Rypple: Software Engineer / Developer

May 21, 2009

I haven’t talked about Rypple since they were a stealth startup looking for a ‘star software developer‘ and, later, a ‘star developer and front end ninja‘.  They’re no longer stealth, and they’re looking to hire a Software Engineer / Developer:

If you have a proven track record of building successful software (e.g. people love what you create), then we want to talk to you. If you don’t think its crazy to build both scalable, high-quality applications and release early and often – then you’ll like it here.

At Rypple, you’ll:

  • Join our dev team to design and build our online apps and the infrastructure we run our business on.
  • Regularly deal with users, customers, and our industry partners. You’ll be expected to come up with new ideas to create value and then implement and improve on those ideas
  • Be a generalist with technology but a specialist with building world class applications.
  • Be highly adaptable to technical challenges and thrive in an adaptive environment.
  • Be disciplined and get stuff done.

The Good
The founders are entrepreneurs with a good track record at Workbrain, and I found them to be impressive in person.  They believe in agile processes.  Their product is in an interesting space and a space they know well.  Initial feedback on their product seems to be positive.  Because it’s a public application, you can take a look at it and see if it’s something you’re interested in being a part of, which is always a big plus.  The technology stack is a good one — GWT, REST, Hibernate.  They claim to be agile.

The Bad
Workbrain had a bit of a reputation as a sweatshop.  I haven’t heard the same vibe from Rypple, but ultimately that’s something you’d want to assess for yourself.

What’s Missing?
What’s the size and composition of the team, and where would you fit into it?  What’s the compensation like, from ‘generous pay’ to vacation and benefits?

When last I spoke to the Rypple founders, they were believers in Peter Thiel’s hypothesis that low pay is a predictor of startup success — that members of a startup need to be hungry and committed to the success of the company, and that high pay prevents that from happening.  It’s an interesting hypothesis, but your mileage may vary when it comes to the specifics of how much Rypple is willing to pay you to join the team.  You won’t know if you don’t talk to them.

Your mileage may also vary when it comes to working for a startup.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

And finally, I’m increasingly irritated by job descriptions that mention things like ‘nunchaku skills.’  I know it’s intended to be humor, but my mileage does vary.

The Location
Yonge and Eglinton.  It’s not great if you’re coming from far out of town, in particular by GO, but it’s pretty accessible by Subway from most parts of the city.  There are lots of restaurants and shopping, particularly if you include Bayview Village and Mount Pleasant.  It’s neither the perfect location nor a bad one, to my eye.

In Summary
A development position for one of Toronto’s more visible startups.  If doing Java development for a startup sounds interesting, then you should probably talk to Rypple.