Principal Backend Engineer
Productboard is a B2B software company with a simple mission: to help businesses across the world build better, more customer-centric products.
When we started in 2014, our focus was to help Product Managers in smaller teams who lacked access to a great product management tool. Today, we are the leading product management platform, helping product management team in large companies with thousands of employees build better products. Today, our target customer needs are more complex, serving multiple personas across Engineering and Product Management.
We are making a huge architectural shift in terms of how we scale our product.. This is where you come in. To meet the ever-growing demands of the enterprise market, we’re getting ready to redesign our backend, moving all the business logic from the client to the server.
The aim is to make the Productboard platform more scalable and improve the overall experience for our customers — from performance and flexibility to permissions.
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges that this initiative presents.
When one launches Productboard in its current state, all the customer data is fetched into the browser. This includes all the features and insights. All the compute-heavy operations, such as data filtering and aggregations happen in the web browser, at the edge of the end-user's computer.
You will help us take the business logic that is currently contained in the frontend client side of the application and move it to the backend, improving the initial load time and the overall application performance. This shift will ensure the data being sent to the browser is the bare minimum needed to render the screen and serve the particular use case being run
As you can imagine, this a massive architectural shift in terms of how we build our product, and involves redesigning the back-end to make it more scalable, while providing our customers with data on demand.
We’re aiming to get to a place where customers can build custom workflows that match their product development life cycles and ways of working.
We want to make sure our data model is flexible enough to allow customers to define their own hierarchy, define the relationships between entities, and easily slice and dice the data.
Our enterprise customers tend to have complex organizational structures and policies — and it's critical that our permissions system is able to meet their needs. Setting up the appropriate permissions allows product teams to collaborate while maintaining control over their most important or sensitive data.
We need to have a system that will allow customers to define custom roles and restrict permissions on all entities, giving them access to only the data they are entitled to see.
It’s no small task, but for those looking for an exciting and complex tech initiative with a real-world impact, here’s your chance. We won’t be fundamentally changing our tech stack — we’ll be sticking with TypeScript and React.js on the frontend and Kotlin on the backend. But you’ll have a big say in how we shape our architecture for the next eight to ten years.
About the role
As our new Principal Engineer, you’ll be joining our Architecture Group led by Ahmed Hamdy. The Architecture Group is a diverse team of experienced individual contributors, combining long-time Productboarders and newcomers with valuable experience in other fields.
Together, the Group’s mission is to enable alignment, consistency, and durability in Productboard's technology infrastructure, with a focus on scalability, security, innovation, and quality.
As a core member of this team, you will:
- Directly influence what our architecture will look like months or years from now
- Drive technical investment and innovation — and ensure that leadership, support, and expertise are available on major technical initiatives
- Help decide which technical initiatives make it to our roadmap — and explain to key stakeholders why we are pursuing certain initiatives or directions over others
- Work closely with cross-functional teams to understand how architectural decisions impact product and design, ensuring that the experiences we’re trying to create fundamentally fit the architecture we’re trying to build
- Curate our Engineering Guidelines, which determine how we build our software, what our strategic engineering initiatives roadmap looks like, and the principles that guide engineers in their day-to-day activities and strategic decision-making
- Help shape our Architecture Group Charter and Rules of Engagement, which determine which aspects of engineering require official sign-off from the Architecture Group — for example, we sign-off anything that goes against our Engineering Guidelines, or any engineering initiative involving significant or multi-quarter investment
- Communicate the side effects of proposed decisions with key stakeholders, making necessary trade-offs where possible, and negotiating with teams to find a compromise that works for all
- Hold weekly office hours to enable technical discussion and encourage engineers to raise topics or share concerns that aren’t necessarily isolated to their own team or pillar
Our Tech Stack:
- Frontend: TypeScript, React.js
- Backend: TypeScript/Node.js, Ruby, Kotlin, Kafka
- Storage: Postgres, Elastic, Redis
- Data Pipeline: Python, Keboola, Looker, Snowflake
- Infrastructure: AWS, Kubernetes, Terraform
- You have 10+ years of experience in services, product development, or infrastructure. The ideal candidate has significant software-as-a-product, web scale delivery, database, distributed architecture, and software engineering experience.
- A strong mentor to junior staff, with the ability to lead and teach others to ensure technical alignment.
- You have a deep understanding of the fundamentals required to build highly available and scalable services.
- You understand – and can articulate and lead conversations on – the benefits and associated trade-offs between asynchronous and synchronous processing, various methods for sharding and segmenting services, and how to foresee, plan for, and prevent scaling bottlenecks.
- You have a solid financial acumen – you should understand the cost trade-offs of various technology decisions.
- You can demonstrate a solid understanding of cloud technologies and strategies to scale SaaS products, with a focus on reducing operational costs and time to market.
- You can articulate the value of virtualization technologies, big data systems, cloud platforms, and enabling services.
- Experience using iterative development fundamentals, including experience with SCRUM, Agile or other iterative approaches.
- Demonstrable experience building, evolving, maintaining, and operating high-volume SaaS products
- Strong communication skills - explaining technical investments to a non-tech audience should be expected
You can look forward to the following benefits:
💰 Stock options
💻 MacBook + 34″ monitor
📚 Budget for online courses, books, and conferences
🏝 5 weeks of vacation + sick days
❤️ 1 Volunteer Day per year for you to help causes close to your heart
🍲 Free snacks, drinks, yummy catered lunches every day in the office
💚 Shared Headspace account for mindfulness & mental health
🏋 MultiSport card to access sports facilities
🍹 Team events, such as happy hours, off-sites, and retreats
🍀 Mental Wellness Program to support your well-being and self-care
⏱ Flexible working hours and home office
🧒🏻 Parental benefits
🎓 Language lessons
Productboard is a customer-centric product management platform that helps organizations get the right products to market, faster. More than 5,400 companies, including Microsoft, Zoom, 1-800-Contacts, and UiPath, use Productboard to understand what users need, prioritize what to build next, and rally everyone around their roadmap.
With offices in San Francisco, Vancouver, Dublin, Brno and Prague, Productboard is backed by leading investors like Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Credo Ventures.
In January 2022, we closed our $125M Series D round, which put us into the Unicorn category of companies, with a valuation of $1.7B.
- Join at the golden startup age — established stability of a Unicorn with space for individual impact
- You’ll enjoy an exciting team atmosphere, building a whole new category of software
- You can help change the way that products are built all over the world
- We iterate quickly and decisions are fast. You’ll have a voice in what we do and see the impact of your work
- We are backed by top Silicon Valley investors, giving us access to capital, networks, mentors, and new markets
- We are recognized as one of the hottest tech startups on the market today, named by Forbes magazine and Business Insider as one of the best startup employers to bet your career on and are regularly recognized for our company culture
About our culture
Imagine working in a place where everything matters — most importantly, you. At Productboard, values aren’t just something we like to talk about, they’re something we live and breathe. We believe in creating a work environment where:
- People feel empowered, supported, and included
- Trust and transparency are built into the way we work
- Creativity, curiosity, and continuous improvement are encouraged and nurtured every day
Forming our company values was a group effort, with every employee allowed to contribute. From profit-sharing initiatives, like stock options, to open calendars and communication, we don’t waste time on politics or ego. We champion openness by sharing our goals, success, and failures.
Join colleagues who love what they do and who are invested in their work environment and the future of the company. Help shape our company, culture, and product!
Equal Opportunity Employer Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and champion equity. It is our aim to help people from all backgrounds, cultures, and groups realize their full potential at Productboard. We do not tolerate any discrimination or harassment based upon gender identity, race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other biascovered by appropriate law. All aspects of employment, including hiring, training, promotion, and terminations, are based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We are committed to an inclusive hiring process and provide all candidates with equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. Togetherness is one of our core values, and our Diversity Council helps to ensure that we uphold the values of authenticity, humanity, and diversity to create an environment where every person matters. We are committed to leading by example to drive societal change.