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Architect/Lead Developer - Ruby on Rails

San Mateo, CA | Engineering

Job Description

Rafter, Inc. the leading course materials management platform, lowers the cost of education by providing colleges and universities with much needed tools to manage the rapidly changing world of course materials on campus. To learn more visit www.rafter.com and watch our video. Rafter evolved from BookRenter.com, the first online textbook rental site, launched in 2008 with a mission to make education more affordable by allowing students to rent textbooks for up to 80% off the retail price. Rafter is one of the few private ed tech companies that is truly lowering the cost of higher education for students. By working directly with more than 300 schools to turn the painful and archaic process of managing course materials into a low cost, student-centric service, Rafter has saved students more than $300m. By taking an enterprise approach to course materials management, the Rafter Course Materials Network takes a more holistic approach that provides colleges and universities with a path to discover, adopt, distribute and manage physical and digital course materials.




Architect/Lead Developer - Ruby on Rails

Location: San Mateo, CA
Position Type: Full-Time Employee
Requisition #: 0202
Level of Experience: Experienced - Lead
Reporting to: Director, Engineering

We are looking for a strong lead developer/architect and seasoned professional with previous experience in a developer position in a fast-paced environment. We're looking for someone who is not only brilliant and creative, but who is motivated to help drive the growth of what is quickly becoming the de-facto online destination for the industry. Of course, our ideal candidate has unquestionable coding skills, an eye for detail, problem solving skills, motivation and drive to succeed.

Do you like to work with smart people, solve hard problems, and make a difference in millions of lives? We are looking for a top tier Ruby on Rails Architect who has experience leading teams and architecting creative technical solutions. We develop using Ruby and Rails and are one of the larger rails sites on the web. MySQL, Solr and Redis keep our data straight and fast. We manage our work with agile methods and deploy our own code.

Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Grow a strong technical team, picking the right technologies and platforms for product implementation, while defining critical architectures and delivering on the product - 50% hands on development; 50% team lead
  • Build a world class engineering team that will attract talent for years to come
  • Write copious amount of elegant code and provide hands-on guidance to the rest of the engineering team
  • Foster and support culture of innovation and excellence in the engineering organization
  • Define the appropriate architecture for the product, keeping in mind the scalability and flexibility needs
  • Be fully and closely engaged with the product, marketing, and business development teams to determine the best technical implementation methods and execution schedules


  • BS degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or similar is REQUIRED. MS and above preferred.
  • Start-Up experience is preferred
  • Highly advanced knowledge of Ruby on Rails is preferred, but we will look at bright candidates that have a Python and or Java background that is willing to jump into Ruby on Rails
  • Understand and have a passion for testing and TDD (unit, functional, and integration tests)
  • Proven track record in Engineering and Designing Solutions
  • Ability to own projects end-to-end as demonstrated by significant open-source contributions, independent projects, team leadership, or startups
  • Excited by creating applications others use and love
  • Must have highly advanced knowledge of MySQL. You should have the ability to create efficient queries, knowledge of replication, optimization, monitoring.
  • Good working knowledge of Linux
  • Able to produce high quality work on aggressive time lines
  • Work with other developers to plan and execute integration with other components
  • Thrive working in an agile environment
  • Must be able to understand the big picture and to outline and grasp the details needed to implement both internal and customer-facing applications.
  • Must be a proven leader - able to own a process, express ideas clearly and logically, meet deadlines, and work effectively under pressure.
  • Creativity, curiosity, self-motivation, and perseverance are also essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are required, as well as demonstrated critical thinking and organizational skills.

Nice to have skills:

  • Clojure will be a BIG plus
  • Experience with web services architecture
  • Strong interest in solving challenging problems
  • Highly trafficked/24x7 systems

What we provide you:

Challenging work and the chance to learn every day from a high performance group of peers in a tight knit environment


Are you an active contributor to open source software?  We love to see your work - send us a link to your GitHub projects.


We offer competitive salary, benefits, and the chance to improve the lives of millions of students!


Read more about our success.

Rafter Experiences 1,400 Percent Annual Revenue Growth in On-Campus Commerce -  




To learn more about Rafter, visit us on the web at www.rafter.com.

Rafter is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer.

“Veterans of the United States Armed Forces are encouraged to apply.  Thank you for your service.”

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