Senior Back End Engineer (Rails)


rails react vue London | Full-Time

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At Progression we're helping everyone to build better, more meaningful careers by letting teams define career paths and employees measure themselves against them.

We think HR software is fundamentally broken for employees and managers.

As an employee, not only do HR tools give you more work to do, but they rarely deliver real value back. The endless goals, performance reviews, surveys and learning and development blah blah blah. Honestly, just let me do my work. What's more — when you leave, *poof*. All your data is gone. No record of what you've accomplished, or the projects you've worked on.

Meanwhile as a manager, you have nothing to help. You're stuck with whatever the HR team bought because they knocked a dollar off the price. Oh, and spreadsheets. Endless spreadsheets.

This has to change. The tools we use to design and build our careers must do a better job for us.

That's where Progression comes in.

We've flipped the traditional approach to HR tech and we're starting with first principles. We believe if we build a tool that is a delight to use for employees and managers we can revolutionise the way organisations think about career and skill growth.

What we have today, we built with just the two of us (Jonny and Neil) from a tiny office, then socially distanced in our houses in East London with a puppy each. We're sustainable and fully bootstrapped.

But the opportunity here is huge. This summer we raised money from fantastic UK and US investors and are now starting to build a remote team of wonderful humans to help us with our vision to turn Progression into the definitive way for anyone to track their career.

We've been around the block a few times, and know how important it is to start with some principles.

About the role

We're looking for a backend engineer to architect and build high quality, maintainable and secure features for Progression. You'll tackle the full spectrum of backend challenges including: architecting new data structures, designing and implementing external integrations and leading the design and build of our first API.

It won't all be green fields and rainbows though. You'll also chip in to help us pay down technical debt and fix bugs that pop up in production.

Although we love pragmatic, boring tech (we ❤️ Rails), we will be evolving our stack when it is right to do so. To this end we anticipate using a frontend JS framework for our most important interactions. As we scale our business we expect to also expand our tech footprint outside of our majestic monolith.

You'll work closely with the founding team (Jonny, Neil and a senior FE engineer) to create world-class products and be influential in deciding how we build the wider team to support them as we grow.

Your skillset and experience:

You'll have demonstrable experience of:

  • Designing and building complex, scaling products using Ruby on Rails, ideally in a startup environment
  • A passion for clean, maintainable, secure, tested code.
  • Working on applications at that have reached a significant scale.
  • A strong understanding of security when building products for the web.
  • Working closely with frontend engineers to jointly deliver new features.
  • Strong communication and organisational skills — you'll be able to work effectively in teams or work autonomously as needed
  • Working closely with designers, researchers and stakeholders

Bonus points for:

  • Experience using React or Vue within Rails.
  • Experience working in a SOC2 or ISO 127001 certified organisation.
  • Evidence of an entrepreneurial streak — Github open source contributions, a side project you're proud of or a past success or failure which tells your story

We expect you to:

1. Be autonomous

We're not the command and control leadership types, so if you prefer to be told what to execute on, we may not be the right fit for you. If you've proven that you thrive when given a goal and gathering your own data, hi there. Let's talk.

2. Have a high quality bar, and able to self-critique

You will be one of our first hires, making fundamental decisions that will last for years. As you grow with us, you may well be hiring others who also have an outsized impact. Therefore it's incredibly important that you're thinking critically about the work we've done already, the work we're doing right now and what needs to be done going forwards.

3. Be smart with time and resources

This doesn't mean cheap. It means that if we've done something three times, the next time we're thinking about how to automate it, give it away or remove it (with help from others). We believe small teams are far more efficient than large teams, so the ability to buy yourself more time is incredibly important.

4. Be candid but empathetic

We challenge ideas, challenge preconceptions, call out ambiguity. But we do so with empathy and consideration. We expect honesty but in constructive ways.

What you're getting into

You'll be one of first engineers at Progression. Not only do we need you to help with the volume or work but we also need someone to apply themselves to helping us scale what we do: our product, our maintainability and our processes. You'll have a huge role in deciding how we structure the code, the technology we use and will have a big impact on the quality of work we ship.

You'll have a great time if you want:

  • To get in on the very ground floor of a new tech company
  • Huge influence over all back end architecture across our current web app, marketing site and any future domains
  • High level goals and a lot of freedom to run
  • The ability to prioritise, justify and manage your own roadmap
  • To write a lot of code, move fast and also have influence over architecture and tech stack
  • To learn unfamiliar things quickly so you can unblock yourself
  • To work on the most business critical projects, whatever they are

You may not have such a great time if you want:

  • To work in a large engineering 'team' (at least at first)
  • To hand off the things you don't like to someone else
  • To be fed work
  • To only use Rails
  • Free lunches

What we'll do for you

We can't compete on salary with the really big folks, but we're doing everything we can to make you feel comfortable with what you're getting in return for believing in us.

That includes:

  • A fair salary for our stage
  • A healthy options package
  • A good holiday allowance which we will expect you to use
  • Remote flexibility — flexible hours, work from anywhere
  • Remote benefits (e.g. a stipend towards coffee and a good chair — you tell us what you want!)
  • Regular in-person working sessions and kick-offs whenever we need, once we're able to
  • Off-sites and hangouts somewhere nice
  • £1000/year for training, coaching or personal/professional support, and very regular career growth conversations (it's kind of what we do...)

We're careful about how we hire

We really care about hiring thoughtfully and from all backgrounds (see our pledge). Whatever your race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability, we want to hear from you.

Thats not just hollow words. We're:

  1. Ensuring a fair and rigorous hiring process, whether we know you or not
  2. Doing everything we can to create a diverse candidate pool
  3. Ensuring diversity in our interview panel (i.e., not just us!)

If you aren't sure whether you tick all the boxes but you want to apply, please do! We'd love to meet you.

Salary range £55,000 — 75,000

+ generous options