DevOps/SysAdmin Engineer (Linux, AWS, Chef, ELK, & more) For Holacracy-Powered 10-Person All-Remote Engineer-Founded IaaS Company
Posted May 17
Headquarters: Las Vegas, NV
Hi! We’re Action Verb.
We build two Infrastructure-as-a-Service Platforms that Engineering and Marketing professionals use to power their products and services.
Our products include BrickFTP, a hosted file sharing service for business, and Vae Platform, a unique web hosting platform with an integrated CMS system.
Our company consists of 10 full time USA-based Engineers, as well as sales and support outposts in Germany, and Latin America. We’re looking to grow our family by adding a new DevOps/SysAdmin Engineer to our team.
Our infrastructure platforms are used by over 2,000 enterprises and SMBs, including Mozilla, Canonical, UPS, DirecTV, GoPro, Marriott, and more.
Here are some statistics about our network:
- ~100 servers, mostly hosted on AWS
- 8 AWS regions, as well as multiple colocated hosting providers
- Hundreds of public IP addresses
- 300+ HTTPS requests per second
- 25+ FTP/SFTP/FTPS logins per second
- 100+ file transfers per second
- 4,000 log entries per second
- 150,000+ metrics
- 99.9% uptime record
We’ve been able to achieve the rare combination of high double-digit annual growth and industry leading profitability.
We do it by aggressively recruiting the absolute best and brightest engineers and structuring our company in a way that makes them want to work here forever.
It’s easy to say, but exceptionally hard to execute. Here’s how we do it.
We are one of the early adopters of Holacracy, a new style of running an organization in a self-organizing manner that draws inspiration from agile software development and lean manufacturing processes.
Rather than hiring people for exactly one job description, we instead look to find well rounded team members with skills in software engineering, design, marketing, sales, and our other needs who are interested in filling multiple roles within the organization.
As a self-organizing team, our people have multiple roles and our role descriptions are regularly updated via small iterations. As their interests change and our needs change, the roles people fill change dynamically over time.
"Most startups believe in iteration of their products. Now they need to apply the same thinking to their organizations."
– Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder & CTO
Holacracy is not unstructured: you’ll have a clear understanding of your current roles and responsibilities, as well as a set of rules and processes for changing those roles and responsibilities in real time.
Even though Holacracy is a lot to learn, we have a great onboarding process and the rest of our team will guide you through your first few months. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a weeklong official Holacracy training event at our expense.
We also practice Open Book Management, meaning that we share the exact details of our Balance Sheet and P&L Statement with our entire team in real-time, ensuring that our staff has the data they need to treat the business as if it were their own.
Our team members work from home and choose their own hours, allowing them to make time for family, recreation, vacations, or anything that is important to them.
Every team member gets 10 company-wide holidays per year as well as 20 paid time off days intended to be used for vacations. Go have fun. Don’t work all the time.
Our team members also work hard, are constantly learning, and accomplish a ton for the company in the time that they are working.
Our team spends at least 12 days together face-to-face per year at four quarterly meetings that are hosted all over the country. We try to do these meetings in cities that are fun to visit. In the last few years, we’ve been to Austin, Orlando, Minneapolis, San Diego, Las Vegas, New York City, and Detroit.
As you might expect from a company that is so open, we also post our salary information right here in the job post. We will pay you $100,000 in your first year, plus a great benefits package, and a $2,500 signing bonus to purchase a new computer.
After your first year with Action Verb, we will update your salary based on the value that you have been able to demonstrate for the company. We continue to update salary levels every year. It is possible to reach a pay level of double the starting salary if you come in and absolutely crush it.
We fully pay for your health insurance (exact plan details depend on your state of residence), and we’ll pick up the tab for 50% of your spouse or family if they wish to also join the healthcare plan. We want your family to be healthy.
We recognize that other companies may offer higher initial salary offers or signing bonuses, but at Action Verb, we know that for our ideal candidate, the exact level of pay is just one criteria by which they choose where to work. Our goal is to offer the greatest work environment possible and pay people well enough to make it possible for them to join the team. Come learn our way of working, take on as many roles as you can, and establish yourself as a valuable asset to us. Then after your first year, we’ll re-evaluate your salary and make sure it’s more than fair, given the value you’ve been able to generate for the company.
We are looking for candidates who bring the following skills to the table:
- Significant experience working with GNU/Linux servers, including a complete understanding of the command line, /proc, services, etc.
- Comprehensive understanding of networking concepts, including layers, firewalls, DNS, VPN, etc.
- Proficiency with configuration management tools, such as Chef or Puppet, and fluency with at least one major scripting language.
- Experience building distributed, failure-resistant architecture, including disaster recovery, backups, failover, etc.
- Experience with the advanced featured of public cloud platforms such as AWS or Azure (we use AWS).
- Familarity with large scale monitoring and analysis systems, such as ELK or Splunk (we use ELK).
- Complete understanding of how to build secure infrastructure and an awareness of common server security vulnerabilities.
- Ability to manage a large database at scale (we use MySQL).
- History developing and supporting actual infrastructure that has seen production usage at equal to or greater than our scale. (We talk about our size earlier in the post.)
Most of our best applicants have Computer Science (or similar) degrees from a well-regarded university. Our best applicants also tend to have at least 3-5 years experience in a position with direct responsibility for supporting large production deployments.
We believe that everyone in the company should have programming skills. Our customers are primarily engineers, and in order to relate to them and support our products at the highest possible level, we should all be engineers too. As a Sysadmin/DevOps engineer, you will spend a lot of time writing code here.
We believe that the best Engineers tend to be polyglots with a wide variety of programming language experience. We don’t care whether you specifically know Puppet or Chef, but we look for engineers who are fluent in several programming languages. We want our staff to be adaptable and ready to evolve to what’s next.
We believe that allowing and supporting 100% remote work gives us access to great people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire. We tend to hire folks who are later in their careers, which means they usually have their family established somewhere. By offering remote work, we can hire the best people, no matter where they’re located.
We believe that the best way we can acquire top talent is by being an amazing place to work. Work from home, travel with the team, and surround yourself with top tier people at Action Verb. Read about everything we’ve done to make working at Action Verb great.
We believe that building great infrastructure and platform products requires a great internal infrastructure. We have over 150,000 metrics, real-time service monitoring, fully searchable logs, and full configuration management via Chef. We built our own application deployment system.
We believe in using the right tool for the job. Our core DevOps stack includes AWS, Chef, ELK, Grafana, Statsd, Asterisk, Capistrano, MySQL, Redis, Memcached, Zeromq, Jenkins, Github, Honeybadger, and many other exciting open source systems. We don’t want to get stuck in the trap of using a language or a tool just because “that’s how it’s done around here.”
We believe that our DevOps Engineers are the first line of defense when something bad happens. You will be on call 24/7 (except for your 20 days per year of vacation) in case there are performance problems in production. Fortunately, afterhours callouts are rare for us.
We believe in building products that we actually use ourselves. We are our own toughest critics and we put all of our products through their paces every day.
Tell us about what you believe. We only read cover letters in our first screening round, so make sure yours counts. In your cover letter, we’d like you to address the following topics:
- Why does this opportunity specifically appeal to you?
- How well do you align with Our Core Beliefs? Is there anything you would add or change?
- Why would working remotely for Action Verb change your life for the better?
- Are you familiar with Holacracy? Any questions or concerns?
- What’s lacking in your current work arrangement that we could improve?
- What are your philosophies on devops and operations?
- What does building a great network and server infrastructure look like?
- How does “the Cloud” fall short and what typically needs to be improved?