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5 Things To Know About Being a Software Engineer at ApplyBoard

In September, ApplyBoard was excited to announce we raised a C$70 Million Series C extension. Combined with the C$100M in Series C funding we closed in March 2020, this extension brings ApplyBoard’s total Series C funding to C$170M (US$130M), and ApplyBoard to ‘unicorn’ status.

With this funding, we will continue to build a better future for countless students around the world, and deliver services that break down the barriers to accessing education. ApplyBoard also plans to use these funds to fuel our rapid growth, by investing heavily in our proprietary technology, further developing our school and student services, expanding our destination markets, and serving a broader diversity of students and recruitment partners globally.

One of the business units expanding to accommodate this new growth is our Engineering and Product Teams. In order to continue the growth of our products, these teams will be adding more than 50 new roles!

In light of this exciting news and team growth, we wanted to share five things to know about working on ApplyBoard’s technical teams—directly from our employees themselves!

Video of ApplyBoard Engineering Team Members

Engineering Team Structure

ApplyBoard Technical Teams work together within functional pods to build services and capabilities for different user groups. The user groups they serve include both ApplyBoard customers, such as schools and recruitment partners, as well as our internal teams, such as Customer Experience.

 Each pod functions autonomously, focusing solely on the projects that create value for their user groups. They work directly with the end-user to seek feedback and integrate recommendations to improve their user experience. Explaining the benefits of working in these pods, one of our Software Engineering Managers shared: “Developers have the chance to not just deploy updates, but also go directly to the people who use their solutions to gather feedback, and iterate again and again.”

Pods are made up of both engineers and product professionals, who work together to ensure a seamless user experience. Each pod has individuals with different capabilities, including a Director of Development, Software Engineers (including senior, intermediate, and principal), Quality Principals, Product Managers, UX Designers, and Engineering Managers. As our team continues to grow, be sure to keep an eye on the ApplyBoard Careers page for more open roles.

While each pod has its own goals and objectives, all work aligns with overall company goals and objectives. Ultimately, these teams are building the infrastructure that allows us to continue to scale and grow and continue to support more students on our mission to educate the world.

Growth and Development Opportunities

Eli Juni, Director of Development at ApplyBoard's headshot

Eli Juni, Director of Development at ApplyBoard

As the Engineering and Product Teams at ApplyBoard scale rapidly, there are many opportunities for growth and development. There are also opportunities to collaborate and for team members to learn from each other as they work to improve their craft. Team members are able to take on new responsibilities, such as lead interviews with prospective employees, code reviews, and even take on new leadership responsibilities.  

When discussing different opportunities for development, Eli, Director of Software Development at ApplyBoard, shared that “we work with our developers to help them grow, and refine their skills. This includes sharing techniques for programming and code reviews, and helping them learn new skills and technologies that they haven’t used before. We are committed to supporting our team’s growth and helping them improve their craft.”

One of the ways that the team fosters a culture of learning and development is through weekly demos. Every week, the entire team gets together to review some of what they have been working on. Miles Tjandrawidjaja,  Software Engineering Manager at ApplyBoard shares “it is a great opportunity for the team to learn from each other, and witness the fruits of our labour.”

Melding Career Growth with Making a Societal Impact

ApplyBoard Engineers are building the world-leading platform for international student recruitment, transforming how students across the world access education. The code you write and the products you build here will touch the lives of millions of students around the world, and help them achieve their dreams. When discussing the root of our mission, ApplyBoard CEO and Co-Founder, Martin Basiri, said “One day, we hope to see that a child of a billionaire, and an underprivileged child can have access to the same education.”

Sina Meraji, Director of Software Development at ApplyBoard's headshot

Sina Meraji, Director of Software Development at ApplyBoard

The process of applying to international institutions can be long and challenging, and one that our Director of Software Development, Sina, knows well. Sina was an international student from Iran, who came to Canada to complete his PhD at McGill University. “Being an international student myself, and going through the application process, I understand how challenging it can be, ” Sina explained. “Being able to work at ApplyBoard to automate and simplify the process for future students is extremely satisfying.”

A Supportive and Collaborative team

At ApplyBoard, we are building a company and suite of products that break down the barriers to education.It’s vital that this mission resonates and matters to our team. Knajwa Cameron, Software Engineer at ApplyBoard, shared “My goal in any type of role is to better people’s lives. I was really excited when I saw ApplyBoard because it’s a different way of helping people through the first stage of education.”

Despite working within their respective pods, there is frequent crossover between Product and Engineering Teams to align on key priorities, share team updates, and learn from each other. “You are working with many different team members on the same codebase,” said Knjawa. “Communication is so important, and teams are meeting daily to address concerns and discuss issues you are facing.”

Another characteristic of our team is the willingness to leave seniority at the door. Team members at all levels are encouraged to share ideas on how we can solve problems and improve processes to better meet needs and objectives. As Sergio Moura, Software Engineer at ApplyBoard shared, “You can have a meeting with the Vice President of Engineering to share your ideas, and they will listen to you. Your opinion is heard and valued.”

ApplyBoard Staff in Office with Giant Lego Blocks

Members of the Engineering team in the ApplyBoard offices [Photo from Summer 2019]

Our Tech Environment

To help ensure that we can do our best work, ApplyBoardians have access to the best resources. We work on modern technologies, including MacBooks, and have access to modern tools to manage projects and foster communication. Some of these tools include Slack for team collaboration, Jira to manage projects, and Confluence for our Wiki. The team also uses GitHub for open-source projects. 

ApplyBoard uses agile methodologies to develop services, which have been adapted to our own needs. We also encourage test-driven development (TDD) when employing new updates. 

The main languages we work in are JavaScript, Ruby, and Python, and we use Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS for our infrastructure. We are looking for candidates who have experience in some, or all, of these technologies. 

Interested in Joining Our Team?

“At ApplyBoard, we are solving problems that matter to individuals and societies. In many cases, we are helping people do something that would be otherwise difficult, or impossible, to do,” shared Eli, Director of Development.

As we enter this time of growth, we are looking for talented engineers who want to join us and reshape how students around the world access education. In return, we will offer a supportive environment where you can improve your craft, while learning alongside knowledgeable leaders. As one of our Engineering Managers put it, “Find the best version of yourself at ApplyBoard and let us help you do that.” 

View and Apply to our Open Roles at applyboard.com/careers