Data Engineer

What you can expect to work on in this role

As a Data Engineer at Betterment, you will tackle a diverse set of data-oriented problems, working with a wide range of teams and learning a great deal about finance in the process. One morning, you might work with our Finance team to construct data domains in Redshift that will allow them to hone and quickly tweak our financial model, and then spend the afternoon strategizing with our front-end application team on how to coordinate internal APIs that allow us to serve up historical data to customers in our applications.  The next day, you might assist our Operations team in automating the production of equities reconciliation reports and then close out the evening by hopping over to our Data Science team to get them the data they need to compare the effectiveness of cab-top advertisements in San Francisco and New York.  If there’s data involved, you’re the one curating it- making it accessible, and ensuring it is correct.  At Betterment you can expect to approach tasks such as these on a daily basis, leveraging our existing processes and using your prior experience to improve the way we handle data at Betterment.

You’ll answer questions like

  • How can we increase the efficiency of our ETL processes even as the size of Betterment’s data grows 10x annually?
  • How can we stay ahead of Betterment’s analysts needs and quickly move to provide them with new data when it is not already available?
  • What technologies can we explore that will allow us to keep our internal API response times in the low milliseconds, even as throughput grows?
  • How can we enhance our logging and monitoring to know about issues before they cause problems?
  • What technologies should we be implementing now that will allow us to achieve a high level of service even when Betterment is managing hundreds of billions of dollars?

You'll be effective if you

  • Have deep expertise in at least one object oriented language, such as Java, Ruby, or Python
  • Know how to handle an explosion of data without missing a beat
  • Can optimize a query with the best of them
  • Are the person at your current job that everyone goes to for database help, even though you aren’t necessarily a DBA
  • Are so good at automating things that you’re constantly programming yourself out of a job (kidding)
  • Have a passion for software engineering and for creating what doesn’t exist
  • Know how to make the tradeoffs required to ship without compromising quality
  • Appreciate agility and pragmatism in software development
  • Thrive in a startup environment
  • Have the grit to see projects through to their conclusion

Tools in your belt

Development: OO languages such as Python, API frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Advanced SQL

Datastores: MySQL, Postgres, Redshift or other columnar stores, DynamoDB or other NoSQL stores

Technologies: MapReduce, Event Streaming, Caching tools

Platforms: AWS!

Betterment’s Data Engineering team spends most of its time with the tools above, but we cast a much wider net in other parts of the engineering team.  We strive to always choose the best tool for the job.  We maintain most of our ETL and orchestration in Python, but we serve up data to customers through APIs in a lightweight caching application built in Rails.  The person for whom we’re looking will be a pro who can guide both our data pipeline development as well as our customer-facing APIs.

At Betterment, you’re going to…

  • Build things people love. Our goal is to delight our customers whenever possible. Sleek design, simple user experience, and access to smart decisions help us to achieve it.
  • Solve “impossible” problems. Take your ideas to the next level right away. We experiment, iterate, learn, and repeat.
  • Collaborate, with purpose. You’ll work in small groups with other talented thinkers and figure out how to make Betterment’s revolutionary software even better.
  • Gain trust through transparency. We believe in taking the guesswork out of investing. That means a consistent experience for our customers — you’ll build the tools to make it possible.
  • Create efficiency. Our software helps customers save time and money. We maintain it through clean code, pragmatic programming, and lean engineering.
  • Work with people who care. Half of our team is made up of engineers but we believe everyone at Betterment is an engineer with their own tools. We’re a group of talented professionals who pride ourselves on what we do. We’re smart, innovative, energetic, and lots of fun.

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