Staff Backend Engineer

| Remote
Skillshare is a mission-driven technology startup that has built an online learning community where millions come together to take the next step in their creative journey. We want our community to get inspired, learn new skills, and work in ways they care about so that living a creative life is possible for everyone.

As a Staff Backend Engineer, you’ll act as a technical leader within Skillshare to help define the tactical approach and architectural vision behind our product. From the creation of classes by teachers to the learning experience of students, your work will have a direct impact on both sides of the Skillshare user community. As we scale, ownership opportunities abound and you will work across our rapidly evolving tech stack to power the content creation, personalized education paths, best-in-class video experience, and community interaction that directly enables teachers to inspire creativity in students. 

You’ll be joining a fast-paced team that is passionate about technology, building products and upholding a collaborative team culture. You can contribute in a variety of ways including tech leadership, people management and leading by example as an individual contributor. We’re excited to meet you!

What you'll do:

  • Build product! You’ll contribute to features that help our students easily engage with the platform and help our teachers create and promote engaging content.
  • Review code with best practices of readability, testing patterns, documentation, and performance considerations in mind
  • Mentor and level up the skills of your teammates by sharing your expertise in formal and informal knowledge sharing sessions
  • Collaborate on the design and development of elegant, scalable GraphQL APIs that provide members access to our web and mobile clients
  • Work in a variety of PHP and Node/JS/TS services to drive forward our rapidly growing microservice architecture
  • Ensure full visibility, error reporting, and monitoring of high performing backend services
  • Ship code to production daily to support our fast-growing product
  • Participate in agile software development including daily stand-ups, bi-weekly sprint planning, and sprint retrospectives for the team

Why were excited about you:

  • You understand industry standards in architecture, code quality, testing and technical documentation
  • You enjoy solving tricky technical problems and creating pragmatic solutions that work with a legacy codebase.
  • You enjoy designing APIs and database schemas that are clear and future-facing
  • You’re comfortable or interested in developing with PHP, Node.js, Typescript
  • You enjoy leading by example and enjoy helping your teammates in adoption of new technologies and paradigms like GraphQL/Apollo and React
  • You are a natural collaborator – you work seamlessly within and across teams
  • You are motivated by full ownership of your work and are eager to help improve our users’ experience
  • You have experience deploying software in a continuous delivery environment
  • Experience developing services in AWS or other “cloud native” environments
  • You have experience or interest in feature flag based development
  • You want the best for users and are looking for a team where you can make a positive impact on the real world
  • You have worked with US -based clients/teams
  • You are proficient in English

Why you're excited about us:

  • Our team: We have a passionate, creative, and innovative team that is a lot of fun to work with.
  • Our mission: We’re doing work that matters – connecting lifelong learners around the world and empowering them to pursue their creativity.
  • Remote Culture: A healthy, productive working environment means different things for different people. We optimize for trust and invest in supporting remote teams, offer home office stipends for those that work best in their own space and co-working spaces for those that thrive in a social office environment, and focus on transparent communication to ensure an inclusive, equitable work environment for everyone.
  • Flexibility: We believe that doing your best work means living a full life. That means different things for everyone, so we optimize for trust, invest to support remote teams, offer home office stipends and co-working spaces in multiple cities, have an unlimited vacation policy (with a required minimum!), and encourage work-life balance.
  • Impact: You’ll have the chance to directly impact the user experience around how students learn and how teachers create and share content on Skillshare.
  • Your growth: You’ll have the opportunity to wear a lot of hats and take on more responsibility over time. We have a fresh $70 million in capital and a very, very long to-do list.
  • Benefits: We believe that doing your best work means living a full life. We support our team with unlimited PTO, gender-neutral parental leave, anniversary bonuses and sabbaticals, and healthy stipends for creativity, learning, and personal wellness.

About Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning community for creatives. We have thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people, and millions of members who come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey. We are a series-D company backed by OMERS, Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Amasia, Spero Ventures, and Burda Principal Investments.

Skillshare is committed to building a diverse team that reflects a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We’re proud to be recognized as a top place to work by BuiltinNYC, Crain’s, and Forbes, in addition to being one of the five best places to work for women by Bpeace, and a top-rated workplace for dads by Fatherly. We work to ensure a consistent interview process, fair compensation, and inclusive work environment for all.

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Product
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PHPLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • TypescriptLanguages
    • SASSLanguages
    • jQueryLibraries
    • ReactLibraries
    • WebpackLibraries
    • Backbone.jsFrameworks
    • Node.jsFrameworks
    • TensorFlowFrameworks
    • YiiFrameworks
    • MySQLDatabases
    • RedshiftDatabases
    • Google AnalyticsAnalytics
    • MixpanelAnalytics
    • OptimizelyAnalytics
    • IllustratorDesign
    • PhotoshopDesign
    • SketchDesign
    • ZeplinDesign
    • ConfluenceManagement
    • JIRAManagement
    • TrelloManagement

An Insider's view of Skillshare

What are some social events your company does?

Moving fully remote has meant changing our approach to team-bonding. We are keeping the energy up with happy hours, trading Zoom backgrounds, and, recently, our affinity group for women of color hosted company-wide trivia that kicked off with a Rihanna dance break.

Chantel

Senior Creative Producer

How do you collaborate with other teams in the company?

Cross-team collaboration is frequent and organic at Skillshare; we foster a uniquely friendly atmosphere of openness and shared purpose. Through cross-team threads, project-based meetings, comments on RFC's, pull request reviews, Q&A sessions, and, of course, simple conversations, collaboration commonly happens across a table or across time zones.

Justin

Director of Engineering

What are some things you learned at the company?

I was immediately impressed and encouraged by the creative problem solving at Skillshare. Data plays a huge part in learning about our members, determining the most popular classes, and fostering creative community. I was a student within the community long before helping build it. My favorite experience so far has been learning watercolor basics.

Zhen

Director of Business Intelligence

How do you make yourself accessible to the rest of the team?

As a management team, we strongly believe in making ourselves accessible. This includes: 1:1s with direct reports, skip-level meetings, team-wide meetings, coffees with people across departments, and attending team events. More broadly, we apply the same foundational rule we all learned in kindergarten: treat people the way you want to be treated.

Sabrina

COO

What kinds of technical challenges do you and your team face?

We're in an exciting position - we have a product that we believe in and a community that believes in us. The question we face is: how can we build a platform which works for the Skillshare of today, but will scale to the needs of the Skillshare of the future? It’s not enough to keep up with growth; we must build for where our growth will take us.

Samantha

Director of Engineering

What are Skillshare Perks + Benefits

Skillshare Benefits Overview

At Skillshare, we strive to create an inclusive culture in which each person is compensated fairly, has robust learning and development opportunities, and feels supported in bringing their whole self to work. We also believe that doing your best work means living a full life – that means different things for everyone, so we optimize for trust, invest to support remote teams, have an unlimited vacation policy (with a required minimum!), and encourage work-life balance.

Our perks include:

- Health, Dental and Vision coverage
- 401(k)
- Unlimited vacation (with a required minimum!)
- 14 weeks parental leave (gender neutral)
- Paid sabbaticals for tenured employees
- Learning and conference stipends
- $750 stipend for setting yourself up for success at home (think: desk, headphones, plants, ergonomic chair)
- Monthly reimbursement of up to $75 for high-speed internet services
- Stipend for mental health/well-being tools (Headspace, Talkspace, Peloton, etc.)
- Monthly coffee/tea reimbursement of up to $25
- Ongoing manager training with LifeLabs
- Inclusion workshops with Paradigm

Culture
Volunteer in local community
Partners with Nonprofits
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
In addition to our social committee, we have dedicated Diversity & Affinity groups in which team members decide to come together around a shared identity or background.
Daily sync
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Documented equal pay policy
Highly diverse management team
Unconscious bias training
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Diversity Employee Resource Groups
Hiring Practices that Promote Diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Mental Health Benefits
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
Company Equity
Read more about how we think about equity compensation here: https://medium.com/swlh/a-no-b-s-guide-to-startup-stock-option-grants-526a8bc33c2b
Match charitable contributions
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Skillshare offers 14 paid weeks of paid parental leave to both birth-giving and non-birth-giving parent/s.
Flexible Work Schedule
Remote Work Program
Family Medical Leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Sabbatical
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Happy Hours
Home Office Stipend for Remote Employees
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Skillshare creates professional development opportunities by offering an annual budget to attend external conferences, in addition to ongoing internal learning programming.
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Customized development tracks

Additional Perks + Benefits

In addition to the above, we also offer a number of perks around flexibility – including the option between a 1-month bonus or sabbatical at your 3-year mark, and the ability to work remotely for up to a month from anywhere in the world when you've been on the team for one year.

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