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Why Babbel’s Developers Make A Difference

Babbel is all about empowering people to learn languages — to better communicate and have conversations all over the globe. We are passionate about our purpose, and we want to find developers who care about this too.
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Is your current job what you dreamed you’d be doing back when you wrote your very first line of code?

At Babbel, we use technology to empower people to express themselves. We believe that when people learn languages, they’re more connected to the world around them. Everyone learning languages is our purpose — and we develop technology to achieve it.

The Babbel App has more than 30 million downloads, and both the iOS and Android app are highly-rated by our customers. According to a study conducted by the City University of New York, 95% of users find Babbel easy to use and 92% improved their language proficiency in just 5 hours of learning. This would never have happened without our amazing Engineering teams. We love innovating and adding new features to our classic Babbel app, but we’re also developing exciting new products, which is why we are looking for new people and new ways of thinking.

Diversity Makes Us Stronger

While we all unite to get people learning languages, we Babbelonians come from all walks of life. In our Berlin office you’ll find more than 500 team members from 42 different countries speaking dozens of languages. We have world-class engineers and we have more than 100 language experts (and everybody in between!). There are Babbelonians who love Berlin for its vibrant party scene, and there are team members with little Babbelonians running around at home. Because of our diversity, we foster an office environment that supports a wide variety of different needs.

Diversity extends to our Engineering department, too. We know that building a global product means finding people from all over the world who have different perspectives and think about challenges uniquely. In particular, Babbel is committed to adding more women to our Engineering teams (because half of the world’s language learners are women!). Some of the women on our team started the Femgineering@Babbel working group, which tackles industry issues like workplace culture, hiring practices and mentorship.

Babbel is not only a learning app — it’s also a learning company. Our Babbel Academy offers employees classes on soft skills, including sessions on leadership training, tool training, special events for personal development and, of course, language classes. This emphasis on learning is a key part of our workplace, which is why there’s a yearly budget reserved for personal development.

Working with New Technologies

Our office culture values hacking, testing and innovating. We invest in our Research and Development teams as well as our core engineers, and we enable new technologies as central aspects of our strategy. We’re proud that the engineering strategy lines up with our company purpose. We believe in making the complicated simple — not just for our users, but internally too — so we’re constantly streamlining and simplifying our technological ecosystem.

In terms of technologies, the Engineering department works heavily with Ruby on Rails, Javascript and Golang. We use different Javascript libraries and frameworks mainly React & Redux, Node.js and Angular. We’re heavy AWS users moving more and more towards a serverless infrastructure, using Lambda functions whenever possible, and kinesis streams, DynamoDB, and multiple other AWS services. We embrace and believe in infrastructure as a code and use Terraform to model our infrastructure and processes as much as possible. A fundamental part of our development process is code versioning and validation, for which we take advantage of services like Github, Code Climate and Travis CI. Our engineers own their systems End-to-End, and to achieve visibility in the health of our systems, we use services like Datadog, PagerDuty, Rollbar and AWS Cloudwatch.

Besides the languages that we use every day for our products, we also have teams that evaluate the potential of new technologies like Elixir. This innovation extends to our whole Engineering department when we hold Hackathons. These biannual events are the best opportunities to test prototypes and be wild with our ideas. Sometimes these Hackathon innovations even get integrated into our product!

Leaders in the Tech Scene

We’re proud of our technological craftsmanship, but we don’t think our involvement should stop at our front door. Here at Babbel, we want to get involved with our local tech community and the tech community world wide. We particularly like hosting tech meet-ups in our Berlin office! We’ve already held meet-ups with groups based around programming languages (like Ruby User Group and Clojure Berlin), different types of technology interests (like Bots Berlin, a group specializing in improving conversational interfaces for AI), and identity groups (like Unicorns in Tech, a global tech network for LGBT individuals). We also try to give back to our local tech community. In the past, we’ve partnered with groups like Women Techmakers Berlin to host their Android Study Jam, a 3-month free course that teaches individuals how to develop their own Android app.

Every year, we send our engineers to conferences all over the world so they can meet innovative people, get ahead of the newest technologies and bring cutting-edge insights back to their teams. In the last year, we’ve sent engineers to AWS re:invent in Las Vegas, Full Stack Fest in Barcelona, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, European Women in Tech in Amsterdam, and Google I/O in California, just to name a few.

#LifeAtBabbel

Finally, it’s important for us at Babbel to maintain our start-up mentality, even though we’ve been going strong for over 10 years. We encourage wild and unconventional ideas from all of our team members, and we strive to create a sense of community. All of our social events, from lunchtime talks (with pizza!), to technology brown bags, to our lively company parties, help build a personal aspect into the fabric of our company. We particularly pride ourselves on our ability to make people feel welcome from Day 1. If you want to see our dynamic culture from the inside, check out our Twitter hashtag #LifeAtBabbel or our tech Twitter account, Babbel Bytes.

Want to join Babbel's world-class team?

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