Nick Ortakales

Programmer, techie, gamer, gearhead, father


Cider Nerd hard cider ratings/reviews website

Cider is a favorite drink of mine. Over the years I kept a spreadsheet to track the hundreds of different ciders I was trying. Eventually I built this website to track it all more efficiently. It's open for anyone to use, check it out!

Cider Nerd

Tonight's Noms specially curated recipes

During the Covid pandemic, my wife's cooking really took off. I noticed a problem though, her recipes were scattered everywhere. Pinterest, old Hello Fresh cards, original recipes in her head, and a few recipes that had even disappeared from Pinterest and were lost to the ether. I solved this problem the best way I knew how. I built her a website that let's her easily upload her recipes and share them with everyone we know. It's a wonderful curation of the food we love.

Tonight's Noms

Nick's List a collection of my best purchases

This list is a curation of the best, clever, time saving, useful, unique, convenient things I have ever purchased, all in one list. It's like if BuzzFeed gave you a list of things that they actually tried, and were actually useful. I've personally purchased, with my own money, every thing on this list, and would personally recommend everything here.

Nick's List

Qalc a VSCode extension

Qalc is an interactive calculator that turns any text document into a math processor. Quickly and easily run simple or complex calculations naturally. Lightweight, powerful, simple. Inspired by Numi and Parsify.

VSCode Marketplace

Pokémon x Girls Who Code Fundraiser catching them all to raise money

A nostalgia fueled attempt at raising some money for a good cause and having fun at the same time. The idea is to raise money for each Pokémon I'm able to catch in the Gen1/Gen2 games in the timeframe of 1 year.

Fundraiser Updates

Cron Lambdas personal automation

A collection of scheduled automations that perform various repetitive tasks, or provide notifications. Weekly email with a list of new comics. Customized weather notifications. Notification when new autocross events are posted. Price and retirement tracking for LEGO sets. All built on AWS using CDK.


GB Palette Editor multi-format Game Boy color palette editor

There was no fully-featured palette editor on the internet, so I built one that combines features from many editors. It can edit and convert to/from .gbp and .pal formats. Quickly invert the colors, or copy the background color to each of the other palettes. Mobile-ready with a responsive layout.

GB Palette Editor

Flipper Zero Syntax Highlighting a VSCode extension

VSCode extension that provides syntax highlighting for various Flipper Zero file formats like .ir, .sub, .nfc, .rfid, etc.

VSCode Marketplace

Date Hover Preview a VSCode extension

Hover over a string in any document that represents a date, and get a small preview that converts that date to a configurable set of timezones and formats.

VSCode Marketplace


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Senior software engineer with over 12 years of experience at Amazon designing and building large scale, high throughput, distributed systems across a variety of business domains. Java and AWS expert with full stack experience.


  • Java, AWS (S3, SNS, SQS, DynamoDB, Lambda, CloudWatch, EC2, Elastic Beanstalk, Code Pipeline, EventBridge, CDK, Simple Email Service, Simple Workflow Service), Spring, Guice, Shell (Bash/Zsh), SQL, JavaScript, TypeScript, Node.js, Tomcat, HTML, CSS, JSP, regex
Practices, Skills, Knowledge Areas
  • System and architecture design
  • Service oriented architecture
  • Infrastructure as code and CI/CD
  • DevOps (code reviewing, maintenance, migrations, metrics, monitoring, dashboards, oncall, etc)
  • Project planning (requirements gathering, scoping, scheduling)
  • Database management (primarily DynamoDB, some relational)
  • Agile, scrum, kanban, etc, including scrum master experience
  • Team collaboration and leadership (mentoring, interviewing, team morale)


Amazon 2011-present

Senior full stack engineer primarily building and maintaining backend Java services and web-based user interfaces for Dash Replenishment, Buy Box Qualification, and Buyer/Seller Communication.

Software Development Engineer III
Apr 2023 - present

Dash Replenishment

Software Development Engineer II
Oct 2013 - Apr 2023

Software Development Engineer I
Aug 2011 - Oct 2013

Fidelity Investments 2010-2011

Associate Software Developer


Plymouth State University 2006-2010


At work - accelerating development cycles with continuous deployment and infrastructure as code, building custom internal tools that assist in data inspection and debugging to help develop and debug faster, hacking on IDE extensions

At home - retro video games, comic books, LEGO, building custom mechanical keyboards, racing and modifying MINI Coopers, cider, woodworking

Misc Other