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Staff Software Engineer



Software Engineering
United States
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2023

About Betterment

Betterment is a leading, technology-driven financial services company that offers investing and retirement solutions for retail investors and investment advisors as well as financial wellness solutions, including a 401(k) for small and medium-sized businesses. Our team is passionate about our mission: making people’s lives better. We’re headquartered in NYC, and offer hybrid NY-based (three days/ week in-office) and select, non-NY-based remote positions.

About the role

Our Staff Engineers are technical leaders who provide expertise in software architecture and mentorship to teams that focus on specific domains. They shape and maintain engineering standards and best practices, and lead our internal engineering communities. They are self-led and able to tackle complex technical challenges that have a significant impact on the company's strategic initiatives.

The team you are joining is transitioning to Operations Software (OpsSoft). Through automation and product deployment, their objective is to improve the operational efficiency of internal teams (such as Support, Operations, Engineering) and to enhance risk and fraud controls across Betterment's business. They build and maintain application features, reusable libraries, and cli tools, primarily in Ruby on Rails, so having or quickly developing high competency with those technologies within three months is required.

Joining this team will require leadership, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and an ability to influence without authority.

This role is based out of our NYC office. Below we've reflected the base salary range we would offer for this position. Actual salaries may vary depending on factors including but not limited to location, experience, and performance. The range listed is just one component of Betterment’s total compensation package for employees.

  • New York City: $175,000 - $205,000

We offer a competitive equity package, health, dental and vision benefits, life and AD&D, short-term and long-term disability insurance, EAP, commuter and parking benefits FSA/HSA, and 401(k) with employer match as well as a flexible PTO policy. This job may also be eligible for variable compensation in the form of a company incentive bonus.

A day in the life

The following example is intended to provide a general sense of what an average day in the life of a Staff Engineer. This example is not meant to be prescriptive since daily routines can vary greatly.

  • Review notifications and greet colleagues in Slack, then check emails and messages across various platforms (e.g., google, confluence, datadog, sentry, asana, github, etc.)
  • Attend a working group sync on improving on-call procedures, and volunteer to analyze the source code to determine the cause of on-call incidents
  • Pair program with an engineer on extending the lock and suspension engine you designed, asking open-ended questions to guide them towards a better solution
  • Take a break to read, write, chat, review code, or grab a cup of coffee before your next meeting
  • Partner with your director to help drive innovation and focus for the organization
  • Code, read, write, chat, pr reviews, zoom
  • Conduct a Systems Design interview for a candidate and provide feedback to the Hiring Manager
  • Attend a Post Mortem and volunteer to take an action item to query logs in Sentry and Datadog from the previous week to help prevent future outages
  • Meet with your manager to review the roadmap, discuss upcoming projects, and provide feedback on the pair programming session you had earlier with a\n engineer on the team.

What we’re looking for

Staff Engineers are expected to be technical leaders. While they don’t manage people directly, they spend a significant amount of their time leading teams and projects.

They should have experience in coordinating across teams, leading projects, mentoring and delegating responsibility to junior and senior engineers, making significant technical decisions, and driving technical strategy.

Successful candidates will have the following:

  • 5+ years leadership experience within an engineering team, having served in a tech lead, managerial role, or both
  • 7+ years of full-stack web development experience (Rails, Spring, Node, Django, React, Angular, etc.)
  • High emotional intelligence, dedication to ongoing leadership development, and proven experience implementing and adhering to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) principles
  • A history of successfully managing complex projects that involve multiple teams, departments, or stakeholders to deliver a large-scale project
  • An ability to delegate, provide guidance, knowledge, and feedback to engineers to help them develop new skills, achieve their goals, and grow as leaders
  • An ability to take calculated risks and think outside the box in pursuit of innovative ideas, new technologies (e.g., ML/AI, chatbots), and approaches to problem-solving
  • An ability to participate in leadership meetings that refine and execute on the vision and strategy of a 50 person engineering organization
  • An ability to make difficult prioritization decisions, while still ensuring that the software is thoroughly tested and meets our quality standards
  • Experience using tests, monitors, alerts, dashboards, and split tests to ensure software meets high standards for quality, reliability, and accuracy
  • Experience with Agile methodologies (e.g., Kanban, Scrum, Scrumban) and leading team ceremonies
  • Comfort communicating work or interests by writing technical articles, educational materials, or presenting at town halls or meetups

What being at Betterment means for you

We change lives

Join a community of innovators working to transform financial outcomes for real people. Your work will make an impact, always laddering up to our mission: making people's lives better.

We set audacious goals

We set them for the company, our customers, and ourselves—and we won’t stop until we reach them. We don’t just show up; we give our all, then celebrate our wins.

We value all perspectives

When we collaborate, we're at our best. We believe diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes and strive to uphold our supportive and inclusive community.

We invest in you with:

  • A competitive suite of benefits, including: medical, dental, and vision insurance; life and AD&D insurance; STD and LTD benefits, including infertility support and World Professional Association for Transgender Health approved benefits; and generous parental leave.
  • Flexible paid time off (and encouragement to use it!)
  • Meaningful opportunity for community building through our 6 Employee Resource Groups
  • Empowerment to own and lead change and affect the business
  • Dedicated professional development opportunities
  • Complimentary financial advice from our team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™️
  • Lunch from our in-house chef three days a week at our NYC headquarters

What happens next

We’ll take a few weeks to review all applications. If we’d like to spend more time with you, we’ll reach out to arrange next steps, which will include 3-4 sets of meetings with your future colleagues.

In the interview process, we’ll look to learn more about your skills, experiences, capabilities, and motivators. Many of our questions will be aimed at understanding how you might operate here at Betterment. Depending on the role, we may ask you to complete a case study exercise or technical assessments, as we want to collect a robust set of data points to better inform our decisions.

On average, it takes us around 3-5 weeks to make a hiring decision, depending on your availability and sense of urgency. As a best practice, we aim to interview at least 2-3 final round candidates before making a hiring decision. Please note that, as we usually receive an overwhelming number of applications for open positions, we’re unable to offer individual feedback during the interview process.

We recognize that interviewing for a new role is a big deal. We appreciate you considering Betterment as the next step in your career, and our Recruiting Team is here to support and advocate for you through the interview process!

Please note that Betterment is dedicated to providing accommodations to candidates upon request. If you need accommodations at any point throughout the interview process, please reach out to your recruiter.

Come join us!

We’re an equal opportunity employer and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws. We strictly prohibit and do not tolerate discrimination against employees, applicants, or any other covered persons because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, predisposing genetic characteristic, domestic violence victim status, arrest records, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law.

CPRA Language - CA Applicants ONLY

For jobs based out of our NYC HQ, we require in office attendance Tuesday through Thursday, weekly.