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Senior Software Engineer

Job Description

Posted 2 months ago

At Yard Stick, we help farmers get paid to fight climate change. We do so with a category-creating tool for measuring the amount of carbon that is sequestered in soil.

You may have heard of “regenerative agriculture.” This is a collection of farming and ranching practices (such as no-till or crop rotation) with enormous potential to improve soil health, while pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. However, it is difficult to measure the impact of these practices. Current methods are slow, expensive, and cumbersome. (Think slide-hammer + mailing soil across the country.)

Enter Yard Stick. We believe that accurate, affordable, and fast carbon measurements will fundamentally change both the economics and the legitimacy of agriculture-backed carbon credits. Done right, this will put an entire industry to work in the service of the environment. Everyone talks about software eating the world; here, software just might save the world. For the right person, this is a rare opportunity to build a SaaS platform from the ground-up. We’re venture-backed and ready to grow.

A Bit More About the Role

Your first task at Yard Stick will be to understand our customers (growers, carbon credit developers) and our offerings. We’re in a complex space. Applying the principles of “Domain Driven Design” will serve you well.

The features you will build will span from integrating with 3rd party APIs to building customer dashboards, or from standing up a geospatial service through crafting email layouts. We are a team of polyglots. Our web app is written in Ruby on Rails. Services with a heavy geospatial aspect are written in Python. These choices reflect an engineering ethos: the reason we’re writing software is to enable our customers to sequester carbon, therefore we chose the tools that allows us to work most quickly.

On the topic of speed: smartly scoping features is vital to our near and long term success. You will need to be savvy about tradeoffs, like when to deploy tech debt, when to refactor, or when to do it right the first time. Our software & hardware offerings have begun to find product/market fit. This has given a sense of real world urgency.

This is a full stack role. To coin a phrase: the smaller team, the fuller the stack. We’re well aware that no one can do everything, so if you lean more front- or backend that is a-okay, as long as you’re okay working outside your comfort zone.

A Bit More About the Company

Yard Stick is a remote-first, seed-phase company, with founders based in Boston, Oakland, and Chicago. Alongside our scientific collaborators, we were recently awarded a $3.6M grant from the DOE ARPA-E Smartfarm program. For more background, check out some recent coverage in TechCrunch or Treehugger.

We’ve also raised money from top climate VCs, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gates’ climate fund), Lowercarbon Capital (Chris and Crystal Sacca’s climate fund), MCJ Collective, and others. It’s not announced, because that can feel a bit cart before the horse, but we’re happy to share more detail about our financing when we chat.

We offer competitive salary, equity for permanent roles, health insurance, a 401k, and home-office reimbursements. In terms of flexible schedules, we have a number of team members with young families and have a strong track record of creative, flexible approaches to hours and communication expectations which let folks feel great about their commitments both to Yard Stick and their family.

On a personal note: before co-founding Yard Stick, I (Evan, head of software) spent almost two years trying to answer the question, “How can my experience in delivering SaaS products be applied to the climate crisis?” Here is where I finally found my answer.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Yard Stick’s impact goals go well beyond climate science (although our #1 value is Climate Impact). Why? Our company operates primarily in the US agricultural sector, which is predicated on centuries of mass land theft and disenfranchisement of Native and Black people. This harm continues today. If we’re going to work in this sector, we need to actively work to make it better.

Consistent with our core value of “Pursue Justice,” we speak up about these issues, and we support emerging solutions and relevant policy efforts such as H.R.40 and S.300. We also publicly highlight the risk of further racial discrimination in emerging agricultural legislation like the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

Regarding hiring and culture, we work to create a work environment where everyone feels confident sharing their ideas, problem-solving happens openly and collaboratively, and mistake-making is welcomed. We also standardize our interview process and questions to reduce “likeability” bias, benchmark salaries against industry databases to reduce negotiation, and utilize tools like the Gender Decoder (this one is feminine-coded, fwiw). Climate change is arguably the most complex challenge ever faced by humanity - we need all of humanity activated to fight back, and that motivates us to build a diverse team.

Salary and compensation

No salary data published by company so we estimated salary based on similar jobs related to Senior, Engineer, Developer and Digital Nomad jobs that are similar:

$60,000 — $120,000/year

Location

Chicago, IL

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