Derek Kershner

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Interactive version of this document available at

To CBT Nuggets Hiring Manager:

The more I look into your company, the more there is to like about it. I have a ton of experience as a user of online learning platforms and am a vehement supporter of the entire idea and industry. In my consulting experience, we actually were close to partnering with an Online University, and it has always been the idea I was most excited about. In addition, your stated values of honesty and integrity are critical to any business I would want to be involved in, and mirror my own requirements in co-workers.

I think you will find my skillset and experience to be quite well-rounded and a solid match for many of the job requirements you have laid out in the Senior Software Engineer position:


  • I have a proven track record by planning, architecting, developing, testing, deploying, running, monitoring, and optimizing many distributed, microservices based applications in the cloud for the past 6 years. This extends all the way from top to bottom, from the data stack to automated deployments using infrastructure as code. My portfolio has some examples and principles of how I design.
  • I am never one to overpromise and underdeliver. Ever.


  • I am a polyglot programmer able to be productive in several languages. You have specifically called out React, which is my strongest framework (this letter and my resume are written in React/TypeScript and use Babel/Webpack). I have lots of JS experience (I use TypeScript as I find it makes me more productive and the code more readable). I have learned Node, but will admit to having a lack of production experience due to primarily using C#. I am, however, happy to learn more, as I am finding JS more pleasurable to write with the modern ECMAScript releases. I have some Redux experience, but found it to be overkill for most of my project designs (likely not so for something as large as CBT Nuggets).
  • I have experience in all the clouds, and while I have the most experience in Azure due to the way Amazon is viewed in the e-commerce world, I believe the providers are similar enough for there to be much carryover to the others. In addition, in preparation for this opportunity, I have taken AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner training. I have not yet taken the test, but am confident I could do so in a small amount of time. I have tons of experience with Azure Functions (Lambda), Azure Storage Blobs (S3), and event-driven architectures like message queues and service buses (SQS).
  • I manage developers using Agile methodology (albeit scrum-less due to offshore time zone issues) and am familiar with organizing work into bite-size, time-sensitive sprints for myself and others.
  • I have lots of experience in both relational (RDBMS / SQL) and non-relational (NoSQL) data structures. MSSQL and MySQL were the focus of the SQL side, and the NoSQL side is much broader, ranging from Key-Value stores like Redis or Table Storage, to Document stores like Mongo & Cosmos DB.
  • I am both a heavy consumer and contributor to Open Source. ShopifySharp, the most popular .NET Shopify wrapper, is something I relied on heavily, and I am also one of top contributors as I required new features.
  • I was also the DevOps/Site Reliability Engineer for all of our projects, and therefore have experience with Serverless, VMs, Proxies, and Containers. Throughout my experience, my favorite combination ended up being Kubernetes, Docker, and Nginx for larger projects, which appears to be a perfect match to what CBT uses.


  • I love to learn new things, and spend my free time watching courses on Pluralsight to ensure I stay up to date on best practices and learn new technologies.

If you want more information than I have provided in either my resume or this cover letter, please see my LinkedIn.

I look forward to the challenge. Thank you for your consideration.


Derek Kershner