Savvica: Expert Rails Engineer

Savvica has three ‘expert rails engineers‘ and they’re looking to add a fourth:

  • the best coder you know.
  • self-taught.
  • very hardworking. (This is an all-or-nothing startup.)
  • not scared of anything: Linux, SQL, CSS, Javascript, Erlang, whatever!

Savvica describes themselves as “a game-changing educational technology company that will improve access and quality of education around the world”

The Good
The company has a very strong developer-friendly startup feel to it.  They talk about technology, they have Rails blog, they contribute to open source.  They have macs, they send you to RubyConf.

They have a visible product that you, the potential candidate, can play with in LearnHub, a “social learning network where people teach and learn online.”  It’s a consumer product, so if you work on it, you can easily show it to your friends and family.

The technology is Ruby and Rails with TDD.

They’re lcoated on Spadina, between Queen and King, a vibrant neighbourhood with ships and restaurants, as well as expensive gyms and condos.

There’s lots to like here.

The Bad
Really, I don’t have many complaints, and most of the ones I can imagine probably fall into a ‘Your Mileage May Vary’ category instead, such as the compensation.

There’s really very little in the posting about the role, the work, the compensation, the process.  Some of that is natural effect of being a small startup — there may be very little in the way of defined roles and process, it’s just a team trying to get the job done, but it does mean you’ll want to ask some of those things if you speak to Savvica.

When I last spoke with Savvica in detail, their salary expectations were neither terrifically low nor terrifically high.  They were hoping to attract developers who could afford to work on a slightly lower salary in return for options/equity in the long run.  That approach can work well in the long run, but it’s not a perfect match for everyone in the near term.  If the rest of the opportunity sounds perfect for you, then I suggest you talk them in more detail and cover the topic of compensation.

Although their posted 88.2% test coverage certainly isn’t bad, and does demonstrate their commitment to testing,  my experience was that, in Rails, with less unlikely-exception-handling and boilerplate getter-and-setter code than Java, it wasn’t hard to get pretty close to 100%.  That said, I haven’t seen their codebase and coverage numbers in detail, and, to be honest, a near-90% coverage is nothing to complain about.

It’s a small startup.  Not everyone’s looking for small or startup.

In Summary
Savvica’s an interesting place.  I spoke briefly with John Philip Green last year, but my outrageous salary expectations (and a family to support who can’t eat options) weren’t a great fit.

If you’re interested in doing Rails in the downtown core, and the compensation is a good match for you, it’s seems worth further investigation.  If you do check it out, be sure and read CTO John Philip Green’s ‘11 Tips on Hiring a Rails Programmer‘ so that you know what to expect.


One Response to Savvica: Expert Rails Engineer

  1. […] Savvica: Expert Rails Engineer « Toronto Technology Jobs ‘Your Mileage May Vary’ (tags: Toronto LearnHub Startup Job) […]

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