Knapsack · Principal Backend Engineer
What's the opportunity?
The Principal Backend Engineer will shape how we build our product by adding SaaS backend product development expertise to our team and balancing product technical maturity work alongside iterative feature releases. You'll be responsible for mentoring and guiding technical decisions of the team to set us up for long-term success, both as a product and as a team. You will work on our engineering team alongside design and product management. This is a high-impact role where you will be involved in technical & product strategy, operations, architecture, and execution.
Our modern stack: Typescript end-to-end. Hasura backend powers a GraphQL middle layer that serves data to our React frontend. Xstate decouples our logic and presentation layers.
What will you do?
- Collaborate with the team to mature our product, development process, and DevOps efforts
- Deliver code, tests, and tooling to help our team build habitable, scalable production software
- Build alignment with documents and diagrams appropriate to the product development lifecycle stage
- Define, scale, and improve infrastructure, APIs, and services used to power Knapsack
- Help our team scale our product by moving to serverless or another solution
- Use system-level thinking to guide proposed solutions toward modularity or buy vs. build
- Mentor other engineers with a supportive leadership approach and close team communication
- Measure and be accountable to stability, scalability, and ease of engineering onboarding
- Design and build solutions for frequent, iterative releases
- Leverage feedback, mentorship, and self-awareness to continuously improve
What experience do you need?
- Backend development experience on customer-facing enterprise SaaS software products
- DevOps experience: running services in production, writing meaningful tests, and appreciating the value of logging, monitoring, and error tracking
- System-level technical decision-making with clear communication of outcome and rationale
- Engineering mentorship for high-impact projects
- Delivery of high-quality, iterative work in Agile, fast-paced environments
- A growth mindset evident by openness to feedback and a readiness to work through complex problems
- PostgreSQL, GraphQL, Typescript, and React
- Deep understanding of database architecture and data modeling
- Web performance, data aggregation, caching, and managing / deploying multiple environments
- Setup and maintenance of modern services technologies such as Kubernetes, Docker, webhooks, serverless, and Hasura
- Experience working with teams distributed across different time zones
- Experience working with design systems, setting up a design system and/or using a design system to build other products