Principal-level Backend Architect

The Achievement Network

Principal-level Backend Architect

Location: National Office, Boston, MA

Position is available immediately

Organizational Overview:

Founded in Boston in 2005, The Achievement Network (ANet) is an entrepreneurial, rapidly expanding nonprofit organization on the cutting edge of education reform. ANet partners with schools serving low-income students to build their capacity to use data effectively to dramatically improve student achievement. ANet recognizes that the effective use of student achievement data is critical to a school’s efforts to close the achievement gap. ANet offers a comprehensive solution to boost a school’s capacity to adopt a data-driven approach, involving three key strategies:

I. Implement standards-aligned quarterly assessments and user-friendly data reports to determine which standards students are mastering and also where there are gaps in student learning.

II. Provide intensive coaching to help schools use the data effectively to create action plans to address gaps in learning and to re-teach concepts that students have not yet mastered.

III. Facilitate a peer network of leaders and teachers for best practice sharing and collaboration to accelerate improvement in schools across the network.

ANet has experienced tremendous growth over the last four years, and now serves over 350 schools educating 100,000 students in Massachusetts, Chicago, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. Across our national network, our partner schools are outperforming their peers, with schools in most of our networks achieving twice the gains of non-ANet schools. Our strategies and services have consistently helped schools ; whether district or charter, new to ANet or long-time partners ; achieve breakthrough results for their students.

ANet has received a prestigious Investing In Innovation grant from the federal government as well as New Schools Venture Fund’s “Organization of the Year” award in 2011. ANet is an innovative organization experiencing tremendous growth; by 2017 ANet expects to reach 250,000 students while continuing to deliver breakthrough results for schools.

Position Overview:

We are seeking a Principal-level Backend Architect to provide vision and leadership for developing and implementing the technology that supports ANet’s products and data analytics. Technology is increasingly central to our strategy. As ANet grows over the next four years, we will make significant investments to transform three of our market-leading technology assets:

  • We will combine our unique data sets on student performance and educator practice to generate unprecedented insights into the instructional strategies that are most effective to address specific student needs. We believe that these insights, supported by the right technology, can provide teachers with the guidance they need to deliver the right instruction to the right students at the right time.
  • We will build on our highly valued web application to dramatically enhance the experience as educators’ go-to resource for standards planning, data, and instructional tools.
  • We will transition our paper-and-pencil assessments and 48-hour turnaround of reports to an online delivery mechanism and real-time turnaround of reports.

While many organizations are developing sophisticated educational technology, ANet stands alone as an organization that combines advanced technology with every day, on-the-ground presence in schools. This unique combination provides an unprecedented opportunity for our technology to truly shape instruction in the classroom.

Reporting to the CTO, the Backend Architect will play a key role in helping define and implement our technology vision.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Partnering with the CTO and the Director of Product Development to design and help implement our big data strategy
  • Overseeing the architecture and implementation of ANet’s next generation of the education technologies that are crucial elements of ANet’s core program offering
  • Creating, monitoring and delivering against the product road map and corresponding release cycles, supported by the product team
  • Participating in the design of a data warehouse to support business intelligence and data analytics

Required Skills and Characteristics:
In order to be successful in this role, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Be a team player who motivates and educates colleagues; enjoy working in a highly collaborative culture
  • Work closely with business partners to build technology solutions
  • Operate comfortably among a highly independent staff with diverse backgrounds; be known as someone with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Bring an innovative approach to analyze, evaluate and solve problems

The ideal candidate will also demonstrate the following:

  • Belief in The Achievement Network’s mission and strategy: Embracing assessments and data as meaningful tools for raising student achievement, professional development as a critical lever in improving school achievement, and network collaboration as a powerful means of spreading best practices across schools
  • Hunger for a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity for professional growth and high impact
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent quantitative and analytical skills
  • Planning and organizing; the ability to set and manage priorities judiciously
  • Excellent judgment in decision-making

Experience and Educational Background:

  • Direct experience in the implementation of a consumer-facing technology solution
  • 5+ years of software development experience, with demonstrated success delivering technology solutions with high business value. Candidates must have substantial experience in, and have comprehensive knowledge of:
    • Systems design and development processes, including: requirements analysis, feasibility studies, software design, programming, pilot testing, quality assurance, installation and maintenance, evaluation and operational management
    • Java and web development frameworks
    • Building analytics platforms
    • Software as a service and Service-oriented architecture
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field
  • A Master’s degree in Computer Science or related field is desirable.


What We Offer:

ANet is a dynamic, entrepreneurial, team-oriented organization that is committed to the professional development of all staff members. Individuals who join ANet have the opportunity to join an exceptional team of colleagues committed to helping schools to close the achievement gap. ANet offers a comprehensive benefits plan including health and dental insurance; a 401(K) plan; 10 paid holidays as well as paid days off between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; three weeks vacation (four weeks after two years with the organization); and short and longterm disability coverage.


Salary for this position is highly competitive and is based on prior experience and qualifications.

The Achievement Network is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and seek individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply to this position.


How to apply

The Achievement Network is soliciting applications for this position immediately. To apply, please visit our website, and click the “Apply Now” button. You can review our positions, create an application, and upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling and urgent basis.

Boston, Massachusetts
The Achievement Network

225 Friend Street, Suite 704, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, United States