Niko Makaris

Software Developer


Software Developer, Independent Contractor

2016 - Present

Los Angeles, CA
September 2016 – Present

Developed and maintained Linnaeus, a zoological specimen database application for entomologists. Linnaeus will be credited in an upcoming research paper being published for Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed scientific journal for animal taxonomists. Linnaeus was commissioned by Dr. Rosser Garrison and Dr. Natalia von Ellenrieder, Senior Insect Biosystematists at the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

  • Applied the MVC pattern to reduce coupling and improve separation of concerns over the legacy system.
  • Encapsulated complex SQL commands into a concise user interface.
  • Created functional regression tests to ensure updates don't break existing functionality.
  • Devised an algorithm which parses a user-provided string and returns formatted record data from the database in accordance to the string's syntax. This allows scientists to quickly generate large quantities of custom formatted record data for use in scientific papers.
  • Tracked global downloads and metrics with Google Analytics; assisted end users in Europe and South America.
  • Adapted to changing requirements by frequently meeting with the client to showcase progress and get feedback.
  • Reduced material costs by increasing the number of printable specimen cards per page by 66%.
  • Wrote a user guide providing documentation of every application feature; created a tutorial video.
  • Migrated the client's 37,000 record database from the legacy application to the new application.

Developed a single page web application that facilities the management of events for Like a Leader LLC, a corporate networking event hosting company.

  • Utilized Node.js/Express/MySQL for the back-end and JavaScript/Bootstrap for the front-end.
  • Created the multi-table database schema; used transactions and prepared statements to ensure atomicity and prevent SQL injection.
  • Built a C# GUI program with an embedded SSH client to provide password reset and database import tools.
  • Implemented a system to track events and attendees, ensuring events have the proper number of attendees and that attendees have been properly prepared for their events.
  • Deployed the application with Passenger on a virtual private server with nightly backups via Linux's cron.

Unrelated Employment

2008 - 2015
Composer, ASCAP

Los Angeles, CA
September 2015 – September 2016

  • Composed music that aired domestically and globally.
  • For a full list of credits and music samples, visit my music page.

Motorcycle Instructor, Ride Rite

Van Nuys, California
July 2012 – September 2015

  • Taught students how to safely operate motorcycles in accordance with Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum.
  • Instructed students in the classroom and on motorcycles.
  • Administered and evaluated motorcycle riding and written tests. The tests determined whether students passed - and received their motorcycle permit, or failed - and had to retake the course.

Supplementary Philosophy Instructor, Pierce College

Woodland Hills, California
January 2010 – June 2011

  • Worked with professors to help outline their course structure.
  • Tutored students individually and in groups about different concepts in philosophy.
  • Prepared students for exams and term papers.
  • Met regularly with Professors to discuss student progress.

English Tutor, Pierce College: Bridge to Success

Woodland Hills, California
March 2008 – November 2010

  • Tutored students in preparation for the GED (General Educational Development) and CAHSEE exams (California High School Exit Exam).
  • Met with faculty, staff, and administrators to discuss program performance and grant status.
  • Taught class when professors could not.


World of Warcraft Addon Manager

C# desktop application that automatically downloads/installs/updates World of Warcraft addons.

Grim Dawn Build Tester

Creates a max level local test character so you can easily test various builds before choosing which to spend time on and level.



B.A. Philosophy


Rosser Garrison

"Niko provided us with a fantastic piece of software, called Linnaeus, that has allowed us to record and keep track of over 40,000 dragonfly records from all over the world. His attention to detail and application quality have been phenomenally helpful, allowing us to save thousands of hours in working with our collection data. His software has also enabled us to easily incorporate its data into our monographic papers on Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)."

Martin Fretwell

"As my business grew I needed something to better track the success of each event. Niko built something that not only bespoke to my needs but can be further developed based on continuous growth."