Back-End Engineer at Lumen Learning
Remote / United States of America

Lumen Learning is looking to hire an engineer who’s passionate about using their programming skills to reduce barriers to higher education.  If you love collaborating with others to solve knotty technical problems, if you are always trying to empathize with user needs, if you reflect on your technical choices and are always improving them, then you’ll feel at home on Lumen Learning’s Engineering team.

We’re improving and evolving our learning platforms into a top-grade interactive learning platform.  We’ll be improving our assessment engines and constructing better feedback for instructors and students. 

What kinds of things will a successful candidate do in this role?

  1. You’ll collaborate with product managers to empathize with users and understand the WHY behind requested features
  2. You’ll enjoy applying your coding skills to conundrums and finding the very best solution you can manage
  3. You’ll appreciate learning from your teammates as much as you appreciate sharing your knowledge through mentorship
  4. You’ll write the clean, maintainable Ruby that you’d appreciate every developer writing.
  5. You’ll consider how you structured solutions and bring that forward into building the next feature so it’s more testable, flexible, and understandable

Lumen Learning

Lumen’s company mission is to enable unprecedented learning for all students. Each year we support 400,000 students and 5,000 faculty members in college courses. Lumen provides solutions that create effective learning experiences for students and guide faculty members in the use of evidence-based teaching practices that improve student success. Lumen seeks to create success for all students, with an emphasis on ensuring that race and income are not predictors of success.

Lumen is a small company that is growing rapidly. We are doing something that has not been done before. Each position requires an individual who can assess the needs of customers, the education community, and other Lumen team members and develop new approaches and solutions. This requires creativity, commitment, generosity,  openness, and a drive to create belonging for our team and community.

We are committed to building and supporting a diverse and inclusive team. We know we can only achieve our goals by creating an engineering team of differing perspectives, social circumstances, values, and abilities, including members of historically marginalized communities.

Organization Alignment

  • You’ll report to the Director of Engineering
  • You’ll be part of one our services teams, working with a Product Manager and a Product Technical Lead

Key Responsibilities

Building

  • Crafting adaptable, thoughtful application features which increase student learning and instructor insight
  • Quashing bugs and brainstorming solutions to the problems which our users report
  • Asking questions! Not only in the first 90 days in this role, but beyond — asking why we do things the way we do, what the goal of a feature/change is, what we’re measuring, how you can help

Collaborating

  • Partnering with our product managers and UX Designers to create a breathtaking experience for our users
  • Acting as a great teammate with your fellow engineers: providing useful feedback and working together to find the best ideas
  • Participating in our agile workflow

Provide personal leadership

  • Contribute to Lumen’s success in achieving our mission
  • Promote collaboration and excellence within the Engineering team and partner actively and effectively with the Product Management team
  • Personify values of creativity, generosity, openness, commitment, and belonging
  • Make Lumen a more successful, effective, and inclusive organization

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience

  1. Professional experience building and maintaining back-end applications.  Most of our projects are in Ruby on Rails, but if you have experience in other frameworks and are willing to learn Ruby and Rails, that’s great as well.
  2. Familiarity with relational databases and SQL.
  3. Familiarity with GitHub, including branching workflows and pull requests
  4. Impressive attention to detail, evidenced both in the depth of questions asked when refining requirements for features
  5. A love and practice of communicating clearly and openly

Interview Process

Our process has three steps.  First, a member of the Engineering Management Team will spend half an hour chatting with you, and at the end of that interview, they’ll send you a short project.  That project will be reviewed anonymously by a panel.  If the panel loves the project, then you’ll meet with a few members of the wider team for an hour, and we make our final decision then.

Interested in applying?  

Please email your resume to james@lumenlearning.com along with responses to the three following questions in lieu of a cover letter:

  1. Based on the information here, what interests you most in Lumen?
  2. Let’s say you’re working with a new developer on a project which uses the Model-View-Controller pattern.  What advice would you give that developer when they’re trying to choose whether to put a new method in a Model class, a Controller class, or a View?
  3. What steps do you take to make sure that front-end and back-end systems can correctly communicate with each other?