Senior Backend Engineer at Speak (W17)
An AI English tutor that is the best way to become conversationally fluent in English.
San Francisco, CA / Remote
3+ years
About Speak

Speak is an AI English tutor on your phone that is the best way to become conversationally fluent in English.

About the role
Skills: Node.js, TypeScript, PostgreSQL

About Speak

Our mission at Speak is to teach the next billion people how to speak English.

We believe that speech recognition and machine learning will transform how people learn English. We're building this future now: software that can understand what a student is saying, give them immediate feedback, and guide them towards fluency, all on their phone.

Currently, over 1 billion people around the globe are trying to learn English to build a better life. Unfortunately, almost nobody learning English gets to fluency because doing so is expensive, arduous, often embarrassing, and requires human tutoring at hourly rates. We believe that by using AI and technology to replace much of the human involvement in the English learning process, we'll be able to help hundreds of millions of people gain fluency in English who otherwise wouldn't be able to learn.

Speak quickly became the fastest growing language learning app in our first market, South Korea, due to our novel speaking-centric approach. Now we're launching globally! We recently raised an oversubscribed $15m Series A from some of the top investors in Silicon Valley, including Y Combinator, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Sam Altman, Justin Mateen and others. We're a team of 20, spread out across SF, Seoul, and Remote.

About you

  • You have 5+ years of experience as a backend engineer
  • You're very experienced in your favorite programming language, and have built some projects with TypeScript
  • You've built many web projects in NodeJS
  • You're got deep experience with some sort of SQL database, bonus if it's PostgreSQL
  • You've got some experience with devops
  • You appreciate balancing doing things the "right way" while also moving as quickly as possible
  • You're an excellent communicator and enjoy collaborating with people across all functions

What you'll do

  • Architect and build out a major new part of the Speak experience
  • Help architect and maintain our API service for our iOS and Android clients
  • Work with the rest of the engineering team to develop best practices as we scale the engineering org
  • Help scale our subscription and payments infrastructure
  • Be involved in all high level architecture decisions

Technologies we use

  • NodeJS for our backend
  • Typescript
  • Postgres
  • React (for front-end)
  • Google Cloud

Why work at Speak?

  1. Join a fantastic, tight-knit team at the right time: we're growing super quickly, we just raised our Series A from some of the top investors in the valley, and we've achieved product-market fit. You'd join at a magical time when a single person could significantly change the course of the company.
  2. Do your best work: we care deeply about our craft. We want every engineer at Speak to feel like they're pushing themselves to be better every day.
  3. Full ownership: you'll have full ownership over your work at Speak. Pick the projects you think will have the highest impact.
  4. Global in nature: We're live in South Korea and launching Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish soon. Talk to users in each of these regions on a regular basis with plenty of opportunity to travel.
  5. Impact people's lives in a major way: In the age of the internet, being able to speak English is a truly life-changing skill that opens up the world — in fact for most people, it's more valuable than an entire university education. Speak is the first way to truly gain conversational fluency without needing to move to an English speaking country or spend tons of time and money on tutors.

How to apply

Please message us on Bookface to get in touch -- or shoot Connor an email!


iOS/Swift Android

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