Full Stack Web Engineer

San Francisco, CA | Technology Platform

Job Description

About The Minerva Project

The Minerva Project, headquartered in San Francisco, is launching a top-tier university built to accelerate the life trajectories of the world’s brightest and most motivated students. Opening in Fall 2015, Minerva will draw on the best traditions of a research-based university education while leveraging cutting edge technologies and harvesting decades of research on student learning and success. Minerva is committed to providing an unparalleled educational experience for preparing global leaders and innovators for the 21st century.

Build the University of the Future

Come help us train 21st century leaders and creators. Come use your skills to build the next great American institution of higher learning.  We're not building courseware, we're building a university. This is a huge goal, and requires hugely talented people to help get us there. 

You'll be part of a small engineering team comprised of fantastic and talented people. Everyone must have full-stack expertise for us to move as quickly as we want to. And while we need to move fast, we need to build an excellent experience. It will be powerful and flexible as well as beautiful and well-designed. 

  • You need to be comfortable working with (and learning!) a variety of new languages and technologies. You don't instinctively turn up your nose at OPC (Other People's Code), or feel the need to start from scratch for every new project. We have a huge amount to do, so we want to be able to leverage great open source projects into our system, even if they're not written in our one favorite language. Help us figure out the right open source projects to build on, and help us turn them into exactly what we need.  
  • We're a fast-moving startup, but we're looking to create a long-lasting company around a continuously evolving learning platform. We need to be able to develop our system in a way to support continuous change over time: modular design, well-factored code, sufficient automated testing, processes in place for measuring performance. You need to be able to help us do this. 
  • We're not launching tomorrow, so we have the benefit of building on and for tomorrow's technologies. Forget flash, we'll be doing awesome things with HTML5 video and WebRTC. Your experience working with emerging technologies and standards will be useful on a day-to-day basis. 
  • Your code can speak for itself. It's so well-written that it requires no explanation. But when we do discuss it, you can make a clear and compelling case for why you wrote it the way you did. If we identify a more efficient to approach the problem, you're willing to revisit the decision and learn from the experience. 
  • You invest in tools and automation. Whether you are a frontend engineer focusing on better testing or a systems engineer putting into place better monitoring, you make sure the team has a great toolset to allow us to scale big with a small team.


  • Massive individual contributor. You love to code.
  • Can scale top to bottom - UI to AWS. Full-stack web development, from the database and API layers to client-side code. Our current stack relies on Python, MySQL (RDS), and Backbone/Marionette. All of our code lives in Git.
  • Can navigate between shipping sooner and long term code cleanliness.
  • Understand how to build single page web apps and service oriented architectures.
  • Know your data structures and algorithms.
  • Obsessed with performance.
  • Deep knowledge of infrastructure and tools.

Bonus Points

  • Demonstrated ability to recruit great engineers.
  • Eye for good product design.
  • Wide range of web technologies: JavaScript, Python, Ruby/Rails, MySQL. Some particulars we are currently using: backbone.js, Python, MySQL (RDS).  
  • Proven ability to manage operations of a live website on AWS, Rackspace or other. 


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