Enterprise Service Mesh Engineer

Remote /
Customer Engineering /
Hi, we're Buoyant.

We build Linkerd—the lightest, fastest, simplest service mesh for Kubernetes.

Linkerd is an open source project. It has a thriving community of adopters and it powers the production systems of companies around the world. Companies like Microsoft, Nordstrom, Timescale, Expedia, and many, many more use Linkerd to add critical security, reliability, and observability features to their Kubernetes applications.

We’re a small company with an incredibly outsized impact on the world. We’re remote-first and fully distributed with team members all over the world. Our competition is fierce: every day, we take on some of the largest companies in the world with essentially infinite dollars and infinite engineers to devote to their competing projects. Our secret weapon? A laser-like focus on solving actual problems for our users coupled with a deep sense of empathy for them.

Working here is not for the faint of heart.

What's Linkerd?

Imagine taking ultralight, ultrafast L7 "micro-proxies" written in Rust, sticking them next to other people's applications running on other people's clusters, and having them mediate all TCP (and in the future, UDP) communication to and from these apps—no matter what it is. Imagine these proxies upgrading connections from HTTP/1 to HTTP/2, initiating and terminating mutual TLS, retrying requests, emitting fine-grained metrics, issuing CSRs to the local CA every n hours, and so on. And imagine the end user blissfully operating 10,000 of these proxies, as a whole, with an easy-to-use CLI and API. That's a service mesh.

(The best way to learn more is to try it yourself. If you can run Kubernetes, you can get Linkerd up and running in 5 minutes.)

Under the hood Linkerd is extremely sophisticated and deeply technical, but the key to the entire project is simplicity. It's extremely difficult to make a simple service mesh, and very easy to make a complex one. (Heck, look at pretty much any of the other options.) And simplicity in this case means operational simplicity: it doesn't mean that you get a one-click install wizard, it means that whenever Linkerd is running, you can understand what it's doing and predict its behavior. It means no leaky abstractions, no complex tuning, no hidden gotchas. We spend a lot of time and energy in ensuring Linkerd is simple—it's our central promise to our users.

Linkerd is a graduated-tier project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, just like Kubernetes, Prometheus, and other defining projects of the cloud native space. It's written in Rust and Go; Go powers (most of) Linkerd's control plane. Rust powers Linkerd2-proxy, the source of Linkerd's true power. We're the only service mesh that uses something like Linkerd2-proxy, and it's a tremendous differentiator.

On the commercial side, we make Buoyant Cloud, a cloud-based management system for Linkerd. Buoyant Cloud makes Linkerd stress-free to operate. You connect your existing deployments, and Buoyant Cloud monitors their health and alerts you if anything looks weird. It takes on the toil of upgrades, data plane management, and more. In short: Buoyant Cloud turns Linkerd into a managed service, even though it's running on your own clusters.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for engineers who want to be hands-on in helping our enterprise customers be successful with Linkerd and Buoyant Cloud. This is a big task: you'll need to juggle critical issues across multiple customers; tease apart complex dependencies between Linkerd, Kubernetes, and the underlying networking, application, and VM layers; and be responsive, professional, and friendly throughout. You'll also pitch in on responding to questions in the Linkerd community Slack and engage with the open source community.

Engineers successful in this role will have extensive Kubernetes troubleshooting chops, excellent written skills, and eagerness to work with customers. You will be responding to everything from 'hello, world' questions to high severity, high urgency issues. Enterprise clients will require the most resourcefulness on your part and your responsibilities will begin with performing an architectural review for them. You'll then shepherd them through adoption of Buoyant Cloud or Linkerd and ensure they seamlessly roll out into production. Once in production you will be responsible for responding to any issues they may have, escalating to Linkerd developers and maintainers when necessary. This is a tall order for anyone, but you will have a world-class team of Kubernetes engineers and Linkerd experts in your corner.

We’re a team, not a family, but we have families and are the kind of place where work doesn’t get in the way of that. There will be crunch times, but work life balance is important and our p95 work times are pretty good for a startup.

This is an extremely technical project that pushes the boundaries of modern networking software and cloud operations. If that sounds fun, this just might be the job for you!

This might just be the job for you if

    • You enjoy working directly with customers on hard technical problems.
    • You are comfortable jumping in to debugging complex issues and can escalate to others when necessary.
    • You have a passion and empathy for early adopters of open source technology.
    • You are excited about providing education and guidance to members of the Linkerd community.
    • You have a software engineering background and can write code.
    • You have strong communication skills.
    • You can bring enthusiasm, excitement, and energy to your work!


    • Remote first culture
    • Health, Dental, Vision and Disability insurance
    • 401k
    • Unlimited PTO (We strongly encourage people to use it)
    • Home-office stipend
Buoyant is a fully distributed, remote-first company. Applicants from anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply. However, working hours must overlap at least partially with US or EU timezones.