Lead Backend Engineer ⚙️

🟢   Open - Accepting Applications

Fiveable is a social learning platform that engages students through community-powered content, interactive study rooms. Think of us as "the hallways of the educational internet", where we connect students to each other and to new resources.

The Fiveable platform has two core experiences -- content & community. Within our content library, student writers have published thousands of posts explaining concepts, detailing processes, and sharing advice. This is peer-to-peer knowledge sharing that opens up opportunities for students across academics, future-planning, and all kinds of topics beyond the classroom.

The community spaces connect students by subject, affinity, and interest to create uniquely segmented support groups. This happens within virtual spaces on Hours, our newly acquired platform, and on our Discord server.

During the 2020-2021 school year, we had 5.5 million unique visitors on our platform. And we are just getting started.

We've raised $14.2M backed by world class investors including Union Square Ventures, Owl Ventures, BBG Ventures, Metrodora Ventures (Chelsea Clinton), Serena Ventures, and many more. Check out a list of our other investors here.


Fiveable in the news:

Fiveable lands $10M Series A to become ‘the hallways of the educational internet’ (Tech Crunch)

How one founder identified a gap in education working as a teacher and built a startup to fix it (Tech Crunch Podcast)

Fiveable Offers Free AP Test Prep and Tips For Optimizing Remote Learning (Forbes)

A Former Oakland Unified Teacher Now Helps Even More Students Pass AP Tests (Edsurge)


The Fiveable Team

We're a creative group of former teachers, community builders, game designers, and generally curious people who are driven by social impact. We're focused on building a diverse team and are inclusive of all backgrounds. And we're big on growth mindsets - we're all learning!

Who we're looking for

At Fiveable, we’re building online spaces for students to be productive through the power of community. We offer study rooms and productivity tools for millions of students, and as such, we put ample love and care into the infrastructure we build to support them!

We’re looking for an exceptional Lead Backend Engineer to ensure we build reliable, secure, maintainable, and scalable backend infrastructure to support students across the globe. As an early-stage startup, we are open-minded with the tools we use for the job— we aren’t glued to legacy systems or processes. Our team works in JavaScript/TypeScript so will ideally be looking for someone with experience in those languages.

Ideal candidates will have strong prioritization skills and prior experience leading teams to develop systems that scale. Bonus points if you’re passionate about social learning and rethinking modern education!

Apply Now

Our mission and team

Our mission is to make learning easy and fun. We know that educational inequities have left students overwhelmed and fending for themselves. In order to close the opportunity gap, we need to create space for students to be creative and curious. To do this, we've created a social network for online learning communities through interactive content and courses. Because of COVID, we're in a lightning strike moment for education and we're fired up to change the way things are for high school students.

We're a creative group of former teachers, community builders, game designers, and generally curious people who are driven by social impact. We're focused on building a diverse team and are inclusive of all backgrounds. And we're big on growth mindsets - we're all learning!

Team Fiveable

You are:

  • A Learner - You know that every project poses new challenges and opportunities to learn, and that excites you!
  • Passionate - You understand the big picture, and care deeply about using technology to solve problems for students.
  • Creative - Eager to think outside the box and bring your own ideas to the table.
  • Efficient - You keep it simple. Always working smarter, not harder.
  • Candid - You communicate consistently and authentically
  • Flexible - You go with the flow and find new paths to your goals.
  • Empathetic - You understand how others feel and know why they act the way they do
  • A Problem-Solver - You take initiative and present solutions to problems that you encounter or notice.

You have:

  • 5-10 years of experience in backend or infrastructure roles, or full-stack roles with heavy backend emphasis.
  • Experience building scalable, maintainable micro-service and API architectures— whether via RESTful APIs or GraphQL.
  • Comprehensive understanding of websockets or browser-based RPC.
  • Experience developing near-realtime communications systems at scale.
  • A security-driven mindset - comfortable designing systems that protect our users’ data.
  • Experience writing comprehensive and maintainable test suites.

Nice to have (or willing to learn!):

  • MERN stack experience (especially MongoDB, ExpressJS).
  • Prior team lead experience.
  • Prior experience developing public APIs that adhere to specifications like OpenAPI.
  • DevOps/Infrastructure knowledge - comfort with cloud providers like GCP, AWS, or Azure, and Infrastructure as Code (Terraform, etc).
  • Understanding and experience with RBAC-based permissions systems.
  • Experience with containerization orchestration (Docker / Kubernetes).

📝 Responsibilities

Direct the technical vision for Fiveable’s backend architecture.

  • Balance your time effectively between coding, architecting, scoping, and leading teammates to complete larger initiatives.
  • Create and maintain well-documented, secure, and consistent backend architectures.
  • Prioritize quality by instilling best-practices for automated testing and monitoring.
  • Craft and present proposals that consider the trade-offs in different solutions and architectures.
  • Identify business opportunities and risks surmountable through our backend infrastructure.
  • Play a significant role in hiring and building a diverse team of backend specialists.
  • Work closely with Head of Engineering and product team to influence our technical roadmap.
  • Advocate for technical needs while balancing product needs.

💅 Benefits of Working at Fiveable

Fiveable is a small, but growing edtech startup that is fiercely committed to its employees. Here is what you can expect from your Fiveable experience:

  • A front row seat to education innovation at an early stage startup
  • A company that prioritizes inclusion and diversity
  • The ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world
  • Competitive compensation with stock options
  • Comprehensive benefits (Health, Dental, and Vision) 100% covered by Fiveable for individuals and families
  • Access to a 401k and life insurance policy
  • Unlimited paid days off and mental health support through Talkspace

Apply Now