Johnathan Gilday

Prinicpal Software Developer at Contrast Security

Boring, standard, one-page PDF resume available here

2017 - Now

OCJUG Instrumentation Talk

In 2018, I took an opportunity to speak to the Orange County Java User Group about the Java Instrumentation API that powers the Contrast Java agent. The deck is available on SpeakerDeck This is a fun talk to give, because even to seasoned Java developers, the esoteric Instrumentation API can feel like magic.

Contrast Security: Java Agent Developer

Working hard on the Contrast Java agent in Contrast Security's Baltimore office

As often happens at start-ups, my role at Contrast Security changed to meet the company’s new needs. In February 2018, I stepped away from backend service development and took on the role of Principal Engineer for Contrast’s Java agent team.

Developing a Java agent is a challenging problem. Developing an agent which instruments low-level Java APIs for secure data flow analysis, as Contrast does, is even more difficult! Performance is always a first-class concern. Testing Java agents has its own unique challenges. This is an exciting project to work on.

Hello, Contrast Security

Contrast Security's office at Natty Boh Tower in Baltimore

In March 2017 I left Next Century to join Contrast Security: an application security start-up in Baltimore. Contrast is an exciting start-up to work for because their product has a unique approach to detecting and preventing vulnerabilities by instrumenting customers’ applications at runtime. On previous projects at Next Century, I developed an appreciation for devops workflows and automating everything; Contrast’s product introduces security to these workflows in a way other tools do not. At Contrast, I work on scaling our backend product, building cloud native data analytics, our automated test and release pipeline, and our Java agent product.

2012 - 2017

Tech Talk on Container-less Java Services

In July 2016, I volunteered to present Container-less Java Services at Next Century’s developer tech talk series. After working with Akka’s “microkernel” and deploying a web project to Heroku for school, I became increasingly interested in Java services which run without the aid of an app server, so I was happy to share this with my colleagues. The deck is available on

Completed M.S. Computer Science at JHU

Spring 2016 I completed my M.S. Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals school with a concentration in Web and Enterprise Computing.

Coursework includes:

  • Agile Software Development Methods
  • Enterprise Computing with Java
  • Big Data Processing Using Hadoop
  • Mobile Application Development for the Android Platform
  • System Development, UNIX Environment
  • Artificial Intelligence

More Next Century Projects

Next Century affords me many opportunities to migrate between projects and gain a variety of experience with secure system development. I’ve worked on several projects including a suite of cross-domain solutions, a customer collection filtering system, and an enterprise data service.

While supporting these projects, some notable components I worked on includes

  • Cloud infrastructure automation with OpenStack and Ansible<
  • User log analysis with Apache NiFi
  • Backend services in Python and Go
  • A Web dashboard written with AngularJS and D3
  • Java and Scala web services serving data from Berkeley DB JE
  • Scaling and tuning a Cassandra cluster

2010 - 2012

Goodbye Army, Hello Next Century

Me at Next Century's HQ

In winter 2012, I left CERDEC to start a new chapter with Next Century Corporation (acquired by CACI in 2019) as a Senior Software Engineer. Next Century is an exciting place to work and truly prides itself on its commitment to its values and purpose. I started as part of the agile development team for the open source Ozone Widget Framework project.

Began studying at JHU

In Fall 2012, I enrolled in Johns Hopkins University’s Engineering Program for Professionals to study towards my Masters degree part time. I studied Computer Science again with a concentration in Software Enginnering. I enjoy the software engineering process and the complex problems it aims to solve so I’m looking forward to my coursework.

CERDEC Software Development Workshop

TDD presentation slide

I siezed an opportunity to speak to my colleagues at CERDEC’s Software Development Workshop. I spoke about Test Driven Development; a software development process I have grown fond of using. After a quick talk about TDD, its benefits, and what the process looks like, I demonstrated to the audience an example where I added a new feature to an API the TDD way. The US Army is notoriously guilty of death by PowerPoint, so I took a page from Jessee Dee and tried to make my slides stand out. I haven’t adapted the slides to read well without my soundtrack, but I’ll post them when they’re cleared for release.

Graduated from Rutgers University


Graduated with the last class of Rutgers College (now School of Arts and Sciences) with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Economics (GPA 3.3). Started my full time position with US Army CERDEC immediately afterward and moved to Baltimore, MD within a year to follow CERDEC.

2006 - 2010

Co-authored paper for Army Science Conference

COMET demonstration photo

I co-authored a paper with my teammates for the 2008 Army Science Conference. The paper describes a research effort we undertook to develop a multi-touch, multi-user system to facilitate face to face collaboration in a command and control environment. This research effort was a good experience for me: I got to work closely with a lot of smart engineers on the prototype pictured here; I also worked closely with the users to develop the application layer and make adaptations based on their immediate feedback. I learned a lot about what it takes to make simple, intuitive user interfaces. In 2010, our team received CERDEC’s Employee of the Year award (team category).

Associate Online Editor, Daily Targum

The Daily Targum is Rutgers University’s official student newspaper and the second oldest student newspaper in the United States. While at Rutgers, I started working at the Online desk helping to publish the paper’s articles online and bring new, exclusive online content to During my time at the Targum, the paper’s Online desk expanded and my peers elected me to fill the newly formed Associate Online Editor position.

Student Work

Rutgers SWAT t-shirt

During my sophomore year, I worked as a field technician for the Rutgers University Office of Information Technology. I was sent to students’ dorms to troubleshoot connectivity issues with the Rutgers network.

I don’t love troubleshooting IT issues, so I was happy to leave this job and take a position at The Daily Targum. The Daily Targum is the oldest daily studen-run newspaper in the United States. I helped to run My peers at the Targum elected me to the newly created Associate Online Editor position.

Began studying at Rutgers University

Began studying for my B.S. in Computer Science at Rutgers University in New Brusnwick, NJ. Before starting school, I accepted the Dr. Joseph Frank Scholarship Award for students studying computer science from AFCEA.

Coursework I completed at Rutgers includes

  • Data Structures
  • Software Methodology
  • Discrete Structures
  • Principles of Information and Data Management
  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Security

2002 - 2006

Certified CompTIA Security+

CompTIA award with Mrs. G

In high school, I was fortunate enough to have access to interesting technology electives. One of the electives, taught by the fantastic Mandy Galante, prepped my classmates and me for the CompTIA Security+ exam which I passed at the end of the semester. Thanks to Mrs. Galante nominating me, I also received the CompTIA Merit Award from the CompTIA Educational Foundation.

Began internship at US Army CERDEC


In the summer of 2005, as an incoming high school senior, I started my internship at US Army Communications Electronics Research and Development Engineering Center. I returned to CERDEC each break I had from school until I graduated college and accepted a full time position at CERDEC. My mixture of academic study and apprenticeship (and later employment) at CERDEC has been an invaluable experience.

Began my formal computer science training

In 2002, I began my formal computer science training as a freshman at Red Bank Regional High School. I enrolled in a program RBR HS called the Academy of Information Technology which put me on a track to IT and programming electives each semester until graduation. My graduation class was the last to be taught Pascal in our introduction to programming class (I believe it’s all Java now).