Dan Costalis - Chicago Developer and video game enthusiast

software engineer, game enthusiast


Dan costalis

From left to right:  Dan Costalis

From left to right: Dan Costalis

what now?

The last 8 years of my life have found me working with some of the best people and companies that anyone could ever hope for. The folks at Jellyvision and Dom and Tom have always been, and always will be, insightful, helpful, kind, and honest in everything they do. Working alongside these wonderful people has struck me, and I strive to bring these qualities to everything I do. 

Movies with genre-twisting plots, games with clever mechanics, athletes with a personal style, and companies that have unique problems to solve all excite me. I want to continue to grow with a team that has a similar love for the uncommon and excellent. 



contract: tech lead

June 2018 - Current

Working primarily with Dom & Tom, I’ve spent my most recent days on a variety of projects with varying requirements.

  • Re-architected a Rails application architecture with external cloud-based CMS and new hosting platform

  • Architected and built a serverless application utilizing AWS and ES6

  • Learned react-native, and developed a multi-platform automated test framework

  • Led small teams and worked on solo projects

  • Created client-facing and internal documentation including guides, technical and functional specs, and architectural diagrams

jellyvision: technical product manager, staff engineer

June 2014 - May 2018

I've had the pleasure of working on various components of our ALEX Benefits Counselor and sister products. Starting with optimizations of small components, I was asked to bring my expertise to the redesign of the core platform. Once this launched, I focused on enterprise API design and SSO offerings. After developing and productizing our Jellyvision Partner API, I am now working to expand it's functionality to allow Jellyvision to offer a best-in-class integration experience for our partners, customers, and end-users.

  • Built and designed the modern Ruby application platform and API for Jellyvision's flagship ALEX Benefits Counselor

  • Led a team in designing and deploying a new Ruby-based Jellyvision Partner API and SSO solution

  • Optimized legacy PHP data systems to work with large sets of data

  • Worked directly with technical and product teams of new and potential integration partners

  • Pioneered and helped iterate the department's product and application release process

  • Helped guide career growth through pair programming, regular 1-on-1 meetings, code review

  • Balanced product, project, and engineering decisions based on available resources and value

  • Worked with the Strategic Partnership team and other leadership towards long-term company goals

dom and tom: founding partner, cto, director of web development

January 2010 - June 2014

I've known Dom, Tom, and their brother Joe since high school. In 2007, Dom asked for some help building out a few websites. Three years later, it was time for them to quit their jobs and get serious about their company, and they needed a partner to help get off the ground. I set out to find us a Chicago home, some Chicago talent, and got to work. With Dom and Tom managing New York and Joe in Chicago by my side, nothing could stop us.

  • Designed and developed applications in languages such as C#, Java, JavaScript, and PHP

  • Worked with data in MongoDB, MySQL, MSSQL, PostgreSQL

  • Grew a team from 3 to 25 software developers in New York and Chicago

  • Managed technical resources and client expectations on projects ranging in size from dozens to thousands of hours

  • Worked with executive, product, and technical teams for several high-profile customers

    • Tyson Foods, Inc.

    • Hearst Communications, Inc.

    • Fitch Ratings, Inc.

  • Secondary responsibilities (in the earlier days of the company)

    • Sales engineer

    • Profit and contract analysis

    • Hiring, payroll

VARIOUS: freelance web developer


Working with various freelance project managers as well as making my own direct sales, I worked on various freelance web-centric projects. Some highlights include:

  • Cobblestone and Clover Teas (2007-2013)

    • Custom CMS featuring online and offline inventory management

    • Custom online sales platform supporting PayPal, credit, or cash pickup

    • All design work

    • PHP/MySQL based

  • Annual Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot (2006-2013)

    • Custom portal for sponsors, photos, and race map

    • Also all design work (for better or worse)

    • Volunteer work

  • Hodges Farm Equipment (2009-)

    • Custom CMS for inventory and category management

    • Still alive and active after 9 years, unchanged

  • Various funeral home sites with obituary and comment management

  • Various one-pager sites for homes nobody can actually afford

Radioshack, hollywood video, blockbuster video, computer renaissance


My love for games and tech started in high school with my first non fast food job at a Computer Renaissance franchise building and repairing computers. From there I become an assistant manager at Hollywood Video, then an assistant manager at Blockbuster Video, and eventually a successful store manager at Radioshack, doubling our YoY profits in just 2 years.

It sure is a shame none of these companies survived or this part of my history might have been worth reading. 



things i like

Video Games
Board Games

Still reading?

You're a web developer and obviously used Squarespace to build out your portfolio site, what gives? 
Why re-invent the wheel? It's not 2007 anymore, and this looks pretty sharp!

Coffee or tea?
I used to be coffee exclusively, but ever since all the wonderful samples from Cobblestone and Clover and watching too much Doctor Who, I do enjoy a good cuppa. Right now I'm drinking some boring Lipton Green tea with honey, but I usually start my day with at least one cup of coffee.

Console or PC? 
Absolutely both. It's great to just sit down with a controller, but sometimes a mouse and keyboard are the right tools for the job. 

What are your favorite games?
If we're talking physical games, I like Scrabble/UpWords, Pathfinder, and chess. If we're talking videogames, the Final Fantasy series has been a long-time favorite of mine, but I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone lately. To my surprise, it actually really helped my chess game. I do still have a soft spot for Starcraft, though mostly just watching the pros. The monitor I'm using right now actually has about a dozen signatures from pro Starcraft players on the back plate. If there's a crew, I gravitate towards Drawful 2, but just about any Jackbox game is a blast. 

Do you actually have any lion taming experience at all? 
Absolutely not. 

Sports? But you're such a NERD!
Yeah, fair. I do spend a lot of time in front of screens. I do have a Frisbee, a soccer ball, two baseball mitts, and a baseball in my trunk at all times, and me and my lady make pretty good use of them. There's also nothing like a good flag football game on a chilly November morning, though it's been far too many years since I've played




Email: dcostalis@gmail.com
Phone: 630 618 9588
Address: chicago, IL

github: thatsanicehat | Xbox Live: ThatsANiceHat | playstation network: thatsagreathat | steam: dcostalis