Backend Developer -

Backend Developer

Fastmail |  Philadelphia, PA | Dev / Eng

Job Description
Perks + Benefits
Company Culture Coverage

We’re looking for a backend developer to join the Fastmail team in our Center City Philadelphia office.

About the Job

Together with the rest of our team, you’ll work on our email services Fastmail, Pobox, and Topicbox. When the vast majority of people get email for free, the reason people choose a paid service is because they value both privacy and a great user experience.

We strive to build clean, well-tested, reusable code — to have our backend code look as good, and work as well, as our interface. With a swiftly growing customer (and code) base, we are looking to add new team mates to help make sure we’re reaching our own standards.

We are a close-knit team, but do most projects individually. We are always ready to jump in with an extra set of eyes, a lengthy explanation of why things work the current way, or just to grab a coffee, but you should feel comfortable making decisions solo.

Our backend infrastructure is widely varied, in both subject matter and style — expect plenty of refactoring and converting in-place code to reusable methods. We are also looking ahead to adding more integrations with other services, our own new products, and improving existing features!

The Fastmail backend is written largely in Perl, and that’s what you’ll be writing most of the time. There’s a little bit of this and that throughout, but we try to stick to Perl when we can. And we usually can. If you don’t know Perl, that’s no problem. It’s a lot like Python, Node, or Ruby, but with more dollar signs.

About You

You may be a fit for this role if you:

  • Score “lines of code deleted” as high or higher than “lines written”. Hearing “refactor” sparks joy in your heart. The first time you saw a flame graph profile, you thought of three pieces of code you were dying to get one from.
  • Enjoy developing, then working to, a specification document. Our user interface uses a well-defined API to communicate with our servers, and you will need need to be able to program to the specified API. We believe implementing to a spec ends up with high-quality, maintainable code, and hope you do, too.
  • Feel comfortable asking questions: we encourage dialogue with other team members over ambiguous, dubious, or otherwise suspect specifications, quirky code that doesn’t make sense, or just the whys behind a task!
  • Are comfortable picking up new tools, evaluating existing solutions, or just building your own. We think long term, and want to ensure we control our future. We like to fully understand the code we run, whether it’s something we wrote ourselves or an open-source component we contribute to.

You will definitely need excellent written language skills, strong verbal and interpersonal skills, patience, diligence, and an ability to gracefully adapt to change. You love engaging with your colleagues to find the ideal implementation solution.

Working at Fastmail

This is a full-time role. Like everyone on our team, you’ll get great benefits.

  • 100% covered medical and dental benefits for you from day one
  • generous contributions for partners and dependent coverage (also available from day one)
  • four weeks of paid time off
  • paid sick leave, holidays, and parental leave
  • paid sabbatical for long-term staff
  • annual professional development budget to fund your own growth
  • supportive work environment
  • team events to share your passions (from tech tools and user testing to crafts, movies, and games)

This job is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We have a strong in-person culture and are looking for someone who will be on-site and part of that culture.

We also have an office in Melbourne, Australia, and we’re in close communication with them. This means that you’ll need to be available for an hour or two of evening calls each week. We are partners, parents and caregivers ourselves, and we understand time-zone flexibility goes in both directions. Talk to us if you’re unsure. (Also, once it’s safe to travel again, you’ll have the opportunity to travel to Melbourne, an artsy and charming Australian city!)

You can read about our values, and our blog contains interviews with some of the people who will become your colleagues at Fastmail.

We encourage employees to write and speak about the great work we do, and to stay engaged with their professional peers. Many staff members choose to attend conferences for learning and networking, and several staff members are regular conference speakers.

We welcome all applicants regardless of race, color, religion, age, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, disability, or sexual orientation. We can help you relocate to Philadelphia if needed. The thing we can’t help with is a visa or sponsorship. You must already have the right to work in the United States.

Sounds great, what’s next?

Email us at to introduce yourself and tell us why you would be a good fit for the job. Send us a resume (as a PDF, please). More importantly, though, have something else to say! Let us know what you’re interested in, what makes the job interesting, and anything else you want to tell us up front.

Job Type: Full-time

Apply Now
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Health & Wellness
  • Dental Insurance
  • FSA
  • Health Insurance
  • Travel
Parental Benefits
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Parental Leave
Perks & Discounts
  • Casual Dress
  • Snacks Provided
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
  • 401k with company contribution
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Days

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