Senior Backend Engineer, Scratch

MIT Media Lab

by Kelley Shepard

July 28, 2017


Job Description

We are seeking a curious and enthusiastic software engineer to join our Scratch team at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch ( is a free visual programming language and global online community where children can create and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animations.

Here at the Lifelong Kindergarten research group (MIT Media Lab), we are passionate about creating technology that enables kids to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. We’re looking for engineers who enjoy collaborating as much as coding and who thrive in an environment of continual iteration and improvement. Located in the MIT Media Lab, the Scratch team works amid a giant pit of LEGO bricks – so a love for creative making (and tolerance for a bit of a mess) is a must!

This position is a unique opportunity to shape the development of the leading platform for teaching kids to code and encouraging creative expression through technology. At Scratch, we highly value learning and teaching, and we will support you as you become a great mentor for our team's junior engineers.

We believe that amazing people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The Scratch team is a small, close-knit group of designers, engineers, and researchers whose prior experience includes established tech companies, various startups, and many open source projects. While you should have some experience with our technology stack (see below), we fully support candidates that have come to engineering through non-traditional paths. We also value a healthy work-life balance and strive to accommodate the commitments of family life.


• Implement and deploy new features;

• Guide the growth of other developers through regular code review and collaboration;

• Support the operation, maintenance, and evolution of Scratch’s infrastructure as it continues to grow and reach a global audience;

• Share your knowledge and best-practices via documentation, wikis, workshops, and conferences;

• Help shape technical direction and engineering process.


• Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or equivalent experience;

• 4+ years professional experience with backend systems development;

• Proficiency with Node.js;

• Proficiency with MySQL or PostgreSQL;

• Proficiency with Unix / Linux systems administration;

• Proficiency with Amazon Web Services;

• Excellent communication skills; written, verbal, and presentation;

• Passion for creating great experiences and solving unique problems.

Our Stack:

• Node.js

• Redis

• Elastic Search

• Percona MySQL

• Ansible

• Fastly

• Travis-CI

• Jenkins

• GitHub

To apply, go to and search for job ID # 15024.

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