Carbon Five

Ny, sf
51 - 100 employees
51 - 100 engineers
Private funding
Late stage

We’re a team of developers, designers and product managers who partner with clients to build exceptional digital products. Our company is small-ish but growing and we have five offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chattanooga, New York, and Seattle. Over 18 years we’ve worked with some amazing clients like Stitch Fix, Hulu, Brandless, Autodesk, Coinbase, and TaskRabbit.

We're growing and have been self-funded from the start, so we have the luxury of being able to invest in whatever will best serve the long-term value of the company. We know the best investment to make is in our employees.

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Why join us?

  • You work on new projects, with new technologies and challenges, every 4-6 months. You'll get exposure to a wide variety of interesting domains and problems, which keeps things interesting and maximizes your learnings. And you won't be stuck in one code base or tech stack: each projects is anywhere from a little to a lot different from the last.

  • We mean it when we say we maintain a healthy work-life balance. Employees work 40 hour weeks and we have a great time doing it. You keep your nights and weekends for yourself, your hobbies, your family, or whatever you want.

  • Over the last 18 years we've worked hard to create a supportive, low ego, and very collaborative work culture. Your colleagues will have your back and you'll be a part of an amazing, effective, and functional team.

Engineering at Carbon Five

Engineering team and processes

We practice a certain flavor of Agile known as Agile XP.

We advocate frequent release of working software. Sometimes the hardest thing to put into practice for larger companies is pushing code continuously. We use continuous integration, do test driven development, and try to deliver something that has business value to actual customers as early and as often as possible. We have weekly iteration planning meetings where developers, product managers, designers, and the product owner (i.e. our client) come together to plan the work for the week. It’s an open, collaborative discussion to identify what the highest value work is and estimate each unit of work. We’re pragmatic about pair programming and leave it up to individuals to decide. Most of the people here have had 8+ years of experience in the industry so we trust each other to reach out for a pair when needed. Some people pair all the time, some less than that, but everyone pairs some of the time. At the end of the week, we do a demo as well as a retrospective (with everyone from our team and from the client) to go over what went well and what didn’t go well this last week.

Technical Challenges

Given the nature of consulting, we work on a really wide range of technical challenges. Including:

  • Setting technology and architecture for new projects.
  • Charting a path to improve existing code, often for systems that get tons of traffic.
  • Optimizing Apps, APIs, and databases.
  • Building sophisticated front-ends for both consumer and business apps.
  • Architecting and automating operational infrastructure.
  • Systems level programming for non-web applications and services.
  • And more.

All of our clients are solving different kinds of problems and face different challenges. That means we have to learn and adapt, so that we can help them with whatever challenges they're working to overcome.

Projects you might work on
  • Swell Investing

    We’re helping Swell build out a socially responsible investment platform that allows users to build a portfolio of publicly-traded companies that are innovating in high impact areas like renewable energy, healthy living, and clean water.

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

    We’re passionate about helping non-profits thrive by leveling-up their technology.

    Carbon Five helped the Contemporary Jewish Museum revision their website to better support their content, be mobile friendly and most importantly to reflect the dynamic energy of the museum itself.

  • Stitch Fix

    Stitch Fix’s rapid growth presented challenges with using their data to make smarter predictions and decisions for their users.

    We helped the team update, capture, and store data in a way that supports the evolution of data knowledge and integration across its devices, services, and products. By shaping a more powerful analytics platform we helped position them as a leader in individualized styling.

Tech stack
Ruby on Rails

Working at Carbon Five

All of the partners have been here for 11 or more years. People tend to stick around for a long time and those that don’t are the ones that come in and leave pretty quickly because they discover that this isn’t the right environment for them. There is big difference between having a product-type versus a consulting-type of involvement at a company. Some people want to have ownership in a product over many years, and potentially move up in title and in a hierarchy. Whereas for us on the consulting side, we are people who constantly like learning, leveling up our skills, and enjoy doing it quickly. You might go from doing data-warehousing work with Java to building a platform with Node to developing in React Native for a mobile application. People who like diving into different domains and code flourish here.

Perks & benefits
  • Generous Vacation

    Three weeks with a week for the winter holiday which becomes 4 weeks after 2 years.

    One of the benefits of being a consulting company is that it’s natural and easy for people to take time off. After one project ends, there is a wrap up to the work and provides an opportunity to take time off without disruption. Once you’ve been with the company for 2 years, you can take 3 months off (unpaid). It is an uninterrupted block of time that people use to spend the entire summer with their kids, surf, launch an album, or go rock climbing. It’s an opportunity for you to do whatever you want.

  • Free Food

    Our offices in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Chattanooga, and New York City all have big farmhouse tables that we congregate at for lunch. (Though in Chattanooga, people tend to go out for lunch together instead.) The catering and snacks vary by office but we make sure you are well fed and happy!

    We have a tradition on Wednesday where each week, one person presents a lunch talk at each office. It doesn’t have to be about technology, and it can be off the cuff. Talk about an interesting article you read earlier in the week and open it up for discussion, or bring in clay and teach everyone pottery! We do it alphabetically and when it’s your turn, you can talk about whatever you want

  • Beautiful Office

    Each of our offices is located in their city's downtown, close to public transportation and plenty of options for restaurants and other fun activities.

  • Company Retreats

    Each summer the team gathers in Santa Monica for 3 days to share knowledge, brainstorm new and better ways of doing things and hit our favorite taco spots. In the Winter we all come together to celebrate the holidays and check in on our progress for the year. We know that time together is crucial for our team's success - and we just like each other so hanging out altogether is a lot of fun!

  • Workshops/Conferences

    We encourage the team to continue learning in whatever way they find best. Each team member is provided a personal development budget and days off to attend conferences, workshops, or take an online class. We support anyone's ambition to speak at conferences and provide working groups to help each other prepare whether you are a seasoned speaker or your first time.

  • Maternal/Paternal Leave

    We have an equivalent maternity and paternity leave policy and we support fathers that want to be at home with their kids just as much as mothers. Our company barbecues are always family friendly and we encourage everyone to bring their kids. Across our four offices, parents make up a large proportion of the company (maybe about a third) which makes our Slack channel for parents a great place for stories and support. The work/life balance and flexibility we have is ideal for anyone with a growing family that also like to have fun with the people they work with

  • Health Insurance

    Our benefits are fully paid including health, dental, vision and life insurance. We also offer access to other personal wellness tools such as Joyable free of charge.

  • Team Activities

    Each office has their own traditions and hobbies that range from hiking and climbing to repairing vintage motorcycles and anime. Whatever your interests are I'm sure we have a Slack channel for it!

  • 401(k) Contribution

    We offer a 401K after 6 months of employment and contribute a portion of profit at the end of the year.

Our Team by the Numbers

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