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Software Development


2013-06-01 22:11



General Assembly is a venture-backed, NYC-based startup focusing on education for individuals and enterprises in the areas of technology, design, and entrepreneurship. We currently have physical classrooms in 8 cities across 4 continents, with tens of thousands of students coming through our doors.

Our stack is Ruby on Rails (with rspec, cucumber, VCR) plus Postgres, and the front-end is HTML / CSS / SASS with Javascript / jQuery / Foundation / Jasmine. Our designers prototype in code, mobile first. We're agile, but not in a dogmatic way - we believe in tight feedback loops between business, product, design, and engineering to maximize iteration and avoid wasting time building the wrong thing.

SEEKING Engineering Lead

We currently have two Engineering Lead openings, one focused on E-commerce (Product Discovery, Personalization, and Funnel Optimization) and the other on Retail Systems (Data Warehouse, Analytics, CRM). Each role would inherit a team consisting of 3-5 developers and be paired with a designer and a product manager.

Some example products:

  • Product recommendations via collaborative filtering can have a massive impact on conversion. A successful product would be built in a way that is maximally accurate and reusable in various contexts (email marketing, homepage widgets, upsell from other classes).
  • Discovery is important to get right as many of our visitors aren't sure of what they want or need. Many different products could help here: Recently Viewed Items, Search, a quiz-based "Personal Shopper", etc.
  • Site speed can have a huge impact on conversion, not to mention search engine rankings. There's a bunch that you can help us do to improve Javascript / Backbone.js performance as well as back-end Rails service performance.
  • We currently receive thousands of inquiries per month about the long-form courses we offer in 8 cities on 4 continents. A successful product would be used by dozens of course & admissions producers worldwide as well as regional directors and scale to thousands of leads per day.
  • The CEO and members of the senior management team need effective metrics dashboards to best make strategic decisions about the company. A successful product would calculate and update in real-time with predictive bands, and do so without affecting performance of production systems.
  • We currently have had tens of thousands of students come through our doors and over the next several years will grow that number to hundreds of thousands. A successful product would have an architecture that will scale with the growth of the company and correctly identifies which areas to be flexible and which to be explicitly structured.

General Responsibilities:

  • Work with the PM to create a product roadmap at the 3-6 month level, translate that roadmap into a backlog, and manage the day-to-day technical execution to launch the right product at the right time with the right quality.
  • Act as lead developer on projects, making substantial code and architecture contributions. At least 50% of your time will be spent writing code.
  • Mentor less experienced developers by understanding where they can improve and effectively assist them in career development.
  • Apply a deep understanding of software development best practices to identify areas where the team can improve, and successfully implement those improvements with full support of the team. Examples include: release process, testing, on-call, infrastructure and provisioning.
  • Review other teams’ systems and solutions, providing constructive feedback that raises the overall quality of General Assembly technology.

We’re looking for:

  • An individual very comfortable doing full-stack Ruby on Rails development - we can throw you at anything and you can make it happen. Front-end, back-end, spinning up EC2 instances, etc.
  • An individual with fluency in SQL and building database driven software.
  • An individual with deep knowledge of design patterns, systems engineering, algorithms, scalability, and the judgment to know when it matters and when not to over-engineer.
  • A collaborator who enjoys leading a team of other engineers and working with a designer and a product manager to make something come to life.
  • A pragmatist who understands the tradeoffs one needs to make between features, performance, scalability, and time to market depending on the situation.
  • A customer-focused thinker who wants a say in what gets built and whose ideas come from starting with the customer and working backwards.
  • A great communicator who really understands how to manage, mentor, and motivate a team.

Position is full-time with competitive salary, stock options and great benefits. NYC or Remote. Benefits include: 401k, iPhone (or equivalent) + cell plan, Macbook Air + Thunderbolt monitor, medical + dental + vision insurance, MTA transit credit and 50% discounted gym membership (if NYC).

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