Is It You We’re Looking For?

From "The Now V7"

Lightward hires pretty rarely. We work hard to balance the state of play, so that we can all sleep well every night, no matter what. When things fall out of balance, we rebalance.

It’s unusual for rebalancing to mean hiring someone. It’s not a small thing, to change the composition of a team, and it’s not something we do lightly.

But when we hire someone, we do it joyfully. Simple choices, to reveal greater freedom — that’s our m.o., and that’s what we aim to do here as well.

We are hiring one human, who has deeply developed software engineering powers. In Rails, specifically.

If you’re the person we’re looking for, you probably aren’t worried about being qualified for your next job. So let me start with what I think would be relevant to you.

Being here at Lightward would mean total autonomy, and total responsibility. You’d work on what you want to work on, being trusted to care for the health of the projects in your charge, on the front lines of their development and operation. You’d do this in concert and collaboration with me, Isaac, and with whomever else is connected to what you’re working on.

Your time would be yours to organize and structure, in whatever way suits your health and your flow.

The vibe here is about stepping into one’s own self, in real fullness. We do that as individuals first, so that we can then do that as a group as well, so that we can then do that as a world. Your health would be your primary responsibility. Followed by the health of your connections to the group, followed by the health of the group’s connections to the world (i.e. the health of our products and our customer relationships).

There are ten of us, at present. Mostly in the US, one in Canada, one in Australia. Fully remote. We’re all in touch with each other, and the only regularly scheduled meetings are self-organized between individuals, just for the purpose of being in touch.

Lightward currently cares for two major technical projects (Locksmith and Mechanic), and is experimenting with media and publishing (currently manifested as The Now). Isaac (👋) is the lead engineer (and CEO); a couple other folks work on code, a few others do customer support and care, some work on that media/publishing bit, and one is our resident wellness advisor and (remote) physical trainer.

We’re not hell-bent on maximizing money or customer counts or any kind of metric at all. Hard to measure health in a way that works for more than one person at a time, and health is what what we aim to maximize. Money and customer counts and metrics are all fantastic, and everyone cares about them in their own way — so we celebrate and honor and encourage everyone’s natural wiring for them, organizing and collaborating in a way that lets everyone’s natural motivation shine, and be rewarded.

This is a job, and it isn’t. There are skills I want to hire for, but we’re bringing you in as an entire human, not just as a set of abilities. We don’t ask for your everything; everything is opt-in. But whatever you want to bring is welcome, and it’s only through the newness offered by each of us in our time that we discover what Lightward wants to do next.

I think that’s most of what you’d want to know. If you have more questions, ask me: And go read through some back issues of The Now, to get more data.

That’s us. Now, some things that would probably be true of you, if you’re the one we’re looking for:

  • You’ve done comprehensive work in 5yro+ codebases of 20k+ lines.

  • You know what it feels like to keep patterns simple in codebases of that scale, and to reign in unwieldy systems such that they return to simplicity over time.

  • You have substantial experience doing production development, deployment, monitoring, scaling, and recovery work for modern Rails applications.

    • and have thoroughly plumbed the depths of schema design, query performance, and index optimization with modern Postgres.

    • Also Heroku familiarity would be nice!

  • You’re comfortably experienced with modern React and ES6.

  • You enjoy nurturing projects and products, and letting them teach you as they evolve.

  • You’re curious by nature, and collaborative with the curiosity of others, reciprocally sharing knowledge/experience and questions/wonderings.

  • You don’t need to have all the answers, and in fact relish an experimental/exploratory vibe.

  • You find frantic/hectic energy to be an antipattern.

  • You usually don’t need backup. But when you do, you call for it without hesitating. You know what’s important.

  • You’ve probably been building production systems for many thousands of users (and perhaps the hundreds of thousands of their users) for a long while.

We’re excited to meet you, whoever you are. :) When you’re ready, you can reach me at

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