Senior Backend Engineer w/ Data & ML emphasis



We are looking for a senior backend software engineer to help us reinvent the way we train, evaluate, and hire software engineers.

Our mission is to develop the most accurate and useful assessment of software engineers. We're doing this by creating a widely-accepted, comprehensive standardized exam called the CSPA. If we succeed, we will improve the average quality of software engineers, increase the supply of great software engineers -- especially from non-traditional backgrounds, and vastly improve the technical interviewing process.

You strive for engineering excellence and are dedicated to writing code that is clean, well-maintained, easy to understand, robust, and performant.

You also thrive in a fast-paced environment. You understanding the demands of the business, self-prioritizing and making deliberate tradeoffs if necessary -- pushing out new features, pruning unused ones, and improving existing features.

If you join us, you'll be a part of a lasting, positive change on our software industry, and see how we do it from the inside.


  • Own the architectural design and the business logic implementation of our product, which includes the exam administration and autograding framework, assessment analysis tools, and employer product
  • Work closely with our assessment and evaluation researchers and psychometricians to mine data and implement statistical models for our grading algorithms
  • Facilitate and participate in our Technical Steering Committee, a group of software engineers and educators responsible for exam content and direction


You must have expertise in:

  • building complex web applications from scratch (excluding UI)
  • building services (APIs) and integrating others (we use Node + Express)
  • RDBMS such as MySQL

Also, you should have an interest in data science and statistical models, and have enough knowledge to implement them.

Preferred or Bonus Qualifications

  • Experience with Node (ES6) with Express, Promises, and isometric applications
  • Experience implementing statistical models (e.g. logistic regression and deep classification networks)
  • CSPA Composite Score of 1200 or higher is preferred. We're dogfooding.


  • Flexible hours
  • Flexible vacation days
  • Excellent health care options

What will my day-to-day look like?

Example data/ML projects:

  • Improve our exams' scoring algorithms
  • Design and implement multidimensional Item Response Theory
  • Parse resume PDFs to extract entity data
  • Add elasticsearch to optimize MySQL queries

Example backend projects:

  • Add web-socket support to our direct messaging system for real-time synchronous updates
  • Add support for Java on our exams
  • Add support for new exam question formats
  • Integrate with Lever or Greenhouse

Example infrastructure/ops tasks:

  • Improve cron scheduler to send out emails
  • Listen and process inbound emails via SendGrid
  • Improve our deploy process / CI

Who will I be working with?

We are a seed stage startup and have a small team. The environment is casual and informal, but we work hard and effectively. Our office is in Bespoke Coworking in San Francisco, so you get to meet lots of other startups in the space.

You'll work closely with James, previously co-founder and CPO of Crunchyroll. He spends about half his time coding, and half on strategy and business development.

We recently finished Y Combinator (S18) and are backed by top angels and seed VC firms.

Apply now
San Francisco
CSPA is a mission-driven organization dedicated to the accurate and complete assessment of software engineers.

CSPA designs and administers the Computer Science Proficiency Assessment, a standardized exam for software engineers and job seekers in the software industry.
Industry: Education
Tech Stack: node, react, mysql, aws, python, php
Apply now

Stay Updated

Subscribe with your email below to receive news updates and exam announcements.