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Lead Software Engineer

Engineering | Remote | Full Time | From $180,000.00 to $220,000.00 per year

Job Description

About Us:

Our company teaches kids to read. Today, 67% of students and 82% of low-income students can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade. That’s when you are supposed to go from learning to read to reading to learn. It’s America’s number one education crisis and we know how to fix it. We teach kids to read by providing 15 minutes a day of 1:1 virtual reading instruction. We focus on the reading fundamentals (letters, phonics, and sight words) kids need to master so they can decode a sentence. Our program accelerates reading progress 2.4x and we are disrupting how schools think about reading instruction.

We launched our first school implementation in the fall of 2021. Sixteen months later, we will have grown our number of schools and students 35x.

We are a mission-driven public benefit corporation. We believe we can do well for our team members and shareholders while we solve one of the nation’s biggest challenges. We believe we will be more successful with a diverse team and are seeking candidates who have lived experience related to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Weuse technology to enable the delivery of our virtual tutoring services, maximize the learning of our students, and accelerate our ability to scale. To this end, our engineering team is focused on four key technology needs:

  • A tutoring logistics platform, which enables us to schedule, conduct and report on our tutoring sessions.
  • A tutor workflow platform, that lets tutors know exactly what to teach each student every day.
  • An extended learning application, which enables students to practice what they learn in their tutoring sessions after they return to the classroom or go home at night.
  • An AI/ML implementation, that will enable us to ensure lesson fidelity as we scale.

Reporting to the VP of Engineering, the Lead Software Engineer is responsible for leading an agile, cross-functional team to deliver software in support of scaling Ignite to serve at least 100,000 students in the next 5 years. This is a hands-on leadership role, you’ll be splitting your time between managing the team, setting technical direction, and writing code. Please pay attention to the requirements in BOLD. Having NO lead or manager experience will disqualify you.


  • Lead and manage a team of software engineers, providing technical guidance, mentorship, and support in their professional growth.
  • Assume the Scrum Master role for an agile scrum team working in 1-week sprint cycles.
  • Partner with the tutoring, academic, and operations teams to create and deliver solutions that meet the needs of internal and external customers.
  • Take ownership of software development projects, ensuring adherence to best practices, coding standards, and quality assurance procedures.
  • Design, develop, test, and deploy software applications, APIs, and backend systems, ensuring optimal performance, security, and maintainability.
  • Champion continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices to streamline development workflows and enhance deployment processes.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest software development trends, tools, and technologies, and incorporate relevant innovations into the company's projects.
  • Identify and resolve technical challenges, bugs, and performance bottlenecks through effective troubleshooting and debugging techniques.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to contribute to architectural decisions, system design, and technology evaluations.
  • Foster a collaborative and positive work environment that encourages creativity, innovation, and knowledge sharing among team members.


  • Proven experience (7+ years) FTE in software development with a strong background in designing and building complex web applications or software systems at a product company
  • Previous experience in a leadership role, managing and guiding a team of software engineers
  • In-depth understanding of modern web development technologies, OOP languages, and relational databases. Our first product has been built using Ruby on Rails 7, React JS, and Postgres all deployed to Heroku. Candidates with experience in a similar web tech stack (Python/Django, JavaScript/Node, Java/Spring, etc.) are encouraged to apply.
  • Deep understanding of software development methodologies, design patterns, and best practices.
  • Familiarity with DevOps practices, CI/CD pipelines, and containerization technologies (e.g., Docker, Kubernetes) is a strong advantage
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related field
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional organizational, project management, and time management skills
  • Experience at early-stage startups is a plus
  • Ability to be self-managing and flexible while working in a remote environment
  • Ability to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done while balancing long-term projects with the urgency of immediate demands in a fast-paced start-up environment.

In addition: you will need to excel in the coding and system design aspects of the interview process. Visa transfers are NOT available at this time. Please only apply if you are already approved to work in the US and don't require sponsorship.


At Ignite Reading, we believe in building and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace environment. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer where all applicants are considered for employment without attention to color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We are seeking candidates who have lived experience related to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are a virtual organization with headquarters in the California Bay Area. We offer competitive compensation, equity, and generous benefits packages.