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Frontend Engineer (Pure JS, Node, Canvas, WebGL, CSS) at Placeit (Guadalajara, Mexico)

What are we looking for?

An experienced front-end engineer to join the Placeit team.

Here is a little gif of the types of templates our users use us for currently (that will change soon with growth of new features)

Who are we?

We started as an agency, called Freshout in 2008. We developed new products for companies such Linkedin, Telefonica, eBay. When we realized we couldn’t control the products we built through our clients, we started to invest in our own products. We bootstrapped our way to a product company in late 2014.

We’ve been profitable since the day we started so you don’t have to worry about us bleeding money and suddenly closing up shop because an investor pulled out.

All our staff including the CEO resides here in beautiful Guadalajara. We’ve been here for quite a few years and we don’t plan on leaving any time soon. We operate PlaceitRecordit and Empowerkit out of the same office.

We currently have 100 employees in our GDL office. Between our products, we serve over 8m users. 

This is not some satellite office where we send some of the “special” work. We invest heavily in the education and progress of each member of our team. We have full autonomy over what we build and there are no clients forcing our hand to build unnecessary features.

Placeit is used by everyone from Adobe to Yelp to Facebook to Google to Salesforce to IBM to Netflix. We’ve doubled in size over the past year and have thousands of paid subscribers.

The answers below are meant to address the most frequently asked questions. If we missed any, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Video → Learn about our engineering culture here ←

What would I work on specifically?

You would be working on the front-end of Placeit. That can include anything from the modular components (we call them Widgets) of the interface to the markup to the Canvas engine that you can make the designs with. It depends on where your skills are the strongest.

The most immediate new item we’re working on is our new interface for creating designs with our templates and previewing them. I can't talk much about it here but we can talk more about that during the interview if you're interested. 

If you want to see some examples of our Design Templates, visit the Placeit website.

What general skills do I need to perform well in this position?

You need to know how to:

  • Be clever about how to approach problems

  • Be technically curious (learning on your own)

  • Have a serious interest in understanding the goal behind your work

  • Push for doing things the right way the first time around

  • Have empathy for our users

What technical skills do I need to perform well in this position?

You need to be familiar with the following:

  • HTML (different version) and their compatibilities.

  • CSS (different versions and techniques to apply effects and cross browser support), one or two CSS frameworks (LESS or SASS).

  • Component frameworks such as Bootstrap or Foundation.

  • JS: programming model in JavaScript / inheritance model, scoping, differences between the three major version of JS.

  • HTTP: how the protocol generally works and how browsers generally deal with it.

  • Web sockets and web workers.

  • Experience with AJAX libraries (jQuery is required and one of these three: Backbone, Angular or React).

What are the required baseline technical skills for all levels of engineers there?

Here is a list of what we consider baseline fundamentals that you need to be familiar with no matter what area of the platform you work on:

What’s the salary like?

Your offer will generally be above the market rate in the local market. 

We’ve listed the salary range on the job position but once we learn a bit more about your specific skills, we can give you an exact offer.

We take into account quite a lot of things when determining the offer. You’ll want to take a look at this document to get an idea of what we value.

If you can provide value, your offer will reflect that.

What’s the management style?

Video → Learn about our engineering culture here ←

Honest, truthful and always focused on improving.

Your manager will most probably talk you very straight. We don’t sugarcoat things. We like to communicate clearly so we can focus on improving rather than covering things up.

Our incentive structure and alignment values are all around trying to -> try to set up an environment for you to be as productive as possible with the assumption that you have the will and intention to do so. 

That means everything from setting clear product goals to a great office environment to autonomy when you've earned it. 

If your goal is to do great work and deliver value, you’ll have a great relationship with your manager. 

What does it look like to work there?

Please see the videos posted in this job listing.

How quickly can I get a promotion?

Depending on where you started and how quickly you’ve been improving, as quickly as 2 months.

In order to create a transparent and fair process for raises, we worked on creating a framework we call Value Alignment. It’s made up of many factors from user empathy to pure technical skill to collaboration.

It’s meant to provide a really easy way for you to know how to provide value to the company so you can ask for some of that value in a form of raise.

You can read the documentation here.

What are the benefits you provide?

We provide private health insurance of your choice, IMSS, paid trips around Mexico, free lunches on Wed/Fridays, paid educational courses and unlimited kindle books.

What does your engineering process look like?

We do believe that most people have a planning bias so most would think that we spend quite a bit of time in trying to clear and organize our minds before starting any task. We call it “X Workflow”. You can read about X Workflow here.

We’ve also documented our process for bug fixing. You can find it here.

For some additional reading, please see here and here

We also set aside 1 week every 8 weeks for any code improvements each engineer would like to focus on. This allows you to have time set aside for any refactoring you’d like to do without asking for the time.

We try to automate testing as much as possible. With 3 products out there, we don’t have a single dedicated QA person. We try to optimize our team such that a QA team should be unnecessary. Every person inside the company acts as decentralized QA departments (from customer service to CEO to engineers).

What does the flow look from the beginning to deploy for a particular feature?

  • You get a feature request from product manager

  • You make sure you understand the goals clearly and collect basic information

  • Assuming it’s time to work on it, you’d start with the specifications (detailed in X Workflow document).

  • The document generally starts with describing the problem, a bit of background and your hypothesis for the approach you’re going to take.

  • Then you would work on the high level solution proposal

  • And lastly would be your Blackbox (if needed), Theory of operations and functional specs.

  • Once those are approved, you can start coding!

  • Once your code is ready, you would deploy to staging to test your work.

  • If ready, you would then send your code for final review.

  • If ready, then it would be deployed to production after OK from CTO.

  • Lastly, you would go back to update your specification with any future work that you believe this feature needs.

The specification document and our general process for approaching new feature development is documented here called X Workflow.

How much autonomy do I have? Will I be micromanaged?

You’ll have a quite a bit of autonomy as long as you follow two basic rules. One is to be objective and the other is to be transparent. As long you’re following those two guidelines, you have full autonomy on how approach your work.

We always want to see that you have a proper line of logic when you’re approaching problems so you don’t tax the product and the company later down the line where it’s much more expensive to fix.

Our optimal method of working is to be openly and proactively sharing your progress, metrics and thought process behind your approach. Through this method, we keep each other in the loop so that we don’t have disasters happen.

The CTO and a peer is usually involved in approving specifications and deploys.

What are your plans for growth for long term?

We've added 30 people in the past 2 months and have doubled in revenue over the past year. We're planning on growing our Design Templates category in many ways but the general idea being to -> be able to design whatever you'd like within the browser but through a form-based interface. 

How’s the work/life balance there?

Most engineers are here between 10am to 6pm although some come earlier and leave a bit earlier. Some days they stay later and some days they leave earlier.

We generally keep an “adult policy” over these things. The idea is that you’re responsible and we’re not going to babysit you. We don’t really focus on the hours you spend the office. Our focus is mostly on how efficient you are.

We’re flexible for people that want to start work earlier and leave earlier as well.

Can I work remotely?

If you want to work remotely for the first month or two before committing to move, that’s ok with us but we’re generally not considering remote workers at this point but if you want to send in your info, we can take a look.

We ideally want you to be here in our GDL office.

I like the position but what if I’m wrapping up a freelance project currently?

That’s ok. We can work on a part time basis (has to be at least half time) for the first month or two. This approach works out well so you can see if this is a good fit for you before committing 100%.

Will you pay for my relocation?


Do you guys help with my paperwork if I’m not a Mexican citizen?


What language do you guys use inside the office?

We tend to go between Spanish and English quite a bit but if you only speak English, that’s ok too. 

How do I apply?

Email with the following information:

Your name, your GitHub username (if you have any public repos), resume or CV, why you would want to work here, any other information you think will be useful for us to know. 

by via developer jobs - Stack Overflow

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