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Software Development


2015-04-11 20:56


You probably haven’t run into a company like Olark before.

We are 35 people distributed around the globe. We care deeply about customer service, which means everyone on the team spends time talking directly to our customers. We call this All Hands Support. It’s a unique way to make sure we all remember why we are building our product. We focused on our customers and now help over 10,000 of them provide amazing service.

This is a unique point in our company history. We just crossed the 30 employee mark this year, and you will play a pivotal role in helping define our engineering culture, and help us fulfill an important part of our mission, to build a positive organization.

Your primary responsibility will be to join the team that builds applications, systems, and infrastructure. You’ll be helping scale Olark to help 100,000s of people better serve their customers.

You will help us solve key engineering challenges:

  • How do we ensure real time message delivery to hundreds of thousands of concurrent visitors on tens of thousands of websites?
  • How do we design a robust integrations API that makes it easy for other developers to integrate with Olark without increasing our support cost?
  • How do we maintain real time state across mobile, desktop, and web?
  • How do we reliably store terabytes of transcripts and customer interactions?
  • How do we act on the vast quantities of data available to us, to make our users the most informed and capable chat agents on the internet?

You bring a lot to the table:


  • Work well as part of a distributed team. You are comfortable working outside of a typical office. You are happy to work independently, but know when to ask for help. You know how to give, and receive, direct feedback. You are a team player, and comfortable leading and contributing to projects.
  • Great communication skills. You are comfortable giving technical talks and mentoring other engineers. You are able to clearly communicate your thoughts in writing. You realize listening is just as important as speaking your mind. You know when a conversation should be in chat, skype, or face-to-face.
  • Curious. You are comfortable with ambiguity, and like to figure out how things work or what to do next.

Your technical background and experience:

  • Very familiar with web technologies and patterns for scaling software like message queues, caching, and load balancing.
  • Meticulous attention to detail. You should be able to review code written by other engineers and find room for improvement. You should be able to write test suites for your code that exercise complicated code paths and prevent production mishaps. Every time we push out new code is an opportunity to delight thousands of customers (or a risk of making a bad day for those people).
  • Strong understanding of network programming, and operating system fundamentals. You’ve used command line tools to debug networking issues, know the difference between processes and threads, and understand the challenges of building software in the cloud.
  • Write good code. You should have examples of code you have written that is easy to read, maintainable, and testable. You should be able to decompose complicated problems into elegant solutions anyone on the engineering team can understand.
  • Always learning. This is a Python position, but you don’t need to have a ton of production Python experience. You are excited to learn our tech stack, and to help lead it forward. You’re comfortable making the right call when it comes to choosing between new technologies and tried and true standbys.
  • Significant production experience. You have 2+ years of experience shipping and maintaining production code that is used by 1000s of people. You have run into the edge cases of operating at scale, and can teach us how to avoid them.

You can expect a lot from us:

First off, make sure to read about our team culture at olark.com/jobs, and our values at olark.com/values. You can also get a sense of our history at olark.com/10000.

Beyond what you see there, as a member of your engineering team you can expect:

  • A great remote culture: much of our collaboration takes place via Hipchat, Github and Skype. That said, we’re happy to facilitate in-person meetups too -- in addition to our annual company retreat.
  • A life outside of work: Olarkers generally work 40 hour weeks, work is a marathon, not a sprint. We are building a company for the long haul.
  • Work within a large Service Oriented Architecture built on Python, Twisted, Thrift, and RabbitMQ. There’s MySQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, NodeJS, Rails and Ejabberd as well (bonus points if you're already familiar with these technologies!)
  • Quality-driven culture: we strive to automate testing and heavily monitor our production system. Our goal is ensuring that any end-user issues are short-lived and limited in scope.
  • One weekly required engineering meeting and team wide sync - we also only allow meetings on Monday and Wednesday to keep ourselves focused.
  • Great compensation and benefits: competitive pay, phone/internet stipend, health benefits, $1K vacation bonus for the first week you take off a year, 401k, charitable donation matching, coworking space if you are remote.

Olark is committed to diversity in its workforce. Olark is an equal employment opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants without regard to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, veteran or disability status. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

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