Scribd: Software Engineer at Scribd

Posted by | October 17, 2011 | Web Pro Job Tips


Location: San Francisco, Ca


The Job
You’ve read about the challenges of scaling Rails, and doing it successfully requires a lot of infrastructure behind the scenes. Scribd has built the #2 largest Rails site on the web (by traffic), and we’d love for you to help us take it to the next level.
Some of the interesting components we’ve written are: our own search engine library to search the largest single text corpus on the internet; a fuzzy text-matching system that can identify similar blocks of text; an API that’s depended on by thousands of businesses; and a document conversion system that runs on a dynamically scalable grid of over 1,000 Amazon EC2 nodes.
Scribd has a flat engineering structure that gives individuals a great deal of responsibility. Scribd consists of a small, but mighty, engineering team, so you will be involved in many stages of developing the product you are working on.
About Scribd
Scribd is a YCombinator startup based in San Francisco. Our vision is to build the future of publishing, and we’re already one of the top 100 sites on the web with over 90 million monthly visitors. We’ve won lots of awards and raised 20M along the way, but the journey is only 1% finished, and we’re looking for talented technologists of all kinds to take Scribd to the next level.
There is a lot of deep technology operating behind the scenes at Scribd. We have scaled the world’s second largest ruby on rails site, invented the first HTML5 document reader, and done original work on textual analysis. Scribd is a very engineering-driven company: as an engineer here you will have a lot of responsibility to choose the projects you work on and to define the way they get built. And because we have a large userbase and deploy new code daily, your work will likely be used by millions of people on your first week. 
Scribd has a unique company culture that combines a laid-back atmosphere (we have company go-karts and an office zipline) with a total focus on doing great engineering – the best way to experience it is really to read through our jobs page and watch our infamous go-kart racing video. For more info on our technology, check out our tech blog and this article about our break-through HTML5 technology
Recently we launched our first mobile application, called Float, for web and iOS. Float is more than just an app, though; it is a digital reading service that aims to bring all of your favorite reading sources into one platform. We’re combining news articles, blog posts, books, and more into one integrated reading experience that works across all devices. For more info, check out some of the great coverage we’ve had about Float, or try it out yourself at
The Ideal Profile
We are looking for someone with a strong engineering background who enjoys building high quality products used by millions. You’ll be programming mostly in Ruby on Rails, so experience in that environment is ideal. An understanding of the Web 2.0 ecosystem and strong personal initiative are essential.
Strong web development. Conceptualize, architect, implement, and QA new functionality for Scribd. Work creatively to solve challenging problems. Desire to learn new technologies.
Experience developing applications for the web
Strong SQL knowledge
Open source contributions
Analytical problem solving skills
1+ years of professional experience as a software engineer (internships included)
Computer Science degree or equivalent experience
Understanding of scalability, systems engineering, and algorithms
This is a full-time role in San Francisco CA.
If you don’t live in the SF Bay Area, see our page about benefits and relocation for more info about moving out here.
Resumes for engineering roles are reviewed directly by a senior member of our engineering team within 24 hours. If you’re not sure which engineering role to apply for, just make your best guess. All communication is held confidential.

To apply: Please send your cover letter and resume with the subject "Your name — Software Engineer — via 37signals" to

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