Software Engineer, Infrastructure
Build the infrastructure powering work.
Slack enables people all over the world to communicate and collaborate together. Teams of all scales — from the world’s largest public companies to the smallest of startups — use Slack to get work done, so we take performance and reliability very seriously. A taste of our scale:
- 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 6 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
- Asynchronous background job processing
We know we’ve done our job correctly when none of our users think about us. 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, Slack just works 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 Chief Architect, Keith Adams, spoke about our architecture at QCon in 2016. Bing Wei and Michael Demmer, Backend Engineers on our team spoke about Flannel (our homegrown application aware cache) at QCon in 2017 and Vitess/MySQL at Percona Live in 2017 respectively.
We are a small team making a large impact. We rapidly iterate and work closely with other teams in engineering to ensure we build resilient systems that can 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.
What you will be doing
- Design, build, ship and maintain the core infrastructure used by all of Slack’s engineering teams.
- Collaborate with peers across Engineering to triage bugs and troubleshoot complex production issues across the stack, especially with respect to performance.
- Whiteboard a fix to a scaling problem — and then make it happen.
- Write, review, or provide feedback on a technical design proposal.
- Work on projects such as Flannel, Scaling Job Queue, Reducing Slack’s memory footprint as well as scaling the MySQL/Vitess data tier.
What you should have
- Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering or related field, or 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 been building large scale systems professionally for 2+ years and can point to things you’ve worked on.
- You have experience building reliable and safe distributed systems and understand the trade-offs made when engineering a feature.
- You know how the web works, can dive into HTTP and TCP/IP, thoughtful about data architecture and MySQL/datastore performance tuning, and can judge what a good API looks like.
- You can jump into situations with few guardrails and make things better.
- You write code that can be easily understood by others with an eye towards clarity and maintainability.
- You are a very strong communicator. You’re excited to explain complex technical concepts and share your knowledge with different audiences.
- You are curious how things work and when things break you are eager and able to help fix them.
Infrastructure is a diverse and inclusive team that treats their colleagues exceptionally well. We are happy to help you learn what you need to know; we encourage and support each other’s growth and thus it’s not expected that you would have expertise across all of these areas.
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 is a layer of the business technology stack that brings together people, data, and applications – a single place where people can effectively work together, find important information, and access hundreds of thousands of critical applications and services to do their best work. From global Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, businesses and teams of all kinds use Slack to bring the right people together with all the right information. Slack is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has ten offices around the world. For more information on how Slack makes teams better connected, visit slack.com.
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.