Platform Engineer



Software Engineering
Washington, DC, USA · Remote
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
CommonLit is a nonprofit EdTech organization dedicated to providing high-quality literacy instruction to low-income students and students of color to prepare them for success in college and careers. We operate a free online reading and writing program,, that is used by millions of teachers and students worldwide each month. We are a quickly growing team of passionate professionals - many of whom are former teachers. Our team is now over 100 full-time employees spread across ~30 states.
Our small (ten-member) engineering team works in a collaborative, high-trust environment where we ship high-quality software to power CommonLit's curriculum and to help students grow to become lifelong readers. As a Platform Engineer, you'll amplify our team's impact through work on our infrastructure, tooling, and security.
Your work will include long-term projects to improve and optimize our infrastructure as well as urgent work to fix issues that are blocking other engineers. You'll improve our tools, making it easier to ship reliable software more quickly. This role will work closely with the CTO, who has been deeply involved in infrastructure and tooling for the team.
We run a Ruby on Rails monolith with a few small extracted services. We deploy our applications on AWS EKS through Porter's PaaS. We use Postgres and Redshift as our data stores. Our CI/CD pipelines run on AWS with Buildkite. Other significant technologies/services in our tech stack include Sidekiq, Redis, Redshift, and Cloudflare. CommonLit is SOC2 compliant and keeping our infrastructure and student data secure is an important priority.
Our team is a group of life-long learners. We value sharing new ideas, lifting each other up, and building performant, reliable software that teachers can rely on in the high-stress classroom environment.
The Interview Process
-Interviewing is a demand on your time. Here's what you can expect from our interview process:
-A call with our talent team to talk about your experience and learn about CommonLit
-A 45-60 minute technical interview over Zoom with two engineers (we rotate the interviewers and change members of the pair to ensure consistent leveling of expectations)
-Finalists will be invited for a ~4-hour final interview including pairing with CommonLit engineers, an architecture discussion, and meeting our Product team
CommonLit's engineering team is distributed. Due to restrictions on data access, you must perform your work from within the United States. We have an office in Washington, D.C. that you can work from if you're in the area, but most of our team is spread out around the country.


  • Monitor and operate CommonLit’s AWS infrastructure.
  • Work with the CTO to maintain and optimize CommonLit's infrastructure and application environment.
  • Develop and improve CommonLit's developer tooling to enable engineers to do their best work.
  • Collaborate with engineers to find pain points and remove them. Unblock engineers when tooling issues arise.
  • Lead efforts to improve security at the infrastructure level.
  • Monitor compliance-related items associated with infrastructure.
  • Assist the CTO with cost-optimization to maximize CommonLit's non-personnel tech spend.


  • 3-6 years experience in software development, including some time on a Ruby on Rails application required.
  • Experience with production applications at some meaningful level of scale in AWS infrastructure, including setting least-privilege IAM policies and security groups required.
  • A desire to make things organized and understandable by others. Part of this role is making infrastructure and tooling more accessible to other engineers.
  • Experience operating and troubleshooting Postgres databases
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail

Compensation and Benefits

  • Salary is $130,000 - $150,000 commensurate with experience
  • CommonLit is committed to fostering a positive company culture, promoting work-life balance, and supporting employees through life’s changes. We provide the following benefits:
  • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • Free telehealth services for all full time employees, from day 1 of employment
  • 401(k) retirement plan, with a 4% safe harbor employer match
  • Pre-tax commuter benefits for employees based in the D.C. metropolitan area
  • Remote home office set-up stipend
  • Generous time off including 15 holidays a year, paid time off, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, volunteering and school visitation leave, jury duty leave, and bereavement and compassionate leave. Additionally, we offer 3 hours per month for small necessities leave and flexible work options.
  • We are a remote-first company, and have employees in 28 states and Washington, D.C. In keeping with our efforts to create a collaborative and constructive workplace, even in a remote environment, we offer many staff engagement opportunities throughout the year. These include monthly remote activities (ie. dumpling making, yoga), a yearly all-staff retreat, and more!
How to Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you are the strongest candidate for this role.
Apply by Date: Friday, December 1, 2023 by 5 pm ET
As an equal opportunity employer, CommonLit values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics. If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at