Principal Software Engineer

Job Description

While our operations are primarily based in the United States and we prioritize candidates located within the US, we also welcome international applicants who can ensure some overlap with US time zones, particularly US Pacific Time (UTC-07:00). This arrangement facilitates effective collaboration and synchronization with our team.

About Us

Ameelio is an innovative non-profit organization dedicated to leveraging technology for significant social impact. Our mission focuses on developing and implementing cutting-edge tech solutions to improve the lives of incarcerated individuals and their families. We aim to enhance communications and expand educational opportunities within correctional facilities, which are vital for maintaining family connections and supporting rehabilitation.

By offering free and accessible communication tools, we help sustain crucial support structures that significantly reduce recidivism. We also challenge the exploitative practices of industry incumbents who impose high communication costs, ensuring that families, especially those with limited financial resources, can stay connected without undue financial burden.

Join us in our mission to empower educators, strengthen family ties, and combat systemic exploitation in communication services for incarcerated individuals and their families.

Position Overview

We are looking for a Principal Engineer with substantial experience in Ruby on Rails to lead the technical implementation of our product. In this critical role, you will collaborate closely with our product team and designers to plan, estimate, and deliver impactful features while maintaining technical excellence and managing technical debt.


Technical Leadership

  • Lead the technical implementation of the product, ensuring high-quality, scalable, and maintainable code.
  • Provide technical direction and mentorship to other engineers.
  • Oversee prioritization and maintenance of technical debt.

Product Management

  • Collaborate with the product team to define and prioritize feature development.
  • Become a product expert and provide insights that guide development.
  • Work with designers and product managers to plan, estimate, and deliver new features.

Canvas LMS Integration

  • Utilize your expertise or quickly develop proficiency in Canvas LMS.
  • Implement and oversee integrations with Canvas LMS and other educational platforms.

Team Collaboration

  • Foster a collaborative and positive team environment.
  • Mentor junior engineers, providing guidance on best practices and career growth.


Proven experience as a Principal Engineer or similar leadership role.

Required Skills

  • Strong proficiency in Ruby on Rails.
  • Deep understanding of software engineering best practices.
  • Excellent problem-solving and debugging skills.
  • Experience working with PostgreSQL or similar relational databases.
  • Familiarity with container technology (like Docker).
  • Willingness to learn and use basic Kubernetes (kubectl) to troubleshoot deployed environments, get Pod logs, etc.

Preferred Skills

  • Familiarity with Canvas LMS.
  • Experience working with applications in Kubernetes is highly desirable. While you don’t need to be an expert, understanding the basics of running Pods, reading logs, and the application’s operation will be beneficial.
  • Experience in the EdTech or non-profit sector is a plus but not required.

Soft Skills

  • Effective communication and team leadership abilities.
  • Ability to thrive in a collaborative and mission-driven environment.
  • Comfortable taking sometimes ambiguous requests/requirements and, through collaborative engagement, defining them and turning them into work tickets.


  • Competitive salary and benefits package.
  • Opportunity to contribute to a meaningful mission that positively impacts society.
  • Ability to shape the development and outcome of the product, lay a sustainable foundation, and set the team up for long-term success.
  • Be an early part of a high-impact startup with a bright future.
  • Work with a talented, passionate team committed to making a difference.
  • Enjoy a great work/life balance.


The salary for this position ranges from $160,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on qualifications and experience. Please note that the actual salary offered may be adjusted based on the market rate and cost of living in the candidate’s country. We aim to offer competitive compensation that aligns with local standards while reflecting the role’s significance and the expertise brought by the ideal candidate.