Distributed systems engineer

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Distributed systems engineer

Before you consider this role: Find out what it takes to be a distributed systems engineer. If you're up for the challenge, read on!

What makes Ably special?
Ably helps power next generation digital experiences. Ones which are live rather than static, where data is in motion rather than at rest. Things like live chat, real-time location tracking, live document collaboration, gaming and eLearning. One of our customers even uses Ably for their air traffic control system for drones. Working at Ably means you are working on a cutting-edge truly distributed product that is helping build the future.

What we can offer you – in brief
You will learn with the best. You will have autonomy and freedom to experiment and improve. You will be part of a dynamic team and a business that is taking off. We have just completed a $1m financing round to fuel our growth. We have the best technology and the best people in the industry. Join us now and you’ll be early in at a business going places, you’ll learn a lot, you’ll work with the founding team and you’ll have fun.

What we want in return – in brief
We want someone smart, ambitious, curious and motivated. Someone is prepared to do their best and work their arse off to do great work and become outstanding at what they do.

Job description
You'll be working with a deeply technical engineering team who collectively bring a wealth of experience and broad technology skills. The calibre of the code we produce is what excites and motivates us each day. If you enjoy solving hard distributed system problems that are mostly platform agnostic and theoretical in nature, then you'll love working at Ably. Our team is made up of a strong remote contingent, however our base is in London and growing. We are strong believers in face-to-face communication where possible. Whilst this is a remote working role, being able to practically travel to London occasionally is highly preferable and working on a similar time zone is a must.

Day to day you can expect to be working on:

  • The 'core' real-time platform which is largely Node.js and Go. You will also be required to work on the various services and routing layers of the platform which are built in Go and Elixir (we would expect you to be comfortable in either Go or Elixir, both would be a big win). As an aside, we use Ruby for all infrastructure automation and orchestration and occasionally write lower-level native code where necessary (such as native modules for Node). We're always revisiting the technologies we use and are always open to using new technologies where suitable
  • Working within the real-time platform and solving distributed programming problems
  • Collaborating with the team to design, discuss and implement new features and services
  • Diagnosing and fixing bugs in our platform using distributed tracing techniques
  • Adding suitable test coverage to new features as well as existing functionality, conducting load tests using our frameworks, and generally helping to address platform stability and regression prevention
  • Be responsible for the complete lifecycle of your features and code i.e. pull request, reviews, testing, deploy to staging and sandbox environments, then into production environments with ownership of any issues that arise. We are strong believers in all developers being involved in the system operations as well
  • Contributing to open source projects that we support or use in our products. All of our client libraries are open source as well and may require your support at times
  • Helping customers solve problems they are experiencing that may help us find bugs in the platform
  • Support the wider team in regards to documentation and customer support
  • Suggestions for new features or improvements to our protocol and API specifications


  • Salary range: € 40k to € 85k. Depends entirely on skills and experience
  • Holidays: 25+ days excluding national holidays (can be negotiated)
  • Benefit from a truly flexible working environment in which remote working and managing your own working time is the norm
  • Work in an environment where code quality, technical challenges and delivery is what we all care about
  • Skills development is intrinsic in the job. We're largely working on unsolved problems each day, and such, there is plenty of scope to widen your knowledge and skillset
  • Work with genuinely nice people who care


  • Experience: A minimum of a three years of professional experience in Node.js. Go and/or Elixir experience is very beneficial. You must have experience using both statically and dynamically typed languages, ideally in at least one other language. Any exposure to real-time and distributed systems is a real advantage. An understanding of Ruby is beneficial in regards to infrastructure automation and tooling, but not necessary
  • Pragmatic: A problem solver excited by the prospect of working autonomously solve problems and bring solutions to the team
  • Fast Learner: We’re looking for software engineers who thrive on applying their knowledge, learning new technologies. Our stack is diverse, and we expect it to continue to grow
  • Testing: Experience using testing frameworks and adoption of test driven development where applicable
  • Infrastructure: Experience with infrastructure and distributed systems is beneficial
  • Communication: We use tools such as Slack throughout the day to communicate, however we believe in voice conversations to discuss and solve problems. You must be proficient in spoken and written English, be eager to collaborate with the engineering team and constructively welcome code reviews
  • Customers: Comfortable talking to customers and assisting them with their technical issues and integration
  • Open source: We prefer developers who have contributed back to the open source community, even if those contributions are small

Are you up for the challenge?
Send us your CV and a motivational letter via the online application form. Visit http://www.ably.io for more informatie about our company.

Acquisition is not appreciated.

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