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Tech Lead, Admissions

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Posted 3 months ago

Admissions is the five-person team that builds and manages the startup selection process at Y Combinator. If you’re interviewing at YC, your application has likely been read by someone on admissions and there is likely an admissions team member on your interview panel. It's a highly selective, high-impact, cross-functional group of engineers and operators who also make investment decisions.

Software makes admissions possible. So far, the team has been made up of generalists who both read applications and write code. We are now building out a specialized engineering team within admissions whose core job is to maintain, improve and expand our current features. What we’ve built so far is probably only 10% of what we will eventually need. 

As the tech lead, you would drive the execution of projects and guide the team to deliver a high quality product. You should be interested in mentoring other engineers and inspire a collaborative culture with high engineering standards - bringing consistency to the codebases, infrastructure and processes. We imagine the final size of the team would be about five people, possibly larger, and this role could eventually include management. You should be interested in learning how YC chooses which startups to fund, and translating that into software. 

Examples of the types of software you’d work on include: 

  • Better tooling for YC application reviewers which includes the admissions team, group partners and other executives

  • Improving the efficiency and process of how we triage applications

  • Making a top-notch application experience for applicants, from application to funding decision

  • Looking more deeply into our unique data set to find signals for great startups, and coming up with new ones.

    The admissions team values ownership, hard work and humor - everyone has worked at a small startup at some point, either as a founder or early employee so we are scrappy and move quickly. And while we all enjoy collaboration, most projects are led by individuals who talk to users, spec the feature and build it themselves. So you should enjoy working on software end-to-end. The users of most of what we build are about a dozen people at YC, which means the feedback loop is fast. This is a good role for someone who appreciates that. Finally, a lot of open-ended brainstorming happens on the team, so you should find that fun. 

    We’re looking for someone:

    • With 3+ an engineering leadership role managing individuals on teams, either as an EM or a Tech Lead

    • Who has worked at a small startup, either your own or as an early employee

    • interested in startups and is excited to learn more about them

    • Who leads by examples - is senior enough to know best practices, but still excited to get their hands dirty

    • Who puts themselves in user’s shoes, striving to create a good, intuitive experience for them

    • Is a strong communicator, able to convey complex ideas in a simple manner and apply active listening

      Our software is mostly written in Ruby on Rails and React. It runs on AWS and PostgreSQL.  You should have previous experience developing web applications, and ideally you’ll have previous experience with Rails specifically.

      As a member of the admissions team, you'll get full access to the YC program, just like founders do. You'll learn the ins and outs of how YC works, and you'll get to follow and learn from hundreds of companies. You'll meet some of the most successful people in the startup world and get exposed to the best startup ideas.  And of course, if you ever want to start your own company, you’ll learn a lot about that from working at YC.

      We’re proud to offer a set of benefits that few companies of our size can. In addition to top quality healthcare benefits, offerings include: 401k matching, generous parental leave, and a flexible vacation policy, we  also offer highly competitive compensation, including significant equity in YC.

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