Engineering Lead Backend

Job description

Starting date: As soon as possible

Chatterbug is entering a new chapter in our mission to bring language learning into modern times. We've already helped thousands of students really speak a language with our tutors, but we want to take the human element of learning even further. Introducing our new company focus, Chatterbug Streams.

Streams is a brand new mobile app which brings live streaming into the Chatterbug ecosystem. Each bitesized livestream covers a fun, relevant topic - from Tinder dates to animal idioms - and includes real-time quizzes, vocabulary cards and live chat. It's fun, engaging, and above all - human.

Check it out at

About the job

As we scale our user base and expand the scope of what's possible with Streams, we need bright developers who share our drive to create a truly different language learning product. That's where you come in: we're looking for a friendly Lead Engineer with solid experience in Ruby on Rails.

On a given day you could be writing Ruby code for a new feature, building a new piece of infrastructure to allow us to support more students in the future, leading the professional growth of the individuals in the team or helping to hire new engineers.

The heart of our service is our dear Rails 6 ”monolith”. We use GraphQL, Turbo, Stimulus and React extensively. Other tools include:

  • PostgreSQL 13 via Heroku
  • Buildkite for running our Ruby and JS test suites
  • AWS services including: S3, Polly, AWS ML
  • Tokbox and OpenVidu to manage our WebRTC-based live lesson video streams and recordings
  • Mux for serving our live streams
  • Stripe for handling payments


Engineering at Chatterbug

Our team is based in Berlin. Here’s what you can expect to see: 

  • Asynchronous stand ups, as few meetings as reasonable and lots of time to focus
  • Regular 1-1 time with your manager
  • Short iterations with planning, estimation, and retrospectives
  • Our Stack: Ruby on Rails, GraphQL, React, ES6, PostgreSQL, Redis, Docker
  • WebRTC is at the heart of our business, used for all of our language lessons
  • Continuous integration / continuous deployment of your code from your first day

Working at Chatterbug

Curious about how the broader company operates? Here’s a quick overview: 

  • Remote flexibility. Our office is in Berlin with ~30 people, but our team is encouraged to travel and work from home when they wish. We're well versed in asynchronous communication via Slack, Notion and Github, so working flexible hours is a breeze.
  • Work/life balance matters. We work a full day then sign off, and please set up your Do Not Disturb. That Slack message can wait, can’t it? We think so too.
  • Face time brings us together. We place a lot of value on our “WeeklyBuzz” hybrid all-hands meetings. We share what’s happening in the company, our products and occasionally some tidbits about our lives too. Afterwards, we eat pizza :) 
  • We value diversity. Chatterbug is an inclusive company - we embrace difference and strive for equality. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, identities and perspectives. We believe that diversity and representation is key to creating not only an exciting product, but also an amazing customer and employee experience. We are looking forward to receiving all applications regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.
  • Pitch us. Ideas for our company and our product can come from all levels or layers of the organization - you just need to write it up or propose it!


  • A leadership role owning major components of a rapidly evolving product
  • We’ll pay for you to learn a language - either with us or take a class, on us. You can also elect a friend or family member to learn with us for free, too
  • 26 days paid holiday
  • Regular fun events, team dinners and an annual company summit abroad (pandemic permitting)
  • A sleek new office in the heart of Berlin

Want to apply?

Click the Apply for this Job button! If you have a resume, please feel free to upload it, but we're more interested in hearing why you think Chatterbug might be a good fit. The cover letter is your chance to shine! 

Don't forget to list any relevant links (GitHub, portfolio, links to side projects, etc). We look forward to hearing from you!


  • You're based in Berlin
  • You have at least 4 years of professional experience in backend development
  • Tech leadership experience
  • Extensive experience with Ruby on Rails: you've got a few production-scale apps under your belt
  • Have worked on a small team or desire to do so

Ideally you will also have:

  • Empathy for language learners. You love learning, and are excited to help people learn a new language
  • Interest or experience in the operations side of things: deployment strategies, cloud providers, etc
  • Knowledge of modern javascript tooling and/or React or Hotwire