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Backend Architect - Application Engineering

Backend Architect - Application Engineering

Full-Time | San Francisco Bay Area | United States

Location: Santa Clara or San Francisco


Upwork ($UPWK) is the world's largest freelancing website. Each year $1.7 billion of work happens through Upwork, allowing businesses to get more done and helping professionals break free of traditional time and place boundaries and work anytime, anywhere on projects they love. At Upwork, you'll help build on this momentum. Together, we'll create economic and social value on a global scale, providing a trusted online workplace for businesses to connect with extraordinary talent and work without limits. 


Are you a software architect who is passionate about designing and building highly available, fault tolerant systems and helping impact the professional lives of millions of freelancers and clients around the world? Do you relish solving challenging problems? Do you enjoy identifying potential scalability issues, implementing engineering standard methodologies, and coming up with creative solutions to both technical and organizational challenges? If so, we’d love to hear from you.


Upwork is looking for a passionate and hardworking technical architect to drive the design and development of highly resilient software systems and applications.  As an architect, you will work on critical systems, partnering with our application engineering teams, spanning  key domains (Search, Visitor Site, Job Applications,  Messaging, Time Tracking, & Monetization are just a few of them), to improve our system on the principles of resiliency, isolation and recovery.  


Your Responsibilities:

  • Establish & document architectural principles, identify state of the art technologies and patterns to use, and increase the talent density of the team.
  • Identifying and directing resolutions for critical issues related to hardware and software interface.
  • Drive a high standard of excellence for service availability, scalability, and performance.
  • Develop working relationships with multi-functional teams (product managers, software engineers, marketing and others).
  • Collaborate with teams to determine functional and non-functional requirements for new software or applications.
  • Champion and lead key multi-functional initiatives.
  • Provide technical guidance and coaching to engineers to continuously improve design quality.

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • 8+ years of development experience, 5+ years of Java and web technology experience.
  • 3+ years experience in designing and developing scalable, well-tuned, and highly available solutions.
  • Proven ability to work cross functionally and communicate effectively with all levels of an organization.
  • Deep understanding of Web technologies, Microservices, and databases.
  • Phenomenal software design principles: Understand system boundaries and make system design decisions which will impact long term maintainability of our codebase.
  • Polished communication skills and track record advocating for compelling product design and the underpinning methodologies that deliver great design.
  • Ability to practice in a fast-moving, data-driven, collaborative environment that has a bias towards delivery and MVP approaches.
  • Desire to roll up the sleeves and write code for critical company projects.

How to really knock our socks off:

  • Validated ability to work in a dynamic, iterative environment and lead the parallel development and delivery of features on multiple related products.
  • Strong focus on the customer and the business, coupled with a burning desire to learn, respond to feedback and grow. We’re looking for people who thrive on learning new technologies and don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions.
  • Excellent written and verbal interpersonal skills. Our teams are widely distributed, and you will be required to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences across different cultures. 

Come change how the world works.


At Upwork you’ll help shape the future of work. From our offices in San Francisco, Mountain View and Chicago, together we’re creating exciting new opportunities for a world of professionals. You’ll be part of a vibrant culture built on shared values: Inspire a boundless future of work, Put our community first, Have a bias towards action, and Build amazing teams. Along the way you’ll have fun and enjoy the perks of a people-first company: Work from Home Wednesday's, daily breakfast and lunch, regular in-office happy hours, top-notch benefits … and more. Check out Upwork’s spotlight on The Muse for a glimpse of our daily work/life balance.


Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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