Daybreak Health (S20)
Clinically-validated online counseling designed for teens

Sr. Backend Engineer (RoR)

$80k - $140k0.50% - 1.50%

3+ years
About Daybreak Health

Daybreak Health provides online counseling built for teens. Our mission is to ensure that every adolescent has access to high quality mental health care. Our counseling is designed for teens dealing with mild to moderate levels of anxiety, depression, stress and burnout, as well as other conditions. Our licensed therapists deliver evidence-based therapy to teens through video and messaging on our mobile app -- all enabled through our managed marketplace. 1 in 3 teens struggle with anxiety or depression and there has never been a better time to solve this problem.

About the role

Skills: Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Data Modeling

Teens need access to therapy now more than ever. Daybreak Health needs a senior rails developer now more than ever. Come join a 3-person engineering team and help us tackle a more meaningful problem than optimizing another ad network.

The Mission

Build a world where every young person benefits from mental health support.

The Company

Daybreak Health is a digital mental health clinic built to help millions of adolescents access effective mental health care. Our clinical program is designed for teens in particular and our digital platform gives teens access to high-quality therapists.

We're actively serving patients in California and operating as a remote first company; we do not have an office and do not currently have any plans to change that.

Daybreak is a fully remote company with seven team members scattered from SF to LA and out to PA. As a business we operate with a document heavy, meeting light, async first culture. Our seed funding comes from yCombinator and Maven Ventures (of Zoom fame). We have in excess of 12 months runway and are currently on track to raise our Series A within that window. In finance speak, we're a going concern.

The Job

You'll be the third Engineer on an eight person team and the first Backend Engineer besides the CTO.

Your first few projects will consist of:

  1. Removing deprecated features
  2. Standardizing our API returns and documenting the new standards and conventions
  3. Creating "Leads" in Salesforce when potential users complete our Parent Onboarding Quiz

These projects will give you insight into many of our critical backend systems and give you the foundation necessary to begin developing new features within it.

Beyond this initial onboarding you will work directly with the CTO to draft Technical Proposals and implement the backend components defined within them. This process will allow you to define not only the solutions we implement but the timelines on which we implement them. Over time you will take ownership of some of existing systems and many new systems and be looked to as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on them by both the CTO and Product.

Some example projects you might take point on include:

  1. Defining and implementing the APIs we wire Salesforce to use to provision clients within our system.
  2. Defining and implementing the system that takes newly hired Counselors and Psychiatrists and automagically provisions them across our entire infrastructure so that they can start seeing patients day one.

In order to be capable of these projects we expect that you will be extremely skilled at data schema design, API design, documentation writing & automated testing.

You are expected to have opinions on workflow engines, feature toggles and asynchronous processing. You are not expected to be a microservices wiz, a DevOps Ninja or a full time DBA.

From time to time you will be asked to help with some jr level frontend features, but you are not expected to be a full stack developer.

Lastly, you will help Engineering as a whole to deliver on our Technical Vision, which, if lived up to, we believe will provide the opportunity for the business to succeed.

We generally believe this job is doable by someone with three to five years of industry experience composed of at least two recent years of Ruby on Rails experience.


  • Base Salary: 80-140k
  • Equity: 1.5% to 0.5%, 5 year vesting, 1 year cliff for 20%
  • Vacation: 3 weeks minimum, unlimited policy.

Growth Opportunities

While we're a small company, we're on a growth path and can help you grow your skills. Depending on your interests and the growth of the company we can help you pursue one of the following growth paths:

  • Progress to Full Stack Engineer
  • Progress to a certified Salesforce Engineer
  • Depending on company growth, transition into scrum master and then into management

Tech Stack

  • Ruby on Rails v6.0.3 (Rails Backend), PostgreSQL, Redis, RSpec
  • React Native v0.64.1 (Daybreak Mobile), React JS v17.0.2 (Web Frontend), TypeScript, Jest
  • Salesforce

The Engineering Org

Daybreak Engineering is kinda nuts. We allocate time for tech debt. We run a Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) that allows us to set our own deadlines for projects. We measure our productivity in both tickets punched and business value delivered. We're constantly looking for ways to buy solutions to our problems rather than build them. We understand that Software Engineering isn't just programming, it's programming plus time. We believe that it is worse to build the wrong thing than to build nothing at all. We are proactive instead of reactive.

We know where we're going, and we believe that through good faith debate we can get there. Check out our Technical Vision here for more: Technical Vision 2021-09-02

As a member of the Engineering Team you can expect:

  • To spend less than five hours in meetings most weeks.
  • To be given projects fit for your level of experience in addition to normal plumbing.
  • To engage in good faith debate centered on how to build the tech required to achieve our mission.
  • To be invited into the business side of things and help identify and solve problem(s) across the org through both systems thinking AND software.

A Typical Day @ Daybreak Engineering

  1. Start your day at whatever hour works best for you
  2. Submit your Geekbot standup update by 10:15am PST
  3. Attend standup at 10:15am PST via zoom
  4. Do your work
  5. End your day whenever you feel is appropriate (guidance available if that helps you)

The Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) @ Daybreak

  1. Product draws up a Product Requirements Doc (PRD) by working with Clinical, CS/Ops or Growth to identify areas of improvement for the business.
  2. Eng weighs in on the PRD giving it a T-Shirt Size (Eg. Minutes to Hours, Hours to Days, Days to Weeks, Weeks to Months, I don't know) [Link to understanding PRD]
  3. Product decides whether the PRD is worth further evaluation based on Eng's T-Shirt Size
  4. Eng dives into the PRD and draws up a Technical Proposal that explains, at key:value and class name granularity, how this thing will be built.
  5. Eng reviews the technical proposal internally to ensure it's something we'd be proud to build and not a steaming pile of tech debt.
  6. Eng creates actionable tickets with tripartite estimates for all proposed work. Tickets are then collected into groups that each form a distinct, standalone, piece of business value.
  7. Eng presents the groups & estimates to Product for final scoping.
  8. Product descopes groups of work to meet timelines then green lights a specific body of work
  9. Eng signs off on the build as described and gets coding

Hiring Process

Daybreak's hiring process aims to be doable in about six hours end to end spread across a calendar week.

  1. 30 minute screener call with CTO
  2. Code Challenge - 1.5 hours
    1. The Code Challenge is done in a single sitting in your web browser via It is timed, but you won't be working in front of people. We're trying to see how you program, not how you deal with social pressure.
  3. Technical Proposal Drafting Challenge - 1 hour
    1. We're a document heavy company. You will be writing a lot and so we need to understand how you approach writing about technical topics.
  4. Video Interview (Final) - 3 hours
    1. At this point we trust that you could do the work, we just need to get to know you a bit better and see if you can bring something unique to the team. The interview itself is broken into three parts, one with CEO, one with COO and one with CTO + Lead Frontend Eng.


Tech Stack

  • ReactJS for our internal tooling/client facing features
  • React Native for our mobile app
  • Rails 6.x.x for our API / Business Logic
  • PostgreSQL for to store all the things
  • AWS for misc services
  • A bunch of vendors & service providers all glued to our Rails backend via webhooks & APIs

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