Operations (DevOps) Engineer - Technical.ly

Operations (DevOps) Engineer

Azavea |  Philadelphia, PA or Remote | Dev / Eng

Job Description
Perks + Benefits
Company Culture
Technical.ly Coverage

Overview

Azavea is a civic technology firm based in Philadelphia that uses geospatial data to build software and data analytics for the web. As a B Corporation, our mission is to use advanced geospatial technology for civic, social, and environmental impact. Most of our work deals with local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic or federal research projects.  We build custom web applications, perform geospatial analysis, and contribute to open-source projects. Our engineers work across the technology stack, from modern browser-based front-ends to robust service-based backends residing on scalable infrastructure. Find out more about careers at Azavea here.
We are looking for an Operations (DevOps) Engineer who is passionate about building and operating cloud infrastructure applications that will have a positive impact. Ideal candidates will be folks interested in working on projects aimed at public good while working in a private sector organization. We’re excited about what we do, we’re growing, and we hope you will join us.

Skills & Requirements

Operations Engineers at Azavea are members of the engineering team, and are primarily responsible for the availability, performance, and cost-effectiveness of our production infrastructure.  Efficient software delivery is a responsibility shared across the entire engineering team, but Operations Engineers focus on assembling and maintaining infrastructure components that ensure everyone can confidently ship software. Often, they complement other engineers with a deeper knowledge of the components that make up our production infrastructure (system internals, networking, cloud compute). In addition, they are responsible for setting the direction that determines how we construct and deploy to production environments.

What you will do:

  • Build cloud infrastructure to fit the needs of a diverse set of web software applications, including security, speed, and reliability.
  • Design, configure, test, and document continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines.
  • Leverage open source and other tooling to support core principles of security, infrastructure as code, and observability in our web applications.
  • Work with software engineering teams to identify infrastructure requirements and implement solutions for reliability, performance, and management.
  • Automate many of the steps required to safely develop and deliver software.
  • Troubleshoot and mitigate complex production issues, and draft incident reports to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
  • Contribute to a growing company and to the open-source communities that support our work and to which we contribute.
  • Stay up to date with cloud infrastructure technology and best practices.

You should have experience with:

  • Infrastructure as Code technologies and best practices.
  • Automating production environments and setting up CI/CD pipelines.
  • Configuring and deploying cloud computing infrastructure (we primarily leverage AWS with a smattering of Azure, but we recognize that people may have a range of experience with other platforms).
  • Optimization of infrastructure for performance and resilience including web servers, databases, load balancers, CDNs, and containers.
  • Monitoring infrastructure and proactively identifying issues before they become problems.
  • Cybersecurity as it impacts network design, testing, and application development.

You should also:

  • Understand networking concepts and the Linux operating system.
  • Be proficient at programming in at least one general purpose programming language.
  • Have good communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Have experience working with contemporary software engineering best practices, such as code reviews, source control, build processes, testing, deployment, release, and change management.
  • Be interested in working with small teams on meaningful projects.

You get extra points for:

  • A deep understanding of the Linux operating system and network stacks, with ability to apply understanding to solve real-world problems.
  • Knowledge of infrastructure tools like Docker, Terraform, Amazon ECS, Kubernetes, and Ansible.
  • Sense of urgency and ownership over critical problem areas.
  • Demonstrating community service contributions, such as volunteering, teaching, mentorship, and community organizing.
  • Familiarity in engaging with or managing open source projects and communities or an interest in doing so.
You’ll notice that we don’t cite N years of experience or a Computer Science degree as requirements. Formal credentials like these are valuable, but we are primarily looking for people who have gained real-world experience successfully building sophisticated web applications. If you think this description fits you, even if your experience doesn’t match up perfectly with the technologies we’ve listed, we encourage you to apply. We do not use automated resume screening technology, and our employees review all applications that we receive.

A note on hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Due to regulations in Philadelphia and our concern for the health and safety of our team, we expect to conduct most of the candidate interviews remotely. The majority of our colleagues generally work out of our Philadelphia office, but while our office has re-opened, most of us aren’t in the office full-time. Depending on the circumstances at the time of hiring, we are able to support remote on-boarding, including shipping relevant materials and a laptop to your home. We are fortunate to have invested in meaningful work-from-home tools and processes over the years, and have been able to continue providing a secure, flexible, and safe work environment for all of our colleagues. We ask for your patience as we adapt our hiring process as well, and are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the process.

Office and Benefits

Our Philadelphia headquarters is located in a brightly lit office on the 5th floor of a converted factory building in the Callowhill neighborhood, a short walk from Center City, the Reading Terminal Market, and SEPTA subway and regional rail stations. For bicyclists, we have in-house bike parking, showers, and lockers. The office itself is assembled as an open office plan with several smaller rooms for team meetings and concentration time. You get your own desk with a high-end Linux workstation or Apple laptop and extra monitors. We have flex-time to deal with personal stuff, and most people work a 40 – 45 hour week on a regular schedule. After the first six months, our staff can also spend up to 10% of their time on an open source, professional development, or R&D project. Recent 10% time projects include experiments with machine learning, React Native, and various forms of serverless processing with Amazon Lambda.
We offer a salary commensurate with skills and experience. Azavea’s starting salaries for Software Engineer II and III range from $80,000-$108,000. If hired as a Senior Software Engineer, we anticipate a salary in the $108,000-$120,000 range. We differentiate between these levels based on four criteria: technical skill, execution, collaboration, and maturity. Our benefits package includes:
  • Fully subsidized health care, dental care, prescription plan, including for spouse/partner and children
  • Fully subsidized life and long-term disability insurance, plus voluntary short-term disability insurance
  • Medical reimbursement plan to cover what the health insurance does not
  • Retirement plan with matching percentage
  • Almost 4 weeks paid vacation plus additional paid sick/personal time off
  • Family and medical leave
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Child care subsidy
  • Paid time off for voting and volunteering
  • Education assistance plan
  • Student loan assistance
  • Public transit and biking reimbursement plans
  • Monthly guest lectures with lunches on the company
  • 10% time for research or learning projects
  • Profit-sharing bonus plan
  • Financial transparency through an open book policy
  • Kind, capable and thoughtful colleagues
We welcome qualified candidates from all walks of life and value diversity in our company. We prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veteran status, military service, disability unrelated to job requirements, marital status, or domestic partner status.
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Health & Wellness
  • Dental Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Onsite Gym
  • Short Term Disability
  • Vision Insurance
Parental Benefits
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Nursing Room
  • Parental Leave
Perks & Discounts
  • Casual Dress
  • Lunch Provided
  • Snacks Provided
  • Special Discounts
Professional Development
  • Tuition Reimbursement
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
  • 401K
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Days
  • PTO

Describe the people who work at your company. 

Azavea is a community of learners and our colleagues have varied backgrounds and interests. People at Azavea have previously taught, studied classical music, learned to fly a plane, and picked up various languages. We encourage everyone to learn about their coworkers through our regular company events and impromptu chats on Slack.

With flexible hours and trust in our colleagues’ abilities, several Azaveans work remotely full-time and even use that as an opportunity to travel around the world. Azavea is here to enrich your life, so you can put your best foot forward while clocked in and on your own time.

 

How is your company structured? 

Azavea has a team-based structure. Our software engineering teams, which are made up of several full-stack engineers and a project manager, build out our tools and services. These teams collaborate with functional teams made up of operations engineers, designers, marketers, business development professionals, and administrators. Team members check in with one another via daily and weekly stand-ups or critiques.

While onboarding, we find one-on-ones or two-on-ones as a helpful tool for supporting a new hire’s learning process. Questions are always encouraged at Azavea.

 

What does the learning and development process at your company look like? 

We’re the type of workplace that wants to lift up colleagues so the mentees can become mentors. We aim to not only build apps, but also the careers of our team members. For example, we provide opportunities for mentorship through our apprenticeship programs.

For skills development, Azavea has a “10% time” policy that allows every employee to use 10% of their work hours to pursue an original project. Not only does this enhance your resume, but it makes you an all-the-more confident technologist. Past 10% time projects at Azavea have included experiments with machine learning, building internal project management tools, reading groups, Coursera courses, and trying various forms of serverless processing with Amazon Lambda.

 

What drives your work?

Azavea is driven by the desire to do good for the public. A lot of the applications we build are designed with a specific audience in mind, and for those people, the tools we create affect their lives in a big way.

Above all, we seek applicants that align with our core values, which are:

Ownership mentality

Kindness, humility and respect

Create more value than you capture

Default to transparency

Focus on learning & growth

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