Link Emperor: Senior Ruby Programmer Lead

Posted by | November 1, 2011 | Web Pro Job Tips

Location: Anywhere


Link Emperor is looking to hire full-time Ruby
developers to work on our flagship SEO software-as-a-service platform.
This is a full-time, work-from-home, choose-your-own-hours

Link Emperor’s Story
Link Emperor sells a subscription-based software-as-a-service
product for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Our software is used by hundreds of SEO agencies, internal
SEO departments, individual online marketers and more.  We do keyword/niche research, rank
checking, on-page optimization, and more. 
Additionally, our software serves as a conduit for our customers to
purchase the link building services of other SEO firms (our vendor partners).
Our software has been in development for over a year, and
has been available to the public since August of this year.
Even though we’re new, we’re making real waves in the SEO
community.  The reason is simple –
Link Emperor actually works for SEO. 
Our customers consistently tell us that our methods do
improve their rankings, traffic, and bottom line revenues.
We strongly believe that our future depends on our ability
to continue to generate great results for our customers.  And everything we do is 100%
automated.  That’s why we’re
committed to continuously developing our product at a rapid pace by building a
world-class development team.
This is where you
come in.
We’re looking for exceptional Ruby developers who are well-versed
in building highly complex web and backend applications to join as senior
development leads. 
We’re built on Rails 3, and use DataMapper, Resque, Haml,
Sass, jQuery, Memcached, and Git. 
We host everything on an internally managed server stack on Amazon EC2
and Amazon RDS.
We also have some very important backend apps written in C,
a marketing website powered by WordPress, and client libraries for our API in a
number of languages.  We are also considering
Hadoop and other things like it for some of our big data processing.
We use Mac OS and vim for development, but you’re free to use
whatever you’d like.  We run Linux
(Ubuntu) on our servers.
We do not pair program or follow a particular development
methodology.  We do write tests for
important stuff, but we don’t obsess over them.  We’re more interested in continuous innovation than careful
A lot of the work we do is heavily related to SEO.  We aren’t trying to “reverse engineer
the Google algorithm,” per se, but we do spend a lot of time figuring out what
will help our clients get the rankings that they want.
We also obsess over our interface.  While the results are what keep a customer, the beauty and
simplicity of the interface are what get them hooked in the first place. 
So those are the two areas you’d mainly be working on.  To get a better feel for the specifics,
here are some of the things that we did on the development side last month:
  1. Wrote a search engine rank checker in C that is
    able to check 1,000s of ranks per minute.
  2. Developed a web crawler in C for verifying the
    existence of links on various lander URLs and rapidly categorizing those links
    based on context, attributes, etc.
  3. Developed a technique for finding freely
    available proxy servers and then checking their availability and response
  4. Developed an “Efficiency Score” algorithm that
    ranks different link building providers by timeliness, correctness, and price.
  5. Integrated cookie-based tracking from our
    promotional offers, marketing website, and application to help us track our
    marketing efforts.
  6. Rewrote the entire interface to use jquery-PJAX.
  7. Built custom extensions for Resque and
    DataMapper to support our backend processing workflow.
  8. Designed a dynamic pre-calculation system to
    automatically cache all aggregate values that we display in our interface so
    customers get their data quickly.
  9. Improved our API to provide our partners more
    flexibility with how they integrate to our systems.
That’s just some of the stuff we did in October.  It’s a lot, and we’ve got a lot more to
Who are we looking
We’re looking for someone who can bring the following things
to the table:
  • Solid Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Javascript skills
  • C skills strongly preferred
  • Preference for jQuery, Haml and Sass
  • Interest in or experience with SEO preferred
  • Ability to prioritize and make decisions without
    needing to be micromanaged
  • Truly interested in giving our customers a great
    experience and able to write to customers directly in the event that a support
    ticket gets assigned to you (but you will not be asked to perform level 1 tech
We want someone who can always use the right tool for the
task.  If something in the future
calls for something like Hadoop, we want someone who’s going to be able to put
that together.  If you like
something that we aren’t using (CoffeeScript, for example), we want you to make
the case for it and convince us.
We also want you to be good ambassadors to the Ruby and
open-source communities as a whole. 
If you work on any open-source projects during the course of
your work at Link Emperor, we encourage you to get your changes incorporated
into the official project.  Or if
you build something from scratch while working here that’s generic and not
related to our core mission of SEO, we want you to release that on GitHub too.
We’ll also pay your travel costs to any Ruby conference
where you can get a speaking gig.
What makes this
opportunity unique?
A really awesome
  The co-founder of the
company is also the development lead and comes from a strong programming
background.  Kevin graduated Cum
Laude in Computer Science from Harvard and been using Rails since version 1.0.  We are always skeptical of tech
companies that don’t have tech founders, and we would never ask you to join
unless we knew that you would enjoy working with us.
Work from home.  There’s nothing we hate more than
commuting.  So, we don’t have an
office and would definitely like to avoid having one for as long as
possible.  If you have a family at
home, move between locations, or even live abroad, this is a great opportunity
to do all your work from home and stop wasting all that time on commuting.   It’s like getting 2 free hours added back to your day.
Choose your own hours.
As long as you’re available to work at least 5 days a week and a total of 40
hours during the week, you can shuffle around your work schedule as you see
fit.  Work 2 hours, then run and
take the kids to lunch, come back and work another 3 hours, and then put in
another 3 hours before bed.  We
work highly variable hours so we’ll be able to sync up no matter when you work.
Free travel.  Because we’re a distributed team that
all work from home, we go out of our way bring the team together in person a
couple times a year.  We speak at a
number of SEO-related industry conferences (think PubCon, AdTech, Affiliate
Summit, etc.) and at various Internet Marketing meetups, summits, and training
sessions.  When it makes sense, and
when we can, we’d like to bring you along.
We use these as an opportunity to get the team together to
relax, work, brainstorm, and party with our customers and each other.  We’ll also ask you to be part of our
booth staff at some of the various conferences where we exhibit.
We’ll also bring the whole programming team to RailsConf and
maybe another Ruby conference every year. 
Furthermore, we’ll cover your expenses for any Ruby-related conference
where you can get a speaking gig.
Some of these trips will be in conjunction with the programming
and marketing teams from our other companies, so you’ll get to meet the
“extended family” as well.
Stability.  Link Emperor is bootstrapped,
profitable, adequately capitalized, and debt-free.  We are committed to continuously improving our customer
experience and believe that the product will never be “finished.”  By the end of November, we expect to
have a full time staff of 4-5 people, including the two founders, which is
pretty good for a bootstrapped company that’s only been around for about 3
Mentorship and
  Co-founders Kevin
and Bobby also run a popular Business and Marketing podcast called Gangster
Profit ( Working for us means you can be a part of how
we make business decisions and formulate strategy.  We also promise to take all of your input seriously, meaning
you’ll have a real ability to shape the future of the business.  And you’ll be one of the lead
developers, which means you’ll get to shape the product too.
Also, we’re pretty well connected in the Internet Marketing
community, so you’ll get to meet some pretty big names in Internet Marketing
just by hanging out with us.
And of course, you’ll learn a ton about SEO!  While we’d like to keep you forever if
you’re good, if you do part ways from us, you’ll be able to take what you’ve
learned about SEO to your next gig. 
(And trust us, mastering SEO was the single biggest business move we
ever made.)
Ok, I’m sold!
If you’re excited about building awesome SEO tools while enjoying the perks of a work-from-home job at a great company, please submit yourself for consideration.  We offer highly competitive pay and the most flexible hours anywhere.
Our application form asks for a resume and cover letter as well as links to your contributions on Github, Stack Overflow, and elsewhere on the web.  We are much more interested in seeing your practical experience than your official resume.

To apply: To apply, go here:

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