Engineering Manager - Reader Team at Substack (W18)
A place for independent writing.
San Francisco, California
Full-time
3+ years
About Substack

Substack lets writers connect with their audience on their own terms and earn money doing it. We make it simple for writers to publish to an email list that they own, get discovered on the web, and charge for subscriptions.

More than 500,000 people pay to subscribe to writers across the Substack network, and the top writers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Substack’s model depends on the success of writers using Substack – we only make money when they do.

We're a team of writers and builders from Kik, Instagram, and some of the worlds top publications. Our investors include Y Combinator, founders of Twitch and Zynga, and most recently Andreessen Horowitz.

About the role

Substack lets writers connect with their audience on their own terms and earn money doing it. We make it simple for writers to publish to an email list that they own, get discovered on the web, and charge for subscriptions.

More than 500,000 people pay to subscribe to writers across the Substack network, and the top writers make millions of dollars a year. Substack’s model depends on the success of writers using Substack – we only make money when they do.

“Substack makes it dead simple to start a newsletter and get paid for it.” – Judd Legum, author of Popular Information

"Substack gives me a way to connect with my audience on my own terms.” – Lyz Lenz, author of God Land and Men Yell At Me

Make something that matters

Great writing is valuable. It respects readers' time, their intelligence, and their trust. It helps us make sense of and change the culture we live in. At Substack, we're building a business model that enables great writing to thrive. Learn more about our opportunity and mission.

We are a small but growing team, and there is more to build than we could ever imagine. That’s why we need you. We believe that engineering is in service to the community of writers and readers on Substack: we’re successful when they’re successful.

We aim to take pragmatic approaches to problem solving while shipping high-quality products that allow the writing on Substack to take the spotlight.

Every person at the company participates in customer support. We do this to build empathy with our users and enable us to build better products.

We believe that a diverse team will help us build a product that best serves the needs of a wildly diverse ecosystem of writers. So whatever your background or perspective, we’d welcome your input to help build the best possible version of Substack.

As the manager for the Reader team, you will be charged with shaping next-generation experiences for readers and communities on Substack. You will be supporting a team of full-stack web and mobile engineers who are passionate about making Substack’s reading experiences the best they can be. You’ll be partnering closely with PM, design, and data scientist counterparts to craft a vision of how Substack’s platform can evolve to support new styles of network interactions, online communities, and positive discourse. Please note this position is based in San Francisco, CA.

Responsibilities

  • Own the Reader-facing features of Substack including web/mobile reader-facing UIs and reader community features
  • Lead and grow an engineering team with diverse backgrounds and skills
  • Collaborate with engineering and product teams alongside other stakeholders to define a vision of what the Reader team can become
  • Work directly with customers to solve their problems. The entire company (CEO included) participates in customer support in order to drive empathy for our users and help us build better products
  • Partner with product and engineering leaders across the organization on team-wide initiatives and strategy
  • Collaborate with Substack’s recruiting team to hire and retain great engineers
  • We work with JavaScript, especially Node/Express and React, and Postgres. It’s helpful if you know these technologies already, if not, we’ll be excited to help you learn

Requirements

  • At least 3+ years of software engineering management experience
  • Passion for recruiting and building healthy, diverse teams
  • Expertise and experience managing web systems at scale
  • Independent and autonomous. We’re too small to micromanage, and expect that every person at the company owns their work and can be a leader
  • Hold yourself and others to a high standard when working on production systems
  • Take pride in building elegant and delightful product experiences
  • Substack works best when it gets out of the way so writers can focus on writing and connecting with their readers.
  • Enjoy collaboration with a diverse group of thinkers while bringing our own unique experience and background to the team
  • Believe in Substack’s mission to build a better business model for writing

Substack is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. We're seeking people passionate about enabling independent expression and building a better business model for creators. If you want to see what media, communities, and content can become when unmoored from advertising models, and you have the skills and experience to contribute, we'd love to meet you.

Technology

We use Node, Express, and Postgres on top of Heroku. React for frontend, Stripe for payments.

We keep our tech stack simple and effective to maximize the how much impact each engineer can have. That way, we can focus on solving the problems that matter for our users - great writers and avid readers.

Two of our three founders are technical, and we're looking for folks to work along side us, shipping things that touch thousands of writers and millions of readers.

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