Xplore Job Offer: Lead Software Engineer – Content Understanding


  • Toronto, ON

  • Permanent

  • Full-time


/skribbed/ (n).

1. a tech company changing the way the world reads

2. a membership that gives users access to the world’s largest online library of books, audiobooks, sheet music, news, and magazines

We value trying new things, craftsmanship, being an open book, and the people that make our team great.

Join us and build something meaningful.

Our team

The Content Understanding team’s mission is to provide accurate and up-to-date metadata about Scribd’s content as a means towards enabling better product experiences for Scribd users.

The work includes:

  • Building and maintaining metadata extraction pipelines, document metadata storage, and APIs that expose metadata to other Scribd systems.
  • Analyzing uploaded documents for copyright infringement, spam, and other quality checks.
  • Building and maintaining systems that link documents to Scribd’s taxonomy and other classification systems.
  • Exposing all documents to search indexers through sitemaps.

Scribd’s ability to surface more relevant, topical, and personalized content hinges on our ability to understand the content of each book, audiobook, article, and uploaded document. The output and success of the Content Understanding team is a strategic pillar of Scribd’s future growth.

The team is split between our San Francisco headquarters and our Toronto office. We use tools that emphasize asynchronous communication (Slack, Github, Jira, Google Docs) but will also pair program or jump into a meeting room when those are the best approaches. Regardless of the medium, excellent communication skills are a must. We operate with autonomy (developers closest to the code will make the most well-informed decisions) while holding ourselves and each other accountable for using good judgement when faced with each day’s unique challenges.

Our technical work is divided between our online Rails application and our offline Databricks environment. Many of the systems we’re responsible for span both environments, so engineers regularly work within both. Though the tech stacks differ between environments, the engineering work in both is the same – create data pipelines to ingest, process, clean, and layout the metadata coming from publishers and other external sources, as well as create new metadata from our vast content base.

The team is a team first. We work collaboratively, not as engineers working on individual projects in silos. We continually strive for inclusivity and strongly value diversity. We recognize that everyone has a unique set of work and life experiences, and believe that a broader set of perspectives will produce better results for all. Each day provides both opportunities to perform and opportunities to learn. We support others’ growth and celebrate our collective achievements.

The role

As the Lead Software Engineer of the Content Understanding team, your job will be to provide hands-on technical leadership across all of the team’s in-progress work as well as the team’s technical roadmap.

The responsibilities include:

  • Leading the design, implementation, and delivery of your primary project.
  • Managing all aspects of technical project delivery, including system and architectural design, project planning, implementation, deployment, and operations.
  • Ensuring consistency of design, adherence to Scribd engineering principles and practices, and operational excellence across all team work.
  • Working closely with the team’s Engineering Manager to prioritize technical projects and improvements relative to requested feature work.
  • Developing a long term roadmap for evolving team systems to support orders of magnitude growth of Scribd’s subscribers, user uploads, and publisher content.
  • Being a presence that makes every engineer on the team better.

As the responsibilities demonstrate, the Lead Software Engineer role is more than just an advanced IC role. It is a hands-on leadership role, where you will balance the responsibilities of project work with technical team leadership. Your years of experience allow you to give guidance on projects you aren’t deeply familiar with and quickly diagnose root causes of bugs. You and the Engineering Manager will be a team, with your expertise and ability to handle daily technical blockers enabling the Engineering Manager to focus on interviewing and hiring, people management, and project planning.

If these responsibilities match your interests (and excludes responsibilities you have no desire to perform) then you should apply!

Office or remote?

At this time the role will start as full-time remote, as all of our employees are working from home. When everyone is able to return to the office this role is available at our new office in San Francisco or in our Toronto office. This position can also be fully remote for candidates with experience leading development remotely.


  • 10+ years of experience as a professional software engineer
  • 3+ years experience working with data pipelines
  • Experience managing multiple projects or a strong desire to take on these new responsibilities
  • Deep knowledge of common data architectures and industry technologies
  • Bachelor’s in CS or equivalent professional experience

Benefits & Perks of Life at Scribd

  • Health & Welfare Benefits: Scribd pays 100% of employee’s Medical, Vision, and Dental premiums and 60% of dependents.
  • Leaves: Paid Parental leave, and 100% company paid short-term/long-term disability plans
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan matching
  • Stock Options – every employee is an owner in Scribd!
  • Generous Paid Time Off, Paid Holidays, Volunteer Day + office closure between Christmas Eve and New Years Day
  • Catered lunches 5 days a week
  • Office located in Downtown Toronto
  • Referral bonuses
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programs
  • Learning & Development and Coaching programs
  • Monthly Wellness benefit
  • Luma by Concern, our mental health digital platform
  • Work Life Balance flexibility
  • Company events
  • Free subscription to Scribd + gift memberships for friends & family

Want to learn more? Check out our office and meet some of the team at

Scribd is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

We encourage people of all backgrounds to apply. We believe that a diversity of perspectives and experiences create a foundation for the best ideas. Come join us in building something meaningful.


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