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Staff Software Engineer - Back End

Date: Jun 13, 2022

Location: Boston, MA, US, 02110

Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Job Requisition ID: 17316

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Staff Software Engineer — Back End – Assessment Platform Team

HMH Software Engineering

HMH Software Engineering provides cutting edge, individualized learning experiences to millions of students across the United States. We are as driven by this mission as we are by continuously improving ourselves and the way we work. Our offices are high energy, collaborative beehives of activity where work is centered on small, autonomous teams that build great software. We trust each other, hold ourselves and our teammates accountable for results, and improve student outcomes with each release.

At HMH we constantly experiment with new approaches and novel ways of solving problems. We often succeed and sometimes stumble  either way we learn and move forward with more confidence than we had the day before. We are as passionate about new technologies and engineering craftsmanship as we are about transforming the EdTech industry itself.

If this sounds like you let’s talk. 

The Opportunity - Staff Software Engineer

Staff Software Engineers are the technology leaders of our highest impact projects. Your high energy is contagious, you actively collaborate with others across the engineering organization, and you seek to learn as much as you like to teach. You personify the notion of constant improvement as you work with your team and the larger engineering group to build software that delivers on our mission. You use your extraordinary technical competence to ensure a high bar for excellence while you mentor other engineers on their own path towards craftsmanship.  You are most likely T-shaped, with broad knowledge across many technologies plus strong skills in a specific area.  Staff Software Engineers embrace the opportunity to represent HMH in industry groups and open-source communities.

Area of Responsibility:

You will be working on the HMH Assessment Platform that is part of the HMH Educational Online/Digital Learning Platform. The Assessment team builds highly scalable and available platform. The platform is built using Microservices Architecture, Java microservices backend, REACT JavaScript UI Frontend, REST APIs, Postgres Database, AWS Cloud technologies, AWS Kafka, Kubernetes or Mesos orchestration, DataDog for logging/monitoring/alerting, Concourse CI or Jenkins, Maven etc.



  • Be the technical lead for feature development in a team of 5-10 engineers and influencing the technical direction of the overall engineering organization.
  • Decompose business objectives into valuable, incrementally releasable user features accurately estimating the effort to complete each.
  • Contribute code to feature development efforts demonstrating to others efficient design, delivery and testing patterns and techniques.
  • Strive for high quality outcomes, continuously look for ways to improve team productivity and product reliability, performance, and security.
  • Develop the talents and abilities of peers and colleagues.  Create a memorable legacy as you progress toward your personal and professional objectives.
  • Foster your personal and professional development continually seeking assignments that challenge you.

Skills & Experience

Successful Candidates must demonstrate an appropriate combination of:

  • 6 – 10+ years of experience as a software engineer.
  • 3+ years of experience as a Staff or lead software engineer.
  • Bachelor's degree in computer science or a STEM field.
  • A portfolio of thought leadership and individual technical accomplishments.
  • Full understanding of Agile software development methodologies and practices.
  • Strong communication skills  both verbal and written.
  • Extensive experience working with technologies and concepts such:
    • Behavior-driven or test-driven development
    • JVM-based languages such as Java and Scala
    • Development frameworks such as Spring Boot
    • Asynchronous programming concepts, including Event processing
    • Database technologies such as SQL, Postgres/MySQL, AWS Aurora DBs, Redshift, Liquibase or Flyway
    • No-SQL technologies such as Redis, MongoDB and Cassandra
    • Streaming technologies such as Apache Kafka, Apache Spark or Amazon Kinesis
    • Unit-testing frameworks such as jUnit
    • Performance testing frameworks such as Gatling
    • Architectural concepts such as micro-services and separation of concerns
    • Expert knowledge of class-based, object-oriented programming and design patterns
    • Development tools such as GitHub, Jira, Jenkins, Concourse, and Maven
    • Cloud technologies such as AWS and Azure 
    • Data Center Operating Technologies such as Kubernetes, Apache Mesos Apache Aurora, and TerraForm and container services such as Docker and Kubernetes
    • Monitoring and operational data analysis practices and tools such as DataDog, Splunk and ELK

 Physical Requirements

  • Might be in a stationary position for a considerable time (sitting and/or standing).
  • The person in this position needs to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.
  • Constantly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
  • Must be able to collaborate with colleagues via face to face, conference calls, and online meetings.





Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an equal employment opportunity employer and participates in E-Verify. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.

Nearest Major Market: Boston

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