Job opportunities in the Octopus Ventures portfolio

Octopus Ventures
Octopus Ventures

Senior Backend Engineer



Software Engineering
London, UK
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2023

About Zapnito

Founded in 2013, Zapnito is a rapidly-growing, UK-based SaaS community platform built to showcase expertise. Innovative media companies, professional services firms, events businesses and other knowledge providers use the Zapnito platform to promote thought leadership, increase revenue, and build engagement and trust with their audiences. Customers include world-leading scientific publisher, Springer Nature, international associations like the OECD and B2B business leaders like Informa and RepTrak.

Zapnito is an enterprise grade knowledge sharing and community SaaS platform. It was built to connect trusted brands to their people. We help organisations at the intersection of intelligence and community to harness collective intelligence and build lasting connections.

Why work at Zapnito?

2022 will mark a rapid growth phase for Zapnito, offering an opportunity for you to work to your full potential and develop strategic and leadership skills as the company grows. At Zapnito we work in a fun environment, with hugely talented individuals.

The Role

Zapnito are looking for a talented, driven and ambitious Senior Software Engineer to join our growing backend team. We are growing fast and need help to expand our expert community platform which includes content authoring, real time video, chat communication features, online learning and peer to peer networking tools.

The role is to be primarily focused on backend development to further build and extend our suite of APIs and work on a variety of integrations with other platforms, as well as take hands on responsibility for further developing platform-wide features such as search, analytics, platform reliability, security and performance. There’s a variety of interesting tasks ranging from Ruby memory optimisation, refactoring and simplifications, BigQuery integration and GraphQL modernisation.

The role is very much a customer facing role, and as such requires excellent communication skills. Experience as freelance engineer or agency project work with client facing responsibilities is highly desirable.

Reporting into the CTO, you will work closely with Product and Customer Success to ensure that our existing and new product features meet both our roadmap requirements as well as customer demands. Squash bugs, improve features and roll out brand new features. Come join us to help ship Zapnito’s vision for the best community platform.

Experience & Skills

  • 5 or more professional years experience with Ruby on Rails, ideally for a SaaS product or platform
  • Experience with writing automated tests (e.g. Rspec, Minitest, etc).
  • Experience using Git in a professional/workplace environment
  • Experience with REST API design and API version management
  • Experience with background processing (Sidekiq) and performance monitoring (NewRelic).
  • Experience in one or more customer facing technical roles, ideally with large corporate customers
  • A solid understanding in core web and browser concepts (e.g. how the browser parses and constructs a web page)
  • A solid understanding of core database fundamentals (Postgresql/Redis) and networking concepts (SSL termination, HTTP2)
  • Expertise in API security measures and best practices, ability to write secure and vulnerability free code
  • Proficiency in the English language, both written and verbal, sufficient for success in a remote and largely asynchronous work environment
  • Demonstrated capacity to clearly and concisely communicate about complex technical, architectural, and/or organisational problems and propose thorough iterative solutions
  • Experience with performance and optimisation problems and a demonstrated ability to both diagnose and prevent these problems
  • GraphQL and Devops experience would be desirable

Key areas of focus

  • Develop features and improvements to the platform in a secure, well-tested, and performant way
  • Work with Product Management and other stakeholders (Frontend, UX, etc.) to iterate on new features
  • Extend the existing API suite both with new APIs and rolling out improvements to existing APIs
  • Craft code that meets our internal standards for style, maintainability, and best practices for a high-scale web environment. Maintain and advocate for these standards through code review.
  • Consistently ship small features and improvements with minimal guidance and support from other team members. Collaborate with the team on larger projects
  • Help identify areas of improvements in the code base and help contribute to make it better
  • Learn, collaborate, and teach other Backend Engineers. Everyone can contribute something new to the team regardless of how long they’ve been in the industry
  • Fix prioritised issues from the issue tracker. These are typically bugs listed in a Github issue with an attached severity and priority label
  • Advocate for improvements to product quality, security, and performance that have particular impact across your team
  • Solve technical problems of high scope and complexity
  • Exert influence on the overall vision and long-range goals of the frontend team. This could be technical and/or product focused
  • Experience with performance and optimisation problems, particularly at large scale, and a demonstrated ability to diagnose and prevent these problems
  • Help define and improve our internal standards for style, maintainability, and best practices for a high-scale web environment. Maintain and advocate for these standards through code review
  • Provide mentorship for Junior and Intermediate Engineers in your section to help them grow in their technical responsibilities and remove blockers
  • Consistently ship moderately sized features and improvements with minimal guidance and support from other team members. Collaborate with the team on larger projects
  • Be available for on-call duty out of normal UK business hours on a rota basis, which is a shared responsibility across the entire backend engineering team
  • Build relationships with key customer representatives,, both technical and non-technical
  • Work with customers to scope, estimate, cost and deliver custom development work primarily where 3rd party application integration is required
  • Work closely with the Zapnito Solutions team where pre-sales technical questions arise regarding the scope, possibilities and limitations of 3rd party system integrations.
  • Work closely with the Zapnito Customer Support teams with troubleshooting and bug fixing where appropriate
  • Work closely with the Customer Success teams facilitate successful new client onboarding when technical advice is needed

Traits and behaviours

  • Good communication skills, both written and oral
  • Excellent team and relationship building abilities, with both internal and external parties (engineers, business stakeholders, partners, etc.)
  • Ability to work well under pressure, multitask, and maintain keen attention to detail
  • Natural tendency to be positive, creative, and curious
  • Team player who enjoys collaborating with others
  • Genuine empathy toward customers and commitment to diving into the weeds on their challenges
  • Strong leadership skills, including ability to influence cross-functional teams via diplomacy and tact
  • Passionate dedication to your craft and desire to work with people who inspire you on a daily basis
  • Excellence at collaborative problem solving whilst remaining sensitive and aware of customer needs and objectives
  • An open character, transparent, reliable, involved.
  • A semi-autonomous way of working - diligently taking on the whole spirit of the work and working within the boundaries of the scope whilst delivering on the vision
  • Ability to thrive in a remote organisation

What we offer

  • Competitive salary
  • Fully remote - commutable into London is ideal, but no essential
  • Share option package
  • 25 days' holiday (plus bank holidays)
  • 5 days paid Family & Charity time leave
  • A fun environment, in which you will work with hugely talented individuals
  • Pension scheme
  • Leading Maternity & Paternity leave