Member of Technical Staff

New York City

We are building a global safety network. The need has never been greater for technology that informs and protects the public. Citizen empowers communities to keep each other safe and informed. Citizen is backed by Sequoia Capital and Founder’s Fund, and is a top 10 global News App on the App Store.

We’re looking for passionate, hardworking, mission-driven people to help take the Citizen app to the next level and launch multiple cities in 2018. Our New York City office is the center of our operation, and the hub of all engineering and product activities.

Role Description -- Some of the problem spaces we work in today:

    • Scaling: We have one of the fastest growing organic user bases in NYC, and right now we’re geo-restricted to New York City and San Francisco. Soon we will launch nation-wide and we need to support that scale. A Citizen international launch will follow.
    • Bursting: Without warning, a major incident occurs and multiple users begin live-streaming video into the app. We notify the entire user base, causing a massive burst of simultaneously connected clients. The core systems we build need to efficiently support traffic that can grow to hundreds of thousands of concurrent users today, and millions in the future.
    • Analytics: We want to alert users to incidents that matter to them, in a way that scales across different geographic densities and demographics.
    • Mobile video streaming: Our app will ingest high-quality video at low-latency, transcode, and redistribute the video to external media outlets seamlessly.
    • Extracting signal from noise: During major breaking news events, tensions are high and a lack of information persists. We build tools to raise facts and suppress noise.
    • FM radio: We use software-defined radios to consume all radio dispatch in NYC, SF and eventually every major city, whether analog, digital, or trunked.

Details about our stack:

    • Mobile: Swift (iOS), Java (Android)
    • Web: React.js
    • Server: Go, Node (for isolated systems)
    • Systems: MySQL, Redis, Kafka, Firebase (for isolated systems)
    • Infrastructure: Kubernetes on GCP


    • You will work as an architect and programmer, designing and building our systems for scale, modularity, and flexibility without compromising reliability. You have a strong preference for proven open source tools vs. bespoke custom implementations.
    • You clearly communicate and collaborate across engineering with eng designs, code reviews, and whiteboard sessions. We strive to eliminate errors and wasted cycles developing code.
    • You work closely with product to understand our users and the community we are building Citizen for. Use this knowledge to inform every technical decision.


    • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science / Math / Physics or related field with 1+ years industry experience or 5+ years engineering experience strongly preferred.
    • Hands-on experience with some of the following: video streaming, scalable SQL, tuning distributed systems, devops at scale, software defined radios, digital signal processing.
    • Experience with large code bases in systems languages like C, Go, Java, Python, etc.
    • An openness to teach and an eagerness to learn.

About Citizen
We have opened the 911 system, giving the public access to real-time information that affects their safety. Citizen increases every person’s situational awareness when it matters most.

In under a year since our launch, 3% of New Yorkers use our app every month. That growth accelerating. We launched San Francisco this fall and over 1% of San Francisco has already joined the Citizen safety network. We send over 4 million notifications each month, alerting our users to emergencies and dangerous situations nearby. We will launch multiple cities in 2018. This is just the beginning.