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Senior Backend Engineer (Ruby)

  • Type Job
  • Degree Bachelor
  • Location Utrecht, NetherlandsCatharijnesingel 52UtrechtNLUtrecht3511 GC
  • Posted
  • Start date -
  • Deadline -

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With a small group of almost 90 people, we're building Blendle. Our ultimate goal is to provide a seamless and fantastic user experience for journalism. We believe a combination of stories that change your perspective on what's going on and butter-smooth apps will help people to look at the world differently. At the moment we have around 1,5 mln users worldwide (Germany, US, the Netherlands)

We have a second goal: build an organization that helps people grow in their skills. You can read more on how we do this in our public handbook. This is why we spend a ton of time on coaching and feedback within Blendle. We'll help you set audacious goals and grow new skills.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the challenges we work on, and how we approach them:

Best reading experience

We continuously work to improve the reading experience in our clients. Each article is presented in the publishers own signature style, down to the smallest details. When a user opens an article, we apply a style document to the text of the article—defining every detail from the fonts used in the byline to the line-height for the kicker. It is imperative to the quality of the user experience that this does not lead to any noticeable delays when opening an article. We had to work hard on optimizing code for the parsing pipeline, rendering the text and calculating the layout of the article to keep everything running at 60 FPS.

Blendle Audio

We worked very hard to build the best listening experience for our users. The audio content is dynamically generated to surprise each user with a personalized greeting in the introduction. The backend provides us with a set of audio segments that form the intro, we stitch the segments together locally. We put a lot of effort into creating a smooth user experience for audio, we allow the user to control the audio in a lot of different ways that are all fluid and intuitive.

The technical stack/tooling we currently work with include:

  • Ruby (primary programming language for this role)
  • Kubernetes
  • Postgres
  • Redis
  • Rails, Sinatra
  • Golang
  • Kafka
  • Google Cloud
  • GraphQL

A typical day could involve:

  • Collaborate with the Product Manager to translate the functional requirements for a feature into a technical design
  • Design the schema for a new feature in our GraphQL API together with one of the mobile developers
  • Tracking down bug reports from our users, working on a fix, and deploying it to production
  • Coming up with systematic solutions to problems instead of focusing on one-off fixes
  • Discussing technical challenges with your team
  • Mentioning relevant trade-offs and coming to a final conclusion with the team
  • Pairing on a feature with a colleague
  • Applying the “boy scout rule” to leave things in a better state than they were
  • Delivering your implementation with good test coverage (preferably test-driven)
  • Refactoring existing services
  • Asking your peers for reviews and collaborating until you’ve hit the preferred quality
  • Having CI deploy your changes to our Kubernetes cluster automatically
  • Reviewing a pull-request that a member of your team has opened
  • Taking part in the scrum process

We’ll get to the nitty gritty description of your skills soon, but first we’ll tell you a bit more about why we chose to join Blendle ourselves. These were the most important reasons for us, in random order:

1. What Blendle does is important

Journalism is an essential part of every society, but newspapers and magazines see their revenues drop. Every day, fantastic articles are published – much better than the ones you’ll find on free websites – yet fewer people have subscriptions, and therefore more journalists are getting fired. At Blendle, we want to tap into a new revenue source for newspapers and magazines.

2. And at the same time, we’re making people happy

Because they can now easily access brilliant articles, without having to get a subscription to every single publication. We find it awesome to build a product that’s used by 1,000,000 people at this stage, which will hopefully be used by even more people soon.

3. A fun team

Blendle employs nearly 90 people now, and the atmosphere is great. Below you’ll find some pictures of our office, and our weekend getaways:

4. The freedom

We expect you know best how to unlock your full potential, and don’t need any rules for that. Roland for example kicks off his day on an idyllic balcony in Rotterdam with his laptop on his lap, and Jean likes to work at night, talking to himself in our chat program while he’s programming.

5. Freebies

On top of a monthly donation to a bank account of your choice, we take good care of you in the office. Every day, lunch is prepared with love, and we’re happy to fix dinner or a massage when needed. Don’t live in Utrecht? Then we’ll cover the expenses for the thing that gets you here: either public transport, or your dear fuel-sipping car.

Alright, here comes our wish list:

As a (Senior) back-end Engineer (Ruby) at Blendle, you will be part of a small team responsible for the evolution and backlog of all our platforms. Our wishlist consists of:

  • 5+ years experience developing backend systems (e.g. the likes of Ruby, Python, Java, Elixir, Golang, C#, PHP, Rust)
  • 2+ years of writing Ruby production code
  • Experience with RESTful API design and/or GraphQL
  • A background in refactoring large-scale systems
  • Solid knowledge of testing principles
  • Strong English communication skills both written and verbal
  • Knowledge SOLID principles and software design principles
  • Ability and passionate about mentoring & coaching other developers; Able to leave your ego at the door

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