Founding Lead Backend Engineer - Ruby on Rails

Washington Abstract • Posted January 10th

Software Development
Washington Abstract logo

Who are we?
Our Mission
: Increase government transparency and cultivate a more connected, empowered democratic society through the use of modern technology.

Washington Abstract (WA) is an early-stage startup founded in Los Angeles by three first-generation immigrants, Pat, Matt, and Mo. Each of us come from technical backgrounds and have a shared passion for using technology to foster a community in public policy where resources and research can be shared freely. We also aim to create a community from an engineering perspective: embracing and contributing to open source projects and tools that we will one day spearhead.

We are currently a team of 4 with some part-time help. Our team is small, but we are moving at a fast pace! We believe small, diverse teams working on an important cause can accomplish extraordinary things. We like to deploy features early and often, learning as much as we can in the process. The foundation of our blameless culture is trust in our engineers. We also love to go off on tangents, joke around, or join Zoom calls as ducks or potatoes thanks to Snap Camera. Caring for each other's mental and physical health is our #1 priority. 🙂

Who are you?
We are on the search for a talented Backend Engineer with a positive attitude and experience not only contributing to a product but also playing an active role in determining the product's direction. You're able to write scalable, future-proof, well-tested code that follows our services' design patterns in a fast-paced environment.

You have ideas on how to improve code consistency, maintainability, and efficiency. You leave code better than you found it. You write code that makes the next engineer smile. You are excited to learn new skills and teach other engineers.

You will have an essential role in a small product team consisting of Josh (front-end Engineer), Mo (Backend Engineer & CTO), and Matt (Head of Product & Design) — empowerment, autonomy, and accountability are core values of our team.

Key Responsibilities
  • Implement core features of our platform considering scale and efficiency in our Rails API, where all customer transactions on the platform are processed.
  • Have an active and essential role in defining the product from both a strategy and technical perspective, being present at product planning meetings and making sure that new versions or feature rollouts to the API have well-built technical specification documents.
  • New Feature Development to Maintenance ratio: 85 - 15.

Required Skills
  • 4+ years experience with Ruby and the Ruby On Rails framework
  • Experience with SOA and creating/maintaining microservices
  • Experience developing and consuming internal and external APIs
  • Excellent decision-making and time management skills
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment
  • Ability to bear with our obsession of Notion and Zoom (we can't explain it either...)

Bonus points for these skills
  • Experience with Python and/or any of its frameworks (Django, Flask, FastAPI, etc.)
  • Experience with web scraping and collection using Python
  • Experience with GCP/AWS or similar cloud computing services
  • Experience working on a diverse team
  • Experience considering the impacts of software on multiple communities, including people of color and people with disabilities
  • Experience working in an agile environment
  • Excellent in creating custom Slack emojis

  • Annual Salary of $85,000-$100,000 — paid in bi-weekly installments
  • Favorable equity as employee #2
  • Competitive Perks & Benefits 
    • Unlimited PTO
    • Flexible work hours
    • Autonomy and transparency at a high-growth startup
    • Election Day is a paid company holiday
    • Health Insurance 
      • Options include Kaiser Permanente or CA Blue Shield

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Washington Abstract embraces diversity, believes in creating a more equitable society, and fosters an environment that engages multiple perspectives and different ideas/individuals in order to define organizational policy and culture.

We are not looking for a "culture fit." Rather, we are looking for someone who is a culture add – someone who can contribute new ideas and perspectives to our community.

About the Position
We are based in Los Angeles, CA, but this will be a remote position until the pandemic permits us to work in-person.

We focus on results, not hours. We believe that clearly defined goals combined with great people, empowerment, and autonomy create the best results.

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.