James McMahon

James McMahon

Versatile product focused software engineer. Full time nerd.

Open Source

Given a choice, I would love all my work to be open source. Luckily I've had the opportunity to do some open source professional work in addition to my personal projects.

  • Entitas 2D Roguelike

    A ground up rewrite of the Unity 2D Roguelike Tutorial redesigned to use the Entity component system (ECS) architectural pattern.

    I created this project as a proof of concept to see if ECS style games were a good fit for my work. Turns out they were and I ended up using this style of architecture in I, Falling Robot.

  • MachO

    A Ruby library for parsing Apple's Mach-O binaries.

    Used by the Skillz internally to id iOS binaries. I expanded and cleaned up this lib from an existing project and incorporated it into the Skillz Rails backend.

  • OpenBEL Cytoscape Plugin

    A plugin for the Cytoscape biological data visualizer.

    This is a tool I developed to give scientists a clear view of OpenBEL data. OpenBEL is Linux foundation backed open standard for sharing biological data.


Simply put, I love games. There are a large reason that I got into programming in the first place. In 2016 I fulfilled a life long dream and started my own game company.

I, Falling Robot

I, Falling Robot is a simple original mobile game that I designed and developed. I wanted to build something that took advantage of the natural input of modern smartphones, so the game uses the accelerometer coupled with tap and swipe motions for input.

BackBreaker 2: Tournament Edition

When Skillz partnered with Zynga we wanted to put our best foot forward and release a custom version of their successful BackBreaker titles. I was asked to take on the BackBreaker codebase and redesign it for competitive online play. This involved creating new game modes, introducing dynamic difficulty and redesigning the UI.

Sadly as of August 2016, this project is no longer available on the App Store due to circumstances beyond my control.



  • 2015 to Present Indie Game Developer Lucid Dream Party

    Game Company

    Stack / Tools: C#, Unity

    Developed and released an original multi-platform mobile game, I, Falling Robot.

    • Took several ideas to prototype stage before deciding to fully develop I, Falling Robot.
    • Explored and ultimately used an Entity Component System architecture to keep code testable and flexible.
    • Extensively unit tested game code to ensure a high quality release.
    • Worked with a contract artist to develop a unique art style for the game.
  • 2014 to 2015 Senior Integrations Engineer Skillz

    Tournament System and Monetization Platform for Mobile Games

    Stack / Tools: Ruby, Objective C, C#, C++, Java, Unity

    Took over customer facing integrations role and worked with the business stakeholders to improve and launch games on the Skillz platform.

    • Lead technical contact for business critical partners and customers.
    • Worked with large game publishers, including Glu and Zynga, to get them integrated and launched.
    • Took large Zynga Backbreaker 2 codebase in-house; integrated Skillz and developed new competitive play modes.
    • Established customer facing business processes, ranging from support escalation to Zendesk SLAs.
    • Managed a co-op; set and reviewed goals / performance and delegated tasks.
    • Improved integration process and APIs.
    • Responsible for shipping numerous games on the Skillz platform. See LinkedIn profile for a partial list.
  • 2013 to 2014 Full Stack Engineer Skillz

    Tournament System and Monetization Platform for Mobile Games

    Stack / Tools: Groovy, Ruby, Rails, Grails, MySQL, Mongo, Git

    Joined Skillz pre-launch as the fifth engineer and was a crucial part of building out core technology for launch and subsequent funding rounds.

    • Backend engineer for central Grails based tournament system.
    • Scaled server code and infrastructure to handle growing customer base.
    • Lead engineer for customer facing web applications written in Grails and Rails.
    • Helped establish AWS based servers and initial operations infrastructure.
    • Designed initial analytics for business intelligence.
    • Onboarded and mentored new hires as company scaled.
  • 2010 to 2013 Platform Developer Selventa

    Biotech Services

    Stack / Tools: Java, Javascript, Python, Spring, JPA, MySQL, Mongo, SVN, Git, Tomcat, JSF, ExtJS

    Worked with a team of developers to enhance and develop a biological data analysis platform for major pharmaceutical companies and in-house researchers. Duties evolved from enhancements of previous platform to leading front end development new platform and working on the then nascent Linux Foundation backed OpenBEL project.

    • Helmed creation of new platform front end, from usability surveys and prototyping to development of rich MVC front end in Javascript.
    • Collaborated with backend developers to design REST API for new platform.
    • Developed open source Swing based tool for OpenBEL network visualization and analysis.
    • Built MVC backend for network analysis suite and created detailed specs for remote front end contractors.
    • Designed and implemented user facing features and tools from front to back.
  • 2007 to 2010 Software Developer Boston Financial Data Systems

    Financial Services

    Stack / Tools: Java, Microsoft SQL Server, JSP, SVN, Tomcat, Spring MVC

    Collaborated across departments to build custom solutions that solved a diverse set of problems.

    • Independently took projects from start to completion; from requirement gathering, to database design all the way to front end.
    • Pushed to modernize development tools and practices, helped move team to SVN, Tomcat, and Java 6.
    • Introduced new techniques and frameworks to development team, including Hibernate and Spring MVC.
    • Improved throughput on legacy processes by building performant multithreaded applications.
  • 2006 to 2007 Student Developer Bridgewater State Geographics Lab

    GIS and Transportation Research

    Stack / Tools: C#, Microsoft SQL Server

    Worked with a student team on federally funded transportation research.

    • Independently developed open source software for national highway safety project.
    • Optimized SQL queries to provide real time analysis of large GIS datasets.


References available on request.


Bachelor of Computer Science at Bridgewater State University.