Senior Software Engineer

Tandem (View all Jobs)

Chicago, IL or Remote (US +/- 2 timezones of CST)

Please mention No Whiteboard if you apply!
I'm a one-man team looking to improve tech interviews, and could use any support! 😄

Interview Process

1. Introductory phone screen 2. Take-home project 3. Take-home project phone review 4. A few hour-long pairing sessions on real projects.



Programming Languages Mentioned

Ruby, C#, Java, SQL, Swift, JavaScript, Python

We’re hiring a Senior Software Engineer to join our team. Our Senior Software Engineers have strong technical and consulting skills and demonstrated leadership ability. Read on to learn about us, what it’s like to work with us, what we’re looking for, and our hiring process.

Who we are

Tandem is a technology and innovation studio that specializes in product definition, custom software, and software managed services. We create custom software that inspires people and drives business forward. As a talented group of thinkers and makers from many disciplines, we are brought together by a shared goal: bring talented designers and engineers together to solve meaningful business problems. We always focus first on people — our clients, their customers, and our team — by collaborating to solve meaningful business challenges. We enjoy designing and building ambitious digital products and tools.

What it’s like to work with us

As a consultancy, we have the opportunity to solve a lot of different problems. We work directly with our clients in small teams, building and providing guidance on products, and collaborating with designers. Our unique approach to consulting leads to a better developer experience and a higher quality of work life.

As engineers, we love well-tested, maintainable, and clean code! We are always encouraging each other to write better code through pair programming and code reviews. We’re generalists and strive to make sure that we’re choosing the best technology to solve our clients’ problems. Right now we’re loving Postgres, Rails, and React as our greenfield tech stack, but we occasionally have projects in the Python, Java, .NET, Node, iOS, or ReactNative ecosystems. Nothing is off-limits, so we never turn down the opportunity to learn a new technology! 

Our vision is to create a supportive, collaborative environment and empower people to deliver work they’re proud of. At Tandem, everyone teaches and everyone learns. Egos are low, and we're all genuinely interested in seeing everyone else succeed. 

Who you are

We would love to hear from you if you

  • Have experience with Ruby or Rails
  • Have an expert proficiency in at least 1 full stack, including relational database, server-side framework, and client-side framework
  • Have experience making complex relational data modeling decisions
  • Believe in continuous integration and continuous development
  • Have experience working in an agile development process
  • Love to learn and look at challenges as learning opportunities
  • Value a breadth of knowledge and enjoy being a generalist developer
  • Delight in problem solving and strive to make the best decisions for the problem and information at hand
  • Are excited about software testing and always ship well-tested code
  • Align with our core values and genuinely want to do work that makes a positive impact

In this role, you will...

Our career levels and responsibilities are cumulative. For a full list of responsibilities, please check out our Software Engineering Career Path.


  • Serve as technical lead on projects which includes:
    • Making technology selections
    • Establishing architecture
    • Managing the workload and work assignments of other team members while staying conscientious of individuals’ strengths, weaknesses, and goals and playing to these when managing work assignments
    • Collaborating with design and/or product leads on scope and definition
    • Contributing to the Project Weekly meeting
    • Ultimately shepherding the execution of the technical vision of the project
  • Work with the other leads on a project (engagement, design, etc) to lead collaboratively
  • Demonstrate strong technical abilities, through regular contribution of quality code and sound architectural decisions
  • Clearly articulate requirements and direction to other members of the team
  • Proactively provide feedback to Tandem’s leadership team on processes (hiring, feedback, delivery, sales, etc) to contribute to continuous improvement of the organization as a whole

Technical Skills

  • Work on high complexity features, such as those that integrate multiple systems or call out to a third party,  independently.
  • Deliver code that is easily understood by all members of the team and take steps to make sure the team learns from your code. 
  • Effectively debug high complexity issues in the code using a systematic approach. High complexity issues are those where the remediation steps are unknown and may require large refactors or multi-level system changes.
  • Execute high complexity refactors, such as those that change the contracts between integrations.
  • Model data for high complexity features, such as those that require polymorphic associations, manipulation of advanced SQL concepts like views, triggers, or stored procedures, or requires complex normalization while considering performance
  • Build scalable frontend solutions with an eye towards component architecture (separating business and presentation logic), accessibility, performance, and other web best practices
  • Consistently deliver code with test coverage for most of the primary functionality, and some of the non-primary functionality. Primary functionality is that which is needed to meet the core requirements, such as data parsing logic. Nonprimary functionality is non-essential to the core requirements, such as a helper function for displaying date strings.
  • Deliver code with error handling for user input and other critical data errors in integral parts of application functionality providing graceful fallback conditions
  • Build solutions with an awareness of web security best practices, such as the OWASP Top Ten
  • Provide detailed documentation for your work most of the time, including PR descriptions, commit messages, README updates, or content in the project management tool
  • Communicate your opinions on technical matters and explain the justifications behind your implementation decisions, appropriate to constraints of relevant requirements while also explaining other solutions considered and the benefits and considerations of those approaches
  • Resolve technical debt proactively within the framework of overall client and project objectives
  • Support other team members in languages and frameworks that they may be less comfortable with by drawing on past experiences and breadth of technical knowledge
  • Collaborate with design, product, and other disciplines on the scope and definition of features

Professional & Consulting Skills

  • Successfully plan and deliver large, long-term projects and adeptly negotiate scope tradeoffs with clients
  • Define roadmaps and set vision for long-term projects
  • Proactively manage scope with an eye towards timeline and budget
  • Produce realistic estimates for your team’s scope of work at the sprint level. You explain assumptions, risks, and unknowns for your estimates.
  • Explain trade-offs in your decision making
  • Lead client calls and negotiate scope with the client when necessary
  • Manage client expectations and have difficult conversations with clients
  • Actively solicit opinions of all members of the team and coach them to formulate well-researched, technically sound opinions
  • Support your team members’ delivery with helpful and kind accountability strategies
  • Mentor your teammates in an open, respectful, flexible, empathetic manner
  • Handle uncertainty within project scope of work and team effectively and guide team members through that ambiguity

How we work and our benefits

We care deeply about our team and strive to provide flexibility and benefits so each person can prioritize the things they care about. 

For example, our core working hours are from 10am-4pm in your local time zone. The goal of core hours is to ensure that we can pair and collaborate in a high-bandwidth way during the majority of our workday while allowing us the flexibility that real life requires. You may notice that 10am-4pm for five days doesn't add up to 40 hours - yet 40 is generally what we expect to do. How you organize your work time outside of core hours is at your discretion, whether this is early mornings, late evenings, or weekends (though weekend work is not recommended).

Our other benefits include

  • Healthy work/life balance with no overtime requests
  • Competitive annual salary ($125,000-$165,000)
  • 100% employer paid medical, dental, and vision plans for employee, spouse, and family
  • 100% employer paid life insurance policy
  • 100% employer paid short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • 3 weeks of paid time off to start, increasing by 1 week each year up to 5 weeks off
  • 3 paid conference days each year
  • Annual learning budget for conferences, courses, online training, books, etc.
  • Eligibility to enroll in the Tandem retirement plan with 3% employer matching after 6 months of employment

For a full list of all benefits and employment policies, please check out our Company Handbook.

Our hiring process

We use a 4 step process.

  1. Application
  2. Phone screen
  3. Take home code challenge
  4. Remote in-person interview

The first step in our process is to fill out our application form. You will be asked a few questions on that form. We value thoughtful responses and will disregard applications without them.

If we decide to move forward, we’ll follow up with you to schedule an initial phone screen with one of our engineers. Our phone screens are non-/low-technical. We won’t be grilling you on database design but are interested in learning about your career trajectory, professional experiences, and what interests you.

If that goes well, we’ll send you our take-home code challenge. We know that everyone has different responsibilities and priorities in life, and we want to give you the time you need to shine. You will have 10 days to complete your challenge and submit it. 

Once submitted, we’ll do an internal code review to determine if we’d like to do an in-person interview. If we choose not to move forward, we’re happy to schedule a call for feedback.

Finally, the last step in our process is a remote in-person interview. You’ll have the chance to meet with many of our team members, extend your code challenge, pair with us on real clients and problems that we’re solving that day, and participate in a consulting challenge.

Who you’ll be working with

Tandem's team members come from diverse and nontraditional backgrounds. We support one another in our careers, and are working to achieve inclusivity across the technology industry. Learn more about our culture on the Tandem blog: 
We don’t want to miss great candidates. Don’t let doubt deter you from joining our team. Don’t know what level you should apply for? Check out our career paths for common benchmarks to help you determine what level is best for you.

PLEASE NOTE: applications which do not include thoughtful responses to our application questions will be disregarded.

Please mention No Whiteboard if you apply!
I'm a one-man team looking to improve tech interviews, and could use any support! 😄

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