Fully flexible hours
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
Reporting to the Head of Engineering Management you will lead and provide engineering management support to the Element Backend team, which covers development and maintenance of all our production backend infrastructure.
This means not only the matrix.org instance available on the open federation but also the server implementations run by Element’s SaaS EMS offering and governmental scale Matrix installations.
More concretely you will:-
- Shape and communicate the technical strategy for the team.
- Ensure that the team is on track to deliver on its goals, course correcting where necessary.
- Facilitate technical design sessions, retrospectives, 1:1s etc.
- Take responsibility for the ongoing professional development of the team.
- Contribute to the hiring strategy and participate in interviews and hiring decisions.
- Act as a point of contact for other areas of the business.
- Relentlessly remove impediments blocking the team.
The team operates remotely and is made up of seven engineers.
Since (almost) everything we do is open source you can get a great feel for exactly what it would be like to work on Element - joining dev-centric channels such as #synapse-dev:matrix.org provides a window into the core team and the community. Come and say hi!
- You have experience leading a high-performing team of engineers, including managing and shipping cross-functional or multi-team projects.
- You are endlessly curious about the technologies your team works with and strive to keep your technical knowledge sharp — but you also feel comfortable knowing your greatest impact won't be as a technical contributor.
- You place a tremendous value on good communication and appreciate async- and remote-friendly working practices.
- You understand methodologies like Agile, XP, and Lean, and see their value, but don't believe there's only one right way to get work done.
- You are comfortable with the pace and trade offs of an early stage startup (meaning: know how to take care of yourself and your team, get your work done without working around the clock, prioritize ruthlessly, be able to tolerate a little uncertainty and sometimes wear different hats).
Nice to haves
It would nice if any of the following were true.
- Some previous history working in an open source environment, either professionally or as a community member.
- You have worked as a developer on distributed backend systems in the past. We don’t need you to have used our technology stack (python/twisted/redis/postgres) but familiarity would be a plus.
- An interest/experience in the world of decentralised technology and/or messaging technology.
- The backend team’s remit bleeds into operations, experience working in tech ops would be a bonus.
- You have managed remote staff or have worked remotely yourself. Element is a highly distributed organisation and we continually strive to improve our remote experience.
If you have any questions before making an application reach out to Mischa @mischawalmsley:matrix.org via https://app.element.io
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.