Christian Mikalsen
Mar 13 · 6 min read

Kolonial.no is the fastest growing online grocery store in the Nordics, recently recognized as one of the hottest tech start-ups in Norway. We use technology to create the grocery experience of the future, building our entire digital platform from scratch.

We know. Everyone’s looking for experienced software engineers, and we’re no exception. However, instead of telling you what we need, let’s tell you what we have to offer.

First and foremost, we believe senior software engineers want to solve complex problems that matter. Problems that challenge you to build amazing things, which have a real impact on thousands of people and a positive contribution to society. We also believe experienced engineers need an outstanding tech culture allowing for personal growth, and culture for growing others.

We’re convinced we can offer this and more in a country consistently voted the best place to live in the world. If you’re already convinced, jump to the end to learn what we’re looking for. If not, keep on reading 👇

1. Technology that matters for people and society

With almost the entire tech world chasing to increase the time their users spend with their products, we optimize for the opposite; minimal time spent. In fact, we save our customers 60+ hours in stores each year. And that’s before we have fully started to personalize the user experience. Our efficient logistics save tons of food waste, and each new electric vehicle we add to our optimized distribution network replaces 12.775 trips to the store each year.

We believe this shows that both customers and our society are ready for a brand new retail infrastructure. If software is eating the world, we’re creating the software that makes this new retail infrastructure possible — fueled by data and great UX.

2. A huge set of problems — way more than just an app

Creating a new infrastructure for groceries is a huge challenge in an enormous market (a market bigger than global music sales, in Norway alone). And the problem set is not just extremely wide; each problem goes really deep.

Imagine working on everything from a fully personalized shopping experience helping our customers do their weekly shopping in less than a minute on any platform of choice, via managing robots and ensuring optimal placement of products in the warehouse, to a highly efficient route planning and distribution network. Just to name a few examples.

Robots in action in our warehouse 🤖

That’s the second thing we have to offer: A vast set of exciting challenges that never ends. Problems that call for people who dare to take on new challenges all the time, and who wish to grow with the challenges. Problems that will take decades to solve fully.

3. A tech company built from the ground up

Our culture

In a time where most companies in the Nordics are transforming themselves to become “customer focused”, “tech and data-driven”, “agile” and “cross-functional”, we are built like this from the ground up. Without legacy.

From day one we have considered ourselves a tech company that happens to sell groceries. 7 of 10 founders have backgrounds in product and technology, and we create our key technology ourselves. We have a CTO and CPO in the management team, who set strategy and direction for what and how we build together with the tech teams, instead of just delivering on requests from the “business people”. The entire company lives and breathes technology.

In other words, culture is the third and most important thing we have to offer. A culture where:

  • Product & Tech isn’t just delivering on requirements, but sets strategy and direction.
  • We learn and thrive when we get to experiment before rolling out solutions at scale.
  • We work in teams with software engineers, designers, data scientists, and product managers all the way.
  • We deploy in minutes and help each other with code reviews.
  • Supporting and contributing to open source projects (like Django) is a given.
  • We regularly meet at home or in a nice place for hackathons.
  • Diversity — in every aspect — is a key focus.
  • Our office chef pings everyone on Slack when it’s time for a great homemade lunch.
  • We roll up our sleeves and help out in the warehouse on super busy days.
  • We set stretch targets (via OKRs), aim high and won’t give in until we’re the world’s best — in everything.
  • The entire team joins off-sites to discuss, solve great problems together and get to know each other better.
  • We practice DevOps by having engineers with DevOps skills embedded in every team.
  • We promote and facilitate ownership in the success of the company.
  • We do whatever we can to ensure relocation to Norway is without costs or hassle.

Our tech stack

Since we have developed our entire tech platform, company and culture from scratch, we have chosen a modern tech stack that lets us solve hard problems with high speed and minimal complexity:

  • We love Python and use it all the way from our webshop (built in Django), controlling industrial robots asynchronously and in real time in our warehouse, to product recommendations and personalization made with machine learning on Google Cloud Platform.
  • Since uptime and reliability are crucial to us, we build everything with redundancy, monitoring, and failover in mind — for example using Datadog and VividCortex.
  • Developer happiness is key, and we automate as much as possible. For example, we simplify testing by using Kubernetes to spin up complete test environments for all pull requests automatically. We also automate test running, format code consistently with Black, have one-line deployment, and handle errors with Sentry.
  • Our data infrastructure is built on the Google Cloud Platform with a combination of hosted services like BigQuery and great open source tools such as dbt.
  • We practice infrastructure as code with Salt, Terraform and Kubernetes, have dedicated DevOps roles in every tech team, and care deeply about security and privacy in everything we do.

In summary

We offer Norway’s broadest and deepest set of tech challenges and work on problems that really matter. We offer the chance to help shape and grow the future of a company that has tech in it’s DNA. We are already recognized as one of the hottest tech-startups in Norway by The Next Web and aim to be among the hottest in Europe.

Our customers got some giant help this winter ⛄️ 🏔

Does this sound like something you are interested in joining? If so, you’re ready to learn what we look for.

We look for senior engineers with:

  • A passion for clean, scalable and maintainable code of really high quality.
  • Some years of experience with modern web development. Preferably with our stack Python, Django, PostgreSQL, HTML/CSS/JS, Linux, but experience with our stack is not a must have since great engineers learn new technology quickly.
  • An interest in solving problems without introducing unnecessary complexity, and who knows when it’s essential to invest appropriately in solving a problem thoroughly vs. when a quick solution would work well.
  • Experience in building and scaling distributed systems, preferably in a cloud environment like Google Cloud Platform.
  • Drive to grow and learn new things continuously — and share with those around you.
  • Willingness to contribute to our teams and the tech scene, recruit, lead and develop others.

You can read more in our job posting 👉 Senior Python Engineer.

Let’s talk!

Feel free to reach out to us for more information, or send your application directly. You can contact our tech recruiter Sabrina (sabrina@kolonial.no) or our co-founder and CTO Christian (christian@kolonial.no).

We hope to hear from you! ☕

Kolonial.no Product & Tech

The software, design and data behind the grocery experience of the future.

Christian Mikalsen

Written by

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer @kolonialno. Entrepreneur, geek and eager hobby pilot.

Kolonial.no Product & Tech

The software, design and data behind the grocery experience of the future.

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