Engineer Manager

Remote /
Buoyant /
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? Focus, and a deep sense of empathy for our users.

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.

What are you looking for?

We're looking for an engineering manager who wants to lead and manage engineering teams at Buoyant. You should have a strong technical background, but it doesn't have to be in infrastructure or open source specifically—this is ultimately a people management role, not a development one, and you won't be writing code unless something goes tragically wrong.

In this role, you'll be responsible for our engineers. Buoyant is home to some of the most talented software engineers on the planet who also work on some of the hardest challenges on the planet. It's not an easy job. We're a small company and the engineering work itself can be wildly different across teams, individuals, and even hours of the day, ranging from full-stack development to Kubernetes operations to open source Rust programming to much more. The cloud native space is rife with buzz, FOMO, and distraction. Linkerd has a lot of users, a continuous stream of GitHub issues and Slack messages asking for help or describing problems or asking when something is going to be ready. You need to be able to be productive in that environment, and more importantly, able to make others productive.

We're a small company and everyone wears a lot of hats. Your day-to-day work as engineering manager will be a combination of mentorship, coaching, 1:1s, hiring, recruiting, project management, team leadership, process improvements, and more, in conjunction with your counterparts in product, design, sales, and marketing. This will be done fully remotely, aka we hope you like Zoom, like, a lot. (But we do try to get together physically on a regular basis.)

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.

You have:

    • Two or more years of professional experience managing remote teams of software engineers.
    • A history of technical contributions and technical leadership, prior to management.
    • Excellent written communication skills.
    • A weird but adorable love of software infrastructure.

In this role, you will:

    • Manage teams of remote software engineers from around the world.
    • Nurture team members, deliver critical feedback, and foster a culture of ownership and collaboration.
    • Partner with product, design, sales, and marketing functions to accomplish Buoyant's broader goals.
    • Recruit, hire, and and grow a diverse and collaborative engineering team fast-paced organization.

You are:

    • Low-ego, collaborative, and results-oriented.
    • Able to give and receive constructive feedback.
    • Willing to learn from and mentor teammates.
    • Passionate, empathetic, and kind.
Buoyant is a fully distributed, remote-first company. Applicants from anywhere in the world can apply. However, working hours must overlap with US or EU timezones.