Backend Engineer - EMS (Worldwide Remote)

Flexible hours

Various work from home options

Dog friendly

Employment type
Full time

Who we are

Element is the startup which employs the core team behind Matrix— the leading project for secure, open decentralised communication.

Matrix’s mission is to make messaging as open as email— allowing everyone to choose where their data is hosted, enjoy private conversations and ultimately be in control of their own communication.

Practically speaking this means building open, self-sovereign alternatives to WhatsApp/Slack/Teams for governments, civic institutions and communities. At one end of the scale the French government has adopted Matrix for all of its instant messaging needs and more recently we delivered the world’s largest-ever single contract for a collaborative software service helping schools in Germany support remote learning. On the other end of the scale open source communities such as Mozilla have adopted Element for all of its community chat replacing IRC

The RoleYou'll spend most of your time working on EMS (Element Matrix Services), the Matrix SaaS hosting platform from Element. The EMS team is responsible for building a robust and highly scalable, enterprise-grade Matrix Hosting platform, including the App Store and related integrations. The SaaS platform is used by millions of people globally, from large governmental organisations through to community groups and open source projects like Mozilla, FOSDEM, and GitterThis role focuses on improving the performance, reliability, and scalability of our core hosting platform, as well as improving the efficiency of our hosted Synapse homeservers and implementing new features in response to customer and business needs or changes to the Matrix protocol itself.Our work runs the gamut from the mathematical to the mundane. For example, we’ve recently been working on:

  • New ways to dynamically scale and monitor hosted homeserver instances based upon actual usage.
  • Improved mechanisms for managing and rolling out version upgrades to our fleet of hosted homeserver instances around the world.
  • A new billing system for usage monitoring and invoicing based upon a highly flexible set of business metrics
  • Matrix moderation and auditing tools
  • Glossy, GUI-based Synapse Admin tools.


About you

The most important thing is that you believe passionately in the mission of a decentralised Internet, and that individuals should control their own data and choose who they share it with.

Additionally, we are looking for someone who is:

  • Curious, determined, articulate, and empathetic.
  • A tireless advocate of code quality and testing, while pragmatically accepting trade-offs when necessary.
  • Comfortable with the pace and ambiguity of an early-stage startup.
  • Able to independently manage their time, fulfilling objectives while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

Your experience

We don’t have hard requirements and welcome candidates with varied experience or nontraditional backgrounds. However, it would be great if some of the following are true:

  • Experience with Javascript / NodeJS, Python, or asynchronous programming
  • Familiarity with Ansible, Kubernetes, PostgreSQL and relational databases
  • Experience designing, building and maintaining distributed systems at scale
  • Experience maintaining and/or contributing to open source projects
  • Designing REST APIs with flexibility and extensibility in mind
  • Experience in IM or VoIP communications
  • We’re able to adjust this role to match a wide range of seniority, but as a baseline, we expect you to be able to work and learn in a self-directed manner while still knowing when to speak up and ask questions.

If you would like to discuss this role before making an application, please reach out to Mischa Walmsley ( via


Our general approach is to treat people like adults and acknowledge that by being flexible we create an environment for people to do their best work. For more details here is our manifesto.

That said specific points that differentiate us.

  • Work (almost) full time on FOSS projects with high visibility and a large enthusiastic community
  • The chance to work with large scale governmental installations through to high profile FOSS projects such as Mozilla or KDE.
  • Option to work partially or fully remote (our head office is in London), we offer flexibility and consider ourselves to be a family friendly environment.
  • People tend to stay with the company for a long time, we take this as a sign that we have a cohesive supportive culture, that we have engaging challenging work and that people can develop their skills and careers here for the long term.

Element does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, colour, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits.

View company profile

Flexible hours

Various work from home options

Dog friendly