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Ruby on Rails Developer/Engineer (mid, senior, or lead level)

New york, NY | IT

Job Description

Come help us build something awesome in Chicago as we forever change the face of investing and entrepreneurship in America.

About EarlyShares:  EarlyShares was founded in 2011 with the mission to help small businesses succeed. Having helped shape the JOBS Act that was passed in April, EarlyShares is now focused on building one of the first equity-based crowd-funding platforms in America.  Starting in January of 2013 when new regulations go into effect, EarlyShares will allow ordinary Americans like us to invest small amounts of money in early stage companies we believe in…and get an ownership stake in return.  Under the laws of the past 80 years, that was something only available to wealthy Americans; people deemed to be “accredited investors” by the Securities Exchange Commission.  That’s about to change. EarlyShares will give all Americans the opportunity to invest in early-stage companies in a way that is safe, fair and transparent.


The Role:

In your role, you’ll be building the new platform to be launched for January, then expanding it to meet the growing needs of the business. You’ll play a key role in designing and coding the site architecture, as well as shaping the product along the way.  As an early member of the team, you’ll be expected to help establish the processes, systems and culture the team will need as it grows. 

We’re in the process of leasing a permanent office for us, likely in River North or the West Loop.  So for now, we’re working out of borrowed space around 1871/Merchandise Mart.  We’ll consider like-minded technologists interested in telecommuting, but that’s not our first choice – include a good “pitch” in your cover letter.


Minimum Requirements:

  • Hands-on Experience with Ruby on Rails. Experience in an actual business setting highly desirable.  It’s also very desirable to have experience in “the formative years” of Rails and building sites at scale, which can inform your design decisions today.
  • Experience with MySQL or similar SQL-based databases. Working knowledge with RDIS, Couch, Mongo, etc.
  • Prior experience in a team-based software development environment, preferably in a smaller start-up.
  • Formal education or experience in structured software development – data structures, algorithms, etc.  B.S./M.S. in Computer Science preferred.
  • Agile methodology – comfortable with agile, test driven development, etc.
  • Comfortable in a Mac or Linux environment.

Bonus/Nice-to-Have Experience:

We’re a small team, so we do our best work when each team member brings some additional skills to contribute as needed, before we get to the stage of needing these skills in a full-time role.  In your cover letter, please speak to your relative strengths/interests in each of these areas.

  • Front-End Development:  HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery.  Better yet, HAML, SASS, CoffeeScript, NodeJS, etc. – not sure we’ll use them, but we would like to have a thorough conversation about it. Bonus points for fluid/mobile experience.
  • System Administration:  Linux, ideally in a production environment.  Ideally with experience in Heroku, Engine Yard, and/or Amazon AWS for mission-critical systems.
  • Database:  Design and maintenance. Data models, data aggregation, backups, and optimization.
  • Web Design:  Especially if you combine that with front-end experience and/or print design.
  • Test Driven Development: Let’s face it. Most of us have still never seen this done right, at least not comprehensively, over the long haul. Maybe we won’t get there either. But it wouldn’t hurt to have someone on staff that is well-suited for it.
  • Other things to come:  As we grow, we’ll be picking up some partnerships that leverage other technologies. While it won’t be our main focus, it’s great if you have skills that can employ in a pinch, like PHP, .Net, Java, Cocoa, Android, Windows, Prototype, SOAP, and REST.  And maybe COBOL – but don’t count on it.
  • A burning desire to be the one to order office supplies, keep the fridge stocked, pick up the team lunch order when it’s pouring rain outside,  and politely but firmly refuse any unexpected vendors that show-up while we’re trying to launch the site.  Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

The Fit:  We’re going to build a great team – so this part is every bit as important as the rest of your skills. You’re smart, but not arrogant. You’re hard-working – there are some long nights ahead of us for launch. You’re flexible -- we’re launching a business, so there will be changes and compromises along the way. You’re focused first on the success of our business -- we’ll be known first for the business we launch; the beauty of our technology comes second. No jerks, no drama: we’re building the kind of tech team that everyone wants to be a part of – and that means you have to do your part.  A good attitude: things are going to get stressful along the way – we all have a role to play in putting the mood back on track.


How to Apply:

Please apply through our JobScore site using the link below. We never miss an application that goes through there. All applications are confidential. Please include a cover letter outlining your qualifications and showing us a little bit of what makes you tick – a cover letter is very important to us.  If you’ve applied and think we’ve overlooked you somehow, you’re welcome to reach-out via other means, but job score really is the best place to start.

Don’t see a perfect role for you?  Apply anyway!  Truth be told, we probably won’t staff every one of these roles, and certainly not exactly the way we’ve described them.  Yes, you’ll need to be able to make a contribution starting on the first day. But beyond that, we’re far more interested in hiring people for the long haul; people with the temperament and potential to grow their career with our business. Just explain any skill or experience gaps in your cover letter, and let's see if there's a way to find a fit.

Not working with outside firms. Please apply directly.  Please do not wait for an outside firm to submit your resume, even if they tell you they know us personally and have “an in” with us.  If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to send your resume to us directly; we’ll sort-out and duplicates.

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