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Backend Engineer, Core Product



Software Engineering, Product
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, June 6, 2022

⛵️ About Wholesail

Wholesail is an early stage startup that builds software to connect wholesalers and their buyers by automating and digitizing invoicing and payment in the $5 trillion wholesale trade industry. The company’s first product is an electronic invoicing and payment portal for wholesale sellers, which allows them to get paid faster and decrease losses. For buyers, Wholesail automates the accounts payable & expense management process to save them time and money. Wholesail’s initial industry focus is to build a network effect driven payment business in the highly fragmented $1 trillion US food distribution market, in which invoicing and payment is nearly entirely paper-driven today.

Wholesail was founded by a team of engineers, product managers, and designers whose prior startups were acquired by OpenTable, and the company is well funded with backing from a half dozen VCs and 20+ angel investors including early executives and team members from Stripe, Square, Dropbox, Yelp, OpenTable and Everlane.

Are you fascinated by how people use products, actively seek to understand the “why” behind product decisions, and approach product building as a craft? Are you passionate about working with other experienced engineers who have a passion for their craft? We'd love to have you join our voyage as a founding member of our product engineering team.

🛠 About the Role

As an early engineer, you’ll build new features and internal APIs to create value for the suppliers and buyers on our network. Your work will skew towards backend development, but you'll end up working up and down the stack and you’ll spend a lot of time with our sales and support team and our customers to figure out the details of the products you craft. Our small product team wears many hats, so you'll get significant exposure to many areas adjacent to engineering: design, marketing, customer success, sales, and all of the functions of an early stage startup.

As a product oriented member of our engineering team, you’ll couple strong technical execution with an active voice in shaping the product through contribution in product conversations and identifying product/technical tradeoffs. You’ll participate in different styles of execution based on the stage of product development – from iterating quickly on an experiment with intentionally scrappy code to building sustainable systems that serve as a foundation for years to come.

Most significantly, you'll be building the company with us. We are early on our voyage and there are vast uncharted seas ahead. We want to work with fellow Wholesailers who care deeply about the process of building an enduring company: from what values we embrace, how we build our teams, decisions about how we grow our business, and everything in between.

🚀 You’d be great a great fit for our voyage if you…

  • Are naturally curious about and have a keen interest in understanding the "why?" by digging into the nuts-and-bolts of how things work as a first principles thinker.
  • Think deeply about products – from building empathy for users, to understanding how a product works, how it fits into a complex system, and how it creates business value.
  • Obsess about the details of your craft whether it’s designing a new abstraction layer, building an API for a colleague on the frontend team or shipping a pixel perfect feature.
  • Quickly build intuition in new domains and are able to articulate product/engineering tradeoffs early on while also pragmatically handling (and minimizing work on) edge cases.
  • Estimate and prioritize when faced with different proposed solutions, to help guide the team towards building the most impactful products.
  • Strive to quickly deliver value through rapid product validation cycles and have a keen ability to identify quick wins that create value for customers.
  • Use data to guide your understanding of user behavior and inform the decisions you make to maximize building value for customers.
  • Strive for end-to-end ownership of your work, are proactive with sharing product ideas/opinions, and seek early feedback from other members of your team.
  • Build empathy and relationships with strong listening, written, and verbal communication skills – particularly with non-engineering folks such as designers, PMs, support and sales.

🤝 Engineering Culture & Environment

At Wholesail, we started as a team of senior engineers who are passionate about using technology to build products and tools to improve the lives of buyers and sellers in the wholesale industry. Many of us have a background working on technologies used in the relevant food and payments industries, and together with our cross-functional partners, we strive to learn about the problems that our customers in the wholesale industry are facing, so we can work hard to provide solutions for our buyers and sellers.

Wholesail provides products that help our customers make payments and process orders, which are essential to our customers' business, and therefore we have a strong focus on security, reliability and system performance. We emphasize good engineering practices, and adopt test-driven development and continuous deployment to iterate quickly and confidently. We identify and eliminate or mitigate the impact of single points of failure in our systems. We also genuinely take pride in the craftsmanship of the code we produce, and we love to work with colleagues whose work we respect. Intermixed with all of this is a sense of good humor, and an earnest enjoyment in working together.

Wholesail’s tech stack starts with Java services running in Kubernetes (GKE on Google Cloud Platform), with PostgreSQL as the database. The frontend is a React-Native single page application that is served statically. The Wholesail platform integrates with third party services and APIs, including Plaid, Stripe, Modern Treasury and QuickBooks, among other systems. Given the financial and accounting nature of the product, the company has invested in extensive testing infrastructure. In addition to more traditional automated testing, we built orchestration that provisions independent copies of the entire service architecture with candidate releases to test the system, end-to-end, before rolling out new changes.