Software Engineering Team Lead (Remote, UK/EU/CA/US)
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Overleaf is a startup and social enterprise that builds modern collaborative authoring tools for scientists — like Google Docs for Science. We have over eight million registered users from around the world and over 400,000 people use our platform each day. Our primary product is an online, real-time collaborative editor for papers, theses, technical reports and other documents written in the LaTeX markup language.
Overleaf was founded by two mathematicians who were inspired by their own experiences in academia to create a better solution for scientific collaboration and communication. Now we are a team of over fifty with around twenty developers. We were recently recognised as one of the UK’s top 100 fastest growing businesses and as the Best SaaS for Nonprofits or Education in the 2020 SaaS Awards Program.
We’re part of the Digital Science family of science, health and ed-tech companies.
Your New Role
We are looking to hire a software engineering team lead who will be responsible for line management of a group of 5-8 engineers at different levels. This role will primarily mentor, coach and motivate the team, alongside some technical work such as code review and writing technical proposals.
As a Software Engineering Team Lead and part of the engineering team at Overleaf, you will be helping to make Overleaf the go-to place for scientific writing by both inspiring your engineers to do their best work, and making your own contributions directly to the platform.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Hold regular 1:1s with your engineers
- Motivate them to do their best work
- Nurture them through their career progression and development
- Provide mentorship and coaching, pointing them at relevant training when needed
- Advocate for them during planning to ensure they get assigned to the right projects
- Provide constructive feedback and manage performance issues where necessary
- Input into the decision-making process when choosing which projects and features to work on
- Sit on hiring panels
- Take on a high-level tech-lead role for individual projects and features
Key projects on our road map this year include:
- Consolidate our two project history systems — we currently have two from our integration with ShareLaTeX in 2017, each with hundreds of TB to be consolidated
- Make our project PDF preview faster and less bandwidth-hungry — we have prototypes showing big wins that now need getting ready for production
In the longer term, we are planning projects around improved collaboration features for teams, improvements to our rich text mode to help non-LaTeX users, and more.
Overleaf is based on open-source software, and most of our product code is itself open source. You can find it on GitHub.
We run a microservices architecture, mainly in Node.js using MongoDB, PostgreSQL and Redis, running on Google Kubernetes Engine. On the front end, we mainly use React.
How We Work
Overleaf is remote-first — all staff work remotely and this is part of our values. We also have an office space in London for those that want to use it, and when the pandemic settles down we’ll again get the whole team together in London a few times a year for face-to-face time.
Our core hours for meetings are 2pm–5pm UK time; we try to schedule all team meetings during this time, including daily 10–15 minute standup calls and biweekly company update calls.
We always collect user feedback to inform our work. We have UX professionals on our team, and we run many surveys and user interviews. Our engineers work closely with the product team in product trios (PM, engineer, UX) during both discovery and delivery of new features.
Our development process is based on the “Shape Up” model, using 6-week delivery cycles and a 4-week cooldown between them. In each cycle, we have multiple delivery tracks, each with its own tech lead. Engineers move between delivery teams each cycle. We practice code review, invest in automated testing and are big fans of linting.
How We Hire
The stages in our hiring process are typically:
- We will aim to update you on the status of your application within 2 working days from when we receive it.
- We’ll follow up by email with any questions we have about your application, usually around logistics, your ambitions and your expectations about the role.
- There’ll be a 15-minute screening call with an internal recruiter to discuss what it is you’re looking for
- We’ll schedule a 30-minute call for a discussion with our Engineering Director to discuss the role and your experience, to see if they look like a good fit.
- We’ll schedule a more in-depth interview, which is typically two hours long. The first hour is discussion, and the second hour is based on a short homework assignment (max 2h outside of interview) or an exercise during the interview if you prefer. The problems are practical in nature (no fizz-buzz or reversing linked lists).
- We’ll schedule a call with a small group of engineers, so you can get a feel for who you would be working with
- We’ll make an offer. We usually interview in batches, so there may be a short delay while we interview other candidates, but we will try to keep you informed throughout the process.
If you have a deadline, please let us know in your application, and we will try to be accommodating.
We require that you:
- Have some experience with coaching engineers and/or working with them on their career development
- Have 2–3 years of experience working as a senior engineer on a SaaS-like product.
- Will work for us full time (or nearly full time)
- Are based in the US, Canada, the UK or Europe (EU member state)
- Will usually be available in our core hours, 2pm–5pm UK time
Experience with the technologies we use helps, but you don’t need to know them all; your ability to learn is much more important to us.
- Remote and flexible working.
- Salary £70k–£85k per year depending on experience.
- You would join a small, dedicated and growing team.
- We’re substantially (around 80%) open-source, so your work will often be on open source code.
- We get everyone together in London for team meetings several times a year for valuable face-to-face time (pandemic permitting).
- We’ll provide a new Mac, PC or Linux laptop, along with a stipend for other equipment.
- We provide a training budget and allocate time for training; many of our developers choose to attend relevant industry conferences or buy training materials.
- We run regular remote hackathons to keep learning and experimenting.
- We run a weekly internal seminar series with short talks from staff about their work or personal projects, new technologies and techniques.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
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