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DevOps/SysAdmin Engineer (Linux, AWS, Chef, ELK, & more) For 12-Person All-Remote SaaS Company

Have you built and managed large cloud server deployments that have seen real production usage? Are you an expert at automation tools like Chef, Consul, Terraform, and Kubernetes? Does having an amazing logging system like Splunk or ELK really get you excited? If so, we’d like you to learn about Action Verb.

We’re looking to hire more engineers to fill roles on our Infrastructure team, which is responsible for keeping our network of 100 cloud servers across 8 AWS regions and their associated services running like a well-oiled machine.

You’ll be working with our existing deployments of Chef, Ansible, Consul, Terraform, ELK, Grafana, Statsd, Asterisk, MySQL, Redis, Memcached, Zeromq, Puma, Jenkins, and many other exciting open source systems. But you’ll also be free to deploy anything else if it gets the job done!

 

About Action Verb

We build two Infrastructure-as-a-Service Platforms that empower organizations worldwide: BrickFTP, a hosted file sharing service for business, and Vae Platform, a collection of offerings in the hosting and eCommerce space.

Our company consists of 12 (and growing to 25 by the end of 2018) full time USA-based remote employees, as well as sales and support outposts in Europe and Latin America.

Our products and services are used by over 2,000 enterprises and SMBs, including Target, Canonical, UPS, Leica, DirecTV, GoPro, Marriott, and more.

 

We’re Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Growing

Our success comes from building great products and services that are loved by our customers, and our growth comes from expanding and improving our products as quickly as we can.

We believe that great products can only be built by great people. So we’re on a quest to find the smartest, most creative, and most motivated technical people, and create an environment in which they thrive.

 

You Will Have Authority, Accountability, and Autonomy

At Action Verb, we follow a unique approach to management and company structure that draws inspiration from systems such as Holacracy and the unique approaches taken by Value and Google.

Our employees don’t have a single job description. Instead, you will fill many specific, focused roles that have very clear authority and accountabilities.

Some roles are big and some roles are small, but every role has a defined area of authority belonging exclusively to that role.

You will know your authority and accountabilities, and take action.

Roles are created, changed, and removed as our business grows, and the roles you fill as an employee will evolve over time.

“Most startups believe in iteration of their products. Now they need to apply the same thinking to their organizations.”

– Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder & CTO

You will attend a 3-day onboarding course we’ve designed to teach you the ins and outs of how this all works. By the end of your onboarding, you’ll be more equipped to get things actually accomplished, deployed, and implemented at Action Verb than you have ever been at a previous employer.

More about our Open-Source Approach To Management

 

We Are A Remote Company

You will work from home and have some flexibility to choose your working hours, allowing you to make time for family, recreation, vacations, or anything that is important to you.

You’ll take off 11 company-wide holidays per year as well as 20 days of PTO for vacations. Go have fun. Don’t work all the time.

Every quarter, you’ll travel to an in-person meeting with the entire team to meet and work together face to face. These meetings are in cities that are fun to visit. In the last few years, we’ve been to Austin, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, and New York City.

 

Results-Based Hiring

Action Verb approaches recruiting like a major-league sports team. Just like a team in the NFL or NBA has only a limited number of picks in the draft, we only have a small number of slots available for new employees, and we want to maximize the chance that the people we draft have the highest possible chance of producing results for the team.

To further the sports analogy, getting a job at Action Verb starts with your stats.

When we need to fill a role, we look for people with a track record of success filling a similar role.

We do not hire interns, junior staff, or anyone with less than 3 years of experience directly related to the role. As a result, all your co-workers will be major-league players, and you will relate to everyone here as a peer.

 

For Roles on Our Infrastructure Team, We Want To See This Track Record of Results:

  • Experience managing large cloud server deployments that have seen real production usage.
  • Experience building distributed, failure-resistant architecture, including disaster recovery, backups, failover, etc.
  • Experience with the advanced features of public cloud platforms such as AWS or Azure (we use AWS).
  • Significant experience working with GNU/Linux servers, including a complete understanding of the command line, /proc, services, etc.
  • Comprehensive understanding of networking concepts, including layers, firewalls, DNS, VPN, etc.
  • Proficiency with configuration management tools, such as Chef or Puppet, and fluency with at least one major scripting language.
  • Familarity with large scale monitoring and analysis systems, such as ELK or Splunk (we use ELK).
  • Complete understanding of how to build secure infrastructure and an awareness of common server security vulnerabilities.
  • History managing a large database at scale (we use MySQL).

Please stop reading now if these bullets do not describe your experience. We do not make inexperienced hires. But if they do describe your experience, please read on!

 

Salary and Pay

Action Verb offers competitive salaries combined with unparalleled flexibility and other benefits to secure top talent.

This position pays at least $100,000 per year, based on experience and track record, plus a great benefits package, and a $2,500 signing bonus to purchase a new computer, desk, or anything else that would help build or refresh your home office.

After your first year with Action Verb, we’ll update your salary annually based on your performance, as reviewed by your peers. Over the course of your career at Action Verb, your salary can grow by 2-3x if you are one of our highest performers.

We fully pay for a health insurance plan (exact plan details depend on where you live), and we’ll pick up the tab for 50% of your spouse or family if they wish to also join the healthcare plan. We want your family to be healthy.

Plus, you can join Action Verb Risk Free because of our $7,500 Quitting Bonus Within Your First 90 Days.

If you don’t like working at Action Verb for any reason, quit within the first 90 days and receive a $7,500 quitting bonus. That should be enough to keep you and your family afloat while you decide on your next path. We hope that you won’t take us up on the offer, but we want you to feel good knowing that it’s there.

 

About Our Network

Here are some statistics about our network:

  • ~100 servers, mostly hosted on AWS
  • 8 AWS regions, as well as multiple colocated hosting providers
  • Hundreds of public IP addresses
  • 500+ HTTPS requests per second
  • 25+ FTP/SFTP/FTPS logins per second
  • 100+ file transfers per second
  • 10,000+ log entries per second
  • 150,000+ metrics
  • 99.9% uptime record

 

Our Core Beliefs

We believe that everyone in the company should have programming skills. Our customers are primarily engineers, and in order to relate to them and support our products at the highest possible level, we should all be engineers too. As a Sysadmin/DevOps engineer, you will spend a lot of time writing code here.

We believe that the best Engineers tend to be polyglots with a wide variety of programming language experience. We don’t care whether you specifically know Puppet or Chef, but we look for engineers who are fluent in several programming languages. We want our staff to be adaptable and ready to evolve to what’s next.

We believe that allowing and supporting 100% remote work gives us access to great people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire. We tend to hire folks who are later in their careers, which means they usually have their family established somewhere. By offering remote work, we can hire the best people, no matter where they’re located.

We believe that the best way we can acquire top talent is by being an amazing place to work. Work from home, travel with the team, and surround yourself with top tier people at Action Verb. Read about everything we’ve done to make working at Action Verb great.

We believe that building great infrastructure and platform products requires a great internal infrastructure. We have over 150,000 metrics, real-time service monitoring, fully searchable logs, and full configuration management via Chef. We built our own application deployment system.

We believe in using the right tool for the job. Our core DevOps stack includes AWS, Chef, ELK, Grafana, Statsd, Asterisk, Capistrano, MySQL, Redis, Memcached, Zeromq, Jenkins, Github, Honeybadger, and many other exciting open source systems. We don’t want to get stuck in the trap of using a language or a tool just because “that’s how it’s done around here.”

We believe that open-source only works if companies give back. If you work on any open-source projects during the course of your work at Action Verb, you are encouraged to submit your improvements as a pull request back to the upstream project. And if you build something from scratch while working here that’s generic and not related to our core products, we want you to release that on GitHub too. We’ll also pay your travel costs to any conference where you can get a speaking gig.

We believe that our DevOps Engineers are the first line of defense when something bad happens. You will be part of an on call rotation where you may be called in afterhours in case there are performance problems in production. Fortunately, afterhours callouts are rare for us, and there are enough members of our Infrastructure team now that the rotation has fairly flexible scheduling. (For example, you are not expected to be on call during vacation or PTO.)

We believe in building products that we actually use ourselves. We are our own toughest critics and we put all of our products through their paces every day.

Read The Rest of our Core Beliefs

 

Ready To Apply?

Working here isn’t for everyone, but if you think it might be for you and you have the required experience, please apply.

The link below will take you to our applicant tracking system, which asks for a lot of information. However, the only field we will read at first is the box that says “Cover Letter.”

At Action Verb, we look for results, so our initial screening round starts by reviewing your previous results as an Infrastructure/Devops engineer or systems administrator.

We’d like you to write a cover letter and paste it into that box. Please make sure that it contains all of the following information about your level of experience:

  • What is the largest network you have personally supported in production? How many servers? If Cloud based, how many regions/clouds? What automation tools did you rely on to manage such a big network?

  • What is the largest contribution you have made to Open Source Software and are there any repositories that you maintain personally?

You may also want to write about why this opportunity calls to you personally and why you see yourself as a good fit for Action Verb. We also love watching video cover letters, so feel free to post a YouTube or Vimeo link into the box in lieu of a written letter.

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