8 months ago

VP of Engineering at Drops

63% 40 hours / week Worldwide (Remote)
Gym membership or wellness allowance
Employee training program

Description Remote, permanent, full-time (40h/week) position

If you have a soft spot for bootstrapped, profitable companies with a meaningful product, and you would like to develop a small, super-capable technical team in a refreshing work environment, you might quite like this extremely rare executive position at Drops.

About us:

Drops’ goal is to turn language learning into a delightful game while ensuring effective learning. Drops is one of the top10 most innovative education companies according to FastCompany. Our app is in the Appstore for 3+ years, teaches 32 languages, was featured by both the App Store and Play Store multiple times - App of the Year in 2018 on the Play Store - and the company is still run by the founders. We are a small, super-capable remote team mainly spread across Europe (we have a small marketing crew in California) . We’re working synchronously, so time zones matter for us. We communicate via Slack, Github and Monday. We want to be the no.1 app for vocabulary learning and we are getting there quickly with our current user base of 15 million, a monthly active of >1,500,000 and an average store rating of 4.7.

You can find us here: http://drops.app.link/

Here’s what we’re currently after:

  • You’ll be responsible for the tech team’s effectiveness, well-being and development, and that its working aligns well to the business’ and our users’ needs.
  • You’ll be making sure that the technical aspects of the projects are getting done on schedule, that we’re making the right trade-offs.
  • You’ll be understand every project from a technical perspective, and will be able to spot gaps, and contribute to the codebase as well - refactor, prototype to demonstrate solutions, implement structural changes that help us manage the complexity of the codebase.
  • You’ll be leading, mentoring, managing the people who are part of the tech team.
  • You’ll be recruiting, onboarding top talent, sometimes. We’re a small team, and we’re not expecting to grow the headcount a lot (but we do expect to grow the impact each of us have!).
  • You’ll be working closely together with the leadership team, to lay down the tracks for future product and infrastructural expansion.
  • You’ll be in charge of flourishing our engineering culture - organise information sharing, hackathons, processes, developing new, helpful routines.
  • We value clear and honest communication and transparency, it’s the linchpin of our culture and current success and independency.
  • You will be involved in both high and low level decision making and will be available during European working hours (9AM - 6PM GMT).
  • We are looking for a missionary rather than a mercenary.

What’d be different here:

  • We’re a small team. We’re optimising for impact, not for headcount. You’ll be carefully considering any tradeoff that would lead to increased complexity.
  • We’re using a single programming language - TypeScript. We have strict linter rules. Every pull request needs to be approved before it lands in master. We use the rebase workflow.
  • We’re using React to develop UI, on both mobile and the web.
  • We’re doing things in a functional way, concentrating state, minimising side effects and making dependencies explicit. We’re sharing 98%+ of the code between Android, iOS and Web.
  • We’re writing software with a web developer’s mindset. We automate where it has positive ROI.
  • Our biggest challenge is (and will remain): managing the complexity of sharing a lot of code between different apps.
  • We’re not building a hierarchy. We’re encouraging everyone to be autonomous. You’ll not be an arbitrator between business and engineering. You’ll be helping both project owners and the tech team to work more closely together.
  • Your average day will be about helping with team members make technical decision, adjusting processes as needed, doing research and automation, actually developing software and also, recruiting.


Can see a problem from the product, business’ and the team’s perspective. You have excellent technical and people skills. (yes, we know, it’s rare!) You are more of a frontend than a backend engineer. (we’re frontend heavy) You like to get hands on refactoring, prototyping and implementing structural changes, writing tools that help the tech team. (this will make you extremely effective in this job) You held senior software engineering management position such as CTO, Head of Development, or VP of Engineering positions in the past and enjoyed it. You have introspective tendencies, and you’re looking for a position where you can grow fast. You can represent the technology, infrastructure, and the engineering team at the executive level.


🌍 All the perks of remote working 👥 An awesomely compact 19 person team 🧠 Yearly educational allowance 💪 Fitness allowance 💻 High-end Apple hardware and ergonomic accessories 🏖 30 days of holiday per year (including Christmas and other holidays) ✈️ Quarterly team gathering somewhere in the world (Amsterdam, Iceland, Lisbon and Budapest were previous locations)