Software Engineer

Work with us to build and scale high-quality courses, so our students go on to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Apply by 30 June

About BlueDot Impact

We’re a non-profit helping people create a better future for humanity by designing and running courses on some of the world’s most pressing problems. We find people who could have enormous impact, motivate and equip them via our courses, and connect them with impactful opportunities.

Over the past 2 years, we’ve supported 2,500 people to learn about AI safety and pandemic preparedness, and our alumni work in critical roles across government and industry. In 2024, we’ll train 3,000 people via our three main courses (AI Alignment, AI Governance, Pandemics). In 2025, we’ll expand our course portfolio by designing courses on topics like cybersecurity for AI companies, technical AI governance, biosecurity policy, and upskilling in machine learning. We’ll also expand our workshops for government policymakers. 

We’re a small and intense team. We’re very serious about having a big impact on the world, while also enjoying a fun and silly working environment. We’re always learning new things, teaching each other new skills, and improving the way we work so we’re more effective at producing great courses that scale. We have high expectations for each other’s work, and we support each other to meet those expectations. 

The team is roughly split in two: focus area specialists who design the courses, and the product/software team who build and improve the course infrastructure. As of June 2024, our team consists of Adam, Dewi, Li-Lian, Luke, and Will. By the end of 2024, we’ll have ~10 team members as we hire experts in AI safety and biosecurity, a software engineer, and a product manager. 

We’re grateful to be supported by Open Philanthropy, and we’ve raised $4M thus far. We’re now fundraising $5M to support our work over the next two years.

Learn more about other open roles and our team values on our Careers page.

What you'll do

We’re looking for a software engineer who is obsessed with building high-quality experiences for the students in our courses. You’ll identify challenges students face when upskilling and pursuing impactful opportunities, you’ll propose solutions to those challenges, and you’ll build products that accelerate our students’ impact.

We aspire for our students to lead the fields of AI safety and biosecurity over the coming decades, and to create a better future for all of humanity. 

  • With better learning experiences on our courses, they’d be more capable of identifying the most important problems, prioritising interventions, and making progress in solving those problems. 
  • With better alumni career support, more of our students would take the leap to leave their current roles and find impactful jobs or found new organisations.

In the first 6 months, you’ll address challenges like:

  • How can we improve the learning experience in our courses? 
    • You might prototype an AI tutor (like Khanmigo) that’s integrated into our Course Hub, which follows best practices from the science of learning and has access to our course resources.
    • You might build an email-based spaced repetition system for course alumni (like Anki, but integrated into something they use every day), to reinforce core concepts and encourage continuous learning.
  • How can we inspire alumni to be more proactive in their pursuit of impact, and help them land more impactful jobs? 
    • You might design a virtual hackathon to augment our Project Sprints, to encourage more entrepreneurship and agentic behaviour.  
    • You might design a recruitment platform that impactful organisations use to find leads from our alumni community. 
    • You might launch a job opportunities newsletter (akin to 80k or EA UK)
  • How can we scale our infrastructure from running 3 courses to 10+ courses in a year?
  • How can we automate our handling of student requests? 

We use a range of platforms to design and deliver our courses. You’ll learn how to use all of these in your first few months. You don’t need to have used these tools before, but we hope this gives a flavour of what you might work with, and inspires excitement to learn new things!

  • Our custom apps are built using TypeScript and React, primarily deployed as containers on Kubernetes. Most of our code is open-source, and we contribute to open-source where we can.
  • Airtable is the cornerstone of our infrastructure, hosting all our data, providing visualisations of student engagement, interfaces for creating more courses, and more. We’ve built our own best-in-class standards, libraries, and tools for working with it, and have built many custom extensions that save us days of work per course iteration.
  • Make is where we host multi-step automations.
  • Team communications take place in Slack, and we use Notion and Google Drive for knowledge management. Emails to our students are sent via customer.io.
  • The Course Hub is built in Bubble, synced to Airtable via Whalesync, and is presented on custom domains using CoAlias. Our domains live in Porkbun.
  • Application forms are hosted on miniExtensions, short.io is used to create custom links, and tracking is done in PostHog.

After 6 months, you will use your understanding of our students to identify critical challenges on their path to impact, propose your own solutions, build prototypes, and integrate successful prototypes into our core infrastructure. These products will be used by 1,000s of people on their path to solve the world’s biggest problems.

About you

You might be a great fit for this role if you:

  • Are passionate about preventing pandemics and/or an AI catastrophe.
  • Are energised to create world-class learning experiences and improve our courses.
  • Aspire to always build amazing user experiences, and feel excited to talk with our students and understand their challenges.
  • Can diagnose complex problems, generate many ideas on how to solve them, and rapidly test which solutions are most effective.
  • Have strong engineering and problem-solving skills. 
  • Have experience coding in TypeScript or another high-level programming language.

We encourage speculative applications; we expect many strong candidates will not meet all of the criteria listed here.

We believe that a more diverse team leads to a healthier and happier workplace culture, better decision-making, and greater long-term impact. In this spirit, we especially encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply to this role, and to join us in our mission to help solve the world’s biggest problems.

Location and compensation

We’re based in LISA in East London, and we accept applications from all countries. We can sponsor your UK visa and it’s easy for us to do this, and we will pay for all your moving costs (flights, housing in London for 1 month, air freight). We have a strong preference for individuals who can move to London, though we will consider remote-first for exceptional candidates. This is a full-time role.

Compensation is based on your experience and relevant industry benchmarks, and will likely fall within £60-90k. Other benefits include:

  • An annual £5,000 wellbeing budget and a £5,000 productivity budget
  • Private health, dental, and vision insurance
  • 10% employer pension contribution
  • 25 days of paid vacation in addition to public holidays.

Apply for this role

The application process consists of:

  • Stage 1: Initial application (<20 minutes).
  • Stage 2: Work test (2 hours).
  • Stage 3: Interview (45 mins).
  • Stage 4: 1-2 day in-person work trial in London. We’ll pay for your flights and accommodation. 

You will be compensated for all work samples at £30/hour.

The application deadline is 30 June. We evaluate candidates on a rolling basis and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the role, email dewi [at] bluedot [dot] org.

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