favorite this post Software Engineer - Ruby/Rails (Washington DC) hide this posting unhide

compensation: 100,000-180,000
employment type: full-time

If you're interested, please apply directly to us at

Nava is at the forefront of reimagining how our government serves its people, and the first public benefit corporation to be a federal prime contractor. We work with government partners and other contractors to develop software systems that improve users' experience of government. We envision a government trusted by the public to effectively serve and respond to people's needs.

You will work on a small team supporting our work with the department of Veterans Affairs helping to ensure Veterans receive the benefits they deserve in a timely fashion. You care deeply about working on technology that affects people's lives, and are passionate about building large-scale systems that are well-designed, fast, scalable, and secure.

Opportunities and Challenges

You will be working within the government ecosystem, which means working, sometimes closely, with other government contractors, civil servants, and organizations like the United States Digital Service. Working with people outside of your company means you'll likely encounter different working styles and cultural norms. At the same time, working as part of a larger team allows us to deliver on projects of larger scale and complexity.

The government also imposes a level of bureaucracy that is typically not present in a company of our size in the private sector. We operate in a regulated environment, where checks and compliance is built into the process of building software. This can make the path to production slower and some decisions, such as tools and processes, lie outside of our control. However, beyond writing code, finding and recommending ways to improve the way government software is built is one of the highest-leverage ways we help fulfill our mission.

You will be working with legacy systems. While our work is to build new systems with up-to-date technology, we have to do that within an existing ecosystem. Our work is building functional, resilient software for production. We don't build flashy prototypes that don't work for real people. This usually means getting to know legacy systems, often with poor documentation and unreliable narrators, and trying to determine how to replicate the systems' behavior or how to integrate with these systems. This is a great opportunity for engineers who enjoy software archaeology. If you care deeply about how software systems work over time, and building systems for longevity and resilience, this work is for you.

Who we're looking for

You are a reliable, experienced engineer who cares deeply about building software that makes a real difference in people's lives, and is keen to grapple with the complexities and trade-offs involved in building government software. You prefer using proven technologies to build well-designed systems that are scalable, performant, and secure.

You enjoy working on cross-functional teams, and collaborating with others, and you are able to direct yourself and work independently. You have empathy for the people who rely on your work, and you care about how your behavior affects others. You are humble and you value critical feedback and personal growth. You are comfortable receiving and giving kind, candid feedback.

Beyond coding ability, communication and teamwork skills are paramount. You must be able to communicate clearly and professionally in writing, in person, and through online tools, especially because we work with government stakeholders and other contractors.

You exhibit good judgment and are able to adapt to new situations well. You may encounter situations that no one on your team or at Nava has encountered before. You take responsibility and are able to persist through ambiguity to get to a solution.

-2+ years experience developing software in a team environment, preferably building medium to large-scale systems.
-Experience with Ruby on Rails.
-Experience with React/Redux and/or Postgres is also highly preferred.
-Experience designing and implementing application architectures and code that is highly scalable, available, and performant.
-Self-directed, requiring minimal supervision.
-Work from our partner office in DC 2-3 days a week.

-Collaborate with the product team, government stakeholders, and other contractors to build new systems and make improvements to existing systems.
-Design and spec out major functionality.
-Participate in planning and breaking down requirements into tasks.
-Maintain production systems, handle on-call duties, and systematically debug and resolve issues when they occur.
-Review code and give feedback on technical specs.
-Make improvements by proposing new tools and practices.

Things that are not important to us
-Whether or not you have a CS or engineering degree (or any degree).
-Whether or not you have Github contributions. (It's great if you do, but we don't expect it.)
-Whether or not you have worked at a well-recognized company.

We're a small team working to radically improve our government, so everyone that joins us has a direct impact on the direction and success of Nava. We are stewards - we hold a deep responsibility towards the systems that we work with. We are a community - we value collaboration both within our teams and with the many hardworking people within government. We offer generous benefits and equity.

We care deeply about diversity and inclusion at Nava. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Note that we participate in E-Verify and upon hire, will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.

If you're interested, please apply directly to us at
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

post id: 6748085028



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