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Braven, Inc

Full Stack Software Engineer

– Chicago, Illinois
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level

Position based in Chicago, IL, Newark, NJ or New York, NY (relocation expenses negotiable)

Braven’s mission:

In America, we’ve promised that hard work and ambition will be met with equality of opportunity. The reality is that we have a quiet crisis on our hands. Despite 1.2 million low-income or first-generation students enrolling in college each year, only one in four will attain a strong first job or enroll in graduate school upon graduating. In partnership with universities and employers, we believe Braven is a solution and we are on a mission to scale it, equalizing access to the American Dream.

We are looking for people passionate about ensuring all young people can put their education to work at this unique moment in time for our organization:

  • In 5 short years, we have grown from 14 students in a pilot on one campus to a community of 1,200 strong across three sites.

  • To date, 69% of Braven’s Fellows have landed a strong job or quality outcome within 6 months of graduation, as compared with the average of 54% for all students nationally.  Braven Fellows outpace their peers in internship attainment, non-cognitive skill growth, and college persistence.

  • Over the next 3 years, Braven will serve a total of 6,000 new Fellows across our existing three sites, innovate on our core model, and expand to new sites across the country.

The role:

Braven is seeking a Software Engineer to join us in delivering interactive and engaging online/mobile learning experiences, streamlined internal tools and services to support the execution of learning experiences, and solutions to help our students get strong first jobs. We believe that small, empowered, and self-motivated teams can do big things by focusing on the user experience and iterating towards great experiences that have a real impact on students’ lives. We want students using our platform to feel empowered, connected, and engaged. To accomplish this, we aggressively prioritize which projects we work on, aiming to provide the most value in the simplest way possible and we constantly iterate to improve our services as we see what works and what doesn’t. We’re agile (with a little “a”), flexible, and we like to have fun!

You will play a crucial role in our mission by helping transform the software engineering team from a small, scrappy group of supergenerlists to a well-oiled machine where roles are more clearly defined, processes are optimized for quick deployment, systems are architected for ease of scale and maintenance, and the data infrastructure provides necessary and accurate information enabling the entire organization to focus on what really matters in service of reaching the outcomes we seek. Braven is entering an exciting growth phase and we need to get our processes and systems in a more robust state in addition to continuing to innovate and improve our services. Until now, the biggest risk for us was building the wrong thing but that is shifting to be that we build the thing wrong or more accurately that we build it in a way that is hard to maintain and scale. Projects you’ll work on include new product development, enhancements to existing products, centralizing and normalizing our data from a variety of systems, designing and implementing processes to enable faster deployment and more proactive, easier troubleshooting, etc.

To be successful at Braven, on the Tech Team, and in this role, you must demonstrate Braven’s core values, be comfortable with ambiguity and constant evolution, and welcome constant feedback and learning. We are a team that likes each other both in and outside of “work”! Do you have a strong bias to action and enjoy making the complex simple all while driving and owning all aspects of your projects from conception to completion?  Come join us in shaping the next generation of leaders!


What You’ll Do:

  • Work primarily with a Ruby/Apache/Postgres stack, but also occasionally dive into others like Wordpress

  • Use knowledge of software engineering best practices to transform our processes, systems, and code to be more robust and maintainable

  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of TDD and automated testing, showing good judgement in what to write tests for.

  • Balance complex requirements and goals with pragmatism (YAGNI, DRY, KISS, etc)

  • Demonstrate a mastery of computer science fundamentals and design patterns (OOP, SOLID, data structures, MVC, REST, etc)

  • Own your projects and drive all aspects of it

  • Keep the end-user front and center in everything you do - elegant code is great, but a delightful user experience is better

Experience and Skills:

  • 5+ years of software engineering experience

  • Expert at Ruby on Rails

  • Experience on teams that provide software solutions at scale

  • Experience with agile project management

  • Comfort and experience collaborating closely with product managers, designers, and quality assurance analysts providing estimates or product ideas to influence the roadmap

  • Have a mentality where you leave it better than you found it, be unafraid to refactor and improve code you didn’t write

  • Be forward looking, writing reliable code that you or others can easily comprehend and modify 6+ months down the road

  • You’re autonomous and self-driven

  • Empathy is something you demonstrate and value

More about Braven:

The Braven Accelerator empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation, meaningful careers, and lives of impact. Alongside educational institutions, Braven provides a scalable model to discover, develop, and connect extraordinary, diverse, and driven young people to high-quality skill building, opportunities, and networks. From the Accelerator will come a generation of leaders as diverse as our future demands.

Braven currently operates in Newark, New Jersey, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area. We aim to become the nation’s leading accelerator of diverse talent, putting 100,000 emerging leaders on the pathway to college completion and economic mobility. Our work is highly data and outcomes driven: college graduation; workforce readiness skills-based proficiency; employment in a high impact role within six months of graduation.

We as an organization value the longevity of our employees and offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits plan. The salary for this position is also competitive and depends on your prior work experience. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

Braven is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor.  We encourage talented individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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