Senior Back End Developer

  • New York, New York, United States
  • Full-time
  • Engineering

About Proper Cloth

Proper Cloth is a leader in the direct-to-consumer men’s custom clothing market.  Our vision is to build a leading, global, luxury menswear brand.

We see a future where people don’t buy clothes in sizes that don’t fit or styles they don’t love.  A future where perfect, custom fit clothing is made on-demand for a superior customer experience and a more efficient supply chain.

Some quick stats about us: 

  • 52 employees (January 2020)
  • Headquartered in Soho, New York
  • Over 200,000 customers worldwide
  • Over $20m annual revenue 
  • Profitable, not venture backed

There aren’t many businesses like ours.  We’re half fashion brand and half tech-startup.  We've been called “Our New Favorite Online Custom Shirtmaker” by GQ magazine and “One of the most successful made-to-measure e-commerce sites” by Esquire.  We have product-market-fit and the stability to do things right.  We’re profitable and growing fast.  We’re committed to building something that lasts.  


Position: Senior Back-End Developer PHP

We’re looking for an experienced, senior back-end developer to join our small engineering team to help us improve and expand our custom ecommerce platform.  

In this role you will develop new software and refactor existing software, as we work to develop and scale our best-in-class custom clothing ecommerce platform.  You’ll be working on a wide range of projects, from customer facing features, to tools used by internal team members, to underlying infrastructure.  You'll have the autonomy and encouragement to make decisions that help to drive what we do – and how we build it. 

This is a full-time position and can be based in New York or remotely.  This position reports to the Engineering Manager. 


Required Technical Experience & Characteristics

  • Technical
    • Experience playing a major role in the development of websites used by millions of users
    • 5+ years experience PHP 
    • 5+ years experience with JS (jQuery/VueJS)
    • Expert in relational databases (SQL) and optimizing queries for handling large requests 
    • Experience working with third party APIs, such as Stripe, Paypal, SendGrid
    • Experience developing custom SOAP and REST APIs
    • Expert in LAMP
    • Familiar with popular AWS services
    • Passionate and up to date on the latest web technologies, tools and techniques
  • Characteristics
    • High intelligence
    • Speed and efficiency
    • Good communication skills
    • Positive, growth mindset
    • Hard work
    • Attention to detail
    • Striving for greatness
    • Respectful, humble

Other Desired Technical Experience

  • Specifically experience working on an ecommerce site used by millions of users
  • Experience with Redis or MongoDB
  • Experience with Docker or a container-based architecture
  • Experience with Node
  • Node NPM manager
  • Experience with task runners (Webpack/Gulp/Grunt)
  • Experience with CSS pre/post-processing (SCSS, LESS, PostCSS)
  • Expert with Git and agile devops experience
  • Experience making complex back-end architecture design choices
  • Experience building APIs and microservices
  • Experience with Composer



More About Technology at Proper Cloth

The Team

Our development team (currently) consists of 5 people: 

  • 1 senior full-stack developer
  • 1 mid-level back-end engineer
  • 1 front end designer/developer
  • 1 product manager 
  • 1 senior QA engineer


Our Technology Stack

Proper Cloth leverages a fully custom e-commerce platform that we’ve developed in house and evolved since our beginning in 2008.  Within this, here are some of the technologies we leverage: 

  • Backend
    • PHP
    • MySQL, Redis
    • AWS, S3, SQS, CloudFront
    • Imagemagick, FPDF, wkhtmltopdf
    • SOAP, Sockets
    • Stripe, Paypal, Avalara, Sendgrid
  • Data Analysis
    • Snowflake data warehouse
    • DBT, Stitch, Mode 
    • Snowplow, Google Analytics, Kiss Metrics
  • Front End
    • Javascript
    • HTML/CSS
    • Vue.js
    • jQuery/Ajax
    • memcache
  • Devops
    • Github
    • Gulp
    • LAMP


Our Development Principles

  • We believe that a small, talented, committed team can generally outperform a larger team, producing and deploying updates faster and with less errors.  With that in mind, we try to hire self-starters that can be strong independent contributors
  • We generally seek to develop things in house, or customize open source tools rather than purchase vendor provided tools.
  • We never start development until a detailed specification has been prepared by the product manager.  Engineering and design should weigh-in on the specification but “what” is going to be built should generally be driven by the product manager. 
  • Engineering is responsible for “how” a feature should be built.  The product manager and designer will often provide input on how a table should be setup or what library we should consider, but ultimately engineering has the autonomy to make their own implementation decisions.
  • A good development phase should take 1-2 weeks to be built.  4-6 week phases should be broken into parts.  Shorter phases keep the team flexible and provide more checkpoints to verify things are on track. 
  • It’s important to stay humble.  In all things we do, remember that our main objective is to improve the product, improve our processes, and improve our skills.  Don’t let ego get in the way of a better solution. 


What We’re Building

The things we’re building at Proper Cloth are different from what you’d find at your typical ecommerce startup - and there are two main reasons for this:

(1) Typical ecommerce sites display ready-made products in a fixed set of colors and sizes, but at Proper Cloth we specialize in made-to-order, custom clothing.  Since our products have infinite size and style options, our web experience and underlying technology play a critical role in the customer’s experience with the product itself.  For instance, a UX for the customer to design their own shirt, or machine learning technology to predict a customer’s shirt size will directly impact the customer’s satisfaction with the physical product itself.  As such, our engineering team has much bigger challenges and much bigger opportunities to drive improvements across the entire customer experience. 

(2) Typical ecommerce sites today are primarily an integration of third-party software (ex: Magento, Shopify, Netsuite, Demandware, etc) but at Proper Cloth we prefer to build things in house.  This was originally born out of necessity, but it’s an approach that’s served us well.  Over the years we’ve created an incredibly powerful, fully custom ecommerce platform, uniquely optimized for custom clothing and a variety of internal functions.  Complete ownership of our technology stack gives us increased freedom to evolve as necessary for the future.


Example Features and Tools Under Development

  • Customer Facing Features
    • Standard ecommerce features: product pages, galleries, cart, checkout, order histories, email receipts, etc. 
    • Customer wishlists
    • Reward systems
    • Referral systems
    • Design-a-Shirt interface
    • Custom size management tools
    • Appointment scheduling
    • Support for foreign currency, sales tax and duties
    • Metric and Imperial measurement conversions
    • Customer feedback collection/display systems
  • Internal Tools
    • Inventory management
    • Customer analytics
    • Sales Reporting
    • Cohort analysis tools
    • Attribution tracking tools
    • Returns and issue logging tools
    • Order management
    • Merchandising and other content management tools
    • Machine learning custom size prediction algorithms
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