Y Combinator

Not your average fixed point combinator.

Product Engineer, Work at a Startup

San Francisco, CA
Job Type
3+ years
About Y Combinator

Y Combinator has a small ~6 person team that makes the software that runs YC. Hardly any investors write software, but YC was started by programmers so it's natural for us to solve our problems that way. We believe our software is a key competitive advantage and we are investing aggressively in new software products.

YC has ambitious plans to create more innovation in the world, and the only way to reach that level of impact is to scale through software. What we’ve built so far is probably only 10% of what we will eventually need.

For an example of something we’ve worked on, check out Work at a Startup or this technical blog post You can read about the daily life at YC, the people on our team, and how we work together on our Key Values page.

As a member of the software team, you'll get full access to the YC program, just like founders do. You'll learn the ins and outs of how YC works, and you'll get to follow and learn from hundreds of companies. You'll meet some of the most successful people in the startup world and get exposed to the best startup ideas. And of course, if you ever want to start your own company, you’ll learn a lot about that from working at YC.

About the role

Skills: JavaScript, React, SCSS, TypeScript, Ruby on Rails, SQL, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

About the role

Y Combinator runs workatastartup.com, a free-to-use hiring platform for YC founders to meet and hire great early employees. What started as a lean MVP two years ago has matured into a suite of sourcing and networking tools that founders and job seekers absolutely love. We’ve helped land key hires across hundreds of YC startups -- from founding engineers to VPs of product and operations -- and we’re now looking to bring on a Product Engineer to help us scale our impact even more.

You’ll be working directly with two former YC founders/engineers (from Box, Twitter & Lyft), and a small software team full of kind people who are eager to help you get up-to-speed. You’ll be relied upon not only to help us tackle our hefty roadmap, but to also explore how YC can leverage its unique structural advantages to help our founders hire great people even faster.

In this role, you will:

  • Design and build out new features in entirety, across both the full candidate experience (signup to start date) as well as founder-facing tools for recruiting, messaging, event management and much more
  • Scope and prioritize items on the Work at a Startup roadmap alongside YC partners and others on the YC software team
  • Analyze usage and engagement from both founders & job seekers to understand what’s working/not working, and make things continuously better

What are we looking for

YC was started by hackers, so we recognize good hackers when we see them. Much like when we read applications for startups, we're looking to work with people who generally impress us. If you've written some impressive software before, whether for yourself or a company, that's the best qualifier we have.

This is a good job for someone who is excited about startups and interested in learning more about them. You’ve likely worked at or started a startup, or want to do so in the future.

The software team has a lot of individual responsibility and access to sensitive information, so we need to hire people we can trust. Your ability to make good trade-offs and exercise good judgement is particularly important to us.

Location & benefits

YC is headquartered in downtown SF. We’re currently working remotely with an eye to return back to the office (in some form or another) end of 2021. When the time comes, we can help you move here, but we’re not currently looking for people who are remote-only.

We’re proud to offer a set of benefits that few companies of our size can. In addition to top quality healthcare benefits, offerings include: 401k matching, generous parental leave, commuter benefits, catered lunch, and a flexible vacation policy. We also offer highly competitive compensation, including equity in YC.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at Y Combinator. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


The YC internal software is mostly written in Ruby on Rails and React. It runs on AWS and PostgreSQL. Previous experience developing web apps will be helpful, but we don't care if you've used React or Rails specifically.

Note: Hacker News is written in Lisp, but Hacker News is run by a separate team.

Other jobs at Y Combinator

Product Engineer, Work at a Startup
San Francisco, CA
Full Stack
3+ years