Remote lead engineer at small profitable impact startup€40k – €60k • % – 1.5%
Hello there 👋
Thanks for being interested in Deedmob!
I'm David, one of the founders of Deedmob & CTO and who will be reviewing your application if you choose to apply 🙂 . Let's get it straight out of the way: you would be Engineer #3 in a team of 6. Below you'll find detailed sections on what we think you should know about us before deciding to join us. Feel to skip to whichever sections interest you! I've added ##########s to help you skip down.
########## 🧳 The story of Deedmob so far ##########
My cofounder Boudewijn and I started Deedmob 4 years ago in Amsterdam to help connect young people with purpose in their careers, and help solve large social problems in the process. We set out to build a platform that would help charities engage our generation with flexible, impactful and enjoyable volunteering opportunities.
We've taken lots of twists and turns along the way, we've learned a bunch and helped thousands of organizations spur volunteers into action. We have a small and effective team and believe in working smarter, not harder. We've discovered it's incredible how much a small team of focused and capable individuals can accomplish through effective teamwork and communication. We don't have many meetings, and our most of our work happens asynchronously (written) on Asana. Everyone is included and can see every discussion or decision they want to contribute to.
Sometimes working at startups can be stressful and you can be expected to work unpaid overtime or on the weekends. That is not the case here at deedmob. You have the choice to work 4 days a week and work rarely extends beyond working hours.
During the coronavirus crisis we shifted our work onto creating coronahelpers, a multi country volunteering initiative which helped thousands of at risk or ill people receive critical goods such as medicine and groceries. Our work resulted in mentions of deedmob and coronahelpers in dutch parliament, a conversation with the dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and the dutch queen Maxima. We were also honoured this year on Forbes' 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs list alongside Greta Thunberg.
We are growing steadily and in the past we have raised money from venture capital investors. We are now focused on growing a stable, impactful and profitable social enterprise without additional external investment.
########## 🤝 The product ##########
We have a stable customer base of large companies like TomTom, Red Bull and H&M which use our software for corporate volunteering. The same product is also used by charities and local governments to engage people to volunteer. Our business model is SaaS (Software as a service) which means we charge customers per month to use our hosted solution. Our customers include Sanquin, the national dutch blood bank, large companies and local governments like Utrecht. Charities can use our platform to find volunteers for free, which is what you can see at deedmob.com.
Our paid product allows organizations to create their own website with an inbuilt CRM, analytics and administrative data views into the platform. You can learn more about it at deedmobtools.com. Our product is one product with options to configure theme, pages and other settings per customer.
We try to be pragmatic about product management and we've learned our fair share. We were once a feature factory (See https://cutle.fish/blog/12-signs-youre-working-in-a-feature-factory) but have learned our lesson since. We have a set of standard components we use to make interfaces and don't use a product designer for interface work, instead relying on our premade systems and the strengths of interface intuition of our team. A great resource for developing this skill is Refactoring UI (https://refactoringui.com/). This lets us get stuff done faster and with fewer people who need to understand the problem and solution. This comes with tradeoffs, and sometimes we do spend a longer time thinking about a particular problem from a product design perspective.
########## 💻 What kind of technical work do we have upcoming? ##########
- 30% Making small adjustments to features or interface to make our product clearer or solve the customer's problems better, based on their feedback. Often it's little product changes that can add lots of value to customers. This often involves learning more about the customer's problem and clarifying their feedback with the product manager in order to come up with the best and simplest solution.
- 20% Working on a new larger feature based on a customer problem we see across customers that is the biggest pain point. An example of such work on our roadmap is a file manager for the different files uploaded by an organisation in our tool.
- 20% Fixing bugs. We have automated integration tests but sometimes there are visual issues or uncovered parts of the codebase where something goes wrong. We don't support IE or most annoying older browsers that would otherwise cause time consuming bugs.
- 20% Adding a feature required for the launch of a new customer. This is almost always something that will also be useful for our existing customer base, but would have been a dealbreaker for this customer.
- 10% DevOps/Deployments/Tech debt elimination
########## 🚀 About the role starts here ##########
We think an ideal candidate would
- have the ability to ship solid code in React and Node (and Typescript, but you can learn that on the job)
- understand how web apps work and have a basic understanding of deployments, browsers, servers etc.
- acknowledge the challenges working in teams and believe that empathetic and effective communication is important
- have an attitude of humbleness towards technology and the risks of creating problems from trying to solve problems too early (such as scaling, performance)
- have a preference towards the simplest solution rather than the most technically interesting or most theoretically correct one
- have pragmatism in being able to make decisions with incomplete information, and knowing when it's best to ask for clarification
- be good personal time management skills
- be good english communication skills
- be able to help contribute to UI decisions for new features
- have an attitude of learning and growth
- be experienced with the challenges of remote work
- have a feeling of responsibility for upholding product stability and quality
- be empathetic and develop an understanding of our customer's problems
After the first 6 months we expect you to
- have made one great engineering hire and effectively onboarded them into our work
- have shipped tasks making product roadmap progress and added value to customers
- have upheld current technical stability and uptime
- be communicating effectively in the team
- be leading engineering decisions
########## 👾 About the codebase starts here ##########
We started work on deedmob in 2016 with React + Redux + Node + REST + Postgres + Bookshelf (ORM) and server side rendering. In 2019 we converted the entire codebase to Typescript as well as React functional components and hooks. In early 2020 we also added GraphQL for some endpoints and decided to progressively migrate to the ORM Objection which uses the same query builder as Bookshelf (knex.js).
Here are some points about how we do things currently
- We use cloudflare for SSL certificates for our customers.
- We deploy to google cloud via Kubernetes & using cloud build so that one command can release a new version of the codebase.
- We use github for git hosting.
- We have a test server & a staging server to test things out.
- We release approximately once every one to two weeks without a fixed schedule
- We use ant design for UI components in addition to our own components.
- We have automated integration tests in cypress for all important product flows.
- We share lots of types and files between the frontend and the backend, as its all typescript!
########## 🏝 About remote work at deedmob ##########
We have experimented with a couple days remote for the last couple of years but more recently during the coronavirus crisis we gave up our beautiful office in Amsterdam in favour of full remote work. Our entire team is located in the Netherlands but that will likely soon change as some of us travel or move.
We have regular retreats to bring the team together in an epic location, and have had great times travelling together to Marrakech Morocco, Albufeira Portugal and Lisbon.
The role is remote but we are currently open to candidates within 2 hours of our timezone (CET) in order to reduce any possible issues with meeting times and occasional synchronous collaboration.
We have daily standups in morning and work without a specific methodology (like agile) currently as we have tried it and found it's not useful at our small team size.
########## 😀 About the people of deedmob ##########
Boudewijn Wijnands (CEO): A closer of deals. A fan of disney and dogs. Can always be bribed with chocolate or cake. https://www.linkedin.com/in/boudewijnwijnands/
David Furlong (CTO): It feels weird to write about myself here in the third person. I'm interested in habits, personal development and product engineering. I try to live intentionally through a vegan diet and donating money via the ideas of effective altruism. I love puppies, playing football and cooking. https://twitter.com/davidvfurlong
Tycho Onnasch: An optimizer of things. Has a list of all of his possessions in Notion. Wears the same outfit almost every day. https://twitter.com/TychoOnnasch
Hendrik-Jan Overmeer: A drummer, golfer and big fan of cuban cigars. Our resident adult as the oldest team member 🧔. Also called "the Puppet Master" for the strength of his network. https://www.linkedin.com/in/hendrik-jan-overmeer-ab957a6/
Gerbrand Holland: Great writer. Recently started as a part time working student.
########## 🎁 Perks ##########
Here are some of the perks of the job
- Impactful, purpose driven work (for instance our software has activated 20,000 new blood donors in the last 2 years)
- Computer setup of your choice
- Option for 4 days a week
- Responsibility & the accompanying freedom and learning
- Work from home (or from a co-working space)
- Regular team retreats to sunny and fun locations
- Core contribution into what we work on and how we solve a problem
- Volunteering time off work
- Low amount of time spent in meetings
- Yearly budget for learning and development
- Financial stability of the company (job security)
- Low stress environment (low frequency of urgent issues or work)
- Sizable equity compensation
- Market rate salary compensation
We think it's an incredible and rare opportunity for the right person. However we also know that there are great engineers like you that would be unhappy and not thrive in this role.
In the interest of transparency and avoiding a mismatch, we think you should consider these reasons not to join us.
- There are fewer senior people to learn from and ask questions to than at a bigger company. Learning and career development is important to us but it will largely have to be self motivated and with external mentors or on the internet. We want to help you achieve your personal goals and will support you financially and structurally to achieve them.
- We're growing, but the company is not growing in value or team size as fast as hyper funded startups. If you're hoping to get rich quick by joining a startup very early we would recommend choosing somewhere else.
- If you need structure and someone to tell you what to work on, you will probably struggle with the autonomy and freedom you will have at Deedmob. A bigger company is probably a better choice.
- If you want to work on a new project every couple of weeks, it's probably not a good fit. While the work is varied and changes, lots of the work is making improvements to our core product which some people don't like doing as much. That's fine. We know that building something great takes time and many of the greatest breakthroughs are small changes based on deep insights. We share less exciting work equally and try to reduce it by investing in changes or automating things. That being said, if you're easily bored and want constant new technical challenges it may not be the best role for you. Many of our challenges are product and technical challenges, so someone interested in being involved heavily in adding value to our customers through gaining a deeper problem understanding will thrive.
- You should not join us if you want to work 60 hour weeks. We've been there when we started out. We firmly believe it's not about how hard you work, but how good your decisions are about what to work on and how. Some people really like working all day. We'd rather finish at 5 and spend time with our families or significant others.
- If you think more features and complex technology is the best way to solve all problems, we probably have a different philosophy and it won't be a good fit. Technology is great and we strive to make great, pragmatic decisions but we see it as a means to solve customer problems. For us the most valuable work at the moment is usually creating great and often simple solutions learned from a deep product understanding rather than improving performance.
- There's lots of code in our codebase that other people have written, and while there are docs, comments and we have eliminated technical debt on a rolling basis, understanding other's people code can be time consuming and not feel productive. We understand working on a new codebase can be more fun and more varied, and if that's very important to you, you probably shouldn't join us. We expect it will take you some time to learn how things work and we will support you in that process, but if in the past you find yourself wanting to work on something new and novel after 6 months we would recommend you to look for somewhere else.
########## ⏬ TLDR; ##########
We're an awesome small team who have work-life balance and a purpose driven product. You should really read more about us above if you're serious about joining us.