Senior Software Engineer

Handshake, San Francisco

Handshake is helping to democratize opportunity

Our mission is to democratize opportunity - to make it easy for any student to build a great career, no matter where they go to school, what they're majoring in, or who they know.
Backed by $34m from Spark Capital, Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures and Lightspeed Partners, Handshake has partnered with 500 universities (schools of all sizes and locations, including Stanford, Princeton, UVA, Michigan, Texas, Spelman and Harvey Mudd), and has more than 8 million student profiles and 200,000 companies recruiting on our platform, including 100% of the Fortune 500. Our extensive data on students' interests and historical career outcomes gives Handshake the unique ability to help students imagine, plan and jumpstart their future careers. 

We welcome all people. We celebrate diversity of all kinds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We seek to hire, develop and retain talented people from all backgrounds.

Join our passionate, diverse team at our beautiful offices in the heart of the Mission in San Francisco!

What does a Senior Software Engineer do at Handshake?

Handshake is building a diverse team of dynamic engineers who value creating a high quality, high impact product. We are looking for Senior Engineers who are excellent generalists and have a strong focus on product development. You'll be working on small, multi-functional teams with other engineers, designers, and product managers.

Here are some projects we're excited for you to work on at Handshake

We're focused on innovation within the core experience for students, employers, and universities, constantly improving our technical foundation and user experience. Your job may include:

  • Working with the Product Team and Designers to build an engaging and viral student experience on both mobile and web for over 3 million of students across the country.
  • Working on one or more of the three sides of our marketplace to build high-value, robust premium features for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to Mom-and-Pop companies.
  • Developing and deploying large-scale web applications safely and reliably.
  • Solving challenging and unique problems with our dynamic three-sided marketplace: Students, Employers, and School Administrators.

What we look for

  • You prefer taking projects from inception to completion and are outcome oriented.
  • You have 3+ years experience in building consumer-facing web applications in a dynamic development environment.
  • You love to build high-quality web products.
  • You have experience working in distributed, performant, at-scale backend systems.
  • You are interested in the 'Full Stack' but have passion and knowledge in one or more areas of the web stack.
  • You appreciate good design and friendly user-experiences.
  • You are proud of your craft, and enjoy and value clean code that scales to keep large teams productive.

Technologies you'll work with

  • Ruby on Rails
  • React, TypeScript, Webpack, Redux
  • Kubernetes, GCP, PostgreSQL, Redis, ElasticSearch


  • Stock: Sizable ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 401k: We care about your ability to save for your future.
  • Family Focus: Parental leave (12 weeks maternity / 4 weeks paternity), and flexibility for families.
  • Time Off: Flexible vacation policy to encourage people to get out and see the world.
  • Healthcare: World-class medical, dental, and vision policies.
  • Goodies: Whatever hardware and software you need to get the job done.
  • Team Fun: Regularly scheduled events, sports, game nights, book clubs.
  • Learning: Learning & Development opportunities for you to grow your skills and career.
  • Great team: Working with fun, hardworking, nice people who are committed to making a difference!
  • ...And much more!
We value diversity of all kinds, and are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. 

Handshake Company Values

Students First

Our mission is to democratize access to opportunity and ensure any student can build a great career no matter who they know, where they live or what school they attend. We empathize deeply with our students to increase career opportunities for all.

Focus on Impact

We stay humble and work hard to democratize opportunity for all students. We like to have fun - and we do!  - but we’re more focused on making an impact. Yes, of course, we have a ping-pong table - it’s just packed away in the closet!   

Move Quickly, But Don’t Rush

We believe speed wins, and our operational pace is incredibly fast. Moving quickly while staying aligned requires strategic thought, collaboration, and frequent communication.

Learn. Grow. Repeat.

We embrace a growth mindset, enabling our team to face obstacles with a tenacious desire to turn challenges into opportunities for growth. We are relentlessly curious, working to close the gap between what we currently know and what we need to know to be as effective as possible.

Act with Empathy

We listen closely to understand our users and clients, approach challenges with curiosity, and treat our colleagues and clients with compassion.

Empowered by Diversity

We are building an inclusive & diverse community - both on the Handshake platform and across our team. We believe diverse teams create more thoughtful and innovative solutions and that diverse companies are more successful. 

About Handshake

How we got started Handshake was started in 2014 by Garrett Lord, Scott Ringwelski and Ben Christensen - three students from Michigan Tech, an engineering school in the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Surrounded by more than 200 inches of annual snowfall and an eight-hour drive from Chicago or Detroit, Michigan Tech doesn’t see many recruiters from outside of the Midwest. Garrett was particularly frustrated about the difficulty Michigan Tech engineering students faced in getting in the door at top tech companies. So after hustling nonstop to get a Silicon Valley internship of his own, he took matters into his own hands and started brokering intros for his classmates to Bay Area companies. He earned $60k in referral bonuses in less than a year, and paid his way through college. Encouraged by the impact one person could make at one campus, Garrett, Scott, and Ben bought an old car and drove to college campuses across the country. They learned that students, employers and career centers were all frustrated by the current process, particularly how student access to opportunities was so unequal. So they formed Handshake to transform university recruiting for the 20 million higher education students across the country and ensure that every student would have the same access to every job, no matter where they go to school. Today, Handshake is a fast-growing team of 80 based in San Francisco. We partner with 400+ universities, uniting them into one powerful network, which makes it easy for 200,000 companies to recruit efficiently beyond their traditional “core” schools, increasing the breadth and scope of opportunities for our 8,000,000 students, and giving our partner universities the data and tools they need to help their students build meaningful careers.

Want to learn more about Handshake? Visit Handshake's website.