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Software Engineer, Rails Backend

The Explanation Company is hiring an experienced Rails programmer to lead our efforts in building a fast and reliable API backend that scales with our product growth.

Why join our engineering team?

You'll join a small, skilled engineering team in a role we hope will be a defining one in your career. You'll work on a product that's already found product-market fit, so your effort won't go to waste. Yet, the architecture needs serious upgrades for scalability. You'll design, build, and own key subsystems like queuing, video calling backend, and infrastructure failovers. Expect long, uninterrupted work blocks and other senior engineers to collaborate with when you need a sounding board. You'll report to our CEO, a seasoned entrepreneur, engineer, and former product manager for Facebook Messenger and News Feed. We’re a remote-first, distributed team and this role will be remote (within one of the four time zones of the continental US).

What You'll Do

You’ll be one of the most experienced engineers on the team. You’ll take a lead role in the overall speed and reliability of a big backend built in Ruby on Rails. This powers a React Native client that includes video calling, chatting, search, and video browsing. There is a lot of surface area, but we’ve prepared for this so you aren’t stepping into a mess. We have deep experience with Rails and we use the language for its maturity and elegance. We’ve prioritized creating a strong codebase and great development environment. When the time comes for us to use other technologies (or invent our own), we’ll make the pragmatic decisions which support our product goals.

What You'll Bring

  • You bring deep experience in backend development. You likely have 7+ years of experience in Ruby on Rails, and you have significant experience with another language and at least one SQL database (we’re on Postgresql). You’ve gone deep on the Rails framework and understand idiomatic Rails.

  • You bring experience architecting applications of significant scale. Ideally, you’ve designed and supported a system with more than a hundred thousand simultaneous users. You’re good at stress testing and architecting for speed & reliability, and you’re happy to be in an on-call rotation.

  • You like working in a fast-paced environment. You’ll be joining a small team that likes to ship quickly, making incremental progress forward. We merge into main a half dozen times each day with our continuous integration process running in 10 minutes.

  • You’re comfortable working in a remote environment. You are strong at communicating complex thoughts in writing and value clear communication. You also value getting together in person once per quarter.

  • You’re comfortable working in an ambiguous environment. We set clear goals as a team, but you won’t receive specs and timelines. You’ll be the one asking questions to unpack complex problems, ensuring you understand the product & business needs, and communicating your plan to solve problems.

About Our Company

The Explanation Company is building a browser and communications app for children who love video games. Our app helps children learn about their favorite games and connect with friends. We've reached product-market fit with thousands of active users and are quickly scaling up installations. 

We’re a well-funded and ambitious startup backed by great investors. Andreessen Horowitz led our initial $9M fundraise and we assembled a nimble team of six people that are passionate about building an insanely great product for our customers. The company was founded by experienced entrepreneurs. Our founders sold their previous companies after reaching millions of children.

Compensation & Benefits

We have a very formulaic approach to compensation. We do our research to figure out what competitive compensation is for each role at each level. Every person in the same role at the same level receives the same total compensation. For this particular role, we expect someone’s level to lead to a salary range between $165,000 and $220,000. In addition, you would receive competitive equity as part of your compensation.

The rest of our benefits are fairly standard for a venture-backed startup. Everyone receives health insurance, vacation, travel to team meetups, and computer equipment, as needed. We’re focused on ensuring the most important perk of the job is the caliber of colleagues you get to work with and the problems you get to tackle.


If you're intrigued by this opportunity, we'd love to hear from you!

Please fill out this application

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