I’m Josh Cody, CTO and cofounder of CampusOptics, a startup building a comprehensive fire safety platform for higher ed campuses. I’m looking for a product-focused full-stack software engineer to work alongside me in our Austin office and take our product from
rails new to market-ready.
About the Job
From a technical perspective, we want to deliver large amounts of value as quickly as possible, and we’ll use technologies that enable that aim. Out of the gates, that will mean relying heavily on Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL and only introducing the complexity of front-end frameworks where they make a meaningful difference. We’ll also be delivering a mobile application with to-be-determined technology choices and tradeoffs.
While you don’t already need to be an expert at all of these, we’ll be collaborating on things like defining our core data model, building the API that powers our mobile application, representing complex policies and fire standards in code, working with geospatial data to assist inspectors in the field, and creating visualizations of the state of fire safety on campus.
Here are a few of the things that are personally important to me, which might help you imagine building something together:
- A high-trust working environment where careers can grow, we’re good to one another, and we accomplish things we’re proud of
- A development process and test suite that gives us a high degree of confidence in shipping master to production
- A standardized codebase where experiments and ideas can bloom and are summarily removed when they weren’t the right call
- A development environment that’s fast, productive, never infuriating (OK, almost never)
Out of the gates, we won’t be able to offer a salary quite at market, but we certainly believe we’ll make up for it with opportunities for equity and growth.
About the Company
Nearly 15 years ago, one of our cofounders was involved in a tragic fire at his on-campus fraternity house, and he lost 3 of his friends. He learned later that those lives could have been saved had the house’s safety equipment been functioning correctly. In the intervening years, some institutions have adopted technology to help with some aspects of their fire safety programs, but most programs are still run by brittle spreadsheets and institutional knowledge.
While his story was the genesis of CampusOptics, months of market research have us confident that this is both a meaningful mission and a badly-needed product. We’ve heard from over 150 institutions, attended conferences, presented at a fire safety symposium, and garnered significant interest from institutions about being development partners on a new product. Now that we’ve found the problem, validated the need, and secured funding that should get us to profitability, we’re building the team.
While a startup is always a risk, our early team has significant experience starting and building successful software companies in higher ed. We work hard to accomplish big goals, but we have lives outside of work, too. We genuinely enjoy one another, but we don’t have any expectations of beer pong or catered dinners to keep everyone at the office for longer.
After reading through the preceding paragraphs, you probably have a sense of whether it could be the job for you. But if you’re not sure, here are some characteristics we’d love to see in this engineer:
- You’re kind, thoughtful, driven, and talented.
- You get excited about having a lasting impact as part of an early team.
- You’re comfortable navigating tradeoffs of quality and speed as we try and get an MVP delivered in the next 6-9 months.
From an experience perspective, there isn’t a set number of years or particular background that we’re looking for. If you think you can come in, internalize the problem we’re aiming to solve, and make significant contributions, then I’d love to talk.
- Email me at email@example.com, and let me know a little about yourself, what interests you, and why you might be a fit.
- We can have a phone call or coffee to talk more about your skills and background and let you ask any questions you have.
- We will schedule time for you to come in to the office and write code together—pairing on some issues in a bit of a contrived Github repo. You’ll also meet Joe, who is our CEO and a cofounder.
- By then, we should all have a good idea if there’s a mutual fit, and we’ll see if working together makes sense.
I look forward to hearing from you, and don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions at all.