Every team at Canva is a mini-startup - full stack engineers help us move quickly and achieve big goals that require a broad technical skill set.

What full stack engineers do at Canva

You’ll be hired as a frontend or backend engineer, but there’s plenty of room to use both disciplines at Canva. Full stack engineers can work more independently, own their own features or move between projects. Roles that offer potential for full stack development include working on our Experiments team, where engineers build whole features quickly in order to test and validate growth hypotheses.

Our backend is primarily Java, and our frontend is typesafe JavaScript with React and TypeScript. Software engineering practices and CS fundamentals are more important to us than languages and frameworks though, and we trust that great engineers will be able to learn our stack.

The founders have been really supportive of me working on different parts of the stack.

Callan McNamara

Fullstack engineer

Why is Canva a good place to be a full stack engineer?

Because we’re still a young product and growing so quickly, there are lots of low hanging fruit which allow you to make a really visible, positive net impact. Our direction is very much influenced by what will have the largest impact in the shortest amount of time.

Of course there are times when you need to pay back technical debt and clean up particular systems, but when we build new features they always tend to have a big impact. When you spend a couple of months on something, it’s nice to have that confirmation that your work has been valuable. I really enjoy the variety as a full stack engineer, whether that’s working across different projects or working full stack to make my own features.

Callan McNamara

Fullstack engineer

What advice would you give to people applying for a full stack engineer role at Canva?

I would say work out where your strengths are and decide on the frontend or backend application process accordingly. If you have an area of particular expertise, find a chance to do a deep dive on that during the interview. You should definitely mention to your recruiter that you’re a full stack developer - and if you don’t get through the frontend or backend process on your first try, apply again through the other one!

In the interview you should feel free to question your interviewers, and be prepared to discuss your thinking. In general we’re looking for how well you work with people, which involves being able to both give and take feedback, and giving good explanations of your ideas. We’re looking for people who will work effectively in teams.

Meet Lily Xia

Full stack engineer

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