We currently have several opportunities for exceptional people to join our team:

Before you apply, though, we'd like to explain a few things about our company, work environment, and hiring process.

TeamRankings (or "TR" for short) is a unique organization, and working with us is a little different than most companies. For the right person, a job at TR is as good as it gets, but how we operate is definitely not for everyone.

Read on to find out why.

What's It Like To Work At TeamRankings?

Comic: A weighted random number generator just produced a new batch of numbers. Let's use them to build narratives! Caption: All sports commentary

Our inspiration for starting TR
(from xkcd)

For sports geeks, working at TR is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to get paid to do what you love. When someone asks what you do for a living, it's pretty awesome to say, "Oh, I design algorithms to predict NFL football games" or "I help people use data and game theory to win March Madness pools." Eventually, you get used to the stares of disbelief.

At the same time, we're only the fascination of the cocktail party because we've built a successful business, and great people make great businesses. So when it comes to hiring, we're extremely selective. We screen for skills, attitude, and cultural fit, and we don't compromise our goal to build the smartest and most productive team we can. (Here's our current team, by the way.)

In addition, there are a few particular details about TR that you should consider carefully before contacting us about a job posting.

Sports is just one part of our business

We obviously like to hire people who love sports. We all love sports; being a college basketball superfan inspired our initial founder, Mike Greenfield, to launch TR from his Stanford dorm room way back in 2000. Here's what the v1 looked like, in case you weren't born yet. (The graphic design was stunning, we know.)

However, our love of sports did not propel TR's growth from a stat geek's pet project into a successful full-time business. Technical, analytical, and marketing skills made it happen, along with a ton of hard work.

So while knowledge of sports and/or the sports betting markets is always a big plus, we care a lot more about how good you are at building analytical models, writing code, designing responsive web sites, synthesizing data, interacting with customers, or writing numbers-intensive prose that still appeals to millions of sports fans.

A can-do attitude and a passion for excellence rank similarly on the recruiting totem pole. Do you pride yourself on delivering great work? Are you eager to tackle big challenges? That's far more important to us than whether you can recall who won the NL East in 2002. (The Braves in a landslide, by the way....a 19 game lead!)

Our priorities are different

As a self-sufficient business that's majority owned by the founders, we're not subject to the external pressures and politics that many tech companies face. (Our initial goal was to build TR without the help of institutional venture capital, and we've succeeded in doing that.) We call the shots, and the entire team has input into major company decisions.

Dilbert comic about VC funding

(from Dilbert)

Our primary business objective is not to build the biggest company in the world. We'd much rather build the smartest small company, where we all have fun working together and learning from one another.

Along those lines, we do everything within reason to enable TR team members to lead balanced and happy lives. One of our developers coaches his kids in soccer; he rearranges his work schedule so he can take off early three afternoons a week. He still gets his work done, and nobody thinks twice about it.

Don't be mistaken, though -- none of this is possible if the business doesn't thrive. So we work hard, and occasionally put in very long hours. In addition, our work hours tend to peak when most other sports fans are partying it up. (Don't expect to work at TR and head to Vegas for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament; that's business time for us.)

We don't have an office

We're a virtual company, meaning that we have no physical office. We all live and work in various cities and time zones, and the current geographical representation of our extended team spans from California to Florida.

This structure has many benefits. Individually we're very productive, and we can hire awesome people wherever they prefer to live. In addition, no one has to work in a soul-sucking cube farm. We all choose the work environment that suits us best, whether it's home, a coffee shop, or a local coworking space.

At the same time, thriving in a telecommuting environment takes certain set of skills and discipline. It can be a tough transition if you've never done it before, and it does have some downsides. If you learn best via interpersonal methods (e.g. detailed training sessions or extensive one-on-one mentoring), our work environment will not be a good fit.

But we still hang out and have fun

Of course, we still value face time with one another, and enjoy hanging out. So we typically get together at least a couple times a year at company-sponsored meetups in fun places.

In November 2014, for instance, we did a three-day strategy session and food truck extravaganza in Austin, TX. (Most pleasant surprise: this taco truck.) In recent years we've hit up Memphis, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT, where we debated the randomness of turnovers with former NFL head coach Eric Mangini.

Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin, home of the brontosaurus-sized
(and quite tasty) 1.25 pound beef rib

Most years, you'll also see us parading around the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston in our TR t-shirts. Side story there: One year Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy shouted us down in the hallway and told us he loved using the site. That was fun.

We act like a startup

Our web site initially launched back when the Oakland Raiders actually won their division, so we aren't technically a "startup" anymore. However, we absolutely act like one. We make decisions quickly, we experiment a lot, and we're not afraid to tackle big, complex challenges.

Two other things about our approach to work deserve mentioning. First, we do all we can to minimize unproductive time, primarily by eliminating long meetings and conference calls. Outside of a brief team status update every morning, we communicate mostly via group chat, which also happens to be an ideal forum for sharing great music and horrible puns.

Pun in group chat: random thought: a good name for the guitarist for an SEO-themed rock band would be Jimmy Pageviews

So if you excel at putting together exquisitely choreographed slide presentations or deftly navigating the internal politics of a large organization, that's wonderful, but those skills will not be valuable here.

Second, everyone at TR wears multiple hats. We all have our primary job, and then we have the five other things we do to help move the business forward. (If you email our customer support account, for instance, you may get a response from our CEO.) Opportunities to learn new skills pop up daily, and we're more than willing to tackle projects even if none of us have extensive relevant experience. If that sounds fun to you, fantastic. We love it.

We're going to scout you before we sign you

Once we identify a promising job candidate, our hiring process almost always involves at least one short-term test project and/or an initial "trial period" of several weeks or more. We pay for all of this work, because trying to squeeze some free labor out of a prospective hire sure doesn't seem like the best way to start a successful and trusting working relationship.

This trial period is, of course, a two-way street. It also gives you the opportunity to experience working with us firsthand. If you decide you simply can't take the onslaught of bad puns, you can easily "opt out" without creating a messy situation or any hard feelings.

When we evaluate a new candidate, we tend to place a high value on what he/she has actually done, and don't place too much emphasis on resume. So the best way to make a positive first impression on us is just to show us something great that you produced. Anything that provides a tangible demonstration of your skills and your ability to drive a project to completion is a fine example to send us. It doesn't have to be sports related.

As an example, back in 2010 our soon-to-be intern extraordinaire, Austin, simply sent us a link to his blog. We hired him shortly thereafter. That was mostly because his blog provided ample evidence of his quantitative skills and ability to communicate statistical concepts, and only partly because it was called Kobe, Tell Me How My Stats Taste.

We expect a lot, but pay competitively

Finally, we're firm believers that happy employees will deliver the most value to the business in the long run. So we pay competitively for top talent, and we have a lot of leeway to craft a compensation and benefits package that best fits each candidate.

Our hiring process is quite stringent, but if you make it through, we're not going to ask you to work for peanuts and water like lots of other sports-related companies do.

Current Openings

If TR sounds like a good fit for you, here's what we're looking for right now:


Web Designer

Contract / Part-Time

After focusing most of our energies in recent years on analytical and product development, it's finally time to upgrade TR's design. So we're looking to bring on an experienced web designer who possesses a mix of both graphic design and UI/UX design skills.

Our site already handles millions of user sessions every year; we have over a decade of knowledge about user needs; and we've assembled a huge library of sports data. Building on that foundation, the right designer could have a profound impact on our business, and use this project as a showpiece of their portfolio.

As background, TeamRankings.com has been around since 2000 (for reference, that's before Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook even existed). Throughout most of our history, we haven't paid much attention to design, as stat geeks are unfortunately prone to do. This became this, then this, and finally, what you see today. Our "design team" (and we use that phrase loosely) has consisted of a motley crew of freelancers, spouses, and completely unqualified labor.

Surprise, surprise: With no particular cohesion, we've introduced many different page templates, navigation patterns, UI controls, logos, colors, and typography. All that is about to change.

The primary responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Update the look and feel of the site, with a particular focus on mobile
  • Create design patterns for presenting various data sets
  • Develop strategies for best presenting and highlighting our top content
  • Establish design consistency across pages and products
  • Design an extensible library of page and email templates, content/data modules, interactive controls, and logos/imagery, along with a basic style guide

In addition, the Web Designer will play a leading role in helping us:

  • Design a navigation approach that suits various devices and screen sizes
  • More clearly communicate what we do, particularly to first-time users
  • Redesign sales flows for various products
  • Streamline and simplify the information architecture of the site

Excelling in this role will likely require significant prior experience solving design challenges for content and/or e-commerce focused web businesses. Ideally, we're looking for someone who has already:

  • Accumulated significant experience with responsive design
  • Designed complex web sites, multi-step flows, and user interactions
  • Designed for conversion and A/B testing (e.g. sign up forms, purchase pages, etc.)
  • Presented data-intensive content in clear and understandable ways
  • Developed an understanding of a variety of goal-driven design paradigms (e.g. how to successfully encourage browsing vs. drive conversion)

Our goal is to redesign TeamRankings.com to prioritize user experience first, across all device types. That means quickly getting users to a clean presentation of our best content. We have no interest in flashy design that doesn't deliver significant functional value, since the quality of our content will always be the most important driver of user engagement.

Our web designer needs to share this philosophy, have a passion for minimizing cruft, and be prepared to articulate how his/her design decisions support our user experience goals.

As a final note, we already have a talented front end developer on staff, so no coding skills are required for this position. That being said, an awareness of the most common implementation challenges of responsive, multi-device design is still necessary.

Interested in the Web Designer position?

First, please read about what it's like to work at TeamRankings if you haven't already. We have a unique culture and work environment, and you should consider carefully whether it's a good fit for you.

If you believe you can thrive here, please send an email to jobs@teamrankings.com with attachments or links to work you've done that you think is relevant to our needs. In your email, please provide us with some brief context about the work you send us, such as:

  • Why you took on the work
  • Your specific role in the project
  • The key design goals and challenges
  • The thought process and/or data that informed your final design
  • How long the project took you
  • How you measured the success of your final deliverable(s)

Software Engineer (Back End)

Full-Time

As our business grows, so does the scope and complexity of the underlying technology that powers it. As a result, we're ready to beef up our technical team, and we have an immediate opening for an experienced back end software engineer. We're looking for a developer with a diverse set of technical skills, plus an eagerness and aptitude to learn new ones.

The person we hire for this role will serve as our company's technical lead and primary software architect. He/she will have a high degree of ownership over our technical infrastructure, and lead the implementation of an ambitious development roadmap. Among other things, in the months ahead we plan to:

  • Implement a full redesign of TeamRankings.com
  • Tap into new real-time sports data feeds
  • Add many new features for team fans, sports bettors, and fantasy owners

The addition of new sports such as NHL and soccer (excuse us, non-US readers..."football") is also on the horizon, and all of these projects will require significant engineering work.

The key responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Work with our CEO/product leader to scope new products and features
  • Make software architecture decisions for major development projects
  • Refactor, rebuild, and generally streamline our existing code base
  • Work with our analytical specialist and/or front end developer to integrate new site UIs, features, pages, and flows
  • Integrate the back end with external services/APIs
  • Improve the performance and reliability of the site

For reference, here is our current technology stack:

  • An extensive MySQL database of historical sports data
  • Data scrapers and parsers built in PERL, Python, and PHP
  • Computational algorithms built in both PHP and Java
  • XML data feeds we generate for business partners
  • Backend logic primarily built in PHP
  • Front end UIs built using the Smarty templating engine, HTML, CSS and JavaScript/jQuery
  • Hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

(Note: We do have other technical resources who handle our AWS infrastructure and maintenance, but familiarity with AWS is a definite plus. Also, we use Git for source control.)

Advanced quantitative skills are not required for this role, but decent mathematical proficiency, along with strong attention to detail, is important. Even though we have plenty of more traditional web engineering work to be done, the person in this position will still need to design and implement some analytically complex code.

Ideally, we are looking for an experienced engineer who has already served as the technical owner of a large code base that supported a substantial user load in a production environment. In addition, since this position is primarily an individual contributor role, it's imperative to love to code, because that's how this person will spend most of his/her time.

Although it is not our preference, we are willing to consider an exceptional early-career candidate for this role if he/she has very impressive technical chops and learns quickly.

Interested in the Software Engineer position?

First, please read about what it's like to work at TeamRankings if you haven't already. We have a unique culture and work environment, and you should consider carefully whether it's a good fit for you.

If you believe you can thrive here, please send an email to jobs@teamrankings.com with:

  • A resume, or a link to your LinkedIn profile (if all the key info is there)
  • A summary of your technical skills (if not on your resume/profile)
  • Example(s) of coding work you've done (whatever you think best demonstrates your technical skills, and is relevant to our needs)

Analytical Writer

Full-Time

Our site features tens of thousands of pages of sports data across five different sports, and we've done extensive research into office pool strategy and the sports betting markets. Now we're looking to hire a very special type of writer – someone who will deliver the top insights from TR in simple and accessible prose.

This is not your typical a sports writing job, because we're looking for someone with advanced quantitative skills. Many writing assignments won't even directly involve sports, but rather explaining mathematical concepts in relatable terms (like this.) As a result, academic training and practical experience in quantitative disciplines such as math, statistics, engineering or the hard sciences is strongly preferred for this position.

With that said, excelling at this job will still require a combination of three different strengths:

  • Analytical skills
  • Copywriting skills and efficiency
  • Sports knowledge

First, as the (written) voice of TeamRankings, this role serves as a public face for a brand that differentiates itself based on analytical sophistication. As a result, even though the person in this role will likely spend more time in WordPress than Excel, he/she must have a solid working knowledge of statistics, probability, and data mining techniques. We need someone who can quickly synthesize insights from large amounts of sports-related data, while also differentiating meaningful information from what's likely just random noise.

Second, we're seeking a talented and prolific writer that can produce engaging content across a variety of different formats: tweets, answers to user questions, website content, blog posts, marketing materials, and long form projects such as e-books. He/she must be adept at explaining complex concepts in simple terms, and delivering data-intensive prose in a style that keeps the attention of a broad range of readers (here are some examples). Expertise integrating pedagogical techniques such as anecdotes and visual aids is a big plus.

Finally, candidates for this role need to have a broad knowledge of both the current and historical context of the five sports we currently cover, especially when it comes to stats and numbers. For instance, it's more important to know offhand what a typical expectation is for points scored in an NFL game, than in what year Tom Brady was drafted. Knowledge of sports betting and the dynamics of the sports betting markets is also highly preferable, but not absolutely required.

Interested in the Analytical Writer position?

First, please read about what it's like to work at TeamRankings if you haven't already. We have a unique culture and work environment, and you should consider carefully whether it's a good fit for you.

If you believe you can thrive here, please send an email to jobs@teamrankings.com and attach or link us to at least two writing samples that you feel best demonstrate the skills we are looking for. At least one writing sample should be about a sports-related topic.

In addition, please include a resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile (if it's detailed).


Marketing & Operations Specialist

Full-Time

Like most web businesses, we want all our users to have a great experience, and we're always working to attract more customers. (We just have more fun doing these things, since our business is about sports.) As our company grows, we're looking to hire an ambitious, process-oriented individual to help drive our user retention and acquisition efforts.

This hybrid role will combine both operations and marketing related duties, depending on the needs of the business. During seasonal sales peaks (e.g. the start of football season and week before March Madness begins), this job will focus exclusively on supporting customer acquisition efforts. Outside of those periods, the person in this role also will contribute to a wide range of marketing, customer engagement, and other initiatives.

Some specific responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Respond to all inbound user communications (e.g. emails, tweets, live chat)
  • Improve the efficiency of our customer support & education processes
  • Assist in the formulation of marketing and customer retention strategies
  • Execute user acquisition and customer outreach campaigns
  • Manage and improve the effectiveness of our social media presence
  • Test and gather customer feedback on new products and features

Thriving in this position will require strong multi-tasking, organizational, and problem solving skills. This person will need to get a lot of different stuff done, prioritize (and frequently re-prioritize) his/her work, and communicate frequently with the rest of the TR team. In addition, recognizing and fixing inefficiencies in how we do things is a primary expectation.

Since this is a customer facing position, communication skills and a customer service oriented mindset are critical. We learn a ton from our users (many of whom have been with us for years, and address us on a first name basis), and they appreciate our personal interactions with them. The person in this role must look forward to corresponding with the people responsible for paying all of our salaries, and figuring out new ways to delight them.

While advanced quantitative skills are not required for this role, as always at TR, the more analytical skills one has, the better. This position will support and market sophisticated, data-driven products. At a minimum, it demands a thorough understanding of how those products work under the covers, and why they often advise doing things that don't initially make sense to a lot of people. You'll also be expected to test and measure the success of any marketing ideas you come up with using hard numbers.

Finally, a broad understanding of the sports we cover and types of office pools that we analyze is important, as is a basic knowledge of the dynamics of the sports betting markets.

We consider this position suitable for either promising early career candidates or more experienced marketing professionals. It involves broad exposure to our products, processes, and internal tools, so being a quick learner is arguably the most important relevant skill. Prior work experience in web marketing or operations is beneficial, but not required.

Note: The nature of this role will require some work on weekends, the extent of which will depend on the time of year and sports currently in season. Typically, it will be an hour or less on each weekend day, on a relatively flexible schedule.

Interested in the Marketing & Operations Specialist position?

First, please read about what it's like to work at TeamRankings if you haven't already. We have a unique culture and work environment, and you should consider carefully whether it's a good fit for you.

If you believe you can thrive here, please send an email to jobs@teamrankings.com and tell us about any relevant experience you have. In addition, please include a resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile (if it's detailed).