Senior Software Engineer, Distributed Systems

This is full-time role for a remote, US-based employee.

About Shortwave

We're a venture-backed startup building the future of digital communications on top of the world's most ubiquitous messaging platform — email. We believe that email should prioritize people (not advertising), getting through your inbox shouldn't require busywork, and sending an email should be as fast as typing a text message. Our first product, a brand new inbox experience for Gmail, launched in February 2022. The Verge called it "The Google Inbox successor I've been waiting for".

We have an experienced team distributed across the US, with almost half of our team located in California. Our CEO Andrew formerly cofounded Firebase (later acquired by Google), and our early team met Andrew while working there building the infrastructure behind millions of today's mobile and web apps.

We're well-funded by top-tier investors including Union Square Ventures & Lightspeed Venture Partners.

About the role

In this role, you'll be a key technical leader responsible for taking Shortwave's core infrastructure to the next level.

You will:
  • Contribute to the technical vision and roadmap for our core infrastructure
  • Design the system architecture for new product features
  • Write and ship a lot of code quickly — we deploy multiple times per day and value rapid iteration with users
  • Ensure our services maintain a high level of performance, reliability, and security as we scale
  • Help design protocols that can power the future of decentralized communications
  • Be a mentor to junior engineers
  • Wear many hats — we're a small team and need people willing to contribute wherever is needed for us to succeed

About you

We're looking for a senior software engineer with the skills and experience needed to lead the design, development, and operations of our most complex backend infrastructure projects.

  • Significant experience building and operating high-scale, high-reliability distributed systems
  • A solid understanding of the tradeoffs inherent in any distributed system
  • Strong CS fundamentals
  • Demonstrated ability to design new data structures, algorithms, and protocols
  • Good technical communications skills, both verbal and written
  • A willingness to work hard as part of a team and learn new things quickly

Bonus points

  • Experience building real-time systems or databases
  • Experience designing open protocols
  • Experience with JVM languages, PostgreSQL, and Kubernetes

What we offer

We're looking to hire the best and brightest, so we strive to provide the best work environment—tailored to you.

  • Competitive compensation, including generous equity grants
  • Medical and dental benefits
  • Flexible work hours and vacation
  • Remote-first team — you can work from anywhere
  • Regular (every ~2.5 months) offsites where we get the whole team together, often in fun locations like Hawaii 🏝
  • A mission-focused team with fun coworkers (ok, we're biased... but we really are nice people!)

How to apply

Please email us at In your email, help us understand what makes you unique and extraordinary, and why you're excited about Shortwave. Also include a resume or a link to your LinkedIn, as well as links to anything you've built online that you'd like to share with us (GitHub, Dribbble, personal website, etc.).

We're looking for team members who have passion, grit, and integrity. Even if your experience doesn't precisely match the criteria above, please consider applying.

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