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Rails Developer

We are frequently working with or creating new applications with Ruby, mostly Rails. These projects are in various states of development, from ‘proof-of-concept’ to ‘ready-to-deploy.’ The work also includes leveraging new technologies such as AI and machine learning as service type technologies for custom application implementation. Our work is joined by a common thread of being human-centric and intended to serve our clients with solutions rooted in ethical principles.

Our teams include back-end and front-end developers, UX designers, graphic designers, product managers, QA technicians, and project managers. We work closely and collaboratively and meet regularly with the clients. Our teams are distributed around the world and meet via video conference.

Who We're Looking For

CoLab coworkers bring a wide range of talent and perspectives to our collaboration. We’re looking for people who try to meet complexity with simplicity and can communicate about it with their peers. As a co-op, we embrace both autonomy and mutual aid. You’ll have clear responsibilities in your role, as well as opportunities to contribute in other areas. We have no criteria around particular background or credentials; we care about your proposals, what you produce, and your growth and happiness with our team. Does CoLab sound like a place for you? Read on.

What You'll Need
  • Support reviews of peers and help to optimize processes.
  • Desire to actively engage in constructive code and design reviews with peers and partners.
  • Maintain code quality, organization, and automatization.
  • 4+ years of writing effective and scalable code in Rails.
  • Expertise in Rspec.
  • Familiarity with Capistrano or other deployment tools for Rails.
  • Advanced knowledge of databases.
  • Advanced knowledge of data structures and algorithms.
  • Building back-end components for web applications.
  • Testing applications for performance, responsiveness and security.
  • Hands-on experience writing command-line apps using Ruby libraries.
  • Expert understanding of object-oriented programming.
  • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to those.
  • Experience working in Agile Development Methodologies and frameworks such as Scrum.
  • Deliver quality, professional work on a daily basis as a matter of principle.
  • Work with distributed teams using online collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom.
The Kinds of Problems You'll Work on Include:
  • Writing Rails applications from scratch.
  • Using Devise for authentication and Pundit for authorization.
  • Using Capistrano for deployment.
  • Using ActiveAdmin as a backend admin tool.
  • Using plugins for enhancing ActiveAdmin.
  • Test cases for model validations.
  • Services for business logic and test cases.
  • Writing API layer to expose data to 3rd party systems.
Human Qualities
  • A commitment to doing impactful work that benefits the common good.
  • A love for simple, elegant solutions.
  • Clear communication when setting and managing expectations.
  • Commitment to meeting expectations to the best of your ability.
  • Show care for yourself, your peers, the planet.
  • A flexible mindset when considering how best to work and collaborate together.
  • Open to contributing and receiving growth-oriented feedback.
  • Empathetic, service-minded, when working directly with clients and peers.
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and sensitive manner.
Bonus Points
  • Experience building client and peer trust and goodwill in an agency role.
  • Ability to spot problems before they happen and suggest solutions.
  • Experience with technical estimation and roadmap planning.
  • Experience with component-based development
  • Experience with continuous integration and deployments.
About CoLab

CoLab was founded in 2010 as a worker-owned cooperative in order to co-create simple, purpose driven solutions to help solve global problems through collaboration and innovation. Our clients benefit from working with dedicated and talented technology team members who have been growing together for many years and who continue to form long lasting relationships with fellow workers, partners, and clients.

  • A path to member-ownership for every worker at CoLab.coop.
  • A commitment to work at the intersection of technology and social and environmental justice.
  • Welcoming of a diversity of perspectives and experiences. Stronger together.
  • Be curious. Listen deeply. Reflect, learn, and grow together.
  • Value generosity and transparency.
  • Values a familial environment, where our core strength lies not in smarts, but in our togetherness.
  • See business relationships, and specifically co-operative economics, as a central pillar of efforts to better our communities.
  • Recognize that we are humans before we are of any particular gender, race, class, or religion.
  • Understand that our work is collaborative, from the ground up. We support worker agency, listening with empathy, speaking with balance, and cultivating unity.
  • Each is equitably valued for their contributions, regardless of their appearance, identity, or beliefs.
  • See that working in collaboration with peers as a duo is an inherent strength in most situations

We are open to receiving applications from wherever you are based including to applicants living outside of the U.S. We prioritize hiring within locales where our current work community resides when possible to allow for in real life meetup opportunities.

Our working hours are mainly +/- 6 hours Eastern time zone. We currently have teammates and clients from California to New York to the EU to the Asia Pacific region.


Our cooperative has recently passed a comprehensive approach to rate standards for all of our members and collaborators. The rate for this role will be determined based on a standard set of merit and experience-based criteria, applied equally to all members of our workplace. The expected range for this role is $36.06 - $45.67/hr USD.

Time Commitment

Flexible project based work. Contractor agreement determined by skills, capacity, availability and project fit. Opportunity to grow to full employment and member ownership.

Key Dates

Anticipated start timing is immediate.

  • Flexible schedule
  • Friendly peers
  • Participate in mission-driven projects
  • Lots of room to grow
  • Educational resources
  • Stretch responsibilities that challenge you to level up!
  • Path to ownership
  • Value-aligned community
  • Respect for work/life balance
  • Support for spiritual growth

We center underrepresented people and communities in our work. Women, gender non-conforming people, indigenous people, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please email jobs@colab.coop with the subject line “Rails Developer.”

Please be prepared to share the following:
  • A brief, 2-3 paragraph cover letter about your background, interest in co-operatives and what you hope to bring to this work
  • A resume or CV and portfolio or professional links
  • Availability to start and other considerations
  • 2 questions you have for us
  • 2-3 work references

We look forward to talking with you!