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Senior Software Architect

What does Packback do?

Packback exists to awaken and fuel the lifelong curiosity in every student. We are a social learning platform powered by a proprietary A.I. that college professors use to help their students fall in love with the subject matter, drive personalized learning, and most importantly, quantify and improve critical thinking skills.

Named as a 2014 Chicago Innovation Award winner, Packback has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, while its founders have been named as Crain’s Chicago 20 in their 20’s, Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire, and the Techweek100.

If that sounds like a mission that sparks your curiosity...we want to meet you!
 

What YOU will do in this role:

We're looking for an experienced technical leader to join our team as a Senior Software Architect. In this role, you will help us scale our platform and processes while maintaining and improving security, reliability, and performance as our user base doubles every six months. You will also be a key leader on the engineering team, offering mentorship and feedback to our other engineering team members.

  • Be a strong technical mentor and leader on our engineering team
    • Why: Our team is excited to welcome someone to the team who has been through this journey of scaling a startup before, and can help us foresee the risks and opportunities present in our current system. We’re looking to bring someone onto our team who can be a mentor to our team on best practices in software development practices, in systems architecture, and in site reliability.
       
  • Bring experience to enable our platform to successfully scale to hundreds of thousands of active, write-heavy users
    • Why: We are preparing for our user volume to double every six months in the coming years. Our future Senior Architect should be someone who has successfully scaled a software to 200K+ weekly active users; who sees reliability, scalability, and security as features of a successful product. We are seeking an individual who can help us look for ways to optimize our systems’ performance and increase system reliability at every level of our system (Frontend, API, Database and Server).
       
  • Be a lifelong learner, and a contribute to a culture of continuous learning and optimization
    • Why: You must be willing to provide and receive feedback from team members on a regular basis, in a shared effort of furthering our engineering culture and platform’s ability to deliver on the needs of our customers. 
       
  • Be a leader in building a successful and healthy organization; not just successful software
    • Why: We are seeking a senior technical leader who is deeply committed to building the most successful organization that we can; in our culture, in our unit economics, in how satisfied our users are with our product, and with how stable and performant our software is. Our future Senior Software Architect should be as passionate and critical about our adherence to engineering best practices, as they should be about thinking about how we can be a better business overall with technology as their lens.

What you should bring to the table:

  • Experience building and scaling enterprise-scale web applications (200K+ Weekly Active Users)
  • Experience and interest in performant algorithm development and machine learning
  • Experience creating RESTful web services
  • Familiarity with service-oriented architecture and experience building and optimizing microservices
  • A strong grasp of object-oriented programming, design patterns, and domain-driven design
  • Experience with security / compliance standards including SOC2, PCI, FERPA
  • Experience applying best practices for cloud architecture (Microsoft Azure experience a plus)
  • Experience in managed hosting service platforms; experience with Microsoft Azure is ideal
  • 6+ years Software Engineering experience, especially with web-based products. Transferable experience is more important than years of experience.
     

It’s also great if you have:

  • Experience with JavaScript frameworks (Angular preferred)
  • Experience working in an Agile Scrum project flow with a feature branch code review process
  • Open source contributions with a variety of technologies
  • Startup or small company experience
     

Job Details & Benefits:

Start Date: Desired start date for this role is January - February 2018.

Competitive Salary: Our salary ranges are competitive, and have clear expectations for professional growth.

A culture that you can be proud to build: We work hard at building a culture of curiosity and continuous learning at Packback, where every voice matters and can make an enormous impact on the business.

A company that invests in you and your family: Packback offers 6 weeks fully paid, gender non-specific extended leave policy (for either parent welcoming a new child through birth or adoption, to care for a family member in need, or for bereavement).

Benefits for your health and well-being: Health insurance; option for dental, vision, and life; Short-term disability insurance.

Office & Location: We have a lovely, comfy office located conveniently in South Loop, close to CTA lines, Metra, and affordable paid parking lots. 

Flexible "Unlimited" Vacation Policy: Packback offers a flexible vacation policy, with a minimum of 10 vacation days recommended. We know that "unlimited" vacations can sometimes feel like a minefield to take advantage of; we really want our employees to take time for travel, discovery, and self-care. 

Other benefits of being a part of the Packback team: 

  • Biannual paid company offsite retreats and outings (that are actually fun!). 
  • Access to creative and educational events hosted at the Packback office
  • Super casual dress code
  • Our office pup, Pepper!

Learn about our technology stack, open source projects, career path and culture in our hiring Careers at Packback Repo.
 

Who you will be working (and learning!) with on the Engineering Team:

  • Product Officer with experience in UX, user research, and product management
  • Senior Frontend Engineer with 15+ years experience
  • Frontend Web Content Accessibility Specialist, dedicated to making our site accessible to all users according to the WCAG 2.0 Standard
  • Backend Engineer with experience in security and site reliability
  • Backend Engineer with product, spec writing, and fullstack experience
  • Engineering Fellow with machine learning and Data science experience
     

Our commitment to diversity:

Working in the Education Technology space, Packback believes it is an ethical necessity for us to work to build a diverse and inclusive team, to help us better consider the needs of our diverse audience of students with a wide range of educational backgrounds and educational needs.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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