Jaguar Priest
at PacerPro

If you want to know about the PACER.gov or the Jaguar Priest, visit http://blog.bitwrangler.com/2017/07/07/engineer.html

My job is to be the dumbest person in theroom; I want to work with intelligent,opinionated people who can make the world alittle better. Then iterate.

PacerPro solves a terrible productivity problem with the US Courts system. PacerPro searches for, and collects documents from, PACER.gov, then distributes them to our clients. We strive to have the most accurate, up-to-date, and complete set of “facts on the ground.” The company has been in business since 2012; we have paying customers, many of them in the Am Law 100. Gavin McGrane is a very straightforward CEO, no drama. He knows the business because he (and his family) are lawyers. The company has an interesting, albeit work-a-day, future. Our mission is to make PACER documents more accessible, with less friction and lower costs. If you’ve heard of Aaron Swartz’s efforts or the RECAP project, we’re in a similar space, except that we’re trying to do it in a way that is financially profitable (in the long run, anyway, that’s the plan).

I’m looking for my next “senior” engineer. (I’d like to hire a pair, but, you know, budget.) WHAT MAKES FOR AN INTERESTING CANDIDATE? It’s not a degree or n years of experience. PacerPro’s founders are practicing lawyers. They know their stuff. I probably have the fewest number of degrees compared to everyone else in the company. I’m looking at the following qualities:

  • You understand our business, or, if you don’t, you have a genuine curiosity and ability to learn it. You can have conversations with our customers and stakeholders.
  • You know how to research a problem. You know when to ask for help.
  • You are an eternal student and teacher. You want to bring us all to the next level, as do we for you. I’m not expecting you to be an expert in everything, but competence or the ability to spin up without too much inertia is a requirement.
  • You can think beyond the current story and consider ROI.
  • You’ve shipped a real product before that you can show me.
  • You have hands-on experience with our technology stack. I hear that “full stack” has become a dirty word, but we all do pretty much everything around here. Our web server is written in Ruby on Rails 4.2.x, with a smidgen of Node Express. Our front end is mostly written in ReactJS 0.14, our newer code uses Redux, with a bunch of legacy Backbone code. Yep, we got ourselves some technical debt. We know where it is (mostly) and how to fix it, given time and eyeballs.
  • Expect to handle Zendesk tickets from lawyers about one day out of the week.
  • You want to work using our methodologies. We are an Agile shop in a mostly XP style; we have a daily stand-up (and evening round-up), pair- programming is our default stance; we need a good reason not to pair. Test- Driven-Development is how we grow code. Clear, understandable code is more valuable than clever tricks. We do code reviews on pull requests. We pass the “Joel Test.”

We’re not even close to huge, but we’re not a small project any more, either. We run into scaling issues now and then, which is a good thing. We’re pretty good at handling them, too, which is another good thing. Our PostgreSQL database has grown to about 200GB; the S3 store has approximately 2 million documents; and, at peak, we get 500-750 requests per minute. We send out 500,000 transactional emails per month.

PacerPro is a small, distributed team. There is no physical office (at the time of this writing; we have tentative plans, fall 2017, to establish a space near the CalTrain station at 4th & King). We live in an always- on virtual space of SoCoCo and Screenhero. If you need something to be productive, we’ll reimburse you for it. Because we pair a lot, we have to work during a common, scheduled, time slot, 9:30-5:30, Pacific Time. I’ll do my best to accommodate some time shifting. Since pairing is as intense as it is productive, we work a reasonable work day. After hours and weekends are the rare exceptions, only when it can’t be avoided.

To apply: Email me at ken@pacerpro.com