[Jobposts] Sr. System Engineer - Safari Books Online

Augie Schwer augie at safaribooks.com
Thu Aug 6 17:50:38 UTC 2015

Application URL: https://hire.jobvite.com/j?aj=oJNc1fwt&s=Linux_Chix_Sr_SE

This position can be located anywhere in the US and is open to any US

We’re looking for a Senior Systems Engineer who cares about building,
improving, and scaling systems that enrich the personal and professional
lives of our customers. Our products are used in libraries, startups,
classrooms and fortune 500 companies. We help people teach themselves,
share knowledge, and succeed in their careers.

In this role, you’ll work alongside our team of Systems Engineers with the
explicit goals of collaborating with developers and helping a broad range
of colleagues use our infrastructure to solve problems.

A Senior Systems Engineer at Safari is responsible for infrastructure
automation for our web applications (namely monitoring, metrics, log
analysis, and server deployment), and supporting our diverse development
team. You should have a sense of pride, ownership, and responsibility
toward the systems you work on, which means that you do something when see
a problem, even if it isn’t always you that fixes it.

Your Skills & Our Environment

Our existing application environment runs Ubuntu 12.04/14.04 LTS, Postgres,
Nginx, Uwsgi, Chef, and VMware. There is a growing interest in Docker
throughout the organization and it’s our job to help evaluate and support
its adoption if it becomes a viable tool for everyone. . Other additions
include Logentries, Fast.ly, and RabbitMQ. We dabble in Python and Ruby to
change things more sustainably and reliably.

We expect you to have a good foundation in both virtualization and
configuration management and be comfortable around a data center. In
addition, you should be familiar with scaling services to make them stable
and reliable. It’s most important that you’re curious (never treating
anything as a “black box” that couldn’t be better understood), and
interested in making everything incrementally better than the current

We want you to be constantly learning, and have a thirst for knowledge.
Your should work inspire you make you want to share what you’ve learned
with the rest of the team. We want to see you constantly exploring ways to
make “bad” things “good” and “good” things “great”. You should show us how
you’ve grown professionally and how you’ve made the places you’ve worked
even better.

We are dedicated to experimentation, strong relationships with our product
and engineering colleagues, and a core belief in work-life balance. We
welcome diversity and non-traditional paths into the technology profession,
and advocate strongly for hiring the right person as opposed to the right
combination of technology keywords.

Some Things You’ll Work On


   Participate in a weekly 24/7 on-call schedule. You’d be on about every 6
   weeks. Like you, none of us here likes being woken up by the pager, least
   of all when there’s no action to take on an alert, so we have a goal of
   driving those alerts to zero through a process of iteration and
   improvement. In the last 9 months we’ve gone from 14% actionable alerts to
   70% actionable alerts.

   Improving our automation. We hate doing repetitive boring tasks and
   strive to spend our time doing fun and exciting things instead. You’ll be
   expected to improve our existing automation infrastructure and making
   machines do the boring stuff. You’ll be writing Chef cookbooks and recipes,
   testing them, getting feedback from your peers and deploying to production
   daily if need be.

   Building services for our internal customers. One of the primary drivers
   of our group is to enable others to be more awesome, so you’ll improve our
   existing services, make them scale, make them more reliable. You’ll also
   build new services when you see an opportunity to help your co-workers.

   Work hand-in-hand with our Engineering colleagues. There’s no throwing
   problems over the wall around here. Everyone brings a different vantage and
   expertise to the problems we see, expect to over-communicate, and not be
   afraid to jump on a Hangout or walk down the hall to talk face to face
   during a problem solving session.

About Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online provides subscription access to books, periodicals,
conference recordings, and video courses on topics such as software
development, IT, graphic design, business, and professional development.

Our Infrastructure team is distributed, with people in New Hampshire, and
our Boston and Sebastopol, CA offices. The varied people in our team are
life-long learners who encourage collaboration and innovation. This
position can be located anywhere in the US and is open to any US resident,
though we'd love for you to work with us in person too.

We recognize that a work life balance is key to productive and happy
employees and allow for flexible schedules, encourage “slack time” and self

Safari encourages all of its staff at any skill level to contribute to our
technical blog. See what our engineers, project managers, and designers
care about most at http://blog.safaribooksonline.com/. If you want an idea
of what the result of your systems work will look like, we also invite you
to sign up for a free trial account and download our recently launched iOS
app, “Queue” (or sign up for our Android beta program).

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