Generalist Software Engineer

RipeTime builds software in Auckland. We are seeking diverse applicants for a general technologist and software role. Degrees and formal qualifications are lovely, but relevant experience is more important.

Every year 40-50% of all grown fruit is wasted (source: UN-FAO), and you can help us solve that.

If you have unripe avocado, put them in a paper bag with a banana. Both fruits ripen after picking, using a gaseous hormone called ethylene, but the banana is more sensitive than the avocado (which is why bananas ripen so fast).  Together, the ethylene from the banana triggers ripening in the avocado.  It’s magic!

RipeTime’s novel technology detects that magical gas, ethylene, in super-low concentrations—so low that there’s no existing technology that can measure it.  We help the fruit industry to prevent waste and, having proved our value to the industry, we’re ready to hire our first engineer!

You’ll build the first customer-facing product, a classic Internet of Things app:

  • Database of readings from Internet-connected devices
  • Mobile-friendly web-front end
  • Alerting via SMS and email
  • Reporting and dashboard via the web

You’ll have built SaaS web apps before, know how to talk to customers, and be comfortable prototyping and building production code.  We’re using Python, PHP with the Laravel framework, and haven’t made a decision about Javascript frameworks or tooling yet.  The devices ship us JSON, but we don’t anticipate this being a reactive or Javascript-intensive app.

Even if you are not familiar with these exact frameworks, but have experience in similar tech (e.g., Django, Rails, or other MVC-aware system), please apply.

Behind that, however, lies the cloud infrastructure processing the data coming in from devices all over the world.  In addition to the customer-facing web app, we have a data pipeline that ensures nothing is lost and everything gets to where it needs to be.  Our data analysis process means we run trials all the time, and need to be able to track the readings from those trials. We won’t have Twitter-scale data challenges, but we’re definitely dealing with more data than the usual SaaS startup.

You’ll have engineered substantial cloud data pipelines before.  We’re using Docker, MySQL, nginx.  The queueing and session database haven’t been decided yet.

You’ll work for Nat Torkington, who has a long background in the web.  He’s the CTO for the cloud side of the business.  The company is four full-time employees right now, and (if you hurry) you’ll be employee #5.  As RipeTime is a funded startup, you can choose your balance of compensation between equity and salary.

The team we’re building will have people who are:

  • Diverse in race, gender, and background;
  • Familiarity with multiple cultures, and working in multicultural environments;
  • Diverse in skills: initially generalists and later specialists;
  • As able to effectively share ideas as receive those of others;
  • As able to support as to challenge;
  • Focused on success;
  • Supporting the successful deployment of their software, not merely coding and throwing over the wall;
  • Understanding that people are the most important part of technology.

Our offices are in Birkenhead on the North Shore, and we have a beautiful view of the Waitemata harbour from our deck.  You’ll work from the office at least two days/week while we’re still exploring what’s possible.  The whole office works on flexible hours, accommodating child pickup/dropoff and commutes.

Nat says: I am excited to come to work each day.  If you’d like to work on something with global impact, eat fresh fruit, and work on interesting problems: call me at +64-21-428-052 or email