Software Engineer

Prodigy Finance, Cape Town

Funding shouldn't be a barrier to education, so they're revolutionizing international student loans.

Prodigy Finance - Who we are

Prodigy Finance is a platform that enables financing for international postgraduate students at the world’s best universities, whilst delivering competitive financial and social returns to alumni, institutional and private investors.

This borderless and innovative model enables education loan financing to students from across the globe, whilst using predicted post-degree affordability rather than present-day salary. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has extended over US$500 million through the platform to fund over 12,000 students from over 120 countries.

Our team of over 140 (and growing) is already truly global. Our head office is in London with much of the team being based in beautiful Cape Town. We also have an office in New York plus team members based across Europe and Asia.

We are funded by some of the best, pre-eminent institutions in the world including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, AlphaCode, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Why this is an amazing opportunity

This role is perfect for an experienced developer who wants to supercharge their career by experiencing first-hand what it is like to be part of an energetic, extremely fast-growing startup. Your role will equip you to work in a leadership role as an accomplished software engineer in similar startups anywhere in the world.

You’ll work every day with an awesome technology stack consisting of Ruby on Rails, Git, jQuery, Coffeescript, Semaphore, PostgreSQL, EngineYard and AWS amongst others.

We are a small technical team; this means that you are going to get to know the business intimately. You will play an essential role in helping to craft the product. You will learn much more than just software engineering best practices.

One of our goals is to build one of the top Fintech technology teams and cultures anywhere in the world. This means putting a lot of time into ensuring that we only hire people with exceptional potential whilst creating the best working environment possible. If you want to work somewhere where you're with some of the best engineers around this role would be a good fit.

Why join Prodigy Finance

  • Work at a successful global startup.
  • Experience the excitement and learn from being part of an incredibly fast-growing young company. No kidding - exponential growth. Happening right now!
  • Help to build a platform that helps to make a very real difference in the world.
  • Enjoy the agility and flexibility offered by a startup culture. A sociable, relaxed and friendly work environment (with a serious coffee culture where you can wear shorts to work).
  • Work with Ruby on Rails; this is your chance to improve your knowledge of this leading edge language. Do the Ruby on Rails course at Code School (www.codeschool.com).
  • We will help you make your mark. We support and encourage involvement in the Ruby and Open Source communities in Cape Town. You’ll have the opportunity to become recognised as one of the best in your field.
  • Receive a competitive salary, and share options in the company. Since you will be playing a key role in making us successful, it is only right that you have a stake in the rewards of our success.
  • Enjoy healthy snacks and team lunches once a week, drinks together as a company most Fridays, legendary team events and weekly yoga sessions.
  • Live and work in one of the world’s ten best cities - http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/07/travel/world-best-cities/

What you will do in the role                                           

As a software engineer joining the team at Prodigy you will be exposed to the functioning of the product, operations and business development teams and you will increasingly take on a leadership and decision making role as we craft the Prodigy Finance platform.

Specific responsibilities are to:

  • Become an integral and trusted member of the tech team; be a team leader, coach and mentor, decision maker and handle a full caseload of hands-on coding/implementation projects.
  • Take a leadership and decision making role in the technical architecture and implementation of the platform build. This includes project prioritization, evaluating technical debt, technical problem resolution, resource planning for sprint cycles, planning and designing core feature implementation and Greenfield projects.
  • Execute a number of projects which contribute to the build of our platform. Take responsibility for coding core-feature implementation projects and Greenfield projects. Make an impactful contribution, ask great questions, and execute high quality work.


What you need to be great at

  • Technical competence; love coding, able to learn new paradigms quickly, code for fun outside of work – not because someone is paying you to - an look to continuously improve and find better ways of doing things.
  • Excellent critical judgement; able to make good decisions, be trusted, respected and dependable, be proactive and responsive, ask the right questions, raise flags at the right time, able to prioritize and plan workloads for the team.
  • Mindfulness; be considerate of the implications of your work, really care about what you are doing and the impact of your contribution.
  • Coaching and mentoring; teaching concepts, listening and adapting, empathy and a motivation to understand what makes others tick.
  • Team leading and team spirit; we are all contributing to the same platform, so be a great individual contributor but be more motivated by the leading the team to achieve - we only win if the team wins - see the impact of your own work and positively influence and help the work of others.
  • Getting up the front of the bus; get stuck in, execute, generate ideas, have an impact, don’t just sit back and be a passenger.

Who we are looking for; track record must haves

  • 3+ years’ experience in a scripting language such as Rails, Python or PHP, familiarity with concepts such as MVC and an understanding of web frameworks.
  • Demonstrable track record of working with a relational database, for example PostgreSQL.
  • Professional fluency in open source tools, including github, Jenkins, and others.
  • Experience of cloud platform such as AWS, Heroku or EngineYard.
  • Capacity and inclination to learn and must be passionate about web development. Really passionate.

Experience that would be nice to have (but we’ll trade off if everything else fits)

  • Ideally you will have 3 years’ experience of Ruby on Rails, plus 3 years general work experience. We will consider you if you have less work experience, but you need to live and breathe open source coding and possess the attributes described, with the potential to become a great team leader.
  • Startup experience. Sometimes the earth moves beneath your feet at Prodigy Finance so you've got to be comfortable with ambiguity, able to wear lots of hats, and adapt easily as we continue to grow.

The Prodigy fit; attributes which run true in everyone at Team Prodigy

To be an A player at Prodigy Finance, you need to possess – in spades - the following attributes:

Innovative + Smart

Be curious enough to want to know more, think out the box, maybe even break the box, show initiative and be smart about it to find implementable, impactful solutions.

International + Accountable

Push yourself to be better every day. Work with others across the world, be resilient, add value and then hold yourself accountable. Encourage and celebrate each other.

Energetic + Fun

Sense of humour = survival. Bring energy and fun. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Work hard and find the time to play. We’re in this together.

Do you want to be our next Software Engineer? Here’s what to do now:

If this sounds exciting and you'd like to have an informal chat, get in touch below and tell us why you want to work at Prodigy Finance.


About Prodigy Finance

The Prodigy Finance Story

Prodigy Finance was started by three INSEAD MBA graduates who experienced the difficulties of financing an international degree first-hand. In 2007, we decided to solve this problem.

Our innovative platform offers loans to international postgraduate students attending top universities. Through our community platform, alumni, impact investors, and other private qualified entities invest in tomorrow's leaders whilst earning a financial and social return.

To date, more than $318 million in Prodigy Finance loans have been disbursed to over 6,800 students around the world. Over 80% of our borrowers tell us they had no other way of financing their studies, so we like to think that we're helping educate the world.

We believe funding shouldn't be a barrier to education.

Want to learn more about Prodigy Finance? Visit Prodigy Finance's website.