thoughtbot is a software consultancy focused on building products and improving teams. We work with a wide range of clients - from startup founders launching their first product to established companies looking to increase their velocity and mentor their team. We build and maintain widely-used open source software like the well-known Ruby on Rails testing tool FactoryBot.
Development Team Lead-Remote-EMEA region
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Software Development Team Lead-Remote
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Director of Design Strategy-Remote
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Senior Ruby on Rails Software Developer- Remote
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Design Director - Remote
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Software Development Team Lead- Product Focused
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Director of Software Development - Remote
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Managing Director - Remote
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Principal Ruby on Rails Software Developer - Remote
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LOOKING TO BUILD INTERESTING PRODUCTS FOR WEB & MOBILE? JOIN US!🤖
At thoughtbot, we strive to build products and teams that improve the world and each other. We’re always seeking clients that want to solve interesting problems with technology, who also reflect our company’s values. Within our company, we look to find better ways to work and share our knowledge with as many people as possible. One way we do that is through our blog.
We work in the digital space, developing products for both native apps and browsers. Our designers and developers work alongside each other to not only bring ideas to life, but to guide clients in areas of design thinking, development process, code quality, and testing. We also help other businesses by mentoring their current team and aid in the hiring of new people to maintain their product after our engagement has ended. Our impact is leaving our clients with not only a high-quality and tested product, but better processes and ways of working after we’ve left.
Industry-wise, we work in a lot of spaces. However, we’ve had a lot of clients lately in the health tech field. Our team has done work in everything from storefronts to fitness to education to government and community-driven projects.
OUR VALUES | PURPOSE | VISION🌍
We believe that it is possible to continuously learn and improve the way people work while building higher-quality products that make positive contributions to the world. We use these values daily to shape our work and our policies (anyone at thoughtbot can suggest and contribute to company policy).
Our values are:
✨ Earn, impart, and summon Trust
✨ Practice continuous improvement
✨ Assert self-management
✨ Seek fulfillment in everything we do
You can learn more about our values, along with our mission and purpose, on our website here!
HOW WE VALUE DIVERSITY ❤️
Three key areas where thoughtbot demonstrates our value of diversity is how we shape our company, how we build products, and how we impact the industry.
Unlike companies that only communicate from the top down, we empower everyone to shape the company. Any employee, no matter their tenure, is encouraged to identify areas where we can improve and contribute to our internal handbook. In addition our DEI council members rotate regularly, giving everyone a chance to contribute. The council sets goals for the company like diversity among our leadership team.
thoughtbot's core business is helping our clients build products. We've built quite a few in our 18 years of operation. We bring that past knowledge to clients, but each employee also brings their own experiences and background. Diversity on our team is key because products that are used by people from many different backgrounds and experiences should be built by people who share those experiences.
Beyond the code itself, we try to find the best way to work and bring that to the industry. What is "best" for one isn't necessarily best for all. A diverse team helps us change our process to work well for everyone. In the same way that we want everyone to contribute to our handbook, the cultural norm at thoughtbot is to share your knowledge internally with the team, outwardly to a client, or publicly on our blog and in the community.
Shaping our company, building digital products, or making an impact in the industry only works when people with different perspectives, backgrounds, and experience levels take part. This is our diversity at work. However, diversity by itself is not a useful goal. Having a wide range of experiences is great, but to benefit from that experience everyone needs to feel empowered to participate.
You can learn more about DEI at thoughtbot in our playbook here.
OUR AREAS OF EQUITY ⚖️
Equity at thoughtbot is iterative as we’re always looking to improve in all areas of the company.
A few areas where we’re focused on equity are within hiring, promotion, and salaries. It’s important to us not only to have diverse representation at all levels of thoughtbot, but to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to grow and pave their path at work and in life.
All pay and salary offers are reviewed regularly by our Chief People Officer for equity across the company. The type of role and years of experience are taken into consideration. Instead of looking at cost of living in each individual location, we have only two salary bands in the US - a high cost of living band which includes NY, SF, and Seattle, and a main US band.
If in the process of salary adjustment, a teammate brings up an accomplishment to our attention that was initially overlooked, that accomplishment is taken into consideration for all teammates across the company, not just the one who brought it up.
In order to work towards having a more diverse company, we aim to have an equitable hiring process. Hiring managers have a checklist of DEI-informed standards, including posting jobs to boards that may reach more marginalized talent as well as creating a representative candidate pool before interviewing can begin.
Promotions to mid-level or senior-level roles are driven both by documented consistent expectations set out for those roles as well as standardized self-evaluated skill rubrics. All of this is done on at least a quarterly cadence with that team member’s manager.
INCLUSIVE PRACTICES 🤝
Inclusivity is an active practice at the company, team, and individual level. As with diversity and equity, it’s something we look to constantly improve and adjust to better foster the fulfillment and safety of everyone.
Ensuring an inclusive environment is a practice that is supported by team-driven documentation and policy within our internal handbook. We have an accessible and enforceable code of conduct that is not only a part of internal and client-facing communications, but is also included in our open source projects. You can read more about that here.
We have various other documented and interactive policies, such as a Slackbot that suggests more inclusive language, inclusive meeting guidelines, and conference benefits that are upheld by an inclusive rider. These have all been created by individual team members in collaboration with each other. All of this documentation, however, is always evolving, and is regularly updated as different individuals make new suggestions.
As noted before, this documentation lives in our living handbook on GitHub. We encourage everyone to open issues and pull requests to address particular concerns within the company. These suggestions are surfaced to the entire company where anyone can have the opportunity to discuss or react before items are merged.
You can read about our inclusive meeting guidelines on our blog.
SAFETY & HAPPINESS OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS 🔒
Ensuring psychological, emotional, mental, and physical safety is important to upholding our values as a company. We practice this through regular training, enforceable codes of conduct, as well as building public trust through transparency of information.
All employees complete a sexual harassment prevention and unconscious bias and inclusion training. Leadership is expected to complete further training to understand policies and reporting protocols. In addition to these baseline exercises, we work with outside organizations to facilitate company-wide workshops around meaningful DEI work, conversation, and tactics. Our DEI council (which includes our Chief People Officer) does a lot of the work to engage with these outside organizations as well as collect internal feedback from the team on how to improve our training in the future.
Our codes of conduct (CoC), both internal and open-source, direct procedure and enforcement when it comes to harassment. The CoC provides a variety of reporting options. Like any document within our company, it is living, and is always up for edits and improvements by team members. Many other DEI-driven protocols also live within our internal handbook to serve as a guide for everyone.
Overall, our core value of earning, imparting, and summoning trust is supported by transparency of information. We aim to communicate with each other as openly as possible while still maintaining privacy and confidentiality of individuals.
ACTIONS FROM LEADERSHIP 🦾
Individual fulfillment and overall health has been top of mind for thoughtbot, especially considering recent traumas like the COVID-19 pandemic, police violence against Black communities, anti-transgender legislation, and how they have affected everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Taking paid time off for vacation, rest, mental health, or anything else is highly encouraged. Leaders will often check in with their team to ensure they’re taking time as needed. You can read more about our paid time off on our benefits page.
We’ve recently introduced select half day Fridays to disconnect for mental health relief, relaxation, and reflection.
Beyond benefits, we look to leadership at the company to be a model of support and behavior for their team and for the rest of the company. There are a variety of levels from team leads, to directors, to chief officers. This hierarchy, however, was created in the name of support, not simply titles. New managers are given training that covers our code of conduct, reporting harassment, supporting direct reports during tumultuous times, and handling the promotion process.
Managers also have regular 1:1s with their team to be able to assist in any challenges they’re facing as well as help them grow in the ways they’d like to and meet goals they’ve set for themselves. In mentoring direct reports, managers aim to foster a compassionate space where folks can be open about challenges they’re facing without judgment, there is constructive and respectful two-way feedback, and the manager and direct report work together on areas for growth.
When it comes to consulting, we aim for everyone to have a say in what kinds of projects and clients we take on. While it’s the job of sales and directors to win projects, designers and developers at all levels are included in preliminary discussions with potential clients. Team members are encouraged to vet and give feedback around clients. Internal feedback is also given weekly from the team regarding their current project. thoughtbot has declined to work with clients, who, while potentially lucrative, are not aligned with our values. Team member feedback plays a large role in these decisions.
And like most policies and issues at thoughtbot, any documentation change to how leadership is operated is brought up in our internal handbook. All thoughtbotters are encouraged to contribute to discussions in the handbook.
HOW WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE ACTIONABLE 🎙
thoughtbot aims to be an open, compassionate space where transparency of information and communication, learning out in the open, and respect and support for people from a wide variety of backgrounds is a core value. We aim to consistently live those values in our company, with our clients, and in the community. As with all other aspects of our company, our process is iterative and we’re always looking to improve.
We’ve taken some specific measures to assure underrepresented voices are heard at thoughtbot, and in the community.
In 2021, we started working with The Nova Collective, a Black and Women-owned DEI consultancy, to facilitate a series of workshops on social identity and allyship. We kicked off that series with NOVA facilitating a BIPOC listening session at thoughtbot. Feedback provided in the BIPOC listening session is used to inform subsequent company-wide trainings.
We consistently solicit anonymous feedback from teammates, and offer a variety of ways for teammates to give feedback to leadership, the DEI Council, and each other. We offer opportunities for teammates to present at leadership meetings, including a Directors' Quarterly meeting. We encourage team members to share publicly on the blog, not just technical learnings, but topics around diversity, equity, inclusion, and culture.
We enforce our inclusive meeting guidelines. We run meetings in a structured format so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute, assuring that it’s not just the loudest voices who dominate the discussion.
Our interview process is shared publicly in our Playbook.
Our interview steps are as follows:
1. Anonymous review
2. Non technical interview
3. Technical interview
4. Final stage pairing interview
Our technical interview is standardized, with no puzzles or code challenges, and is based on the type of work we’d likely do on a day-to-day basis.
For the final stage pairing interview, developer candidates pair program with one of our developers in the morning and another in the afternoon. They also participate in small group social chats. This gives them a chance to meet a few more of our team members. Designer candidates pair in the morning and work on a small product design project throughout the day and then present at 4pm. It primarily involves sketching and working with one or two thoughtbot designers.
We do the interviews this way because there's no substitute for seeing someone actually do the work and interacting with the team. We also want candidates to experience what the company is like for themselves.
thoughtbot will compensate candidates for their full day final stage interview as follows:
Americas: $500 USD
EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa): £300
Final Stage interviews lasting less than 5 hours will be compensated a prorated amount. This includes roles such as Operations, People Operations, Business Development & Marketing.
One of the biggest benefits for team members who do client work at thoughtbot is the time we set aside as a company for investment. We reserve at least 20 days of the year for continuous improvement to make ourselves, the company, and our community better by learning new tools and techniques, working on open source, blogging, creating new products, volunteering our time, and more. This typically means that we do 4 days of client work per week, and take Fridays for investment time.
We’ve written about how we use investment time here:
We share our company benefits publicly at: https://benefits.thoughtbot.com/