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Senior Full Stack Engineer



WaitWhat is a joyful new start-up from former TED execs June Cohen and Deron Triff. For a combined 16 years, June and Deron launched and led media at TED —, TED Open Translation Project, TED Radio Hour, TED Books, TED in Cinema, etc. — resulting in more than 1 billion annual views and listens of the organization’s content.

Founded in January, WaitWhat’s inaugural media properties Masters of Scale and Sincerely, X have been critically acclaimed and represent just the beginning of the intriguing new things we plan to bring out to the world.

We describe WaitWhat as a content incubator. Combining exceptional creative capacity with distribution know-how, we create media properties that defy formula… content of the highest quality and originality. From the get-to, we design our media to live across many different forms and formats – audio, video, virtual, live, print, etc. – in order to scale as thriving independent businesses.

We’re now building out a team that’s as diverse as it is creative, brought together by the desire to create amazing media experiences. We’re channeling our energy to fulfill what we believe is the greatest, often unspoken, need of our times… to feel lit up and alive. Everything we produce will have those “Wait, what?’ moments that spark your curiosity and change your understanding of the world.

We’re looking for an intellectually curious, creatively courageous Full Stack Engineer to join our small, growing team. You’ve got the hunger and enthusiasm to bring products to market unifying technology, UX and design.

You must love start-up culture, feel energized by team-oriented environments, and have an all-hands-on-deck attitude.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to explore exciting new realms at a media start-up as a full stack, hero engineer; to both deepen your skills and stretch your existing talents in new ways; to take real ownership and responsibility for projects; to help invent new genre-defining media/technology properties; to be a respected member of a creative cross-disciplinary team; to be inspired and delighted by the media you work on; to be mentored by a range of experienced colleagues; and to be part of a low-ego, high-collaboration, “all hands on deck” startup environment, this job could be perfect for you.

That said, if you’re looking for a chance to work with a large team with large budgets in which everyone sticks to their specialty; or if you seek a simple day job to support your side hustle — this isn’t the job for you. (Nothing wrong with any of those pursuits, but it isn’t the job for you.)


This is an all-purpose engineering role on a small team. Initially, your primary focus will be on bringing to market a core new property by mid-year. (We have engaged a fantastic design & development firm in New York and are working hand-in-hand with them in these initial stages.) The product is a community-oriented media site that combines user-generated content and community interaction in a unique way. It will elegantly and delightfully fill a common unmet need, while celebrating our shared human-ness. It also has a sense of humor. Responsibilities include: - Being the primary engineer for a new startup media venture that ties together storytelling, user generated content and an exciting new community. - Building delightful products and experiences contributing at all levels of our web application stack, ranging from back-end technologies (PHP, MySQL, Memcache) to front-end web interfaces (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). - Working closely with product managers, designers and senior leadership to devise creative solutions to fulfill user needs, test hypothesis, plan road maps and weekly sprints. - We believe strongly in using both quantitative and qualitative methods to guide decisions. You play a key role in devising A/B tests, analyzing results and making quick iterative developments to the site. - Working independently to define and solve unconstrained problems, and know when to seek help when no progress is being made. - Expand on existing architectural frameworks established in the code base and define the future of the application for new team members to be able to collaborate from. - Have a “leave it better than you found it” mentality, and are willing to work with and improve on code you did not originally write. - Being generous with your time and experience, and mentoring new engineers. - Will be a mindful, transparent, and communicative member of your team. This is a FT position, based in downtown Manhattan. We’re a startup with tight budgets, so our salaries are lower than big media companies. But we’re so much more fun to work for! Benefits include field trips, team dinners, awesome colleagues you’ll be proud to know, and building wildly original media properties from scratch. We also have a formal benefits package that’s highly generous and competitive with much larger companies (We believe in taking care of our team.) We work long hours, but we also rest. (Our whole company closes for 2 weeks in the summer — and the week between Christmas and New Years — so we can recharge). We’re committed to 50/50 gender balance, and diversity of all kinds — in our media properties, among our investors and on our team: Women, minorities and anyone with an unconventional background are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, we only hire extremely nice people. Requirements The ideal candidate will have: - 4+ years of technical experience working on consumer facing products - Deep understanding of JavaScript-based SPA (Single Page Application) build with ReactJS, Async data and state management handling with - ReduxJS, Sass-based modular styling -Working knowledge of: ExpressJS-based server built on NodeJS, MongoDB Database Instance, RESTful API endpoints following best practices - Expertise utilizing off the shelf testing tools to run A/B & multivariate tests - Experience with (and opinions on) existing JavaScript frameworks especially (React.js) - Strong experience developing within a dynamic web environment (Ruby on Rails) - Experience implementing Google Analytics tags across dynamically applications - An obsessive approach to performance and optimization - A strong eye for product design and interactivity with unwavering attention to detail - Big picture thinking: you understand how individual parts fit into the whole of a website, and problem-solve for scale and efficiency - Solid background in object-oriented programming for the web - Strong portfolio or public code (Github, Bitbucket, etc.)
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