Senior Staff Engineer (Backend)

Published on September 30, 2023

At BridgeU, we make educational decisions data-driven through predictive analytics, and we use machine learning to better prepare students for the next stage of their educational and professional journeys. One of the top 20 Startups in Europe (by EdTech Europe), and having closed a large investment round ($3.5m) from top global investors, BridgeU is one of the most innovative, fast-growing Education Technology businesses in Europe.

We're searching for a passionate leader with a clear vision of what good looks like, to be a driving force behind our mission to transform the landscape of university and career guidance through cutting-edge technology. 
As our Senior Staff Engineer, you will be pivotal in shaping and transforming the architecture of our backend systems and APIs. You'll be an instrumental member of the Engineering Leadership team and a leader of our backend Chapter, contributing significantly to our ambitious goals. 
Who is BridgeU?
At BridgeU, we are on a mission to break down barriers and empower students to reach their full potential. We believe talent knows no boundaries, and we’re here to help students discover the best opportunities, wherever they may be.
Our software connects universities with the most promising schools and students in over 140 countries, making finding the perfect match for their programs and courses easier than ever. We are the market leader in university and career guidance software for international and globally-minded secondary schools.
With BridgeU, you can expect to be at the forefront of education technology, making a real tangible difference in the lives of students around the world. So join us on this exciting journey of discovery and opportunity!
What We're Looking For:
We are searching for an Engineering Leader who is motivated by transforming old into new and gets their sense of purpose out of helping and supporting others. Someone who can set the standard and lead by example and knows when to lead from the front, and when from the back. 
Whilst this is an individual contributor role, the successful candidate will be as good with people as they are with code as we take the team on a journey to transform how we do things. Our tech stack boasts Ruby, Python, and PostgreSQL and features Svelte, Elm, Vue.js as part of a Rails frontend.
You'll Need:
  • A Vision: A clear and communicable understanding of what good looks like, with the ability to execute on it to pragmatically implement it and set a standard. 
  • Leadership Experience: A proven track record of leading in a Backend Software Engineering team.
  • Ruby Expertise: Demonstrated expertise in Ruby applications within a cloud-based environment. This includes proficiency in testing frameworks, monitoring, and alerting. AWS experience with infrastructure as code is highly desirable. Familiarity with Python is a plus, though not mandatory.
  • SQL Mastery: Extensive experience with SQL databases, including the ability to fine-tune performance and optimise queries.
  • System Design Prowess: Substantial experience in designing and maintaining high-performance systems.
  • Mentorship: Experience guiding and supporting junior and mid-level engineers, fostering their professional growth.
  • Collaborative Skills: The ability to collaborate closely with designers and product managers, particularly when tackling projects with undefined parameters, offering a pragmatic approach and delivering exceptional results.
  • Growth Mindset: You believe that people's abilities aren't innate, and failure is always a learning opportunity, as well as a steady stream of improvements, diligently executed, will have transformational results. Not a yes person, but a “can do” attitude and you’ll have a want and willingness to tackle the hard thing and the ability to instil all this in others. 
What will you be doing? 
Day to day, you will be working as a member of one of our squads, supporting and building exciting new features, but with a reduced capacity and an understanding, there's so much more to a Senior Staff Engineer day to day and time and space are required to lead. 
As an Engineering Leadership Team, we are on a journey to revolutionise and modernise our code base. This role will be pivotal to driving that change, both strategically and in a hands-on capacity. 
This role offers you the unique opportunity to collaborate closely with accomplished Product Managers, Designers, Frontend, Backend, Full-stack, Data Engineers, and Data Scientists within BridgeU's multidisciplinary Squads.
In this role, you will:
  • Spearheaded the development of innovative features, leading by example and following and setting best practices. 
  • Be a leader on a journey to transform our codebase and break apart a monolith. 
  • Lead technical discussions and provide architectural insights, influencing project direction and strategy to ensure the long-term success of our endeavours.
  • Foster a culture of cross-functional collaboration, actively assessing and validating new ideas and ensuring their effective execution to deliver value to our users.
  • Serve as a mentor and champion for team members, empowering them to thrive in their roles, thus creating an efficient and value-driven work environment.
  • Demonstrate your prowess in articulating and advocating for technical solutions, effectively communicating these solutions to the team and senior leadership, and aligning our efforts with the broader organisational vision. 
The role of Lead Backend Engineer not only empowers you to shape the technical landscape but also positions you as a key influencer in BridgeU's Engineering Leadership Team, where you will play an integral role in crafting the platform's strategic direction, including the exciting journey of breaking apart our monolithic architecture.
What will you get in return?
Flexibility - Lots of our people work flexibly in many different ways, including part-time, flexed hours in the working day, and we offer an option of either fully remote, office-based in London, or the blend of hybrid working between both that suits you. Our policies are designed to support a high-performing team and to accommodate as many different circumstances as possible as we know flexibility looks different for everyone. We can’t promise to give you exactly what you want, but please talk to us about the flexibility you need and let’s see how we can make it work. 
Additionally we offer
  • 25 days annual leave per year (rising with service) plus bank holidays
  • In addition your birthday is off every year and additional paid volunteering leave.
  • Employer’s pension scheme 
  • Medical Benefits
  • Enhanced maternity, adoption and shared parental leave policies
  • Company-funded social events
  • Investment in your professional development and opportunities for career progression
  • A comfortable and covid-secure office in London 
  • A range of attractive benefits and corporate discounts
  • Access to confidential counselling as well as financial and legal advice from our Employee Assistance Programme 
  • An open and democratic work culture where everyone can contribute, learn and teach
  • Company-paid subscription to Calm
  • Personal development: the company can fund books, courses and conferences to help you learn and grow
  • Annual offsite: we organise a retreat once a year where the whole company gets together
Equal Opportunities
We are a global team with a global mindset, cherishing and protecting diversity as one of our core values. We are always looking to diversify the talent in our team. 
Applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, belief, marriage or civil partnership. If you feel you don’t quite meet all the criteria in the job spec but have the potential to do the role, we’d still love to hear from you.