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Staff Software Engineer, Backend (Data Residency)

Build the infrastructure that powers work. 

Background

Slack enables people all over the world to communicate and collaborate together. Teams of all sizes — from the world’s largest public companies to the smallest of startups — use Slack to get work done. We take performance and reliability very seriously:

  • The average user spends over 10 hours connected and 2.5 hours active in Slack every single day
  • 1.5 billion messages are sent per month, half of those outside the United States
  • Every day we see over 10 million simultaneously connected users, over a billion web requests, and 10s of billions of database queries.

For millions of people, Slack is the primary communication tool they use at work all day long. They expect it to be exceptionally reliable and fast, all the time.

Infrastructure at Slack

We operate at tremendous scale with systems that process millions of events per second. Our team maintains and builds the lower levels of our stack, including:

  • Edge services
  • Data Stores and Caches 
  • Real-time messaging and event fanout
  • Asynchronous background job processing

We’ve done our job correctly when none of our users think about us, much like a vital utility. We don’t typically ship new user-facing features, but rather ensure our systems are incredibly performant, highly available, reliable, and scalable. In other words, we make Slack work seamlessly. Slack's API and web backend is built on PHP/Hack, and our backend services are written in Java and Go. Our data infrastructure is built on Kafka, Hadoop, Hive, Presto, Spark, and MySQL/Vitess. Our backend engineers Bing Wei and Michael Demmer spoke about our homegrown application-aware cache Flannel at QCon and our implementation of Vitess/MySQL at Percona Live

The Data Residency Team

We are a small team making a large impact. We rapidly iterate and work closely with other teams across core infrastructure and product engineering to build resilient systems at scale. We have a strong commitment to quality and understand that simplicity and reliability should be primary aspects of the systems that we build. We are ambitious, independent, and pragmatic. We build the services that ensure our customers’ data is stored and processed in the right location at the right times. In an increasingly complex environment, we make a commitment to choice and flexibility for enterprises and businesses around the world. You would be a key player in these services’ efficiency, speed, and reliability.

If you were to join Slack, here are the types of things you would do over the course of a typical week:

  • Design, build, ship and maintain the data residency infrastructure used by all of Slack’s engineering teams.
  • Collaborate with peers in Engineering  to triage bugs and troubleshoot complex production issues across the stack related to our services.
  • Whiteboard a fix to a scaling problem, then make it happen.
  • Write, review, or provide feedback on a technical design proposal from other infrastructure teams.

You may be a fit for this role if:

  • You have a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering or a related field/ equivalent training, fellowship, or work experience.
  • You possess strong Computer Science fundamentals: data structures, algorithms, programming languages, operating system, distributed systems, and information retrieval.
  • You’ve built large-scale systems professionally for 5+ years and can point to things you’ve worked on.
  • You’ve built reliable,  safe distributed systems and understand the engineering and product trade-offs, and how to make a case for either.
  • You know how the web works, can dive into HTTP and TCP/IP, are thoughtful about data architecture and MySQL/datastore performance tuning, and can judge what a good API.
  • You work on complex issues where the analysis requires an in-depth knowledge of the company and existing architecture. 
  • You write clear code that is maintainable, reusable, and a good citizen of the codebase.
  • You are a very strong communicator and can explain complex concepts to a diverse audience.
  • You are curious, inquisitive, and determined to fix things when they break.

Bonus points

  • Experience with data residency/international data storage
  • A history of mentorship and team leadership
  • Familiarity with configuration and deployment services, as well as containerization

 

Data Residency is a diverse and inclusive team that is quickly growing and building the future of Slack’s infrastructure. We are happy to help you learn what you need to know; we encourage and support each other’s growth and it’s not expected that you would have expertise across all of these areas from the beginning.

Slack is registered as an employer in many, but not all, states. If you are not located in or able to work from a state where Slack is registered, you will not be eligible for employment.Visa sponsorship may not be available in certain remote locations.

Visa sponsorship is not available for candidates living outside the country of this position.

Slack is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participant in the U.S. Federal E-Verify program. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Slack will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.


 


Slack has transformed business communication. It’s the leading channel-based messaging platform, used by millions to align their teams, unify their systems, and drive their businesses forward. Only Slack offers a secure, enterprise-grade environment that can scale with the largest companies in the world. It is a new layer of the business technology stack where people can work together more effectively, connect all their other software tools and services, and find the information they need to do their best work. Slack is where work happens.

Ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is core to Slack’s values. We welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a pleasant and supportive place to work.

Come do the best work of your life here at Slack.