Soma Capital Portfolio Jobs

Lead - Backend Engineering

Gym Class

Gym Class

Software Engineering
Los Angeles, CA, USA · Chicago, IL, USA · Seattle, WA, USA · Austin, TX, USA
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2023

Gym Class - by IRL Studios

Play basketball in virtual reality

Lead - Backend Engineering

$160K - $210K / 0.20% - 0.50%
US / Austin, TX, US / Los Angeles, CA, US / Seattle, WA, US / Chicago, IL, US / New York, NY, US / Miami, FL, US / Remote (US; Austin, TX, US; Los Angeles, CA, US; Seattle, WA, US; Chicago, IL, US; New York, NY, US; Miami, FL, US)
Job Type
6+ years
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Paul Katsen
Paul Katsen

About the role

Role summary

Gym Class VR is the #1 most played sports game in virtual reality, and #1 best rated game on the Meta Quest platform. Millions of players download GC to play basketball with friends around the world, break a sweat, and compete to become a star.

As the team’s first backend engineering hire, you’ll drive the design and implementation of our API and infrastructure. You’ll also collaborate with our co-founders, client engineers, and designers to ship features to GC's highly engaged (and vocal) community.

The company is backed by top technology and sports investors, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Y Combinator, National Basketball Association (NBA), the Golden State Warriors, and top player-investors like Kevin Durant, Danny Green, Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodala, and Lonzo Ball.

Join Gym Class if you’d like to work at the frontier of social gaming and virtual reality, love to ship company-critical work, get energized from the feedback of a hungry community, and want to grow your career alongside a world-class team.

What you'll do

  • Own and implement design of API architecture and infrastructure. Will work on areas ranging from: (a) core infrastructure and tooling, (b) recommendation systems, (c) gameplay features, (d) prototyping novel applications at intersection of VR, ML, and streaming.
  • Own API quality and uptime.
  • Own decisions on when important to ship API for product speed vs. as building blocks for team to move faster.
  • Own backend roadmap, informed by collaboration with product, client engineering, and design.
  • Drive ongoing backend hiring and team growth.

What we look for

  • Shipped at Scale: Has shipped product at scale, across mobile and web, in (a) consumer social, (b) gaming, and (c) from 0 to 1, likely at a startup.
  • Bias for Action: Tends to dive into the most critical problems for their company, regardless of blockers.
  • Impact, not Optics: Can dive in with product, and support or pushback on work with data. Has interpreted experiments and their product implications and tradeoffs, determining if work is additive or not. When missing data in past, has built pipelines, designed metrics, and used or implemented A/B testing infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure: Has built infra and tooling for games with networked physics, for streaming media or assets, handling high throughput and many concurrent connections. Very comfortable spinning up infra on AWS, Node, basic React, etc.
  • Velocity vs. Optimization: Familiar with startup mentality of picking the right infrastructure for the job and stage of company. But when needed, can migrate to more efficient infrastructure (eg - serverless vs. not), refactor, and/or optimize to run more quickly.
  • Nice to have areas of experience: (a) Recommendation systems for social, matchmaking, and toxicity, (b) Streaming video and audio applications., (c) Apps or games using realtime data in novel ways, (d) ml prototypes or products - like generative AI, gaming agents/bots, pose computer vision (eg - pose estimation from video)..
  • Nice to have: experience with Unity.


  • Salary ranges may be inclusive of several career levels and will be narrowed during the interview process based on a number of factors, including the candidate’s experience, qualifications, and location.
  • Additional benefits for this role include: equity; and medical, dental, and vision benefits.

About Gym Class - by IRL Studios

Gym Class is the most popular sports experience in virtual reality - and the best way to play basketball with people from all over the world. Make friends, break a sweat, and become a superstar.

The app is a breakout hit on Quest. With millions of downloads, it's now the #1 most played virtual reality sports game, and #1 best rated experience in the Quest Store.

The company is backed by the world's top investors, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Y Combinator, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Golden State Warriors, and top player-investors like Kevin Durant, Danny Green, Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodala, and Lonzo Ball.

Learn more here: