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Principal Software Engineer

London or remote (UK or EU timezone)

The Opportunity

We’re looking for a hands-on Principal Engineer to join our product engineering team. 

It’s an opportunity to work in a greenfield domain that’s ripe for technology disruption. How do we build systems that can balance supply and demand as we expand the service? What is the best way to measure the impact we have on families, and deploy improvements? How do we easily match families with the best childcare for them?

If you are the sort of person with a track record of seeing how software and systems thinking can really impact a business. Who thrives in an environment that loves to see you succeed. This is the position for you.

What we want this role to -

  • Do stuff that notably benefits KK - influential thinker, creates opportunities, impacts course of business

  • Help squads make confident choices on what they do next (this is different from “just doing engineering stuff”).

  • Work with super bright, less experienced team members and accelerate their careers (and the squads’ capability)

  • Find opportunities to do things better and then make that change happen.

  • Be a major contributor to the technical vision for the department.

  • Code. Every day.

Why is this job so great?

Rachel interviews James on why Koru Kids is the perfect destination for a principal software engineer.

About the team

The product and engineering team is composed of small squads focussed on different parts of the domain. With a fourth squad made up of  Manish (Chief Product Officer), James (CTO) and Michael (Head of Engineering) working to create an environment for squads to flourish.

Culture-wise, like the rest of Koru Kids, there is a high degree of openness and transparency. Squad members work together as much as possible and across disciplines. Engineers are experienced with pairing, test automation and have a disciplined approach to incidents. At the end of every week, we join the rest of the company to showcase and celebrate what we’ve accomplished.

Whilst we have titles we are not precious about roles - and team members are encouraged to reach out and engage with whomever they want. In fact, for this role - you should expect exec members to be coming to you, to seek out your advice and discuss ideas.

It’s most likely that this role will start off in the squad that looks after how we select and on-board nannies into the platform.

From a tech perspective, it’s Ruby (on Rails), JS (React) for the main platform - hosted on Heroku with GCP bits for serverless, pub-sub and data warehouse. We’ve also got an app that’s built in React native. 


What we're looking for...

About You

  • You have led software projects of various sizes in the past, capable of breaking down nebulous problems into manageable pieces with your fellow team members

  • Track record of making a difference with software solutions that have created opportunities at company level.

  • You love shipping code and seeing how it performs in production and are therefore passionate about delivery pipelines, A/B testing, real-time analytics and monitoring tools.

  • You’ve established a reputation for software engineering at the places you’ve worked and also within the community.

  • Healthy disrespect of processes over just doing the right thing.

  • You are customer centric and work well with product managers, getting actively involved in strategy formation and customer and market research.

  • You have examples of where you have developed other people in your team 

  • You put the squad before yourself and the business before the squad - it’s not about personal recognition.

  • Your opinions are well regarded - sought out by CEO and has direct access to snr execs

  • Examples of coaching a squad to take calculated risks.

  • Bonus points for experience in childcare or marketplace technology business


Important things to know...

Timing: We'd like to have the right person join by the end of September but we can wait a little longer if we need to.

Flexibility: The role is full time but can be done flexibly. We welcome parents and would love to discuss any working arrangements that make it possible for you to be part of our team.

Salary: The salary range for this role is £100,000-120,000, depending on experience. We also have some awesome benefits — parents, among these is the ability to have a Koru Kids nanny for half price!

Location: You can do this role from anywhere in the UK and earn the same salary as you would if you were in London (where we are based). We welcome applications from people living outside London. Outside the UK is more complicated as it has tax and other implications, so we are less likely to hire someone living outside the UK.


About us

Koru Kids is building the world’s best childcare service, starting in London. We believe that every family should have the perfect childcare for their family to flourish.

We’re growing like crazy, are backed by fantastic investors, including top venture capitalists and business angels such as Michael Pennington the founder of Gumtree, and have won a ton of awards for our technology, people and social impact.

Our culture is informal, hard-working and kind. The team is an A++ when it comes to talent but our "no dickheads" rule means we're also a humble and supportive bunch.

We’re also really committed to working with integrity, doing the right thing and building a company we are truly proud of.

We have always promoted flexible working and are currently working remotely but we will have the option of an office space to work from next year.

We can't fully capture what working at Koru Kids feels like, but here's our best attempt to give you a sense…. Every new starter in the Koru Kids team meets with our founder and CEO Rachel in their first week, to talk about our company values and what they really mean in practice. We recorded one of these sessions, and here it is. In this recording, Rachel meets with Adam, a software developer on Day 5 of his job with Koru Kids. She outlines our commitments to transparency, quick decisions, humility, continuous personal growth, recognising that we are humans and not robots, respecting each others' time, and our no dickheads policy.


How might I develop personally at Koru Kids?

In this recording, Rachel outlines the 7 different ways we help each and every team member to develop faster at Koru Kids than they would anywhere else on earth.