Senior Software Engineer, Back End

Called the "hottest non-profit on the planet" by FORTUNE magazine and a Top 50 Website by TIME, Kiva ( is the world's first personal micro-lending marketplace with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.  Since 2005, Kiva has raised over $920 million for more than 1 million borrowers in over 80 countries. Kiva combines the culture and approach of an internet start-up with an intense focus on alleviating poverty and serving the borrower-to-lender connection.  Kiva’s lenders fund over $10 million in loans every month. Kiva is poised to take its initial success to a whole new level - targeting $1 billion in loans by 2017 and continued expansion into new areas (e.g. student loans, water, mobile, etc.). Headquartered in San Francisco, Kiva's team has about 100 employees and over 500 volunteers worldwide. 

Kiva is looking for a Back-End Software Engineer. This position will involve tackling tasks across this range of Kiva software systems using your skills across Kiva’s LAMP stack which uses PHP, Apache, and MySQL. This includes writing code for interactions and integrations between the various pieces of software, maintaining existing functionality in the code base, and building solutions to novel new problems as we encounter them. Primarily, the work will involve working with our database ledger and financial processes to ensure integrity and stability of our systems.

Why would you want to come work for Kiva? We’re a team of diverse, talented, committed crew dedicating our skills to solving poverty through connecting people. We work hard and love what we do, but also keep fairly standard hours and do our best to make sure everyone takes down time.  We know that diverse teams are strong teams, and welcome those with alternative identities, backgrounds, and experiences. Our engineering team includes women, men, mothers, fathers, the self-taught, the college-educated, and people of a wide variety of races, nationalities, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. On our Engineering team everybody counts and your contribution has the potential to make a big impact on Kiva and on the world at large. We follow an agile development process, with 20% of time allocated for engineering-driven innovation. You can learn more about Kiva engineering from our blog.


  • Are empathetic, aware, and thoughtful person that cares about changing the world
  • Have a strong sense of responsibility, problem ownership, and can drive issues to completion.
  • Enjoy and take pride in practicing and perfecting the craft of beautiful, concise, test-driven code.
  • Understand the issues around designing & building reliable, scalable software
  • Are an effective communicator who willingly shares your creative ideas and solutions.
  • Have attention to detail, thinking through all edge cases
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Experience writing code. You’ll join us in writing clean, maintainable software that solves hard problems. You’ll push the team and the mission forward with your contributions. We look for people who are strong communicators, who are thoughtful about their work, and who enjoy giving and receiving feedback.


  • Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (lack of PHP knowledge ok, but must be willing to learn)
  • Following coding best practices and standards
  • Using and/or creating ORMs and RESTful APIs
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing tests for all new code using PHPUnit or similar
  • Familiar with concepts of modularity and decoupled architecture
  • Financial systems experience is a strong plus
  • Previous professional experience in tech

You Get

  • An amazing mission: Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty across the globe.
  • An opportunity to improve real lives, solve hard problems, and change the world.
  • Friendly, supportive, and adventurous environment with a team of engaged colleagues.
  • A comprehensive, industry-leading benefits package
  • Opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues and partners around the world.

A diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is an integral part of Kiva's culture.  We actively welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a great place to work. Join us and help us achieve our mission!

See Inside the Office of Kiva

Through Kiva, anyone can lend $25 to a borrower in the developing world, making it possible for artisans, farmers, and shopkeepers to realize their dreams and create a better future for themselves and their families. Kiva works hard to keep its lenders and borrowers connected, too, so lenders get a chance to see first-hand the impact their loan is having.

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