Snr Backend Engineer

Company: Backpack

Salary: $200 - $500

Posted on: June 25, 2024


Job Description

### **About Backpack**

[Backpack](https://www.backpack529.com/) is a payments infrastructure with a
mission to make education more accessible and affordable. We believe a huge
chunk of that has to do with the archaic systems and processes reliant on
paper, physical check and snail mall - all of which adds to the huge overhead
costs in the industry. That is why our broader mission is to build payments
technology that creates deflationary impacts on the cost of education. While
we are starting with 529 College Saving Accounts, we have already to started
to build out our product breadth, helping Universities manage previously
manual payment processes with our University Banking Platform.

We raised a $3m Seed Round in the fall of 2023 from Walkabout Ventures and
founders and executives from SoFi, Chime, Plaid, Lithic, Vouch, Point 72 and
many more. This sets us up brilliantly for sustainable growth of team and
scale to make this vision a reality.

### **About 529**

[529 Plans](https://www.sec.gov/about/reports-publications/investor-
publications/introduction-529-plans) are state adminstered college savings
accounts that grow free of capital gains taxes on the condition that the funds
are spent on [Qualified Education
Expenses](https://www.savingforcollege.com/article/what-you-can-pay-for-
with-a-529-plan). At the end of 2023, there were nearly $500bn in assets in
these 529 plan accounts with annual gross payment volumes of $30-$40bn. This
is a huge acceleration from a decade ago where payment volume was in the low
single digit billions. This acceleration is a result of the maturation of
accounts and generally is a good thing (more families reaping the benefits of
529); however, because of the state bases structure of 529 there has never
been any investment into a unified payment infractucture. In fact, the vast
majority of payments are still delivered through physical check which causes
huge problems including delayed enrollments, dropped classes, late fees and
even causing students to drop out or forfeit their places altogether.

This has all come at the same time state and federal legislators have started
to expand Section 529 as a way of addressing increasing education
affodrability issues. The definition of a qualified expense has expanded
tremendeously; where 529 funds could previously only be used for tuition at
eligible 2 and 4 year universities, they can now be used for a variety of
education related uses and items including K-12, trade schools,
apprenticeships, textbooks, laptops and other supplies, room and board, paying
down student loans and even rolling over excess funds into a retirement
account.

The payments acceleration and legislative expansion of 529 has created a
fragmented ecosystem on top of a huge asset vertical. Our opportunity is to
build the first integrated payments platform for 529, built around student
families, serving everyone from 529 plans themselves, Universities, Merchants
and tuition payment portals.

### **About the team**

Our goal is to make 529 payments shockingly simple and worry-free for our
users. That means that internally we need to build complex systems and
processes to handle the complicated money movement and administrative
processes on their behalf.

Our founding team has been brought together to ensure we have the best blend
of experience to achieve this; from deep payments and technical expertise, to
go-to-market and operations. We are a group of past operators and executives
that have worked at technology companies like Uber and Sunsama, Fintech
companies like SoFi and Atlas, and traditional financial services companies
like UBS, KPMG and Accenture.

Learn more about the team’s experience on LinkedIn:

[Callum Bedos](https://www.linkedin.com/in/callumbedos/) \- Founder and CEO

[Darryn McCleland](https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrynmccleland/) \- COO

[Pete Herbert](https://www.linkedin.com/in/peteherbert/) \- Head of
Engineering

[Sujin Minnich](https://www.linkedin.com/in/sujinminnich/) \- Snr Front End
Enginerr

[Deary Hudson](https://www.linkedin.com/in/deary-hudson/) \- Snr Backend
Engineer

### **What you’ll do**

### **The Role**

This is an opportunity to join the team as a transformational backend engineer
in a small team and help build a completely new class of fintech - a complex
connective payments system supporting the $700BN in annual education payments
expenses.

You will report to the Head of Engineering and work directly with the entire
team to take product requirements and feedback from our customers to build and
improve our platform.

### **Responsibilities**

* Scope, design and implement Backpack’s core payment engine processing ACH and wire transfers for payment of multiple types of qualified expenses
* Scope, design and implement large scale payments systems, information services and APIs to support automated payments and authentication
* Build and maintain platform APIs, services and dashboards to empower our enterprise customers including 529 Program Managers/Recordkeepers, Universities, Merchants and other providers of eligible expenses
* Collaborate with technical and non-technical stakeholders across the company to build new features at large-scale, while improve internal engineering standards, tooling, and processes

### **Who you are**

You are someone that loves working in a small and growing team where everyone
is accountable for the success of the company. You will be successful as a
self-starter that takes enormous pride in delivering high-quality work
consistently and without a ton of oversight. This also means being able to
thrive in ambiguity and work collaboratively with the entire team to iterate
through problems and craft creative solutions that deliver great outcomes for
our customers. You will have an outsized role in developing a completely new
payments ecosystem for a huge asset class right from the begiining and should
be passionate about setting both the longer term direction and nailing the
details / one percenters from day one.

### **Minimum requirements**

* A strong technical background, including 5+ years of experience with software engineering
* Strong coding skills with a modern or enterprise back-end language
* Experience working with a database using SQL DDL, DML, DCL, and TCL
* Experience and commitment to test driven development (TDD) and domain driven development (DDD)
* Strong analytical capability in modeling complex business flows and turning the business requirements into technical components
* Strong collaboration and communication skills. Experience working with a variety of stakeholders to ship a product

### **Bonus qualifications**

* Experience in building back-end financial systems include payment processing and bank integrations
* Experience with DevOps and Infrastructure as Code (IoC) tools and methodologies
* Experience with AWS and other technologies in our tech stack (below)

### **Current Tech Stack**

Prior experience is not expected and this may change in the future:

* React
* TypeScript / Node.js
* AWS
* PostgreSQL
* Terraform, Packer, Ansible

### **Pay and benefits**

### **Compensation**

Salary will be dependent on depth and relevancy of experience. We expect the
salary range to be $140k - $200k. This role will also include significant
equity ownership in the company.

### **Benefits**

We provide industry standard benefits like unlimited PTO and health, vision
and benefits.

### **Location**

We are a remote first company with particular concentration in San Francisco
and New York. We aim to be in person for approximately a week every ~2 months
- these offistes usually occur in different states around the country and are
a great time!

### **We look forward to hearing from you**

We cannot wait to hear from passionate, driven and talented people that are
excited about our mission. We are building a first of its kind fintech company
to completely revolutionize an entire asset class and, eventually, how all
Americans pay for education. We acknowledge that this is a big ask list so
even if there are a couple of missing pieces, we strongly urge you to still
apply.