Brian Sunter
Brian Sunter

My name is Brian Sunter and I'm a software engineer in San Francisco.



I was the CTO and co-founder of a bar and restaurant inventory system called Partender. We went through Batch 7 of the 500 Startups accelerator. We replaced the tedious pencil and paper method with an app that helped managers save time, reduce theft, and make better business decisions. Featured on the hit show Bar Rescue and used by some big names such as Hilton and Marriot.


I was an engineer at SnapUp where we launched a machine learning powered shopping app. When you see a product you like while shopping on your phone in any app or website, just take a screenshot. We'll automatically organize it for you and tell you the best time to buy it. Acquired by ipsy in 2016.


I was an intern at Amazon where I created a debugging platform for their internal message queue implementation. My project helped on call engineers quickly diagnose problems, identify sources of malformed data, and coordinate with other teams to fix issues.


I worked on a prototype cross platform app and backend for the Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The app enhanced guest and athlete experience by providing event schedules, real time updates, day highlights, and on site navigation.


iOS Development

iOS is the platform I've worked on the most. The Swift language is great to develop in and has good strong typing, immutable value types, and functional constructs. The Cocoa APIs are generally well thought out and easy to use. There is a vibrant development community working on some really amazing open source Swift libraries.

Functional Programming

Functions are the easiest to reason about and most composable unit of software construction. I like functional languages and I think carefully about purity, immutability, state, and side effects. I believe functional concepts are the way forward in both highly event driven consumer apps and web services as the need for sane concurrency increases.


I like writing tests first when it makes sense. This allows me to have an extremely fast feedback loop and refactor aggressively after I get something working. Tests keep me sane when refactoring systems. I'm trying to improve my use of property testing.


Clojure is conceptually simple, functional within reason, and extremely pragmatic. It is an incredibly well designed language and a joy to write. It has first class functions, immutable data structures, controlled mutability when you need it, great concurrency support, interactive programming, and interops with any existing Java library. Clojurescript allows you to use it anywhere JS is used.


Haskell is the most advanced programming language I've used and I am endlessly fascinated by it. It has an incredibly powerful type system that prevents a huge number of bugs at compile time. It strictly separates pure and impure functions which makes your programs much easier to understand. Its laziness, type inference, and language features allows you to write extremely abstract, concise programs.


I believe if you're going to sling text for 10+ years any investment to increase your productivity will have a huge payoff over time. Spacemacs is a set of Vim inspired plugins and keybindings for Emacs that gives me everything I loved about Vim and much more. I still have a lot to learn about Emacs but I really like it so far.



I take pictures to capture irreproducible moments and be mindful of the beautiful world we live in. I like mirrorless cameras and fast prime lenses.

The Outdoors

I spend as much time outside as possible. I'm a big fan of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, surfing, and scuba diving.


I minored in Mandarin Chinese during college and studied abroad in Chengdu, China. I haven't kept my Chinese skills up as well as I should have, but I'm still studying and still fascinated by the culture and the language.