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What is Stripe? Inside the tech stack of the highest paying fintech

When talking about Stripe and how it became a fintech industry titan, people often talk about those seven lines of code that integrated its payments API into any website. Today, there's a bit more to it than that: Stripe consists of over 50 million lines of ever-changing code and, according to Crunchbase, over 320 patents. 

Stripe offers the biggest pay packages in fintech, but is it worth it? Below is a look at the kinds of products you will be working on at Stripe and the technologies and languages underpinning them.

What will I be working on?

Stripe has expanded its product lineup significantly in the past few years. A diagram from a Whitesight report on the fintech gives us a better idea of the kind of projects you could be working on if you join it.

Digital Payments Infrastructure

The division Stripe is known for has expanded its suite of products in the payments space to increase the ease of access and personalization of payments technology.

Stripe Terminal for example, introduced in 2018, extends the scope of Stripe's APIs to in-person transactions. Stripe Connect meanwhile provides UI infrastructure for onboarding and KYC purposes.

Banking-As-A-Service Infrastructure

This division enables the growth of a variety of other fintechs by providing them banking infrastructure, both digital and physical.

Stripe Issuing allows companies to provide their users with digital or physical debit and credit cards. Fintechs that have used this service include unicorns Ramp and Klarna. Stripe Treasury meanwhile allows users to send, store and receive money, and is used by firms like Shopify.

Digital Commerce Infrastructure

Stripe's digital commerce teams are focused on making the tech behind commerce platforms easy to use for buyers and secure for sellers. 

Stripe Elements is a UI focused team that implements preset elements into a website's checkout process. Stripe Radar and Stripe Identity meanwhile are safety focused; the former is a machine learning based fraud detection product and the latter provides identity verification technology.

Digital Operations Infrastructure

Stripe's digital operations team provides operations assistance for a wide range of processes with a focus on automation.

Stripe Atlas is focused on optimizing the legal and compliance process of creating a startup, claiming to have your startup running within ten minutes. Stripe Billing automates recurring payments and direct debits while Stripe Tax automates tax calculations and collections.

Data and Analytics Infrastructure

Stripe's data team makes the collection analysis of data effective and secure. Financial Connections allows users to securely share financial information, while Data Pipeline centralizes your business data.

Crypto Infrastructure

Still bullish on crypto but prefer the security of a fintech operating in different spaces? Stripe has a number of teams working in the crypto space.

Stripe's fiat-to-crypto onramp, be it embedded or hosted by Stripe, provides infrastructure for the processing and secure purchasing of cryptocurrencies.

What will I be working with?

A big factor for people joining fintech is the opportunity to work with innovative technologies. So what kind of languages will you actually be using at Stripe?

The most prominent language at the fintech is Ruby. The vast majority of Stripe's code is in Ruby, leading to Stripe engineer Soam Vasani calling it a "Ruby monolith." It's not the only language however, with Stripe engineers in a post on jobs forum site Blind noting they also work with JavaScript, JVM, Python and Scala, depending on the team.

In that discussion, one Stripe engineer says the fintech has a system that deals with the integration of ruby's various open source gems by "autoloading" them. 

Stripe engineers seem huge fans of the language. One said "I used to scoff at Ruby pre-Stripe, but it’s surprisingly nice to work with" while another says they find Ruby "relaxing." It is worth noting that the popular framework Ruby on Rails is not in use at the company, and it has instead developed its own code base, which one Stripe engineer says is "very delightful to work in."

There are more technologies you could be working with, however. Techstacks.io has compiled a list of the primary technologies and languages used for different purposes in Stripe:

Programming Languages

  • Ruby
  • CoffeeScript

Client Libraries

  • Backbone.JS
  • React

HTTP Server Technologies

  • HAProxy

Server Libraries

  • Sinatra

Databases and NoSQL Datastores

  • PostgreSQL
  • Hadoop
  • Redis

Server Software

  • Consul

Cloud/Hardware Infrastructure (AWS)

  • Amazon Route 53
  • Amazon SES

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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