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We’re looking for an early technical hire to join our small team. Our team values speed, ownership, work-life balance and making products that our customers love.
My cofounder and I have been working on our new business part-time for 6 months and are receiving signals of solution/market fit from customers. The product we’ve prototyped solves issues that have arisen in secondary and tertiary schools due to ChatGPT (and similar AI).
We’ve decided now is the time to bring someone on to help accelerate development and have budgeted for the role to last one year. We believe that the business will be profitable by year two and the role will be able to continue on (assuming a good fit).
We’re looking for someone who wants to work 2-3 days a week at the moment, but will work hard for those days (20-30 hours). This could be ideal for a new parent, someone who is doing their own startup on the side, or someone who just wants more free-time.

About the job

You’ll be building and maintaining features for our customers end-to-end using Rails 7, Turbo & Stimulus, tailwind-css, Redis, and PostgreSQL. This job requires exceptional front end skills as some of the user interfaces will have complex interactions that can only be created in JavaScript. There is also deep integrations with a relatively large and complex, albeit well architected, TypeScript library.
As a developer you’ll prioritize shipping good quality elegant code very frequently. In order to do this you will make sure you there are enough tests that you can effectively refactor without fear, but not too many tests that they become brittle and hamper feature development. You’ll also fight hard against over-engineering and participate in scope hammering to help keep things simple.
It will be your job in each 6 week cycle to focus deeply on one or more selected pitches and complete them within the specified timeframe (pitch appetite), scope will be the malleable factor that you play with to get things shipped.
Along with feature development you might sometimes be involved in building deployment tools, monitoring infrastructure, QA, and customer support. You’ll also be invited to pitch each cycle and have your own ideas brought into the product.
We envision this role requiring 20-30 focused hours a week (negotiable based on salary expectations).
Here are some examples of the type of work you will likely have to do:
  • Write and coordinate safe multi-step migrations
  • Build and deploy the application
  • Review others code and suggest enhancements
  • Build simple, easy to use, responsive interfaces in Rails with progressive enhancement using Turbo / Stimulus.
  • Write unit tests and system tests for new features
  • Give input on architecture and simplifications that can be made
  • Write custom JavaScript components that support more complex interactions like drag and drop, zoom, pan, etc.
  • Debug software including tracking down performance issues
  • Make refactorings to simplify feature development
  • Write clear communicative asynchronous messages
  • Collaborate 1:1 on design and user experience problems
  • Improve deployment and infrastructure tooling
  • Speak to customers or vendors to better understand the problem you’re working on or to help with support issues
  • Perform QA on features you’ve built

About you

We’re looking for an experienced full-stack engineer that loves working with Rails 7 and Turbo. You should be able to back up your RoR, HTML, and CSS chops with strong JavaScript skills when the need arises. You should have solid fundamentals in linux, containerization, http networking, shell scripting, functional and imperative programming, SQL, ruby, rack, TLS, load balancing, query optimization, algorithmic complexity, and debugging.
To succeed you’ll need to be a manager of one and take pride in your work. You must have strong intuition on usable elegant solutions and be good at collaborating without ego to find the best solution.
In the past you’ve built scalable distributed systems and understand the common pit-falls when building distributed systems. You are comfortable setting up deployment infrastructure fit for purpose and push back against unnecessary over-engineering – you don’t believe every startup requires Kubernetes.
You read frequently and can confidently point to you favorite programming books. In addition to being a prolific reader, you enjoy writing and have strong writing skills.
You’re comfortable getting on the phone with people and know that it’s often the quickest way to get something done.
Finally, after thoughtful critical analysis, you subscribe to most of the 37 signals way of thinking about SaaS product development and business operations. This is incredibly important, as it is not the typical model for operating a software business, and you will find yourself questioning every decision if you’re not already subscribed to many of their values and approaches. If you’re not familiar with 37 signals, please at a minimum read ShapeUp and Getting Real before deciding whether this is right place for you.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in the role, please send your resume and a thoughtful cover letter explaining why you’re right for the role and what appeals to you about this role – without a thoughtfully written cover letter, expect no reply.

We look forward to reading your application!

Apply info ->

To apply for this job, please email your details to andrew@starless.co.nz

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