Theodor Vararu's Résumé


FacebookSoftware Engineer -

  • Work on the Workplace product as part of the Web Core team, in the Accessibility squad. Triage, identify, and fix accessibility issues in the push towards full WCAG 2.2 compliance.
  • Help the team refine their strategy and roadmap, by writing an accessibility statement, gathering information from previous audits, and organising existing tasks and work streams.

Department for Education (Contract)Lead Full Stack Developer - Present

DfE Digital builds user-centric and accessible services for teachers and students.

  • Lead development of the candidate-facing side of Apply for teacher training in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, and PostgreSQL, on Microsoft Azure. Collaborate with stakeholders, architects, and other tech leads towards an MVP public beta release in November 2019, which was achieved.
  • Work in an agile team, unblocking, pairing with, and mentoring 3-5 developers of varying seniority levels. Drive conversations with the Find team to collaborate on shared features.
  • Encourage team participation in the design and user research process, improve the pull-request process by introducing review apps, and handle support requests and production incidents.
  • Champion accessibility, frontend performance, and automated testing by prioritising related improvements into our sprints.

Department for Education (Contract)Senior Full Stack Developer -

DfE Digital builds user-centric and accessible services for teachers and students.

  • Develop full-stack features as part of the Becoming a Teacher team, in C#, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, and JavaScript / Node.js, to help teachers Find postgraduate training courses.
  • Improve the DevOps pipeline by adopting Docker, reducing the build times, using Terraform, adding end to end smoke tests using, on both Travis CI and Microsoft Azure.
  • Develop prototypes using Next.js,, and Apollo.js to trial Node.js, Serverless, and GraphQL for our services. Findings were presented at the periodical development and architecture meeting, to favourable reception from technical leaders.
  • Take part in Agile ceremonies, write specifications for full-stack features, and collaborate / pair across on a number of different problems across the stack.

Gamesys (Contract)Senior Frontend Developer -

Gamesys is an award-winning social and real money gaming company.

  • Develop user-facing features on the React.js, Node.js, and Flux-based single page application frontend, focused on addressing user experience issues, industry-specific regulatory requirements, and troubleshooting issues with the Selenium-based tests.
  • Build an internal tool for managing web chat emoji packs, using Next.js (static mode with server-side rendering),, Leverage client-side JavaScript to cut/stitch PNG assets and package into .zips, without needing a server. MVP was delivered in record time to a high standard, with very satisfied stakeholders.
  • Work on optimising the frontend performance. Remove the project's dependency on moment.js, and trim down the dependency on lodash, resulting in total savings of 33% on the bundle size. Write performance documentation to aid with future work.
  • Provide mentoring to team members and an apprentice, focusing on a pragmatic but users first approach to software engineering. Facilitate agile ceremonies, and interviews for frontend Node.js as well as backend Ruby candidates.

Graphit Systems (Contract)Senior JavaScript Developer - is an online app for configuring and buying modular manufacturing solutions.

  • Build user-facing features for the online 3D configurator. Features shipped include a redesign, online payment with Stripe, fixes for legacy browsers and performance issues while building on top of the previous developer's work without handover. React.js, Three.js, webpack, Redux.js.
  • Collaborate with the designer to create a revised styleguide, consolidating rhythm and colours throughout the app, backed by a atomic CSS design system.
  • Champion user research based decision-making, highlight and fix accessibility pitfalls, and provide input into design discussions to reach solutions that are mobile-first and performant.
  • Improve product quality by implementing end to end testing using, Jest.js component tests, Sentry.js error tracking, and a bespoke gettext and Babel.js internationalisation pipeline.
  • Deliver a proof of concept React Native and native AR application (link is iOS only) in only 3 days by reusing and adapting existing 3D code from the main codebase.

Government Digital ServiceDeveloper / Senior Developer -

GDS builds GOV.UK, GaaP, and other digital transformation services.

  • Lead development of a reusable country picker component. Talk to service teams to learn about their needs, prototype initial implementation, build an Accessible Autocomplete component and a suggestion engine. Take the component to user research, with abled users and with users with access needs, and to an accessibility audit from the Digital Accessibility Centre. Preact.js, TDD, Selenium testing, accessibility testing, progressive enhancement, webpack.
  • Build a small JSON API to generate country picker data based on OpenRegister data. Java, Serverless, AWS, TDD, JSON.
  • Sole developer on the Webchat Alpha project, building user research prototypes and testing with users. Focus on accessibility of webchat interfaces. Attend user research sessions, conduct on-site interviews with departments using webchat. Released findings as presentations, blog posts. Node.js, React.js,, accessibility testing.
  • Lead development of a data visualisation prototype to view digital transformation dependencies. Node.js, React.js, D3.js, Google Sheets API.
  • Rebuild GOV.UK formats as part of the Migration programme team, moving from the legacy monolith publisher to a microservices pipeline. Ruby on Rails, TDD, Agile.
  • Present talks about React.js and accessibility. Provide mentoring to apprentices, line manage 2 developers.

TimecountsSenior Full Stack Developer -

Timecounts builds a volunteer and community management tool for charities and non-profits.

  • Build product features, collaborating with the stakeholders to define specifications. Node.js, React.js, TDD, Ruby on Rails JSON API, SASS / CSS modules.
  • Major features shipped include a calendar view and date picker component, CSV import validation, landing and marketing pages, animations, improvements to the build process, backend support fixes.
  • Help the team refine their Agile processes, implement code review and issue tracking methods. Champion functional programming and linting.

WorkangelLead Front End Developer -

Workangel builds an employee benefits, engagement and retention platform.

  • Build product features on the admin panel and user facing application, two single page applications that interact with a RESTful JSON API. Node.js, Angular.js 1.x, Stylus.
  • Ship a mobile-first design rebuild and animations for inter-page transitions and more, both not scoped or factored into estimations but delivered to extremely favourable reception.
  • Dramatically improve the build process by optimising the performance of tasks and embracing modern best practices: template minification, linting, unit and Selenium integration testing, continuous integration, load testing.
  • Defined Jade, Stylus, and JavaScript styleguides. Provided mentoring and coaching to new developers.

ReadForwardLead Full Stack Developer -

ReadForward is a digital agency with a focus towards education, culture, and political issues.

  • Lead development of an open source digital textbook authoring tool. Build the pipeline and the frontend pattern library. Onboard and train junior developers in its use that produced our digital textbook offerings for primary education, which became the company's bread and butter product. Node.js, Backbone.js, pattern libraries, visual regression testing.
  • Architected and managed a tour guide app for the Danube Delta. Delivered 1.0 in just 3 weeks of development time. Ampersand.js, Famous.js native-like animations, Cordova, testing, mapping and route generation, offline-first.
  • Architected and lead initial development of the open source website for Monica Macovei's 2014 presidential campaign. Score 100/100 on Google PageSpeed Insights using performance optimisations like critical path CSS generation, single page application prerendering, which favourably contributed to SEO. Gulp.js, Ampersand.js.
  • Lead development of a holistic rewrite of the George Enescu festival website. Write scraping / data remodelling scripts to import old pages from the legacy PHP backend, add new capabilities like full text search and relationships between models. Build a RESTful JSON API for the newly developed native mobile apps. Website was deployed at scale with hundreds of thousands of hits per month. Ruby on Rails, database and API design, load testing, New Relic monitoring, caching and database query performance optimisations.


Please peruse my GitHub profile for nearly all of my side projects. Notable highlights:


I build products with JavaScript and Node.js, using linting, testing, CI / CD.

I develop exclusively on macOS/UNIXlike operating systems, using git and modern tools.

I admin my own DigitalOcean server, but also deploy to Heroku, AWS Lambda, static websites, and other solutions depending on the need.


I spend a lot of time reading books, about half of the programming variety, half about personal finance. I love mentoring and teaching others to learn to code. I practice guitar, work on my old car, and travel as much as I can.