Back-End Engineer

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Back-End Engineer
SlangIT, WritingFreelanceRemoteRemote
We’re looking for talented individuals interested in joining a new and growing global company. At Slang, you’ll be an early team member of a well-funded startup spun out from MIT. We’re building a world-class team to revolutionize language learning with cutting-edge technology and beautiful design.
What we’re working on at Slang
Slang started at MIT as a research project on using AI and NLP to make learning a new language as efficient as possible. Our technology powers a highly adaptive e-learning platform that offers an unprecedented variety of specialized English courses and proficiency tests for career development in over fifty fields like Sales, Finance, Logistics, Medicine, and Law. With just a small team, we’ve already created the largest professional English offering in the world. Now, we’re scaling up to release 1,000 more courses over the next three years.
Learn more about our unique approach at We’d love to field any questions you have about our product and vision!
What this role is about
In this role, you’ll be involved in both product development and company strategy and execution — you’ll own the research, design, and development of the back ends of new features and you’ll help us refine our product roadmap. We have tens of thousands of active users and many subproblems in language learning to tackle.
Our codebase is built with best practices in mind and our product is designed with proper user and developer experience at the forefront of development. The work we’re facing encompasses interesting infrastructural hurdles and data-heavy modeling and algorithmic tasks.
Some of our technology comes from the open-source community, so be prepared to contribute back!

Some interesting problems we’re tackling

    • How can we determine what parts of a language a user already knows from a small sample of test exercises? How should we decide which parts of a language a user should learn next?
    • How should we architect our database to support the growing number of activities our users submit every week (currently at more than a million per week)?
    • How can we aggregate and communicate the learning statistics of a company’s employees for display to their managers?
    • How can we analyze and leverage the massive amount of learner and content data we have to improve our learners’ experience?

Skills and technologies

    • Two or more years of experience in modern back-end web development, including…
    • … Experience with modern web API stacks and related technologies, with a preference for Ruby on Rails experience.
    • … Experience with database technologies, data structures, and related optimization. We currently deal with large amounts of data in PostgreSQL and Redis.
    • A strong desire to maintain a clean, reliable, maintainable, and efficient codebase.
    • Excellent discipline and focus, especially in autonomous environments, and strong English communication skills. We’re a small team and we’re moving quick!
    • A plus: interest or experience with computational linguistics, natural-language processing (NLP), language-learning, speech recognition, data science, or machine learning.
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