rust crate that allows developers to dynamically embed code samples from elsewhere in a Rust project directly within doc comments and markdown files

supertrait Crates.io Star

Rust crate that simulates default associated types and (to a lesser extent) const function trait items in stable Rust

interned Crates.io Star

Rust crate that provides a facility for interning arbitrary types

XJoy Star

A C++ driver I wrote that allows disabled users or those who prefer Nintendo Joycons as an input device to use Joycons as a virtual Xbox controller in Microsoft Windows.