Senior Site Reliability Engineer

| Chicago
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At Sprout Social we are building software that is made to last. Our 25,000+ customers depend on us daily to connect them with their customers, so reliability, scalability, and performance are top of mind. Our software is used by companies like the Chicago Bulls, Sony Electronics, Indiana University, Make-a-wish Foundation, Edelman, and Subaru to create stronger relationships with their customers through social media. Each day, our platform processes 10s of millions of social media messages and our APIs handle over 10 billion requests per year to deliver our software to customers in over 100 countries.

On our Infrastructure engineering team, we strive to create “Paved Roads”: standard production-ready technology that all of our engineering teams can leverage to deliver value quickly. At the same time, we seek to empower product engineering teams to take on as much production ownership for their services as possible through teaching and self-service tools. We work to improve all aspects of engineering through automation, observability of metrics, and clear processes in order to build sustainable and fault tolerant solutions. Learning from system failures and human mistakes is part of our culture.

We do not operate as lone wolves or “10x devs.” Instead, we are building diverse, collaborative teams that get the best results sustainably. Our Site Reliability Engineers work in tandem with Web, Platform, and QA Engineers to drive our product initiatives to successful outcomes. You’ll work with various core technologies like Chef, Terraform, Kubernetes, and Vault.

We are looking for a creative, collaborative, highly motivated, and pragmatic engineer to help us design and build reliable, scalable, performant systems that empower engineers to rapidly and safely deliver value to our customers. If this sounds like you and you want to be on a team that has a huge impact across all of engineering, we’d love to talk with you!

Qualifications

These are the minimum qualifications that our hiring team is looking for in this role:

  • 3+ years experience with one or more infrastructure-as-code or configuration-as-code tools, such as: Terraform, Chef, Ansible, SaltStack, etc.
  • 2+ years with one or more Cloud providers; AWS, GCP, or similar
  • 3+ years building and maintaining reliable, scalable systems in a Linux/UNIX environment

Additionally, these are the preferred qualifications that would indicate a particularly strong candidate:

  • 2+ years experience in at least one programming language, such as Python, Java, Golang, Ruby, etc.
  • Experience running production workloads in containers, and container orchestration frameworks such as Kubernetes, ECS, Mesos, etc.
  • 2+ years of experience creating CI/CD pipelines with Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI, etc.
  • 1+ years managing relational or non-relational databases like MySQL, Cassandra, Elasticsearch, etc.

Within 1 month, you will:

  • Experience Sprout’s in-depth onboarding, covering everything from our company mission and values, hearing directly from executives and founders, to deep training on our products and the value that Sprout delivers to our customers
  • Make a plan with your manager to set initial priorities, align on expectations for your role, plant goalposts for your career, and learn about Sprout’s approach to site reliability engineering
  • Contribute to feature work
  • Interact with our hosting platforms and perform operations tasks
  • Collaborate with your team members and fellow developers to deliver value to our users
  • Receive feedback on pull request(s) and actively pair with teammates
  • Shadow a team member for an on-call rotation
  • Ramp up on our core technology stack including Chef, Terraform and Kubernetes

Within 3 months, you will:

  • Complete your first end to end project, such as a new infrastructure deployment using Chef and Terraform
  • Gain familiarity with our platform architecture
  • Learn about our use of NSQ in our streaming data ingest pipeline
  • Use our observability tools to troubleshoot production performance or stability issues
  • Join our on-call rotation (don’t worry we’ve got your back!)
  • Focus on code quality with meaningful test coverage
  • Participate in code reviews and give feedback to team members
  • Contribute to our team’s culture of continuous improvement through retros and experimentation-oriented thinking
  • Proactively identify, document, and schedule future work to be done, working toward eliminating operational toil

Within 6 months, you will

  • Work with our Kubernetes platform
  • Help complete a impactful project that is well-baked and bug-free
  • Write design documents, gather feedback from peers, coordinate dependencies, and be a domain owner for a new project
  • Form a career growth plan with your manager and begin work towards it
  • Accidentally break something, recover, and learn from it
  • Interact with and maintain distributed systems
  • Build effective working relationships with team members across engineering through active networking, collaboration, and community building
  • Have your first performance conversation with your manager, where you’ll discuss your accomplishments in your role and work together to build goals for your professional growth
  • Influence other developers and model engineering best practices
  • Help promote DevOps culture by working with engineers to assume operational ownership

Within 12 months, you will

  • Be comfortable and confident in most technical aspects of your team’s core systems and services
  • Continue growing your knowledge of our environment and services
  • Actively mitigate risk of poor quality or missed deadlines
  • Continually evaluate and refine your technical toolkit: teach what you learn to the team
  • Retire a service that is EOL and clean up artifacts
  • Have opportunities to contribute to in-house technical presentations and workshops that share your expertise with large groups of Sprout engineers
  • Have opportunities to advocate for Sprout Engineering in the software community by participating/speaking at conferences, user groups, etc.
  • Mentor junior engineers via pairing, design review, and code review
  • Surprise us! Use your unique ideas and abilities to change Sprout Engineering in beneficial ways that we haven’t even considered yet

Of course, what is outlined above is the ideal timeline, but things may shift based on business needs and other projects and tasks could be added at the discretion of your manager.

About Sprout Social
Sprout Social powers open communication between individuals, brands and communities through elegant, sophisticated software. We are relentless about solving hard problems for our customers and committed to both customer and team success. Our team’s shared belief in Sprout’s mission promotes a culture of openness, empowerment and fun. 

We’re proud to regularly be recognized for our team, product and culture. Our benefits program includes:

  • Insurance and benefit options that are built for both individuals and families
  • Progressive policies to support work/life balance, like our flexible paid time off and parental leave program 
  • High-quality and well-maintained equipment—your computer will never prevent you from doing your best
  • Wellness initiatives to ensure both health and mental well-being of our team
  • Ongoing education and development opportunities via our [email protected] program, employee-led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and mentorship programs for aspiring leaders
  • Growing corporate social responsibility program that is driven by the involvement and passion of our team members
  • Beautiful, convenient and state-of-the-art offices in Chicago’s Loop and downtown Seattle, for those who prefer an office setting

Whenever possible, Sprout wants to provide our team with the flexibility to work in the location that makes the most sense for them. For those that prefer an office setting, this role may be based in our Chicago or Seattle locations. If you prefer to work from your home, we can accommodate that for many locations across the United States. We are not set up in all states, however, so please take a look at the drop down box in our application to see whether your state is listed.

Sprout Social is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and an Affirmative Action Employer. We do not discriminate based on identity- race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including sexual identity), age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran or military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, order of protection status, citizenship status, arrest record or expunged or sealed convictions, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local law. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our 2020 DEI Report.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at [email protected] and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. We'll do all we can to ensure you're set up for success during our interview process while upholding your privacy, including requests for accommodation. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this email address.

For more information about our commitment to equal employment opportunity, please click here (1) Equal Opportunity Employment Poster  (2) Sprout Social's Affirmative Action Statement (3) Pay Transparency Statement.

When you apply for employment with Sprout Social, we will process your job applicant data, including your employment and education history, transcript, writing samples, and references as necessary to consider your job application for open positions. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our Privacy Policy. California residents have additional rights and should review the Additional Disclosures for California Residents section in our Privacy Policy.

Additionally, Sprout Social participates in the E-Verify program in certain locations, as required by law. 

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Sales & Marketing
    • JavaLanguages
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • SwiftLanguages
    • D3JSLibraries
    • ReactLibraries
    • ReduxLibraries
    • DjangoFrameworks
    • HadoopFrameworks
    • CassandraDatabases
    • HBaseDatabases
    • MySQLDatabases
    • RedisDatabases
    • SalesforceCRM

Location

131 S Dearborn, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

An Insider's view of Sprout Social

What’s the vibe like in the office?

We are invited to bring our authentic selves to work. The result is a culture without pretense.

Aja Saunders

Receptionist Systems Specialist

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

The Growth Activation squad is focused on the challenge of retaining trial users and converting them into subscribers. We find solutions by A/B testing our features, using data science for quantitative analysis, using user interviews for qualitative analysis and working with other teams at Sprout on Growth strategies.

Andrew Kos

Senior Software Engineer

How has your career grown since starting at the company?

When I first joined Sprout, I could count the entire Sales team on one hand. Since then, my career has taken a variety of paths, from training and enablement to assisting our Sales team from a strategic perspective as a Solutions Engineer. Thanks to a workplace environment that fosters growth, I’ve been able to advance my career at Sprout.

Jordan Balkin

Solutions Engineer, Sales & Success

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

Instead of turning down ideas that seem unattainable, we encourage our teams to think through how we can solve challenges in unique ways. By testing and experimenting, we create an environment that fosters innovation and promotes creative thinking.

Jamie Gilpin

CMO

What's something quirky about your company?

At the conclusion of our company wide Kickoff party, tubs of McDonalds cheeseburgers mysteriously appear and rain down on us like a blizzard in the Chicago winter. But a good blizzard.

Molly Jones

Senior Employee Experience Manager

What are Sprout Social Perks + Benefits

Sprout Social Benefits Overview

We’re proud to regularly be recognized for our team, product and culture. Our benefits program includes:

- Insurance and benefit options that are built for both individuals and families
- Progressive policies to support work/life balance, like our flexible paid time off and parental leave program
- High-quality and well-maintained equipment—your computer will never prevent you from doing your best
- Wellness initiatives to ensure both health and mental well-being of our team
- Ongoing education and development opportunities via our [email protected] program, employee-led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and mentorship programs for aspiring leaders
- Growing corporate social responsibility program that is driven by the involvement and passion of our team members
- Beautiful, convenient and state-of-the-art offices in Chicago’s Loop and downtown Seattle, for those who prefer an office setting

Culture
Volunteer in local community
Partners with Nonprofits
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Daily stand up
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Group brainstorming sessions
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Documented equal pay policy
Dedicated Diversity/Inclusion Staff
Unconscious bias training
Diversity manifesto
Someone's primary function is managing the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives
Diversity Employee Resource Groups
Hiring Practices that Promote Diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Wellness Programs
Onsite Gym
Mental Health Benefits
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
Company Equity
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
Remote Work Program
Family Medical Leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Generous PTO
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Happy Hours
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Diversity Program
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
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