Sascha Faun Winter

Experienced Application Engineer

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Selected Employment

Owner & CEO

Hydra Development, Inc., San Francisco, California

August 2012 to Present

Founder and primary developer at a software consulting company focused on building high-quality, scalable and reliable web applications for companies in the technology industry.

Hydra helps build minimum viable products for startups and help established businesses augment their applications to reach the scale of success.

Select Projects


Contributed to core components of the TaskRabbit marketplace. Built new identity verification systems and worked on fraud engine for detecting and preventing fraud on the marketplace platform. Mentored junior engineers on best practices and code style.

Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, RSpec, MySQL, Redis, Resque, Elasticsearch, Ansible


Contributed to an existing Net Promoter Score (customer satisfaction metric) application and dashboard built on Rails 4 and Sinatra backed by PostgreSQL and Redis. Lead technical decisions in new product roadmap and decision-making. Mentored other engineers on the team with regards to architectural decisions, code style and best practices. Created automated tools for code correctness and code style. Implemented CI/CD system for range of products using code quality checking tools, security audits and test suites. Improved upon existing infrastructure for high traffic survey sampling server for reliability and stability. Built analytics filtering tool for existing dashboard using best practices. Extracted services into separate applications for ease and pace of development.

Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Angular.js, RSpec, Jasmine, Karma, Gulp, PostgreSQL, Redis


Contributed to next-generation publishing platform for scientific journals. Built on Rails 4 with a JSON API, Ember.js, Server-sent events and service-oriented architecture. Created an external service to convert ePub documents to PDF and deliver them to application users after conversion. Generated Ansible playbook for deploying application to Amazon EC2. Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, Ember.js, Ember Data, qUnit, Sinon.js, RSpec, Sidekiq, PostgreSQL, Bootstrap

Timeline Labs

Contracted with social media sentiment analysis startup to build a world-class sentiment analysis tool to help brands news organization and celebrities understand the sentiment and level of user engagement throughout the world. Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, Redis, Active Admin, Angular.js, Pusher, D3.js, Rickshaw


Worked on photo sharing application rescue project with low test coverage and slow uploads. Improved test coverage and re-routed file uploads from direct application pass-through to a cloud server via direct upload with push notifications and background job processing. Increased file upload capacity and reliability meanwhile significantly decreasing file upload time. Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, RSpec/RSpec Mocks, Cross-origin Resource Sharing/jQuery File Upload, Pusher.

Senior Developer

Cloud City Development, San Francisco, California

February 2013 to April 2014

Engineered web applications for startups in the Bay Area. Cloud City offers top-notch consultation using mixed-experience engineers pairing continuously to build minimum viable products while providing on-the-job training for new members of the programming community.

  • Wrote robust applications for clients utilizing pair programming, behavior-driven development, continuous integration, and code reviews.

  • Managed feature backlog and requirements using Pivotal Tracker and developed software using Extreme Programming techniques.

  • Trained numerous junior developers and coached Dev Bootcamp students through a mentorship program.

  • Interviewed potential junior candidates nearing completion of intensive developer bootcamp.

Select Projects

  • Created a successful application for a social media sentiment analysis startup using Ruby on Rails and AngularJS. Built real-time updates for data visualization graphs using push notifications via WebSockets. Transitioned entire application from a fixed width to a responsive layout. Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, AngularJS, D3.js/Rickshaw, RSpec/RSpec Mocks, Jasmine/Sinon.js, Pusher, Bootstrap

  • Led a team to build a small internal application using Ember.js in conjunction with Ruby on Rails 4.x with 100% test coverage. Select technologies used: Ruby on Rails, ActiveModel::Serializer, Ember.js, Ember Data, RSpec/RSpec Mocks, Jasmine/Sinon.js, Bootstrap

Application Developer

John McNeil Studio, Berkeley, California

April 2012 to July 2012

Created sophisticated mobile application for a major health insurance company.

  • Built a Rails API and associated Backbone.js single-page app with a small team of developers.

  • Met with client to determine requirements using the Scrum management process managed with Jira.

  • Built a custom iOS-style view navigation controller stack implementation with history using HTML5 PushState.

  • Created extensive custom UI layout with form validation on the client and server with strong test coverage.

Select technologies used:

Ruby on Rails, Test::Unit, Capybara, Cucumber, PhantomJS, Backbone.js, jQuery, QUint/Sinon.JS, HTML5/CSS3, PhoneGap

Web/Applications Developer

Traction Corporation, San Francisco, California

Mar 2008 to April 2012

Responsible for development of email campaigns, web applications, micro-sites and e-commerce solutions for corporate clients on a strict timeframe and with exacting specifications and requirements.

Select responsibilities
  • Built a Rails application for company blog and portfolio showcase using custom blogging framework and content management system written from scratch. Built custom user interface for website administration by pairing with designers and defining requirements from the ground up.

  • Performed development work for clients including: Apple, Adobe, Futures Without Violence, Message Systems,, Bank of America, Camelbak, & more.

  • Interviewed and evaluated new candidates for the development team, and helped to train new hires.

Acted as lead developer for client relationship with Apple. Responsible for delivering exacting work under tight timelines and demanding expectations. Select projects for Apple Marcom:

Select projects
  • Developed HTML5 & CSS for marketing campaigns on

  • Developed transactional order management emails for Apple Online Store.

  • Created HTML emails for Apple direct marking campaigns reaching millions of people.

  • Helped to create and maintain email template engine in Ruby for generating internationalized emails campaigns. Tool included internationalized content files, templates, re-usable layouts to reduce development time.

Wireless Network Technician

Surfnet Communications, Los Gatos, California

Jan 2007 to Feb 2008

Acted as a long-range wireless network technician for an Internet service provider serving the Santa Cruz Mountains.

  • Installed, repaired and maintained hundreds of wireless clients connected to remote access points.

  • Performed professional website development for administrative website including the creation of a custom geographic profiling application.

Recent Projects


Zinedistro is a ready-made content management tool for creators of zines to distribute their work. Deployment to Heroku is a just a button push away.


An experiment in learning Go, bitrot aims to fight silent data corruption by generating file checksums and later verifying the checksum value. This tool is meant to be run on a regular basis on a network attached storage device.

Technical Blog Posts

Paperclip Extensions

Wrote a blog post for Cloud City about testing a file upload cropper built for a legacy application. [May 2013]

Wordpress and Capistrano

Wrote a blog post for Traction about deploying a WordPress site with Capistrano and Subversion. [March 2011]


Cabrillo College, Aptos, California - 2004-2007 - Skills Certificate, Web Programming

University of California, Santa Cruz, California - 2001-2004 - Studied Community Studies

El Molino High School, Forestville, California - Graduated 2001


Available upon request.