zapier Remote Full-time 2023-11-16

Location: PST-EST


Hi there!

As Zapier continues to scale our mission to democratize automation, we’re hiring a Senior Backend Engineer to the AI Chatbot team.  

The new AI Chatbot team is focused on building an easy-to-use yet powerful and extensible chatbot builder. The team is currently working on features to move us from prototype to product. We are looking for a Sr. Backend Engineer to work with the team on early stage product and technology development with a high degree of autonomy and at a high tempo.

Zapier’s on a mission to make everyone more productive at work. Zapier has helped millions of people build businesses through the power of automation.

If you’re interested in advancing your career at a fast-growing, profitable, impact-driven company, then read on…

We know applying for and taking on a new job at any company requires a leap of faith. We want you to feel comfortable and excited to apply at Zapier. To help share a bit more about life at Zapier, here are a few resources in addition to the job description that can give you an inside look at what life is like at Zapier. Hopefully, you'll take the leap of faith and apply.

Our Commitment to Applicants

Culture and Values at Zapier

Zapier Guide to Remote Work

Zapier Code of Conduct

Diversity and Inclusivity at Zapier

Zapier is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce.

Even though our job description may seem like we're looking for a specific candidate, the role inevitably ends up tailored to the person who applies and joins. Regardless of how well you feel you fit our description, we encourage you to apply if you meet these criteria:

About You

You have 7+ years of experience. You've dedicated at least 4 of those years to crafting and refining web-based software products. Your primary domain is the backend, where your expertise is most evident.

Required Technical Skills/Experience:

  1. Strong expertise in using Typescript and Next.js for building web applications and server-rendered pages.
  2. Experience with tRPC for building strongly-typed, type-safe APIs.
  3. Proficiency in working with Prisma ORM for database interactions, particularly when paired with PostgreSQL.
  4. Experience with deploying applications to Vercel.
  5. Using tools like Datadog for monitoring and performance optimization, and to identify and address performance bottlenecks.

Nice-to-Have Technical Skills/Experience:

  1. Knowledge of CI/CD pipelines and infrastructure as code (e.g., using a tool like GitLab and Terraform).
  2. Skills in database performance optimization and query tuning for PostgreSQL.
  3. Proficiency in implementing and securing authentication and authorization mechanisms, such as OAuth, JWT, role-based access control (RBAC), and session management.
  4. Knowledge or experience with NLP providers like OpenAI or other relevant NLP tools and libraries.

You have a strong systems oriented mindset. You know how to design systems in a distributed manner across hundreds (and even thousands) of servers, and understand how interdependencies affect what you build.  Zapier handles 100s of millions of API calls every week and is growing fast.

You live by the “always ship new code” mantra. You take immense pleasure in releasing code frequently, knowing that every deployment brings with it enhancements, new features, or solutions that directly impact users. This drive to constantly ship isn't just about quantity for you; it's rooted in your belief that iterative improvement, driven by real-world feedback, is the key to creating truly outstanding software. You're always on the lookout for opportunities to refine, innovate, and deliver, ensuring that users continually benefit from your relentless dedication to progress.

You value collaboration. You understand that building modern software is a team sport, and you enjoy working as part of a tight-knit team. You’re happy to pitch in and help the team, whether by reviewing code, pairing on a tricky problem, or just thinking about how to solve the challenges we’re facing.

You're driven by results, not by process. In the ever-changing landscape of software development, you recognize that while processes are essential, they should never overshadow the end goal: delivering exceptional value. Your modus operandi involves light yet effective process and technical planning. You are adept at navigating through challenges with agility, ensuring that the emphasis remains on outcomes rather than getting entangled in procedures.

You care about the 'why' more than the 'what'. Your approach to engineering isn't just about ticking boxes or following directives. You deeply value clarity and purpose in your work. If priorities seem nebulous or not optimized, you're confident and proactive in seeking clarity, ensuring that the team's efforts align with the broader vision. Misalignments don't escape your keen eye, and you're quick to flag them, ensuring that the team remains on a coherent and impactful trajectory.

You're intentional and articulate. Every design choice you make, every line of code you write, stems from a place of intentionality. You're not one to follow the herd blindly. Instead, you advocate robustly for your design choices and implementation strategies. Actively seeking feedback is second nature to you, and you thrive in environments where technical discussions are encouraged. When faced with roadblocks, you're not one to merely raise the flag. You're proactive in identifying those who can provide solutions or even devising alternative approaches. Your approach to engineering isn't dogmatic; you're flexible, adaptable, and always prepared to explain the rationale behind your decisions.

You embody the “let's make it work” ethos. Challenges, whether monumental or minuscule, don't deter you. You dive in with a can-do attitude, unfazed by the magnitude or nature of the task. You understand that in the broader scheme of things, not every task will be about building the next flashy feature. Sometimes, it's about fortifying the foundations, ensuring that the system is robust and resilient. You're discerning enough to know when to invest time in hardening the system versus when to prioritize speed. In essence, you're a true team player, understanding that every task, no matter how glamorous or mundane, plays a pivotal role in the team's collective success.

You can balance lots of concerns. Backend apps have to take into account performance (using networks and devices that we can't control), customer demands, A/B tests, UX research, accessibility, code quality, a rapidly changing ecosystem of languages and modules, and the list goes on. We actually want to ship things too! You can balance those demands without getting overwhelmed and keep the needle moving forward.

You advocate for the user. Your commitment to the end user is unwavering. With a keen eye for design and deep-rooted empathy, any indication of user challenges becomes a personal mission for you. This drive pushes you to delve deeper, understand the core issues, and guide your team towards enhancing the product experience.

You're an avid learner. The tech world's constant evolution excites you. Always on the prowl for the next big thing, you're quick to immerse yourself in the intricacies of its implementation. While TypeScript and React are your fortresses, you're not one to shy away from challenges, whether they come in the form of Python, CSS, build tools, or shell scripts. If it's uncharted territory, you're gearing up to master it.

Your prowess in backend AI chatbot development is unmistakable. With extensive experience in spearheading technically intricate and demanding cross-functional projects, you stand out as a seasoned backend engineer. Your proficiency isn't just limited to mere technologies; it extends to deep knowledge of LangChain, OpenAI, especially in leveraging plugins, and your interest or expertise in workflow systems like the Runner team further elevates your profile. Your adeptness in integrating with external APIs, consuming OpenAPI specifications, and designing resilient failure handling mechanisms showcases your holistic approach. You possess a keen understanding of creating efficient, durable, and scalable data models, ensuring the backend systems you design stand the test of time and load.

You value our values. At Zapier, our values are at the heart of how we work together and how we think about our customers. In our remote setting, they help develop trust and ensure we work and collaborate together to democratize automation. You see how these values can empower meaningful work, you thrive in a collaborative setting, you are eager to continue growing and you’re excited to be part of the team.

Things You Might Do

Zapier is a small, fast-growing, and remote-first company, so you'll likely get experience on many different projects across the organization. That said, here are some things you'll probably do:

  • Enhance User Interaction with Chat History: Build a robust system that allows users to access the full history of all conversations, ensuring that every interaction is stored and retrievable. This will empower users to revisit past conversations and derive insights.
  • Data Storage and Export: Design and implement a system that stores chat history within structured tables, ensuring data integrity and easy retrieval. Additionally, create functionalities that allow users to export this chat data seamlessly for external use or analysis.
  • Surface Conversation Insights: Beyond mere storage, develop algorithms and tools that analyze chat data to surface meaningful insights and trends. For example, identifying and highlighting frequent queries or topics like XYZ, ensuring our chatbot's continual evolution based on user needs.
  • Integrate Zapier Tables with Chatbot: Work on connecting Zapier Tables to the Chatbot as dynamic data sources. This integration will allow users to upload data or pull it in through various methods like zaps and forms, enhancing the versatility and applicability of the AI Chatbot, thereby increasing its stickiness within the Zapier ecosystem.
  • Web Data Scraping for Chatbot: Design a system where a chatbot can utilize a webpage URL as a data source. Initially, allow the integration of a single URL, with future scalability to incorporate multiple sources. Implement functionalities where users can initiate a re-scrape of the webpage from within the editor, ensuring data freshness without auto-scraping intervals.
  • Expand AI Providers Integration: Dive into the realm of AI by integrating multiple AI providers beyond OpenAI. Explore and integrate solutions like Bard, Anthropic, and others to diversify and enhance the AI capabilities of our Chatbot.
  • Architect Scalable Backend Systems: Work with services like Amazon's Lambda and MSK to craft scalable solutions capable of handling millions of requests, ensuring our Chatbot remains responsive and efficient.
  • Operate and Scale: Take ownership of the systems you build, ensuring their continuous operation and scaling them as the user base grows.
  • Empower Engineering Teams: Design and develop toolkits tailored for different engineering teams within the organization, fostering a culture of shared resources and collaborative development.
  • Handle Diverse API Integrations: Redesign and build services that seamlessly interact with thousands of 3rd party APIs, be it REST, GraphQL, or XML-RPC, ensuring our Chatbot remains versatile and integrative.
  • Ship Code Regularly: Relish the thrill of deploying code to millions of users regularly, ensuring they always have access to the latest features and improvements.
  • Engage with the API Ecosystem: Dive deep into the vast world of API integrations, ensuring our backend systems can seamlessly communicate with thousands of different APIs.
  • Contribute to the Tech Community: Share your expertise and insights through open source contributions and enlightening blog posts, helping to elevate the broader tech community.
  • Engage with Our Users: Embrace Zapier's all-hands philosophy by directly assisting our customers through support channels, ensuring they always have a stellar experience with our Chatbot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas of the Zapier codebase. Focusing on a specialization will not limit your growth at Zapier as we believe that each engineer brings a unique perspective and can contribute in all areas. We encourage collaboration and will frequently have engineers contribute across teams to assist with projects.

Zapier Compensation Guiding Principles

We believe all Zapiens should be rewarded competitively and equitably, using practices that are simple and transparent. This philosophy ensures we’re able to find, grow, and retain exceptional people from a broad range of backgrounds. Here’s how we define our compensation principles:

  • Competitive: Zapier pays well among the technology sector.
  • Equitable: Consistent pay practices; competency-based pay.
  • Simple: Pay is well understood, and pay practices are built for scale.
  • Transparent: Zapiens know how pay works, including how their pay is determined.

The pay ranges for this role are:

United States: $167,000 – $251,000 USD

Canada: $167,000 – $251,000 CAD

A Candidate's compensation package is finalized once the interview process is concluded and accounts for experience, competencies (job knowledge, skills and abilities) and internal equity. We use a competency-based approach to base pay, which means we set pay for all Zapier employees based on their competency and skills demonstrated in their role. In alignment with that philosophy, the upper half of a pay range is typically reserved for individuals who have consistently demonstrated a high level of job knowledge and skills for their current role and level while at Zapier.

For more information on Zapier’s Total Rewards please click here.

How to Apply

At Zapier, we believe that diverse perspectives and experiences make us better, which is why we have a non-standard application process designed to promote inclusion and equity. We're looking for the best fit for each of our roles, regardless of the type of education or companies in your background, so we encourage you to apply even if your skills and experiences don’t exactly match the job description. All we ask is that you answer a few in-depth questions in our application that would typically be asked at the start of an interview process. This helps speed things up by letting us get to know you and your skillset a bit better right out of the gate. Please be sure to answer each question; the resume and CV fields are optional.

After you apply, you are going to hear back from us—even if we don’t see an immediate fit with our team. In fact, throughout the process, we strive to never go more than seven days without letting you know the status of your application. We know we’ll make mistakes from time to time, so if you ever have questions about where you stand or about the process, just ask your recruiter!

Zapier is an equal-opportunity employer and we're excited to work with talented and empathetic people of all identities. Zapier does not discriminate based on someone's identity in any aspect of hiring or employment as required by law and in line with our commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging and Equity. Our code of conduct provides a beacon for the kind of company we strive to be, and we celebrate our differences because those differences are what allow us to make a product that serves a global user base.

Zapier is committed to inclusion. As part of this commitment, Zapier welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities and will work to provide reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodations are needed to participate in the job application or interview process, please contact

Even though we’re an all-remote company, we still need to be thoughtful about where we have Zapiens working. Check out this resource for a list of countries where we currently cannot have Zapiens permanently working.