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Background Burner Developer


The Background Burner is a technology that embodies the adage that "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." In the not-so-distant future, photo studios as we know them will cease to exist, replaced by studio-quality photos that are created with just a smartphone and the Background Burner. The result of our technology will be that great ecommerce photos are no longer the sole domain of the richest businesses with the greatest resources. In our future, even the smallest online merchants can quickly create beautiful product photos that drive more sales. 

Within the next couple years, we expect Background Burner to grow into an internet staple -- the sort of thing that your mom can brag to her friends about when describing your job. 

Job Description

We're looking for a developer to help us continue to build the high level (Ruby-side) features of the Background Burner.

Spoiler alert: you don't need an established history of image processing to be effective in this role. What you lack in "image processing experience," you can potentially compensate for by possessing an abundance of grit and passion for learning.

This software has already been used to process more than 10 million images, but we're only getting started. Some of what we're cooking up for it next:

  • Greater than 90% success rate across all types of images without human intervention
  • Improve the speed & accuracy of the front-end editing tool
  • Increase accuracy of background identification for pictures of humans
  • Flesh out our background replacement tool
  • Faster image processing times

Job Requirements

Our team has built the toolset we have today with no formal image processing education. We believe that the right mix of "tenacity" and "willingness to learn," coupled with a love of finding patterns and building creative algorithms, can go a long way toward advancing our image processing technology. 

Before you apply, you should understand that this is a product that has been attempted by the likes of Google, Amazon, and eBay, not to mention countless Ph.d students and their universities. To date, all their efforts have failed. This is an incredibly hard problem that requires grit, attention to detail, and a deep appreciation for data-driven problem solving.

While we are flexible about the exact credentials that our applicants bring with them to start the job, here some of the signals that correlate with successful Burner developers:

  • 3-5+ years experience in a high-level programming language like Ruby, Python or C#
  • Some degree of experience with low level development (e.g., C++, useful for interactions with OpenCV)
  • Experience building or refining development tools
  • Demonstrable willingness to tackle and succeed with projects that were thought to be "very difficult" (or outright impossible)
  • All-consuming passion for software development, including history of contributing to side projects outside one's day job
  • Handy with a variety of debugging techniques, never been content to settle for debugging via log statements
  • Experience with high-level programming concepts, like AI and machine learning
  • Past projects in the domain of image processing
  • History of being promoted beyond the position they were initially hired in
  • Academic success in math and statistics

About the only "hard" requirement we enforce is that a candidate has stayed at one of their past 3 jobs for 2+ years. The longer they've stayed, the more we can infer about the candidate's ability to persevere through challenges. Since the Background Burner requires time to achieve proficiency, we can't afford to hire candidates who haven't yet demonstrated their ability to stick with a project for at least the medium-term.

Because we work in a small office (currently 40 people), attitude is also a critical element in our selection process. The ideal candidate will be able to speak both "geek" and "human," and will approach problems with a "can-do" attitude. 

Job Benefits

Bonanza is a product-first company run by a CEO who has spent most of his adult life as a Programmer. The implications of this are that we've obsessed for literally years about how to foster an environment optimized for Developer happiness and throughput. It starts with our salaries, which, at the high end, range to levels beyond those offered by the tech titans. More importantly, we provide a working environment where you will virtually never be interrupted by meetings, and where you will be given access to the best hardware available. Because your productivity should never constrained for lack of resources. We also offer a thoughtfully constructed collection of perks that stands apart from our competitors:

  • Fast growing and already-profitable company. It's fun to work for a winner.
  • "Work from home Wednesday" - every Wednesday we get to work from home, a coffee shop, or even the office, if that's your bag.
  • "Freedom February" - every February we retreat from Seattle and spend a month annoying our friends with selfies taken in Mexico, Belize, Europe, etc.
  • Five bonus (not counted as vacation) days off in February to enjoy your vacation or staycation
  • Twice-weekly catered lunches
  • Monthly on-site full body massage
  • Work from a waterfront office in downtown Seattle (food trucks aplenty!) convenient to many bus lines
  • Full arcade room in the office
  • Pong table on site
  • The boring stuff: fully paid health insurance coverage, vacation benefits, holidays, stock options, and more.

Beyond this generous set of perks, our commitment to our employees is that if ever they have ideas on how we can improve our benefits package to better serve our team, we will consider those ideas and try to make them happen when economically possible. That's probably why we keep winning awards like these:



2016 Best Places to Work


Best in Biz Awards

2015 & 2016 Silver Winner - Small Company of the Year



2016 Most Recommended Marketplace

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