Senior Backend Engineer

Posted on Jan 30, 2023

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Job Details

Full Time
🌍 Europe

About Blinkist

We offer the best selection of non-fiction knowledge in bite-sized, digestible formats. Our catalogue gives access to key insights from 5,000+ nonfiction books, original podcasts and author-driven content across 27 categories.

Blinkist exists to spark understanding.✨ We're helping people enrich their minds with powerful ideas, and turn ordinary moments into extraordinary learning opportunities—anytime, anywhere.

Our unique culture of empowerment, mutual respect, and transparency has always been our defining characteristic. We support each other and carve out opportunities for every individual to develop and grow. We strongly believe that diversity powers innovation, thus we celebrate and support our differences, providing equal opportunities for employment and career growth. We embrace a flexible, remote-friendly way of working that supports different needs and lifestyles.

🌟 We are proud to have been selected by LinkedIn as one of the Top 25 Startups in Germany. Glassdoor and Kununu ratings put us amongst Berlin’s top three employers.

The Position

Are you passionate about Software Engineering and you want to have a big impact with your work? Do you believe in the power of ideas and want to grow and develop?

As Senior Backend Engineer you will contribute to our delivery performance and product success of our award winning Blinkist application. You will join the newly formed Personalisation team, a cross-functional team consisting of product management, engineering and data science. The team’s focus is building data products that leverage AI/ML technologies to deliver to our customers the right content, at the right time, in the right way!

What You Will Do

  • Identify and proactively address challenges on the backend, driving complex technical decisions within your peer group.
  • Take ownership of managing and extending our backend services. Use your technical expertise in building backend architecture and infrastructure at scale.
  • Write high-quality and maintainable code: test, collaboratively review, and ship!
  • Work on our Ruby on Rails stack, always keeping an eye on the latest trends, frameworks and/or programming languages.
  • Follow and iterate on engineering best practices to achieve a robust code base, e.g. through code reviews and unit tests.
  • Collaborate closely with Product and Design to build new features.
  • Support other teams in finding pragmatic solutions that can be implemented in a reasonable amount of time.


  • Background Education in Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent fields
  • Strong object-oriented design skills gained from 5+ years of industry work with OOP languages
  • Minimum 3 years of experience working with backend services, preferably with Ruby, Go, Java or JavaScript.
  • In-depth experience in building and delivering robust, scalable platforms tackling performance and optimisation problems
  • Experience in contributing to the design and architecture of existing and new systems with a strong orientation on reliability, design patterns and reliability
  • Expertise with Rest APIs, modern database technologies at high scale and both testing and observability patterns
  • Advanced understanding of different programming paradigms, clean code, high quality tests, security as well as performance related topics.
  • Experience with data pipelines and information retrieval
  • Experience working with Cloud Computing (such as AWS) and infrastructures
  • Proficient in English and comfortable communicating even complex technical information. We work in a hybrid set-up, so clear communication is important for us.
  • Interest in emerging AI/ML technologies is a plus

Our Hiring Process

All interviews are done remotely via Zoom. Please refer to your email invitation and calendar for the meeting link and further details.

1️⃣ Phone Screening

  • 💬 Interviewer: Samantha, Talent Acquisition
  • ⏰ Duration: 15 min
  • We’ll briefly discuss the role you applied for, go over some of the basic requirements and learn a bit about your professional experience.

2️⃣ Hiring Manager interview

  • 💬 Interviewer: Michele, Engineering Manager
  • ⏰ Duration: 30-45 min
  • You will meet your future manager and get to know each other. You will hear more about our team, mission and vision. We will deep dive into your technical and analytical experience and your growth trajectory.

3️⃣ Work on a Coding challenge

  • ⏰ Suggested Time invest: about 2h
  • The team has prepared an exciting take-home challenge for you.
  • It should showcase your approach to common day to day challenges of your role at Blinkist. We can't wait to share it with you!

4️⃣ In-Depth Interview

  • 💬 Interviewer: TBD
  • ⏰ Duration: 60 min
  • We’d love to discuss your ideas , learn a bit more about your approach and review your solution with your future teammates. You will go through your code and answer some questions on your results. 🙂

4️⃣ Remote Day at Blinkist

  • 💬 Multiple interviewers
  • ⏰ Time investment: 3-4h

Your remote Day with Blinkist will give you a feel for what it's like to work with us. Over the course of this final round, you'll meet and spend time with various business stakeholders. This will be a great chance to ask any final question about working at Blinkist. The agenda will include:

1. Pair programming Session - 60min - You will do some pair programming with some of your future colleagues.

Here is some context for the pair programming session 👇🏼

  • We have a dedicated Git repository that contains an excerpt of our codebase written in Ruby (on Rails) using Ruby 3.1.2.
  • Please make sure to have Ruby 3.1.2 set up on your machine you should be good to go! (In fact, any 3.1.x Ruby version should work with a minor change to the codebase).
  • You can use any IDE you like.
  • The pair programming session is focused on patterns, coding principles and communicating/discussing ideas. If you don't know the exact syntax for a change you want to make, we will help you out 😊

2. Stakeholder Interview - 30min - Meet one of our product managers, one of your future business stakeholders

3. Meet your Future Lead - 30-45min - Meet your future manager (*This interview step will be skipped in case you already met your manager in the first call)

4. Meet the Team - 30 min - Gather with your future teammates and ask any final curiosity!

We’ll share more details around the agenda for the day and the interview panel ahead of time. 💫

We sincerely hope this will also be a great opportunity for you to see exactly how we work and learn whether Blinkist is a great next step for you.

We understand how valuable the feedback can be for your development and growth. We are happy to provide you with specific interview feedback upon request following the technical assessment and later stages of the process.


  • 30 vacation days + local public holidays in your place of work
  • Virtual stock options plan
  • Quarterly days of learning and wellbeing
  • An extra day off for you birthday
  • Unlimited home-office with a monthly workspace allowance
  • Learning & development budget
  • Coaching budget for minorities and mothers returning from their leave
  • Physical and mental health support through various partners
  • Relocation and visa support for Germany
Senior Backend Engineerat Blinkist