Software Engineer

New York or Remote (US/EU Timezones) /
Engineering /
Old problem, new $25B+ market
Companies like AWS, Stripe, and Twilio have demonstrated that if a technology is not core to your value proposition, you should offload it. Still, every engineering team builds and rebuilds one piece: authorization, how you control who has access to what in your app. You’ve probably started with something quick 'n dirty – some IF statements and roles in a database...until you need to add more features, and more features. And inevitably you band-aid onto this system until you have to do a big refactor. Have you seen this before?

We're changing this picture and in doing so, we are creating the next $25B+ dollar market: the authorization market. We’re on a mission to create the global standard for authorization. Our vision is that in 10 years engineers will spend 1/10 the time and brainpower they spend on authorization today.

Why now?
This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to join a company at a stage late enough that the problem and solution are de-risked, but early enough that you can shape the product, company, and the market.

Why Oso?
We started with an open source product – adopted by thousands of developers at startups to the Fortune 100, like Wayfair, Intercom, Visa, Oxide, and Codecademy. Adoption is growing week over week, and we’re now launching Oso Cloud. We have met with hundreds of engineering teams over the last 2 years and know more about this problem than any team in the market. Oso is:
- Backed by Bill Coughran at Sequoia, as well as the founders and CEOs of companies like MongoDB, Segment, LaunchDarkly, and Honeycomb
- Founded by Graham Neray (early MongoDB employee – helped scale from $1M —> $250M revenue) and Sam Scott (PhD Cryptography)
- Advised by Abhishek Parmar, co-creator of Google Zanzibar and Airbnb Himeji
- Built by a team of user-first engineers, including multiple former startup founders and early employees

What you'll do

    • Experiment, discover, design, and build features and layers of abstraction that decrease the amount of thinking and coding that our users have to build authorization into their apps
    • Add features to the core of Oso and Oso Cloud in Rust to support new authorization use cases

    • Plus, help build a company and community from the ground up by wearing other hats, including:
    • Writing documentation and blog posts to excite and support new users
    • Engaging with users through support channels (e.g., Slack) to help them with their problems

    • Here are examples of things we've worked on:
    • Designed new features for our declarative policy language, Polar, to provide built-in authorization models to users, taking inspiration from interfaces and traits in Rust, and function prototypes in C.
    • Built an interactive debugger and tracing to help users understand their policies and improve our internal development process.
    • Implemented a class system in our Rust library so we could still provide dynamic types in Polar (even though Rust is a statically typed). We even wrote a three-part blog series about it.
    • Designed an expression format to provide a generic way integrate policy decisions with databases (so it would work for ORMs, direct-to-SQL, etc.)
    • Tracked down a memory leak in our Go library by looking at a user's memory usage charts from Datadog.

Who you are

    • You're an owner. You are accountable to results over the process. You prioritize the team's success over the success of any one project.
    • You ship, listen, ship, listen. You're happy to explore product ideas through design, hacks and guides before building something fully baked. You have no problem throwing away ideas and code if they don't pan out. You get satisfaction from getting concrete output into users' hands.
    • You're for the makers. You want to understand our end users' world and prioritize solving their authorization problems above everything else, including your own personal preferences and the elegance of the solution.
    • You give and take feedback. You seek out critical feedback. You have the courage to give critical feedback to others.‍


    • You have worked at a startup or in a similar environment
    • You have built complex systems and can bring that to bear – e.g., how to break up a system into clean reusable components, how to design interfaces and abstractions given the way you expect internal and external users to consume them
    • You can program at different levels of the stack – i.e., in at least one web language like Node.js, Python, or Ruby and one lower-level systems language like C/C++, Go, or Rust

Nice to have

    • Experience with our problem space, e.g., building authorization systems
A note on titles:
We have no titles on our engineering team. Everyone is an Engineer. Compensation is commensurate with contribution.

Oso is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or disability status.