Experienced Software Engineer - Search & Recommendations



About Outschool

Outschool is a marketplace of live online classes for kids. Our mission is to inspire kids to love learning. We provide small group classes that meet over live video chat where learners connect with teachers and classmates who share their interests. These classes are offered through our marketplace and conducted on our remote learning platform.

About the role

Skills: GraphQL, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, React, TypeScript, PostgreSQL, Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Outschool's mission is to inspire kids to love learning. We achieve this by linking learning to kids’ interests, connecting them with other classmates who share their passions, and giving them the autonomy to pick their own paths. Our small group classes meet over live video chat with teachers who celebrate their unique strengths and empower all learners to develop confidence and a strong sense of self.

We're also focused on removing barriers for historically underserved learners who face systemic challenges to their success. In 2020, we started Outschool.org and began offering financial assistance to families in need. We are currently creating an Educator Endowment Fund to appreciate the teachers who are so central to our mission of inspiring kids to love learning.

We believe that diversity drives learning. To meet our mission, we encourage, support, and celebrate different ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds. As a fully distributed (remote) team, we challenge one another to find the most effective way to empower learners, teachers, and parents. Your name, race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and age are not barriers; they are why we want to work with you. We invite talented and creative candidates who value the importance of nurturing a child's boundless curiosity to join us on this journey.

The pandemic has been challenging for families all over the globe. We acted quickly and worked together to provide quality resources to learners, parents, and teachers in the past year. As communities worldwide rethink their approach to education, Outschool will continue to innovate and provide kids with unique opportunities to explore their passions.

Earlier this year, Techcrunch recognized Outschool as the newest EdTech unicorn. We've also been named Fast Company’s most innovative EdTech company in the world, and one of the top ten best startups for women from Elpha.


Outschool has a marketplace of virtual classes from teachers for kids who love to learn -- about anything! Parents and kids are amazed by the variety of classes, from designing paper airplanes to rehearsing Shakespeare to coding in Minecraft. But they’re a little overwhelmed, too.

That’s where you come in! We’re looking for engineers who can sift through hundreds of thousands of classes to find the class and teacher that a learner will love. You will own building the end-to-end ML system, from feature ETL to deploying learning-to-rank models in Elasticsearch. These systems will power parent search, learner search, the recommendation emails that reach tens of thousands of parents a week, and dozens more widgets throughout the Outschool website. You’ll learn how to handle Outschool’s unique challenges of a constantly changing marketplace - matching schedules of kids, teachers, and classes - and do it all in a rapidly scaling engineering team and business. So follow the Gradient down to the Apply button below and let your knowledge of ML Flow, because we have a Deep Belief that you’ll love working with us!

We are an effective team of fully remote engineers distributed across the US and Canada. Our philosophy is to start small and then intentionally iterate to test our assumptions and learn quickly (we call this Remixing Our Work, one of our cultural values). We're iteratively building up a complex product for a highly engaged audience, getting a lot done by staying focused on the work that matters.

We work in modern JavaScript (TypeScript), React, GraphQL/Apollo, and Node/Express backed by PostgreSQL. Elasticsearch powers our consumer search, fed with data from Kafka. Our ML stack is still evolving -- and we’d love your help!

We believe the future of education is hybrid — online and in person. We are looking for engineers at various experience levels excited about inspiring children to learn by building tools that allow children to access a fundamentally different learning experience.

Read more about our engineering team on our blog. You can learn about our hiring process, career progression, engineering challenges, and more!

In their first month, this person will:

  • Analyze and understand current gaps and opportunities in our search and recommendations systems
  • Learn Outschool’s systems for moving and storing data, from logging to the database
  • Propose improvements to query understanding, ranking, and filtering capabilities
  • Deploy small improvements in the search and recommendations experience

Within three months, we expect this person to:

  • Learn the unique challenges of Outschool, such as class scheduling, teacher-student matching, and the needs of different types of users
  • Scope and begin work on an end-to-end machine learning system
  • Make significant improvements to our recommendations or search algorithms that result in measurable improvements to the user experience
  • Provide critical contributions to medium sized projects with other engineers and the product team

Within one year:

  • Onboard new data and ML engineers; mentor new hires and interns
  • Expand the use of an end-to-end ML system to new parts of Outschool, so that other teams are independently using the system to successfully deploy models and algorithm improvements
  • Deploy several iterations of models across several domains that have impacted business level metrics, such as enrollment and retention
  • Incorporate best practices and platforms into Outschool’s tech stack
  • Share lessons and insights with the company through demos and retrospectives
  • Keep well-informed of industry and academic trends in machine learning and search

You will work within a cross-functional team that is empowered with end-to-end responsibility and ability to deliver customer value quickly. Teams have dedicated Product Managers and Designers, and work with embedded Data Scientists and User Researchers. Working collaboratively to deliver an amazing experience to customers that works for the business is what we’re all about.

If you have several years of hands-on experience in these areas, please apply -- we’d love to talk with you!


  • Shared Financial Success: Competitive salaries, stock options, and investment plans that make saving for retirement easier.
  • Health & Wellness: Comprehensive health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage options for employees and their families. Our medical benefits include fertility and family planning coverage. We also provide employees with online access to coaching and therapy sessions through our partner, ModernHealth.
  • PTO & Family Benefits: PTO and family leave enable our team to take the time that we need to recharge, relax, and spend time with family and friends.
  • Fully Distributed: With a team distributed across the US and Canada, we create a remote culture through expensable weekly meals, virtual events, expensable home office setup, and internet allowance.
  • Lifelong Learners: Annual budgets to self-direct our professional development as well as DEI learning. There’s also a budget for employees’ learners to take classes on Outschool!
  • Community Impact: Outschool matches employee donations to established charities and has committed to donating $3M to Outschool.org non-profit programs.

Outschool is an equal opportunity employer. We view diversity as a moral imperative and competitive advantage. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We plan and structure our interviews to directly assess skills and experience.

Outschool is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to disabled veterans and applicants with physical and mental disabilities. If you need assistance due to a disability, you may contact us at Recruiting.

Must be a citizen or legal resident of the U.S. or Canada and reside in U.S. or Canada.


Modern web app: PostgresQL, Node/Express, GraphQL (Apollo), React. No native apps.

We want to focus on our customers, so we use existing third-party tools and services whenever feasible: Heroku, Redshift, Metabase, Zoom, Stripe, SQS, and more.

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