Help Scout

PHP Engineer at Help Scout

Boston, Remote · Full Time
Help Scout is a remote team with employees in eleven countries (eight people in the Boston office). We optimize for excellence over geography and overcome remote challenges through transparency, trust, chat and video conferencing. Read More

Job Description

PHP is at the heart of Help Scout’s web app. It touches everything, and also powers our back-end administration app. Your work will empower over 7,000 businesses around the world to provide great customer service, and will support other senior engineers on your team.

Tools We Use

Backbone.js, Marionette.js, and React.js
Java (APIs)
MySQL and MongoDB

The engineering team currently has twenty-five people, nine of whom work on the PHP and JS powering the Help Scout web app. On a typical day you may help a customer with an issue, work on a new feature, update a third party integration or create back-end tools to support our growth team. On any given project, you will be communicating with internal APIs, integrating with 3rd party services, optimizing processes using Redis and RabbitMQ, and wrapping it all up in support of a Backbone/Marionette (and sometimes React) front end.

Our engineering teams work in two-week iterations, communicate mostly via Slack and are committed to remote, agile development. When you are ready, you’ll create and send a pull request with test cases and tag your team for review (often over a video and screen-sharing session). We are investing heavily in continuous integration and delivery so your development branch can be easily tested on environments that closely match production. You’ll work autonomously for the most part and we trust you to get work done when/where you can be productive.

Your team performs engineering support when a question can’t be answered by our in-house support team and passes triage. We’ll get you up-to-speed with engineering support so you can help our customers and improve the product along the way.

Every 10 weeks, two PHP engineers from the team will work exclusively on either growth projects or support tool engineering. When you are on the growth rotation, you will work closely with the design team on internal tools or integrations, improvements to the onboarding process or other features aimed at customer growth. When you are on the support tool rotation you will work closely with the support team to improve their efficiency through tool building, automation and helping customers with our APIs.

About You

You are very experienced with modern PHP development practices and open source frameworks. You’ve worked on these sorts of projects at scale and feel confident solving complex problems.

You have created Backbone (or a similar framework) single page applications before and can write JavaScript from scratch to implement a feature. Marionette and/or React experience is a bonus, but not required. We can help you pick it up.

Your code is not only reliable and performant for customers, but can be read, maintained and understood easily by other engineers on your team. You can also speak and write in terms that non-geeks understand. Clear communication is super important in a remote culture like ours.

You believe in writing unit and integration tests and have at least tried TDD. You like owning the quality of the code you write — QA doesn’t mean throwing it over the wall for someone else to test. You understand that some things are too costly to automate and must be manually tested to get it right.

You believe remote teams are the future of work, or are at least excited about the idea. You have experience working with remote teams or can adjust your work/management style to be remote-friendly.


Help Scout is a remote team with employees in eleven countries (eight people in the Boston office). We optimize for excellence over geography and overcome remote challenges through transparency, trust, chat and video conferencing.
We’re a customer-driven company and always will be. Everything follows the customer experience, no exceptions.

Our company is growing quickly and has aspirations of helping millions of people around the world. Accomplishing our goals will present countless challenges and require you to excel in every aspect of the position. It’s hard work, but the people we’re looking for love exploring and solving hard problems.

This is not the typical startup “rocket ship”. We’ll never compromise customers or the experience in favor of growth. Our purpose is to build a profitable company that small businesses love and sustain it. We optimize your career at Help Scout for the long term as well, so keeping a healthy work/life balance is an important priority.

We value diversity at Help Scout and welcome all applicants regardless of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, marital status, parental status, or caregiver status.

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What We're Building

A help desk for teams that insist on a delightful customer experience

Add testimonials, product launches, and photos that highlight your company

Other Positions


Denny Swindle
Co-founder and CTO of @Help Scout where we build software that makes people smile.
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Have Questions? Ask Us Anything

How many people are you hiring in the next year?
We've had an aggressive hiring year, going from 14 to 36 so far in 2015. We'll end the year with around 40 people and plan on taking a breath after that. Plans could change, but we aren't planning to hire more than 10-15 people next year. We don't add people unless there's a clear need. I wrote more about how we think of headcount in this article-
Nick Francis
Co-founder, CEO at Help Scout since 2011
What makes Help Scout a unique place to work at?
I think our values make Help Scout a pretty unique place. Most importantly, our commitment to remote culture and our passion for quality stick out. Growth isn't the most important thing to us, building a product people love is. Since 75% of our team is remote, everyone has a lot of trust and ownership in what we're building. Everyone is an A-player, we aren't able to hire junior-level folks or interns due to the way we work. That's a pretty special environment for people that want to be great at their craft.
Nick Francis
Co-founder, CEO at Help Scout since 2011
What is your office environment like?
Only 25% of our team (about 10 people) work in the office since we're a remote culture. It's very quiet, most communication takes place in Slack or via videoconference with our remote teammates. The one exception is lunch with everyone daily in the office. Remote folks are welcome to come to Boston and work for a while when they want. The office itself is in downtown Boston, is full of natural light and stand-up desks for everyone (which we also purchase for remote folks). We like it. :-)
Nick Francis
Co-founder, CEO at Help Scout since 2011

Our Investors

Dave Balter
CEO, Mylestoned, Venture Partner @Boston Seed Capital - Head of Transactions @Pluralsight; @Smarterer CEO > sale; @BzzAgent CEO > sale; Head of Inv. @dunnhumby;
Steve Reaser
Co-founder Scratch Labs, former co-founder Funding Launchpad,  @webassign. Product guy, Startup geek, passionate about UX. Mechanical Engineer, Cornell.
Michael Dornbrook
Active angel investor, board member of Common Angels. Retired fall 2010 after 13 years at @Harmonix Music Systems (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central). COO.
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