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.

Professional Experience

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)

Notable Projects


I am the primary maintainer of the Ferrilab project’s crates. I invented 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 method-called directly.


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.


As part of my work with the COSMOS framework, I wrote Rust programs to act as data pipeline filters and C++/Ruby code generators. This research indirectly led to the creation of bitvec.

Personal Experience

I develop software for a hobby as well as for a career.

Rust Crates

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.

Web Design

This website is self-authored, atop the Phoenix framework.


Trine University: 2011 – 2016. Studied Computer Engineering, B.Sc.

Notable courses:

  • 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.