Principal Backend/Fullstack Developer
Northern America
Software Development
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Principal Backend/Fullstack Developer

Company Description


Our work is driven by our team’s desire to be pioneers.

In 2009, we created Robots & Pencils with the then-contrarian view that mobile would be more transformative than the Internet. Turns out we were right.

Today, our thinking is rooted in the belief that, in the age of unprecedented technology acceleration, maintaining a competitive advantage requires new strategies and a focus on innovation.

Our approach has been to create a company designed to follow the talent, allowing us to amass an unfair share of hyper-skilled people who call Robots & Pencils home. A team of people who not only develop innovative solutions to transform businesses, but also create products that have been previously inconceivable.


Our Core Values:

  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Top Drawer
  • Always Learning
  • Heart
  • Discipline
  • Efficacy
  • Together


Robots & Pencils Offers:

We care about Talent. Hard stop.

We do this in many ways, by offering:

  • An attractive compensation package

  • A fast paced environment with a culture that embraces change, and working together to find a far better way

  • Work remotely, or in an office: you can reside anywhere in North America, and work remotely. You also have the option to work in our offices if you live in an area where we have a local office.

  • High quality talent: we hire only the best talent we can find. You do remarkable things and solve tough problems where many others have failed before.
  • Excellent benefits Medical, Dental, Vision etc. (this routinely gets reviewed each year for enhancements)

  • Paid stat/federal holidays, vacation and sick days

  • Flexible paid stat/federal holidays (because we care about what you care about and want to celebrate our culturally diverse team!)

  • R&P branded swag

  • Parental & adoption leave top up / salary continuance

  • 401K/RRSP matching


But we also know a job isn’t just defined by the above, so we pride ourselves in being a company that also offers: 

  • A #FollowTheTalent mentality -- meaning you can be located anywhere in North America and work remotely. (We have 10+ years of experience building virtual working environments #WeKnowWhatWereDoing)

  • A dynamic, fast-paced environment where we’re constantly #alwayslearning.

  • And lastly, a team that cares about you and wants to drive the talent experience. How do we do this? Over the years we’ve hosted comedian shows, had holiday parties, happy hours, brunches with the CEO, surprise coffee runs for the team, health & wellness events and prizes, trivia nights, surprise dinners for R&P team members and their family and so much more! (And yes, we’ve prioritized a way to do these things in a virtual setting and not just in person - thank you Zoom!)

Job Description

We're looking for a Principal Back-End or Full-Stack Software Developer, Engineer, or hands-on Architect who is recognized by their teammates, leaders, and stakeholders (referred to as "others" from here out) as being a trusted advisor and capable shipper.

Are you the person we're looking for?

Robots & Pencils is a talent led organization with a helper culture and an unfair share of creative makers who are passionate about finding a far better way to deliver new products to market and to develop innovative solutions that transform businesses. Talent who find the most success at R&P are reliable, credible, open-minded, and altruistic. If you're not sure whether you demonstrate those qualities, there are questions at the end of this description that might help you find out.

  • Are you reliable?

Would others say they can depend on you to be a self-driven, adaptable, and organized maker (software developer) who thrives on solving problems / opportunities and meeting commitments the right way the first time? Why are you able to solve complex problems with simple solutions that less experienced developers are able to refactor and maintain?

  • Are you credible?

Would a variety of audiences recognize objectivity and consistency in the way you tailor your knowledge, ideas, and critique to their needs? How do you engage in listening & discourse to leverage diversity, to seek feedback, to include others in your decisions, and to respectfully challenge the ideas of others in the spirit of reaching the best possible outcomes? 

  • Are you open-minded?

Would others describe you as being curious, perceptive, and insightful in your approach to building empathy for the audiences who interact with you and the products of your work? Would they describe you as being approachable, considerate, and engaging in the way you lead them to build empathy for each other? What drives you to accept the ideas of others and change your perspective and behavior?

  • Are you altruistic?

Would others describe you as being a helper, having a strong sense of duty, or as advocating for people or causes? Would they tell us stories about how you share random acts of kindness and celebrate their accomplishments without seeking recognition for yourself? Why do you do what we do? How did you gain the perspective and negotiation skills to be able to lead others to apply judgment that promotes growth for your company, your team, and yourself?

If you were working for us, here are some of the things you might have done last week:

  • Aligned on scope for federated authentication features (e.g. SSO, SCIM, SAML) for R&P Student Apps
  • Inspired your team by example to take ownership and meet commitments... you set the bar for quality and volume, continually shipping features to production
  • Recommended, with examples, to another team, an approach to CI/CD release promotion in which container OS versions are routinely and continuously upgraded/patched without releasing unverified configurations to production
  • Rolled up your sleeves to help your team or another meet their commitments
  • Partnered with engineering managers to influence career growth opportunities for your teammates
  • Shared what you learned in your self-guided continuous education to collaborate with or inspire others interested in the same topics (e.g. your exploration into applications of Large Language Models or Stable Diffusion)
  • Shared with our sales team, what you discovered about an unfamiliar technology that a potential client is building a new product with
  • Lended credibility in the sales call that followed that discovery to help us win an opportunity to work on the kinds of projects that inspire us and facilitate our relevance in the marketplace (e.g. how Bard is different from GPT, and how that affects the way we'd approach a project)
  • Received pixel-dust (our Slack channel for public praise) from a new developer on your team. They called you "Eagle Eyes", and said that you provided one of the most thorough code reviews yet, in their career. Thirty-Six people responded with emojis for the core values you demonstrated: heart, topdrawer, alwayslearning, and together.
  • Demonstrated to members of our back-end craft, the Proof-of-Concept you built using NodeJS and GPT4 to assess how we might reduce the number of API calls when we're prompt engineering.
  • Documented your recommendations in our Craft Radar (opinions about techniques, tools, platforms, languages, and frameworks), after receiving feedback from others in that demonstration
  • Contributed Terraform components and examples to our centralized terraform templates repository
  • Learned a craft or framework you didn't already know quickly enough to contribute to a project in need because you had a gap between projects that require your expertise

  • 7+ years of delivering software
  • B.S. or higher in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or equivalent work experience
  • Proficiency in designing and architecting software, including interactions with hardware, databases, browsers, file systems, and various infrastructure types
  • Strong grasp of and ability to teach others's about design's impact on comprehensibility, maintainability, performance, and availability in software development
  • Stories that express why you believe what are best practices for applying systematic and disciplined approaches to software development, including requirements gathering, software design, testing, debugging, and maintenance
  • Deep expertise in writing, analyzing, and debugging code in various programming languages
  • Excellent problem solving skills, including a strong understanding of data structures and algorithms 
  • Sound understanding of computer networks, protocols, network security, and internet data transmission.
  • A rigorous approach to achieving software privacy and security, including secure coding practices, threat avoidance, and threat mitigation
  • Procedural knowledge for when and how to leverage parallel and distributed computing
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new skills and technologies
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to share insights and expectations with stakeholders, clients, team members, and various levels of management across multiple time zones
  • Ethical, pragmatic approach to computation theory, considering automation, human involvement, and ethical boundaries
  • Commitment to incorporating human-centered, universal design with empathy for user and developer experiences
  • Sharpies, Post-its and robot dreams

Desired Specifics:

  • NodeJS, koa or express, and either or both of JavaScript and TypeScript
  • If you're full-stack, at least one top tier front-end framework (e.g. React, VueJS, Svelte, Angular), HTML, CSS/SCSS/SASS/LESS
  • Experience with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) (e.g. Terraform, Ansible, CloudFormation, etc.) a plus
  • Experience with containerization (Docker, Kubernetes) a plus
  • Experience with implementing, configuring, or otherwise taking advantage of continuous integration (CI/CD) a plus
  • Background or experience in education, financial, or healthcare industries a plus
  • Github profile or link to open source work a plus
  • Experience building time machines a plus

Additional Information

Robots & Pencils aspires to have a workforce that is representative of the diversity of our country and encourages applications from everyone.

Principal Backend/Fullstack Developer
Northern America
Software Development
More jobs from this company

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