Backend Engineer

Posted June 10

Brooklyn, NY



AltSchool is a collaborative community of micro-schools that uses outstanding teachers, deep research, and innovative tools to offer a personalized, whole child learning experience for the next generation.

Jobs at AltSchool

All AltSchool employees share a passion for enabling children to reach their full potential through a personalized education based on their individual interests and talents. This informs what we do everyday, whether it’s building innovative new technological tools for the classroom, connecting with communities of parents and students to learn how we can meet their needs, or recruiting the best talent for our team.

If you feel driven to create transformative educational experiences that will prepare children for 2030 and beyond, please take a look at our jobs below and apply for an open position today.

AltSchool is reimagining K-8 education from the ground up. Our world-class team of educators, operators, and technologists is working together to build a network of micro-schools that offers a transformatively better school experience. We’re dedicated to creating and providing a child-centered, personalized education that leverages local experiential learning. AltSchool’s mission is to enable all children to reach their full potential, preparing students for the world in 2030 and beyond. AltSchool is a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corporation which requires us to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

The Product, Engineering, and Design (PED) team is made up of a group of talented individuals working to craft a 21st century operating system to power the AltSchool personalized learning model. Our suite of software applications and hardware tools must serve four distinct user groups - students, teachers, parents, and the AltSchool Operations team - yet work together as a seamlessly integrated whole. The unique challenges that we face in this endeavor create opportunities to flex your creative and analytical skills on a variety of different products, such as our student activity playlist, teacher workflow dashboard, parent app. A user-driven approach guides our product design strategies, so we encourage members of PED to interact closely with our user-groups in a variety of ways, including regular classroom visits and our PED-Educator Buddy Program.

As a Backend Engineer at AltSchool, you would develop software that moves and processes data in order to enable personalized education.


Full life-cycle development of web-based backends:

  • Writing single page apps with 12-Factor HTTP RESTful backends.
  • Planning and writing unit, functional, and integration tests.
  • Implementing basic monitoring and health checks.
  • Performing code review for peers.
  • Triaging your bug queue.
  • Doing relational database administration, such as performing migrations, creating indices in response to slow queries, and normalizing schemas.
  • Performing DevOps responsibilities.
  • Load-testing, profiling, and debugging your code.
  • Architecting scalable and reliable systems, including planning for failure through redundancy.
  • Analysis of algorithm runtime and space, Big-O notation.
  • You will also collaborate with the rest of the Product, Engineering, and Design team in the San Francisco and New York offices:

You should think of yourself as an above-average communicator; you’ll spend a lot of time talking to people ~3000 miles away. You’ll be interacting with product managers, teachers, and students.

Light travel may be required for the position in New York, up to one week per quarter.

Some degree of flexibility around occasional events that must happen on a Pacific or Eastern time-friendly schedule(s) will be required.


Here’s what we’re looking for…

  • At least 5+ years of employment as a software engineer in a professional setting.
  • Experience with the *nix or Mac OS X command line.
  • Experience with a modern DVCS, such as Git or Mercurial.
  • Experience writing backends in Python or Go.
  • Experience with relational databases, including the ability to explain how ACID properties impact your design.
  • Experience with cache design and architecture, algorithms, and invalidation strategies.
  • Experience load-testing backends, analyzing latency and throughput.
  • Familiarity with symmetric and asymmetric/public key cryptography.

Bonus points for these…

  • Experience being a tech lead for small teams.
  • Experience with either product or people management.
  • Experience contributing to Open Source software.
  • Experience designing distributed systems.
  • Experience writing and consuming JSON APIs.
  • Experience writing 12-Factor RESTful backend services.
  • Experience deploying to Heroku.
  • Experience with MongoDB.
  • Experience doing *nix administration.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience
  • Health, dental, and vision benefits
  • 401(k) with matching
  • Monthly fitness stipend
  • Free lunch and snacks
  • AltSchool tuition benefit worth up to $10,000

How to Apply

Apply here

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