Data Engineering Lead

Newsela is an Instructional Content Platform that brings together engaging, accessible content with integrated assessments and insights to supercharge reading engagement and learning in every subject. We are dedicated to our mission to unlock the written word for everyone. More than three years since our launch, Newsela is already in 75% of schools, all 50 U.S. states, and over 180 countries. The result has been more engaged readers—and engaged readers are better learners.

Newsela Engineers work on big problems in literacy, from building the infrastructure necessary to handle tens of millions of users to solving novel problems in text complexity and personalization.  We believe that code is language and we care deeply about the relationships developers have with each other and the company as a whole.

Here are some things you might do as the Data Engineering Lead:

  • Our Data Science team has a new predictive model of vocabulary-word difficulty that they want to get into production, but it has only been run on toy data so far. Application developers need an API to build it into the the website. You’ll define the technical work that needs to happen to get this system running at scale and delegate it to your team. The end result is the best online reading experience for students ever made.
  • Oh no! We have three databases or schools that we need to get to work together. Figure out how to intelligently deduplicate and map the data sets together so that our Sales team know who they’re talking to.
  • We’re building a new presence feature into the product that should be real-time, but we also want data generated to be available for analysis. We need to create a new web service that handles real-time pub-sub, and sends aggregated data to our warehouse. You’ll quickly draft a proof-of-concept service inside a Docker container and deploy it into a staging environment for review.

General Responsibilities

  • Lead a small team in writing thoughtful code, and perform software development yourself.
  • Work with our Product, Data Science and Revenue teams to create and maintain various kinds of analytical services.
  • Build out our data infrastructure, which includes ingestion, storage and analysis at scale, as well as the reporting systems used by analysts throughout the company.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline.
  • 5+ years experience in a data engineering or data-focused development role.
  • Demonstrated contributions to complex, high-traffic, performance-optimized web applications.
  • Has experience with technologies like (we use AWS mostly, but equivalents are fine)
    • data pipelining and ETL (e.g. Kinesis, Lambda, S3, Luigi)
    • distributed computing platforms (e.g. MapReduce)
    • data warehousing (e.g. Redshift)
    • reporting systems (e.g. Looker, Tableau)

Some Plusses Include

  • 3+ years experience in leadership roles or engineering management.
  • Machine learning expertise.

Newsela is strongly committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all individuals. Newsela will make all employment decisions without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.


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