Software Engineer (backend focused)

| Chicago
about dscout

We are dscout. At our core, we are People Nerds. We empower our customers to meet the people who matter to them in the moments that matter most. Many of the world’s most influential tech companies use dscout to deliver better products and services, alongside customer-obsessed companies and agencies like Lyft, Nike, IDEO, and REI.

Product and UX professionals use our platform to build, field, and analyze user research via our web-based platform while scouts (research participants) share in-context moments from our native mobile apps on iOS and Android. For example, in the past 30 days we’ve conducted close to 500 research missions, had over 40,000 entries submitted by our scouts, and conducted over 500 real-time video user interviews.

our platform

Our platform is built on cutting edge technology with React.js frontend and Elixir backend tied together by GraphQL APIs with a small part done in Ruby/Rails and REST APIs. We make heavy use of PostgreSQL and Redis for our storage needs and we host our platform on Heroku. Another core part of our offering are two mobile apps - iOS and Android - that are written in Swift and Java respectively. We also employ WebRTC, Twilio, and Websockets for live video streaming and our Data Science team uses Python for NLP, video / audio processing, and data mining.

Eight years and 30K commits later, we've maintained a tidy code base that is well documented and battle tested by hundreds of thousands of users.

you are

We’re looking for smart, creative, and driven Software Engineers to build great software with us. You have some experience as an engineer (creating and launching new products) and you are eager to keep learning and growing. You love to write code, and strive to make it better with each commit. You're familiar with SaaS-focused modern backends, API development, SQL, and don't mind doing an occasional frontend task either. You are hands-on, self-directed, and feel at home in a fast-paced, collaborative, and agile environment.

If you are excited about the challenge of building an incredible product while working alongside a great engineering team, we’d love to hear from you!

the jobwhat you will do
  • Be an active member of a cross-functional product development team that frequently interfaces with business stakeholders
  • Collaborate with teammates to continuously improve the ways you and your team work
  • Focus on backend work, with some frontend involvement
  • Develop customer facing applications in a fast-paced agile environment
  • Be responsible for the technical quality of the team's product
  • Work closely with the design team to deliver user-friendly and modern products
  • Apply DevOps mindset to improve the Continuous Delivery pipeline and other operational aspects of our SaaS platform
what you need to have
  • 2+ years experience as a software engineer
  • Solid experience with Ruby or a similar backend language
  • Interest in learning and using Elixir; open to working in a polyglot environment
  • Good working knowledge of SQL
  • Experience with full stack architectures, as well as API design and implementation
  • Familiarity with frontend development
  • Familiarity with Agile, DevOps, and CD
  • Exposure to cloud architectures - Heroku, AWS, or others
  • Plus: experience with GraphQL
  • Plus: entrepreneurial experience in a small business or startup
what we provide

Here at dscout, we are a team of passionate research, sales, technical, marketing, design, success, and operations professionals. We are driven by the power of research—how in-context insights from real people can build products and services that are more people-centric. We value learning, sharing, and building. We deeply value being a diverse and inclusive team and company, and we are looking for team members who align with that belief. We are proud of what dscout is today and we would love the opportunity to build our future with you.

In addition to joining a smart and passionate team that provides a great learning opportunity, you will get:

  • A strong compensation package with bonus structure. Your success is tied to company success. We are all in this together.
  • An incredible set of core benefits as well as a 401k with match, work from home Wednesdays, solid PTO policy, and generous company holidays. We are committed to helping build your future.
  • Exposure to the inner workings of a growing company. And open, transparent communication within our team. You will know what is happening and why it matters.
  • An education stipend. Keep learning and sharpening your skills.
  • A beautiful workspace along the Chicago Riverwalk, in the heart of lots of places to eat, drink, and play. Read more about our new office space here!
  • Plenty of snacks, drinks, and caffeine to keep you powered throughout the day, and a weekly happy hour to relax with the team.
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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Product
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • RLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • ElixirLanguages
    • ReactLibraries
    • ApolloLibraries
    • Ruby on RailsFrameworks
    • PhoenixFrameworks
    • PostgreSQLDatabases
    • RedisDatabases
    • Google AnalyticsAnalytics
    • IllustratorDesign
    • InVisionDesign
    • TrelloManagement

Location

Our office is in the northwest corner of Chicago's bustling Loop neighborhood, right along the Chicago Riverwalk. Entertainment is just steps away!

An Insider's view of dscout

What's something quirky about your company?

dscout hosts monthly ‘Tuesday Teas’ where a teammate leads a discussion about a topic they are passionate about. Last month an engineer led a talk on the French Revolution, and earlier a lead researcher spoke about brewing beer... It's a fun way to learn about our peers and about something we may have never thought to learn more about!

Kyli Herzberg

Lead Research Advisor

What projects are you most excited about?

dscout is full of passionate and curious people, so projects that require true cross-company collaboration are my favorite. Recently, this included a research project to inform changes around how we capture gender-identity in the participant profile of our app. This work involved almost every department, so it 
felt like a true team effort.

Jess Mons

Director, Business Intelligence

What does career growth look like on your team?

Career growth can be such a personal journey! dscout provides a clearly defined growth path for how people may progress on the team, while also supporting growth consistently by providing opportunities and responsibilities that challenge and develop each team member’s skillset in new ways.

Stefani Bachetti

Director, Studio

What unique initiatives do you have that encourage innovation?

dscout takes innovation into the way we operate. We’re transparent with information and challenges. We create goals top-down and bottom-up, giving direction on where to focus and how to succeed. We value metrics, but we aren’t beholden to them. We want you to brainstorm ideas, debate strategy and, more than anything, get inspired by our customers.

Michael Winnick

CEO

How do you collaborate with other teams in the company?

Collaboration is a core value at dscout. We openly encourage collaboration through larger company strategic initiatives down to smaller cross-functional initiatives. Whether it's formal meetings with Sales and Customer Success, or collaborating through tools like Slack or GSuite. I've always found that everyone is open to chat and share feedback.

Zoei Benzon

Marketing Manager - Events

What are dscout Perks + Benefits

Culture
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Daily stand up
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Documented equal pay policy
Diversity manifesto
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Wellness Programs
Onsite Gym
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Flexible Work Schedule
Remote Work Program
Family Medical Leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Generous PTO
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Stocked Kitchen
Some Meals Provided
Happy Hours
Recreational Clubs
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Lunch and learns
Cross functional training encouraged
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Continuing Education stipend
Time allotted for learning
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
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