Xplore Job Offer: Software Engineer (Back-End Focused) – Content Understanding


  • Toronto, ON

    San Francisco, CA

  • Permanent

  • Full-time

At Scribd (pronounced “scribbed”), we believe reading is more important than ever. Join our cast of characters as we build the world’s largest and most fascinating digital library: giving subscribers access to a growing collection of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, documents, Scribd Originals and more. In addition to works from major publishers and top authors, our community includes over 1.4M subscribers in nearly every country worldwide.

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

A Backend Engineer role on the Content Understanding team is an entry point into the world of Big Data. You will work on both real-time and batch data pipelines across Scribd’s user-generated and publisher documents. The primary development environment is our new AWS-hosted Databricks environment, where you’ll write code in Scala and Python for Spark pipelines. You’ll also work in our Rails environment, providing content metadata to our online systems. Nobody is deeply familiar with all of these technologies early in their careers, so there will be ample opportunity to learn each as part of the role. Once onboarded you’ll regularly work on projects with our data science teams, machine learning platform team, and frontend feature teams.

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.


  • 4+ years of experience as a professional software engineer
  • Experience building APIs, microservices, or data pipelines
  • A genuine interest to learn about and work with backend systems and data pipelines at Scribd
  • Bachelor’s in CS or equivalent professional experience


You’ve learned a lot in the first few years of your software engineering career and now you’re ready for the next challenge. You’ve overcome the typical early-career struggles while learning languages, frameworks, tools, and now are able to be productive in a way that you’re proud of. Tasks that used to be hard are now easy. You’ve become adept at debugging. You also know when to reach out for help, and don’t have an ego that would get in the way of doing so. You may have taken on some larger projects, including owning the technical design of your work. You’re ready to take the next step, towards greater challenges and more responsibility.

Benefits, Perks and Wellbeing at Scribd

  • Healthcare Benefits: Scribd pays 100% of employee’s Medical, Vision, and Dental premiums and 70% of dependents
  • Leaves: Paid parental leave, 100% company paid short-term/long-term disability plans, and milestone Sabbaticals
  • 401k plan through Fidelity, plus company matching with no vesting period
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion hiring best practices
  • Stock Options – every employee is an owner in Scribd!
  • Generous Paid Time Off, Paid Holidays, Flexible Sick Time, Volunteer Day + office closure between Christmas Eve and New Years Day
  • Referral bonuses
  • Professional development: generous annual budget for our employees to attend conferences, classes, and other events
  • Company-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training
  • Learning & Development and Coaching programs
  • Monthly Wellness, Connectivity & Comfort Benefit
  • Concern mental health digital platform
  • Work-life balance flexibility
  • Employee Resource Groups that build community and support among employees
  • Company events + Scribdchats
  • Free subscription to Scribd + gift memberships for friends & family
  • Monthly inclusive multi-cultural celebrations & learning opportunities

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, color, religion, 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.


  • Apply Now

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