Lead Backend Engineer at Fiveable (Milwaukee, WI)

| Milwaukee, WI
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Who we are

Fiveable gives students the power of community to be productive anywhere, anytime. Think of us as "the hallways of the educational internet," where students find and build study spaces. Students can create their own rooms, study with friends, and find study rooms that match their subject area or vibe.

We believe that studying should be enjoyable, whether you do it on your own or with friends. In study rooms, you can keep track of tasks, chat with others, and even play music to help you focus. It is a platform built by students, for students.

During the 2020-2021 school year, we had 5.5 million unique visitors on our platform, and the average user spends at least an hour on our platform everyday that they use it. But we're just getting started.

We've raised $14.2M backed by world class investors including Union Square Ventures, Owl Ventures, BBG Ventures, Metrodora Ventures (Chelsea Clinton), Serena Ventures, and many more. Check out a list of our other investors here.

Fiveable in the news:

Why we are betting on virtual study rooms to change the game for students (Fiveable Blog)

Fiveable lands $10M Series A to become 'the hallways of the educational internet' (Tech Crunch)

How one founder identified a gap in education working as a teacher and built a startup to fix it (Tech Crunch Podcast)

A Former Oakland Unified Teacher Now Helps Even More Students Pass AP Tests (Edsurge)

The Fiveable Team

We're a creative group of former teachers, community builders, game designers, and generally curious people who are driven by social impact. We're focused on building a diverse team and are inclusive of all backgrounds. And we're big on growth mindsets - we're all learning!


Who we're looking for

We're looking for an exceptional Lead Backend Engineer to ensure we build reliable, secure, maintainable, and scalable backend infrastructure to support students across the globe. As an early-stage startup, we are extremely open-minded. With the tools we use, we aren't glued to any legacy systems and will trust you leading us to adopt the right tools for the job. Even the job title & responsibilities themselves- if our expectations for this role are remotely relevant to your areas of interest and expertise, we're happy to adjust title, responsibilities, and compensation! It is worth noting that our team works in JavaScript/TypeScript so will ideally be looking for someone with experience in those languages.

Ideal candidates will have strong prioritization skills and prior experience leading teams to develop systems that scale. Bonus points if you're passionate about social learning and rethinking modern education!

You are:
  • A Learner - You know that every project poses new challenges and opportunities to learn, and that excites you!
  • Passionate - You understand the big picture, and care deeply about using technology to solve problems for students.
  • Creative - Eager to think outside the box and bring your own ideas to the table.
  • Efficient - You keep it simple. Always working smarter, not harder.
  • Candid - You communicate consistently and authentically
  • Flexible - You go with the flow and find new paths to your goals.
  • Empathetic - You understand how others feel and know why they act the way they do
  • A Problem-Solver - You take initiative and present solutions to problems that you encounter or notice.

You have:
  • 5-10 years of experience in backend or infrastructure roles, or full-stack roles with heavy backend emphasis.
  • Experience building scalable, maintainable micro-service and API architectures- whether via RESTful APIs or GraphQL.
  • Comprehensive understanding of websockets or browser-based RPC.
  • Experience developing near-realtime communications systems at scale.
  • A security-driven mindset - comfortable designing systems that protect our users' data.
  • Experience writing comprehensive and maintainable test suites.

Nice to have (or willing to learn!):
  • MERN stack experience (especially MongoDB, ExpressJS).
  • Prior team lead experience.
  • Prior experience developing public APIs that adhere to specifications like OpenAPI.
  • DevOps/Infrastructure knowledge - comfort with cloud providers like GCP, AWS, or Azure, and Infrastructure as Code (Terraform, etc).
  • Understanding and experience with RBAC-based permissions systems.
  • Experience with containerization orchestration (Docker / Kubernetes).


Direct the technical vision for Fiveable's backend architecture.
  • Balance your time effectively between coding, architecting, scoping, and leading teammates to complete larger initiatives.
  • Create and maintain well-documented, secure, and consistent backend architectures.
  • Prioritize quality by instilling best-practices for automated testing and monitoring.
  • Craft and present proposals that consider the trade-offs in different solutions and architectures.
  • Identify business opportunities and risks surmountable through our backend infrastructure.
  • Play a significant role in hiring and building a diverse team of backend specialists.
  • Work closely with Head of Engineering and product team to influence our technical roadmap.
  • Advocate for technical needs while balancing product needs.


    Fiveable is a small, but growing edtech startup that is fiercely committed to its employees. Here is what you can expect from your Fiveable experience:
    • Base salary of $160,000+
    • Equity - We value our team members and want you to also participate in our growth
    • A front row seat to education innovation at an early stage startup
    • A company that prioritizes inclusion and diversity
    • The ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world and build your home office with a generous stipend
    • Comprehensive benefits (Health, Dental, and Vision, 401(k), HSA)
    • Unlimited paid days off and stipends for mental health support
More Information on Fiveable
Fiveable operates in the Edtech industry. The company is located in Milwaukee, WI. Fiveable was founded in 2018. It has 163 total employees. It offers perks and benefits such as Dental Benefits, Vision Benefits, Health Insurance Benefits, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, Remote Work Program and Paid Sick Days. To see all 1 open jobs at Fiveable, click here.
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