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jpcody/ Secret

Last active Nov 21, 2016
What would you like to do?

About the Position

AcademicWorks is looking to add another Senior* Software Engineer to help us keep shipping new features and entirely new products.

This engineer will work most closely with our product engineering team, product management, and our CTO. They'll be the fourth member of the team within a 10-member engineering department.

Day-in and day-out, they'll be responsible for taking features from conceptualization to production (of course with design help and team feedback along the way). High-quality code, thoughtful implementation, and increasing overall team output are they key metrics of success for this role.

You're probably curious about technology! Here are some relevant details:

  • Our application's core is built on Ruby on Rails.
  • We rely heavily on Postgres, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, and Redis to store our data.
  • AWS houses our entire infrastructure, which we deploy via Ansible and custom tooling, and Docker is finding its way in more often.
  • Our front-end is non-Coffeescript ES5 tested with Jasmine and styled with Sass.
  • We've recently been diving into React.
  • We focus on the right tools for the job and prefer boring technology with thoughtful abstractions whenever possible.

Nearly all of your time would be spent directly implementing features from the product roadmap. That said, we believe in balancing short-term and long-term productivity, so we aim to spend about 20% of our coding time refactoring. You should find opportunities along the way to refactor existing code, implement appropriate design patterns, and leave each file better than it was when you arrived.

* Let's talk about being senior! John Allspaw describes it better than we could. It doesn't mean a BS in Computer Science or N years of experience. To us, it means sharp, hungry to learn, professional, responsible, and with a bit of seasoning. In doubt? Go ahead and apply—it sounds like your imposter syndrome might be stopping you.

About You

You're kind, dedicated, talented, helpful, and responsible. We're looking for someone who:

  • Achieves pragmatic solutions to difficult problems
  • Looks for opportunities to teach the rest of the team
  • Takes pride in shipping high-quality code
  • Owns that high-quality code once it's in production
  • Finds joy in delivering value to end users
  • Collaborates proactively and effectively
  • Has strong opinions, weakly held

You might live in Austin, or you might live elsewhere. For the right candidate, relocation assistance is an option.

To Apply

Send an email to with a bit more about yourself, what attracts you to AcademicWorks, and any additional information you think would be relevant (a resumé, your GitHub profile, talks you've given, side projects, etc…). We'll be back in touch within a few days, and if things look bright, we'll start the interview process.

About AcademicWorks

We're a 45-person, product-focused SaaS company helping schools and students manage the scholarship process. After 4 years on the market, we have helped hundreds of thousands of students find the aid they need while helping schools expand their reach to find the best and brightest applicants.

We earnestly believe we're making the world a better place by providing students the opportunity to attend college, and we have both the numbers and the anecdotes to stand behind.

We take pride in a culture that helps employees thrive at work and in their personal lives. Our brand new offices are at 38th and Lamar across from Central Market, and we provide bike storage, showers, and healthy (OK, and some less healthy) snacks on-site. Work-life balance is a priority, and we all work to be flexible with our schedules to accommodate our coworkers' needs.

About the Engineering Team

We're an 11-person group who work closely together and take significant pride in achieving disproportionately large goals. We fight to keep our team small so we can keep our productivity high, avoiding the trap of the mythical man month. We have plenty of industry experience, but we're more concerned with intangibles than years-in-your-chair.

We respect one another and act accordingly—we move at a sustainable pace, take the time to refactor as we go, take initiative on solving problems, and jump in quickly to help one another. Regular one-on-ones ensure everyone's voices on the team are heard, needs are met, and careers are growing.

That doesn't stop with the engineering team, however. AcademicWorks has built a culture of excellence and respect, and our engineers regularly interact with all disciplines within the company both personally and professionally.

Outside of job requirements, we all count development among our hobbies, and we're happy to share what we've learned through reading and side projects. We attend conferences, speak at meet-ups, and look for any opportunities to contribute back via open source.

And while we forgo game consoles and late nights at the office with catered dinners, we do our best to cut out early every now and then to catch up, play a board game, see a movie, share a meal, or have a drink.

About the Process

Interviewing can be stressful. We want to do our best to get to know one another thoroughly while being reasonable and accommodating. Not only does this help us become familiar with you, but it affords you the opportunity to determine if AcademicWorks is the right fit for you. That said, this is what we anticipate the interview process to look like:

  1. A 30-60 minute introductory phone call or coffee with an engineer you'll be working closely with
  2. A 30-60 minute follow-up call to learn more about our team and direction with our CTO
  3. We'll talk code. This will take different forms (an asynchronous project or a technical interview) with different candidates, but we'll have some technical discussions.
  4. A half-to-full-day on-site interview. This will involve 1-2 hours of further discussion of code or pair programming. You'll meet the rest of our engineering team and at least one of our co-founders.
  5. You'll hear back from us with a hiring decision!


AcademicWorks is an equal opportunity employer and drug-free workplace.

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