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Senior Backend Engineer

Wonderbly|London, England, United Kingdom
23 days ago

Wonderbly is a unique, award winning startup that designs, sells, prints and ships super high quality personalised books for children. Our books are designed to instill a sense of boundless self-belief in the children that read them. This year we became Children's Publisher of the Year.

We're a dynamic, creative, and commercially-driven business with a big and bold mission - to bring people closer together through the power of personalisation. Our Legacy is in the children's space. For the past seven years we've created uncompromisingly high-quality personalised books to inspire courage, curiosity and kindness in children all over the world. In the past year we have started to diversify our meaningfully personalised books beyond children and into broader ages, relationships and gifting occasions.

In so many ways, our journey is just beginning. Having established ourselves as leaders in the children's space, we are building a global personal-publishing business that brings the power of meaningful personalisation into the hearts and homes of everyone in the world.

Exciting times ahead!

About the role:

We're looking for an experienced software engineer to help us tackle our hardest problems. Our rendering and fulfillment layers are bespoke for Wonderbly's unique needs, so we can deliver our beautiful, meaningful personalised books to millions of happy customers all over the world.

This is a critical hire in the establishment of a dedicated squad to handle the future challenges of rendering and fulfillment as we scale the business. The CTO, product managers, operations specialists and other multidisciplinary squads within Wonderbly will be relying on your knowledge and experience to make good decisions about the future direction of our Back End stack.

We're a company with global reach, but still small enough that individuals can make a huge contribution. You will be part of a fast moving team and we'll need your input into how we scope projects, deliver features and support our stack as demand surges during peak trading times.

You'll be part of the Fulfillment team, looking after order routing and product rendering. This newly dedicated team will ensure our complex rules engine is efficiently distributing tens of thousands of orders a day to the right global manufacturing site and our rendering stack is quickly and efficiently creating personalised and print-ready PDFs.

All our services, except our E-commerce stack, are written with a base framework of Typescript and Express, using message queues and other tech to manage their work loads. Our E-commerce stack is based on Solidus, which is built on Ruby on Rails. Our highly tuned HTML based renderer creates images in Real Time for web and print. We host on Heroku so our infrastructure is simple and scalable.

As our stack is bespoke and you'll need to be comfortable diving into large and well maintained codebases and making those important connections between services. It will require someone who is equally comfortable drawing a new solution as they are in coding it in their IDE.

This job will impact so many parts of the business, and the stack you will work on is the dependency for everything else, it will mean you are engaging with lots of different people: developers in other teams, product managers, operations and marketing execs and product designers to name but a few. This is why we have Senior in the title - we expect you to be a teacher, explainer, mentor as well as a coder. People will want to work with you and learn from you.


  • Thinking deeply about our domain, proposing and delivering improvements in the technology and processes that drive it
  • Helping us to scale the business - we need more manufacturing hubs to support more orders. Over the next 12 months we'll be thinking about a new model for routing orders. We expect you to be in the middle of this, always asking "why?"
  • Working with the CTO and tech leadership to build new features in our rendering system that will wow our customers and please our product creators
  • Ensuring our systems are secure and can scale, leading efforts to ensure this before peak trading events
  • Regularly presenting in our while Engineering team "Lunch and Learn" monthly events, helping others learn from your knowledge and experience


  • Deep understanding of service oriented design and asynchronous messaging
  • A love of programming and ability to compare and decide between the many languages/tools/libraries that you might use to solve a problem
  • A good understanding of browser internals and orchestration would be very helpful, but not essential because you're thirsty to learn
  • Love of helping others who can learn from your experience
  • Always challenging yourself and others to be better and improve
  • Appreciation of nicely designed, high-quality, well tested codebases - and ability to communicate why they're important
  • An instinctive and easy empathy with all colleagues
  • Each year you'll accrue a generous 28 days holiday, plus 8 bank holidays
  • We support being active; with numerous running groups, gym lunches and yoga in the office. We have some sparkling new showers on site, secure bike parking facilities and are part of the Cycle To Work scheme
  • Every full time employee is a partner with share options in the business
  • You'll get a sweet training budget to enable you to do your best work and develop as a professional, combined with weekly Lunch and Learns
  • We have heaps of snacks, drinks, and comforts in our fully-stocked kitchen
  • PLUS team lunches and breakfasts. Every Thursday, our Studio Manager orders some super delicious healthy food and we gorge ourselves - occasionally with a guest speaker to broaden our minds
  • We love having dogs in the office [well behaved ones anyway]!

Our (simple) hiring process:

  • First call - a call with Mike, our Head of People to tell you more about the role see if there's an match
  • Coffee (or Zoom) with Rob and/or Yotam at Wonderbly (optional) - if you're thinking about the job but not ready to formally apply yet then come to our office and meet the VP Engineering and/or CTO for an informal and totally relaxed chat. We find this really helps us a create an interview that works for you
  • Onsite interview - this usually lasts 2-3 hours one morning or afternoon. No pre-work required! We will have a few rounds, with a focus on communication skills, teamwork and technical. The technical parts will be tailored to your background, no curveball questions!
  • Offer - if successful, we will move to offer quickly, usually in a few working days.

The best way to find out more is to apply - we'd love to show you around!

Typescript, ExpressJS, JavaScriptTypescript, ExpressJS, APIs, PostgreSQL, Heroku, Puppet, JavaScript