Andreas "Rayo" Kniep, Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Andreas "Rayo" Kniep

Verified Expert  in Engineering

HTTP Developer

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 27, 2015

Rayo has worked in the software industry since 1999, but his passion for writing software began when he started developing computer games at age 13. He has taught Theoretical Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin before successfully co-founding Linklift, a company in the SEO-space. He is a fullstack developer with back-end focus who loves to implement systems and constantly fine-tune his programming and architectural skills.


Startup Compass
Mixpanel, StatsD, RSpec, Jenkins, Berkshelf, Chef, AWS OpsWorks, Resque, Redis...
Quan Digital
Hadoop, HBase, Java, Solr, Apache Lucene, Bash, Zend Framework, PHP, MySQL, LAMP
Internationalization, Bash, Perl, CMS Structure & Configuration, Joomla, Drupal...




Preferred Environment

MacBook, RubyMine, Subversion (SVN)

The most amazing...

...thing I've built was an automated data-collection & webscraping infrastructure (in-house server farm, 20+ VDSL-lines, sharded MySQL-setup, 6 HBase clusters).

Work Experience


2013 - PRESENT
Startup Compass
  • Led a team of 4 developers and 2 data-scientists.
  • Designed and developed a software hub to automatically collect data from a wide range of data APIs (e.g., Square, Google Analytics, Paypal, Freshbooks, Xero, Highrise).
  • Introduced server provisioning for AWS OpsWorks with Chef and Berkshelf.
  • Built and administered micro-service infrastructure with independent modules, message queues, and scheduler.
  • Introduced Continuous Integration with Jenkins.
Technologies: Mixpanel, StatsD, RSpec, Jenkins, Berkshelf, Chef, AWS OpsWorks, Resque, Redis, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ, AngularJS, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Sinatra, Ruby


2012 - 2013
Quan Digital
  • Managed MySQL-databases with billions of entries (containing qualitative SEM/SEO keyword-lists in 6 languages).
  • Designed and oversaw multiple Hadoop/HBase clusters (3-4 nodes) collecting half a billion new data points per week and running Map/Reduce analyses (containing qualitative search engine visibility data for 6 countries).
  • Realized fast data search with HBase data dumps and Lucene indexes.
  • Led a team of 10+ developers and product manager.
  • Designed and realized product Rankpanel, an open search-visibility analytics tool.
Technologies: Hadoop, HBase, Java, Solr, Apache Lucene, Bash, Zend Framework, PHP, MySQL, LAMP


2006 - 2012
  • Grew company to 60+ employees, 5,000+ webmasters (customers), 4+ million € annual turnover, and profitability.
  • Designed and developed the software back-end of the Linklift technology platform, a software setup which dealt with half a billion data-points per week (LAMP stack with automated payment-system and API for CMS-plugins).
  • Designed, set up, and administrated a webscraping infrastructure, including in-house server-farm and 20+ controllable VDSL-lines with service-API (libraries in PHP and Java), web front-end, and centralized task management.
  • Introduced internationalization for 6 languages and 4 currencies (using i.a. gettext, po/mo).
  • Led a team of 10+ developers and product manager.
Technologies: Internationalization, Bash, Perl, CMS Structure & Configuration, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, PHP, MySQL, LAMP

PhD Student with Lectureship

2005 - 2006
Technical University of Berlin
  • Organized university courses.
  • Lectured 300+ undergraduate students.
  • Conducted written and oral exams.
  • Led a team of 15 tutors, creating seminars and weekly exercises.
  • Researched in modeling object-oriented systems by transformation-systems.
Technologies: Algorithms, Algebra

Compass Benchmarking

Compass is a benchmarking tool currently focusing on Google Analytics and payment services such as Stripe or PayPal, that helps decision makers (e.g., CEOs) to bring business data together in an actionable dashboard.

Compass Monitor

Compass Monitor is a portfolio tracking tool for consultants, advisers, and investors. Directly monitor progress via automatic data connections to your portfolio companies.


Linklift reaches out to bloggers, independent journalists, and webmasters in general. Together with its online marketing agency Quan Digital, it creates a partnership between content creators and advertisers with focused text-link marketing.

2048 with Stats and Sounds
Simple JavaScript game spiced up with live statistics and sounds

Worker Class

I helped create the worker class in a layer called Avenue that sits on our queuing system in RabbitMQ. This class makes it simple to register consumer classes to RabbitMQ queues in our data-collection module, which is designed for microservice architecture.


PHP, Ruby, SQL, Bash Script, Bash, Perl, JavaScript, Java


Google Analytics, Subversion (SVN), Trac, RubyMine, Chef, Git, RabbitMQ, AWS OpsWorks, Jenkins, Jira, RSpec, CVS, Turbo Pascal, Solr


MySQL, Memcached, Redis, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), HBase


Scraping, Regular Expressions, Algorithms, Data Structures, HTTP, MacBook, CMS Structure & Configuration, Internationalization, Berkshelf, StatsD, Algebra, SOLID Principles, RHEL, Ubuntu Server


OAuth 2, Zend Framework, Linux OpenSuSe, Hadoop, AngularJS, Sinatra, Ruby on Rails (RoR)


Apache Lucene, Resque, jQuery


Functional Programming, REST, Microservices


Amazon EC2, Linux, LAMP, Mixpanel, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla

2001 - 2005

Master's Degree in Computer Science

Technical University of Berlin - Berlin