Biff Gaut
8652 Sedley Ct.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Senior Solutions Architect and Development Manager with over 35 years of hands on experience architecting, designing and implementing mission critical solutions.


  • Expert in AWS Cloud architecture
  • Technical Leader for large-scale enterprise and Internet applications, managing teams of up to 29 developers
  • Computerworld-Smithsonian Award for Excellence in Information Technology winner in 1991 (EIS); finalist in 1999 (NASDAQ SDR)


Amazon Web Services Herndon, VA
Principal Solutions Architect, Principal Engineer 2013-Present
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leading provider of public cloud services.
  • Principal Engineer - Architect and developer for Pythia, a service providing automated architectural guidance to customers and AWS employees. Pythia simulates an AWS Solutions Architect by guiding the user through a scripted conversation and making architectural recommendations based on the responses. Leader of AWS Solutions Constructs, an open source library of CDK L3 constructs enabling AWS customers to easily compose complex, well-architected workloads.
  • Certification Technical Architect - Developed processes to improve the quality and accuracy of AWS Certification exams. Created a tool that automatically generated new test questions, protecting the integrity of the exams by ensuring a more dynamic question bank.
  • Solutions Architect - Assisted customers in their journey to the cloud. In addition to collaborating one on one with customers, spoke at re:Invent and AWS Summits, wrote blog posts, conducted training, and served as Subject Matter Expert for several Certification exams. Co-authored and coordinated the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide.
Thomson Reuters Rockville, MD
Software Development Manager 2012-2013
ScienceWire is a product providing insight into the world of scientific research. A robust data warehouse combining Publication, Grant and Patent information provides clients with the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of research departments; locate experts in scientific fields; and judge the success of grant funding. Access is provided through custom analytics contracts as well as through an API allowing clients to write their own systems to mine the data.
  • Managed the development of the People Catalog initiative, a cutting edge process for disambiguating over 180 million authors, investigators and inventors across the ScienceWire database. This effort relied heavily on the big data processing power of Hadoop.
  • Initiated a complete overhaul of the API, designing and prototyping a new architecture that allows:
    • More technology neutral access through REST and SOAP interfaces
    • Simpler versioning of the interfaces, including the ability to easily retire deprecated versions
    • A simpler vocabulary for the externally facing contract
  • Drove the effort to reorganize the development processes of the ScienceWire product, including documented processes for tracking analysis, development and signoff.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA - formerly NASD) Rockville, MD
Senior Software Architect 2002-2012
FINRA is a self-regulatory organization responsible for regulating the securities industry. In addition to delivering business applications, Senior Architect responsibilities include acting as an internal consultant to business teams; presenting to the President and CTO; and promoting shared software services to reduce TCO of FINRA technology.
  • Led the rearchitecture of an existing .NET, browser-based case management system used by FINRA Regulation to track examinations and investigations. While continuing to provide new business features, exposed all system functionality as services integrated with other FINRA systems both synchronously through web services and asynchronously through the Enterprise System Bus.
  • Led the design and implementation of a case management system used by the FINRA Dispute Resolution department to manage thousands of cases each year. This browser-based internal system is written on the .NET platform and features AJAX functionality and a custom ORM.
  • Architected, designed and implemented a software service allowing the deployment of data collection forms over the Internet without code using metadata and configuration. This external web application is written
  • in .NET and makes extensive use of web services to allow interaction with internal FINRA systems.
  • Led the design and implementation of a web based software service allowing online payments through credit cards and ACH. This .NET system is architected such that it can be integrated with other FINRA web applications, including the data collection form platform.
Biff Gaut Consulting Gaithersburg, MD
Owner 2001-2002
Several independent consulting engagements across the country
  • Architecture review of, leading to changes increasing server capacity 500% and decreasing response time 37% (Dallas, TX)
  • Created an architecture for Remember Data Services’ flagship product in .NET. Developed a Proof of Concept based on composing transactions in a pipeline. (Indianapolis, IN)
Divine, Inc. Leesburg, VA
Senior Software Developer 2001-2002
Divine provides software and services for enterprise solutions, including XChange, a call center management system.
  • Implemented several functions including a load balancing thread engine in C++ for executing server side Visual Basic scripts; and a COM wrapper for the server call management software, allowing customers to easily write their own client applications in Visual Basic.
Plural (Formerly Micro Modeling Associates) Bethesda, MD
Technical Director 1994-2001
Plural, the 1999 Microsoft Partner of the Year is a Microsoft-focused computer consulting firm providing project-based application development for a wide range of Fortune 500 clients. In addition to nationwide internal training, mentoring and project troubleshooting, built and managed the DC Advanced Technology Group. This 10-person group specialized in COM-based enterprise and Internet applications. Through this group, was engaged as manager and developer for over 28 different projects.
  • Technical manager, architect and developer for NASDAQ Surveillance Delivery Realtime (SDR) - an application used by NASDAQ Market Watch to monitor market activity. This application, distributed between 9 different servers and dozens of client desktops, monitors and correlates several data feeds and processes up to 2000 messages a second. Construction involved 29 developers and utilized MTS, MSMQ, SQL Server, WBEM, MMC Snap-ins, SNMP and DCOM. Since this was one of the first projects that showed Windows NT to be capable of BackOffice calculations at this volume, Microsoft monitored the progress closely and published a whitepaper about the application on its web site. The application was a finalist for the Smithsonian-Computerworld Award for Excellence in Information Technology.
  • Technical manager, architect and developer for NASDAQ Mid-Tier - an application that monitored NASDAQ data feeds, consolidating transaction information and producing a data feed of periodic reports to NASDAQ clients on transactions and market state. This project utilized MSMQ, C++, ATL, SQL Server and DCOM extensively and processed over 2000 messages/second.
  • Architect and developer for NASDAQ-Online (design and prototype of the COM architecture) - a limited access Internet site. This limited access site provides market and corporate information to a user base of 5000 users. Implementation of the design tripled the speed of the site over the previous ASP/SQL Server only implementation.
  • Led a team of 6 people through the design and implementation of the prototype. Technical manager, architect and developer for Tasmanian Traders - an application written for and with Microsoft demonstrating the capabilities of the soon to be released Visual Studio 5.0. This application was written using pre-Beta software for Microsoft to use in the introduction of the Visual Studio 5.0 at Developer Days '97 and beyond. Led a team of three people through conception, design and construction.
  • Internal technology leader - authored and delivered internal classes and workshops on many technology topics at Plural offices across the country; authored the corporate C++ coding standards; contributed to the corporate software methodology. Technology evangelist for firm - spoke at several industry conferences; contributed chapters to Microsoft Press book on web technology; authored whitepapers.
MapQuest (formerly GeoSystems, Inc.) Falls Church, VA
Senior Geographic Systems Analyst 1992-1994
GeoSystems provided custom built Geographic Information System applications for clients.
  • Technical Manager for the New Jersey Transit Travel Information System - an application that allows users to calculate and plot routes using the bus and rail system between any two points in New Jersey. This product was written in C++ using Motif for the user interface. Accomplishments include supervision of the overall design; liaison with customer; supervision of data production; and C++ coding.
  • Delivered multiple coding features of varying scope to round out the mapping family of products as well as to support sales, including a multimedia prototype kiosk-based Travel Information System that included music and full motion video. Participated in several oral presentations of contract proposals to prospective clients.
Essential Technologies, Inc. (Formerly Research Alternatives, Inc.) Rockville, MD
Vice President of Software Development 1983-1992
Research Alternatives provided map-based Emergency Management software and services to state and local jurisdictions as well as private industry. This software would facilitate communication and coordination between agencies during times of emergency.
  • Technical Manager, architect and developer for the Emergency Information System (EIS) - a PC-based, map-oriented database system for emergency management in the public and private sectors. EIS is installed in more than 1300 locations world-wide and won the Computerworld-Smithsonian Award for Excellence in Information Technology in 1991. It was certified in 21 states as the official state-wide Emergency Management software system. EIS features include: full jurisdictional mapping; complete multi-user database capabilities; background communications and remote sensor monitoring. Its plume dispersion information file format has become an industry standard, supported by four of the top five plume dispersion modeling programs in the world. Responsibilities outside technology included marketing and system demonstrations; user training across the United States and the Caribbean; chairing sessions in national conferences; writing articles for quarterly newspaper; and managing Technical Support.


Public Speaking engagements include AWS re:Invent, AWS Summits, VC Teach, Microsoft Developer Days, Microsoft PDC and Windows World

Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide - author of 3 chapters, most of the sample questions and overall manager of authoring team.

Microsoft Commerce Solutions Web Technology - contributing author with chapters on COM and MTS.

Multiple blog posts on the AWS web site - here, here


B.S. cum laude in Mechanical Engineering with Computer Science Minor
Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA

Microsoft Certified Architect