Résumé – Alexander Payne
I am a software engineer with experience in low-level firmware and application development. I am trained in technical writing and system design, with emphases on user comprehension and fault tolerance.
- I am an expert with the Rust and C languages, and am strongly versed in C++. I am most experienced in freestanding and Linux environments; I have not used Windows or macOS system APIs directly.
- I am an able software architect and system designer.
- I am a strong technical writer.
- I am a rapid learner, and have a strong ability to understand technical documents and synthesize project features that fulfill provided constraints and requirements.
I have been employed as a software engineer since 2016 Dec. The nature of my work in federal subcontracting and corporate R&D limits the detail I can write here.
I am currently looking for my next opportunity. I have moved every year from 2016 through 2022, when I finally bought a house in Madison, WI. I am not willing to move again, and expect to work remotely, or no more than two days a week in the Great Lakes area (Minneapolis, Chicago, or Detroit).
I am most skilled in Rust, C++, and C, employed in embedded or systems-level development. I am most capable with edge or server computing, though I am certainly interested in growing my applications-programming skills as well. I am comfortable with challenging software design problems and excel at finding correct, performant, and composable solutions to complex problems.
Dates: 2021 Sep 20 – 2023 Jan 13
Role: Senior Software Engineer
Responsibility: I worked on the H2O web server to improve Fastly’s capabilities for traffic handling at the edge of its network. My team decided to start writing new logic in Rust, and I helped us introduce Rust into a large C codebase. I implemented modules with logic on both sides of the FFI boundary and designed a bindings crate so that HTTP handlers could be written in Rust and used by H2O.
Amazon Web Services
Dates: 2020 Jul 6 – 2021 Aug 6
Role: Software Development Engineer
Responsibility: I was the Rust subject-matter-expert on my team. We researched Rust’s suitability for use in novel embedded devices operating under tight performance and security constraints. I designed and implemented device driver APIs, including direct register access and bindings to C vendor libraries.
I am not at liberty to further discuss the details of my work at AWS.
Space Dynamics Laboratory
Dates: 2016 Dec 5 - 2020 May 28
Responsibility: I was a Satellite Software Engineer working on the development and testing of flight control systems of CubeSat research vehicles. I worked primarily in C++, with some C for more esoteric devices and Ruby for ground control software.
Certifications: TS/SCI clearance (expires 2023 Aug)
I am the primary maintainer of the Ferrilab project’s crates. I
bitvec, which implements bit-precision addressing as a Rust
library and fits directly into Rust’s existing language patterns, type system,
and library interfaces. I also maintain
radium, which unifies atomic and
non-atomic shared-mutability interfaces;
funty, which provides a simple
unification of the Rust primitive types (integers and pointer mutability); and
tap, which allows writing method-call chains with functions that cannot be
At Fastly, I worked on Fastly’s internal extensions to the H2O web server. These extensions are corporate secrets, but involved analysis and management of aggregate ingress traffic.
At AWS, I designed the unikernel software and device drivers used to control a hybrid Cortex-A/Cortex-R system.
At SDL, I worked on these projects in order of decreasing recency:
VPM; USAF/Kirtland AFB
I wrote flight software systems in C++ using SDL’s framework for distributed service control. VPM was successfully launched and operated from Kirtland and SDL facilities.
EAGLE; USAF/Kirtland AFB
I wrote ground control software that generated tasking routines for transmission to the vehicle.
I wrote ground control software interfaces and automation, and performed operations for four months. My satellite was eventually found to have been destroyed by the launch.
BioSentinel; NASA Ames
I wrote a kernel driver in C89 for VxWorks that bridged the primary computer and a secondary FPGA holding multiple peripherals.
I develop software for a hobby as well as for a career.
I am the author or maintainer of a number of Rust libraries. You can read more about them at my crate listing. I have been an active Rust author since 2016, and am considered an expert by my employer and the general Rust community.
This website is self-authored, atop the Phoenix framework.
Trine University: 2011 – 2016. Studied Computer Engineering, B.Sc.
Senior Design: My capstone project was the construction and programming of an autonomous cargo hauler. I worked with three mechanical engineers on the physical machine, and personally built the electrical and software systems. The machine capably navigated along a pre-programmed route, and successfully detected obstacles such as pedestrians and a train. The code is on my GitHub profile, and the summary video is on YouTube. I can provide design documents upon request.
Logic and Computer Design: This class focused on the hardware construction of a computer and the instruction primitives executing on it. We built a five-stage MIPS CPU in Verilog.
Embedded Systems: This class taught real-time operating systems and freestanding programming. We built an oscilloscope and basic RTOS.