Web Application Engineer and/or Back-End Architect
NovoEd, Inc. - San Francisco, CA

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NovoEd is a student-centered online learning environment that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork through techniques in human-computer interaction, algorithms, and social network design. We make online learning engaging and effective through our social learning environment (platform) and courses optimized for project-based learning (content). Based in San Francisco, CA, our small team has already built the most advanced online learning and collaboration platform, which offers both free and paid classes. Together we leverage technology to improve student learning and make a quality education scalable and accessible to everyone. Currently we are:
  • Improving college graduation rates by 100% by tackling remedial math
  • Bringing the price of a college degree within reach of millions
  • Increasing online course retention rates by more than 10x
  • Measuring learning outcomes across millions of students
  • Applying social incentives & gamification to learning at scale
The list goes on and on. We’ve already made great progress, but we need your help to do even more. We are growing rapidly and hiring across the board, with particular emphasis on front and back-end software engineers and course designers (educators).


Hundreds of thousands of students take NovoEd's courses. We are looking for full-stack or backend engineers with experience building and scaling a product. Challenges include:
  • Designing a scalable and service-oriented architecture with extensible REST APIs that can be consumed by our own platform and partner applications
  • Algorithmically form teams based on instructor-defined criteria, while accommodating special requests, language ability, and time-zones
  • Writing a recommendation engine, that can recommend classes to students based on their learning goals, studying habits, and background
  • Scaling an operational database from hundreds of thousands of users to tens of millions of users with simultaneous access
  • Building a scalable messaging and notifications system to keep students up to date on class assignments, new content, and messages from classmates
  • Ensuring a good user experience by optimizing for speed
  • Building reputation mechanisms for students that encourages class participation and quality contributions, but can’t be reverse engineered or manipulated
  • Designing and developing algorithms to make more accurate predictions about quality of textual peer feedback as well as numeric grades
  • Designing machine learning algorithms and statistical models for coaching and timely interventions
  • Protecting user privacy, ensuring data security, and maintaining FERPA and COPPA compliance
  • Analyzing and visualizing rich network of student interactions to make better team recommendations and to help design better courses
We use Ruby on Rails, Python, MySQL, Memcached, Redis, AWS, and Node.js. We don't expect you to know all of them but working knowledge of any of these is a plus.

We are looking for engineers who take pride in writing well-tested/reusable code, take initiatives and are team players.