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emoji of a pushpinRemote-US or Washington, DCemoji of a money bag$70-110kemoji of a clockFri Sep 24 2021
emoji of a woman of coloremoji of a man8 people in techemoji of a woman of coloremoji of a woman 4 women in techemoji of a rainbow 1 LGBTQIA+ folks in tech


CommonLit is a non-profit edtech organization dedicated to providing high-quality literary instruction to low-income students and students of color to prepare them for success in college and careers. Millions of students and their teachers use CommonLit as part of their English and Spanish reading and writing development.


We're looking for an engineer to join our team to support the CommonLit application and to develop new capabilities to support teachers, students, and parents. COVID-19 has made the need for our services bigger than ever, and this is an amazing opportunity to make a huge difference for students and their teachers.

Engineers at CommonLit are truly "full-stack" in that we work hard to avoid having parts of the application solely belong to any one engineer. We give everyone on our team opportunities to work on a wide array of projects and to deepen personal skill sets (and to make it easier for any of us to truly disconnect on days off).

We have an intense but supportive culture of code review. We pair frequently and as needed (it'll be most of your first 2-3 months as our team member as we onboard you and help you get oriented!). We’re a women-led organization, with a woman CEO/founder and the majority of our executive team being women. Half of our engineering team are women. Our team has a deep emphasis on skill development, which we accomplish through regular Lunch & Learns and an environment that rewards asking questions and teaching others.

We have a strong track record developing early-career talent and helping folks level up to become productive engineers. Our team invests time in training people to help them realize their potential. If you're a driven learner with a team-oriented mindset and a desire to do mission-driven work that makes a difference, we want to work with you.

Working at CommonLit you'll:

  • work with awesome teammates
  • deliver meaningful code that you'll be proud of
  • help others ship the best results through code reviews
  • ship code frequently with small iterations and rapid deployment
  • write durable, intention-demonstrating tests
  • add what makes you unique to our team culture
  • get better at the craft of software development
  • teach things you've learned to others
  • work on a wide variety of projects
  • improve educational and economic outcomes for millions of students with our efforts targeting those students most in need

We have an office in Washington DC’s Eastern Market, but our engineering team is mostly remote and works in a distributed fashion.


This position is open to entry-level engineers (just starting your career) up to people with 2-3 years of experience who are eligible to work in the United States.

As a team member you'll bring:

  • Strong written communication skills
  • A collaborative, team-oriented mindset. This isn't a group of lone wolves, we succeed and fail as a group
  • A commitment to improving equity of opportunity for students of color

In your work you'd ideally be comfortable with most of:

  • Ruby and Rails: CommonLit is backed by a monolithic Rails app!
  • React: we use React to build rich user experiences
  • SQL: our primary datastore is PostgreSQL
  • Testing: Writing tests is a core part of our development process. We use RSpec, Capybara, Jest, and Percy to test our app


Engineers at CommonLit work on all parts of our application. Things you would work on in a typical week might include:

  • Developing new features in Ruby and Typescript
  • Fixing bugs found through monitoring or users reports from users
  • Working with our Product team to scope new projects
  • Reviewing code from your teammates
  • Optimizing the performance of the application
  • Researching new technologies or practices for our team to improve the platform
  • Taking your week-long turn doing our on-call rotation during extended business hours (on-call pages at CommonLit are very infrequent)


After we review applications, some applicants will be invited to start the interview process. The first interview is a short phone screen where someone from our team will ask you some questions about your software experience (either at work, your bootcamp, or personal practice). You'll have a chance to ask us about CommonLit and what it's like to work here if you have any questions at the start.

The second-round interview is a technical interview over Zoom for 30-45 minutes. You will not be coding, but you'll answer some technical questions and walk our interviewers through how you would approach some hypothetical problems. Every technical interview is with two members of our team who are rotated between interviews to ensure we're leveling everyone equally.

For final round interviews, candidates spend 3-4 hours with our team doing pair programming, speaking with our Product team, and meeting any members of the Engineering team they haven't yet had a chance to meet.


The core mission of our organization is to improve the educational and economic opportunities for students of color and students in Title I schools so that these strong readers will be able to get fulfilling, rewarding, well-paying jobs as adults.

We're a woman-founded organization. Most of our leadership team are women. Our engineering team is half women.

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