Ruby API/Worker/Backend Engineer (also Java, C++, more) For Holacracy-Powered 16-Person All-Remote SaaS Company
Hi! We’re Action Verb.
We build two Infrastructure-as-a-Service Platforms that empower organizations worldwide.
Our products include BrickFTP, a hosted file sharing service for business, and Vae Platform, a unique web hosting platform with an integrated CMS system.
Our company consists of 16 (but growing to 19 by the end of the year) full time USA-based staff, as well as sales and support outposts in France, Germany, and Latin America.
Our infrastructure platforms are used by over 2,000 enterprises and SMBs, including Mozilla, Canonical, UPS, DirecTV, GoPro, Marriott, and more.
Our Success Strategy
We’ve been able to achieve the rare combination of high double-digit annual growth and industry leading profitability.
We do it by aggressively recruiting the absolute best and brightest people and structuring our company in a way that makes them want to work here forever.
It’s easy to say, but exceptionally hard to execute. Here’s how we do it.
We Practice Holacracy
We are one of the early adopters of Holacracy, a new style of running an organization in a self-organizing manner that draws inspiration from agile software development and lean manufacturing processes.
Rather than hiring people for exactly one job description, we instead look to find well rounded team members with skills in software engineering, design, marketing, sales, and our other needs who are interested in filling multiple roles within the organization.
As a self-organizing team, our people have multiple roles and our role descriptions are regularly updated via small iterations. As their interests change and our needs change, the roles people fill change dynamically over time.
“Most startups believe in iteration of their products. Now they need to apply the same thinking to their organizations.”
– Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder & CTO
Holacracy is not unstructured: you’ll have a clear understanding of your current roles and responsibilities, as well as a set of rules and processes for changing those roles and responsibilities in real time.
Even though Holacracy is a lot to learn, we have a great onboarding process and the rest of our team will guide you through your first few months. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a weeklong official Holacracy training event at our expense.
We also practice Open Book Management, meaning that we share the exact details of our Balance Sheet and P&L Statement with our entire team in real-time, ensuring that our staff has the data they need to treat the business as if it were their own.
Our team members work from home and choose their own hours, allowing them to make time for family, recreation, vacations, or anything that is important to them.
Every full-time team member gets 10 company-wide holidays per year as well as 20 paid time off days intended to be used for vacations. Go have fun. Don’t work all the time.
Our team members also work hard, are constantly learning, and accomplish a ton for the company in the time that they are working.
Our team spends at least 12 days together face-to-face per year at four to six in-person meetings spread out through the year and hosted all over the country. We try to do these meetings in cities that are fun to visit. In the last few years, we’ve been to Austin, Orlando, Minneapolis, San Diego, Las Vegas, New York City, Detroit, and Fort Lauderdale.
We are looking for candidates who bring the following skills to the table:
- Programming experience in several programming languages. We are particularly interested in Ruby, C++, and Java.
- Strong Computer Science background and understanding of algorithms and data structures.
- Complete understanding of how to write secure code and an awareness of common web application security vulnerabilities.
- Appreciation for testing and the ability to write specs and unit tests
- History developing and supporting actual applications that have seen production usage with a large userbase.
Most of our best applicants have Computer Science (or similar) degrees from a well-regarded university. Our best applicants also tend to have at least 3-5 years experience in a position with direct responsibility for developing and supporting large production applications.
Our Core Beliefs
We believe that everyone in the company should have programming skills. Our customers are primarily engineers, and in order to relate to them and support our products at the highest possible level, we should all be engineers too.
We believe that the best Engineers tend to be polyglots with a wide variety of programming language experience. We don’t hire for specific programming language skills, but rather look for engineers who are fluent in several programming languages. We want our staff to be adaptable and ready to evolve to what’s next.
With that said, our most immediate need is in Ruby. Java and C++ are also used here.
We believe that allowing and supporting 100% remote work gives us access to great people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire. We tend to hire folks who are later in their careers, which means they usually have their family established somewhere. By offering remote work, we can hire the best people, no matter where they’re located.
We believe that the best way we can acquire top talent is by being an amazing place to work. Work from home, travel with the team, and surround yourself with top tier people at Action Verb. Read about everything we’ve done to make working at Action Verb great.
We believe that building great infrastructure and platform products requires a great internal infrastructure. We have Continuous Integration, a full staging environment, and considerable test coverage. We built our own application deployment system. We self-manage our server environment on Amazon Web Services and custom hardware.
We believe that engineers should support what they build. We expect our teammates to take responsibilty for the engineering decisions they make. If there are performance problems in production, nobody should have to chase anyone down. All engineers participate in a 24/7 on-call rotation and all engineers speak to customers.
We believe that open-source only works if companies give back. If you work on any open-source projects during the course of your work at Action Verb, you are encouraged to submit your improvements as a pull request back to the upstream project. And if you build something from scratch while working here that’s generic and not related to our core products, we want you to release that on GitHub too. We’ll also pay your travel costs to any conference where you can get a speaking gig.
We believe in building products that we actually use ourselves. We are our own toughest critics and we put all of our products through their paces every day.
Salary and Pay
As you might expect from a company that is so open, we also post our salary information right here in the job post. We will pay you $100,000 in your first year, plus a great benefits package, and a $2,500 signing bonus to purchase a new computer.
After your first year with Action Verb, we will update your salary based on the value that you have been able to demonstrate for the company. We continue to update salary levels every year. It is possible to reach a pay level of double the starting salary if you come in and absolutely crush it.
We fully pay for your health insurance (based on a model plan; exact plan details depend on your state of residence), and we’ll pick up the tab for 50% of your spouse or family if they wish to also join the healthcare plan. We want your family to be healthy.
We recognize that other companies may offer higher initial salary offers or signing bonuses, but at Action Verb, we know that for our ideal candidate, the exact level of pay is just one criteria by which they choose where to work. Our goal is to offer the greatest work environment possible and pay people well enough to make it possible for them to join the team. Come learn our way of working, take on as many roles as you can, and establish yourself as a valuable asset to us. Then after your first year, we’ll re-evaluate your salary and make sure it’s more than fair, given the value you’ve been able to generate for the company.
Plus, you can join Action Verb Risk Free because of our $7,500 Quitting Bonus Within Your First 90 Days.
We get it. Holacracy is new. Working remote is hard. We love these things about our culture, but you might not be sure if you do. Or maybe you just don’t trust us that we really do embody the Core Beliefs on this webpage. To our prospects who may be on the fence about joining Action Verb, we want to make one more offer to push you over the edge and convince you to join us.
If you don’t like working at Action Verb for any reason, quit within the first 90 days and receive a $7,500 quitting bonus. That should be enough to keep you and your family afloat while you decide on your next path. We hope that you won’t take us up on the offer, but we want you to feel good knowing that it’s there.
Ready To Apply?
Working here isn’t for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, please apply.
We only read cover letters in our first screening round, so make sure yours counts. The following are topics we’d like to see addressed in your cover letter:
- Why does this opportunity specifically appeal to you?
- How well do you align with Our Core Beliefs? Is there anything you would add or change?
- Why would working remotely for Action Verb change your life for the better?
- Are you familiar with Holacracy? Any questions or concerns?
- What’s lacking in your current work arrangement that we could improve?
- What are your philosophies on software development?
- What does writing great software look like?
We look forward to reading your letter!