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Engineering: Senior Backend Engineer



Software Engineering
Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2023

The Position

  • The API team is responsible for building and maintaining all aspects of the Unsplash backend, including: all user facing features, search infrastructure, caching, database performance, experimentation framework, and contributor statistics. More here.
  • Ruby on Rails API handling 10B+ requests per month, powering 10,000+ products including, Medium, Buzzfeed, Squarespace, Facebook, Google, Wix, & more:
  • We are a small team shipping features to 25M monthly active users, 70M+ monthly API users.

What you’ll will be working on

  • Make key decisions on architecture, infrastructure, patterns, etc. for new systems and iterations of current systems
  • Support and design the technical implementation of the visual search engine, recommendations, and related content algorithms
  • Support scaling of API platform to 100B+ requests per month


  • 5+ years experience working with a large Ruby on Rails codebase
  • 2+ years experience working on a high-traffic Ruby on Rails site

Nice to haves

  • Experience working with search systems and Elasticsearch

What we’re looking for

  • Pragmatism
  • Good at communicating asynchronously via text
  • Organized
  • Ships early and often
  • Self motivated

The Team

At Unsplash we’re enabling everyone to create by making visuals open and accessible.

Today, Unsplash powers more people and products than any other visual search engine in the world, with more than 100 million images downloaded every month —more than the rest of the industry combined. Our team builds, Unsplash for iOS, and the Unsplash API, directly powering over 10,000+ applications including Medium, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Squarespace, Google, Trello, and Square.

We’re depended on every day as a fundamental building block in the creative process, allowing anyone, from students to award-winning creators, access to high-quality, usable imagery.

Our team is made up of people who enjoy making things people love. We care about details and we care about quality. We do more with less. We’re open and transparent about everything we do, both internally and externally.


Available to all full-time employees.

  • Work from home
    We’re a remote-first company.
  • Company retreats
    Team retreats when beneficial.
  • Flexible hours
    You manage your time. You set your working hours.
  • Unlimited holidays
    We recommend taking no less than 3 weeks for good health.
  • Healthcare Plans & Fund
    Full healthcare coverage for teammates in almost every country. If we can’t provide a plan for your country, we make a Healthcare Fund available.
  • Maternal/Parental leave
    Generous leave programs for both parents when expanding your family.

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