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Senior Platform Engineer (Austin or Remote) - software / qa / dba /...

City: Austin
Date: 22 May 2020
Category: Software / QA / DBA


Senior Platform Engineer (Austin or Remote)

Job Label: Senior Platform Engineer

As a heads-up, this is NOT a DevOps role


You will be a critical member of the engineering team accountable for the core platform, which comprises several technology stacks. Everyone will look to you for high availability, redundancy, scalability, and maintainability. You are mostly an engineer, but also part architect. This platform team (4 engineers) supports large media streams in a call center, which is Convo’s flagship service. This is not a typical customer support call center. This call center is home to highly skilled ASL interpreters. These video calls can range from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. These media streams need to be fast and stable. You will make key technology decisions that are big in terms of their cost and impact. For example, the ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) is old and needs to be replaced. Do we build or buy?  An older legacy stack needs to be replaced. Do we stay with Elixir or branch out into something new? You will be a co-author of the future tech stack. It is rare that you will propose an idea and hear “no.” Instead, you will hear, “let’s test it, prove that it works better than the current solution, and can be scaled. Then, let’s implement.” You will go to sleep every night knowing you are working on a mission. You can enjoy the benefits of a small company, not a startup, that is financially sound and growing. You can come to work and enjoy one of our favorite perks… “You can be you.”  


At Convo, we redefine what it means to give back, we are all about elevating our community to new heights, and this is not possible without people who share the same passion for our culture and identity.


Convo’s mission is to connect humans through universal communication solutions shaped by cultural experiences.  Convo is a Signing-Centric and Deaf-owned company that provides 24/7 video relay services (VRS) and other communication solutions. Convo, which was founded in 2009, has revenues of $20M+ and a team of 300+ members spread across the world. Convo is a self-funded small-business with a growth plan, but not an “IPO or bust” growth plan common to some venture-backed startups.  




Convo is an equal opportunity employer and we welcome everyone to our team. If you need accommodations during the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to note which pronouns you prefer.


Your impact will be significant because Convo is entering a new growth stage, which includes a new tech stack.  You will be the senior person on the platform engineering team. Your impact will be focused on the following:  

  1. Run the Core Platform - You will be the platform expert with near 100% ownership. This is not limited to design, scalability, maintainability, redundancy, throughput, stability, recovery times, documentation, parallelism, uptime, etc. While Convo does not save lives, there is some room for small mistakes, but no room for big mistakes. Everyone will see and feel your impact.   

  2. Determine the Future Tech Stack - The code base for some legacy subsystems is old and needs to be replaced. Other subsystems have a newer code base, but are not optimized.  You will make or influence many of these technology decisions, e.g. keep vs. replace and build vs. buy. These decisions will impact your fellow engineers, users, and the company for years.  


You are a distributed systems expert, not an expert someday, but an expert today. You have spent 8+ years designing and developing software using a diverse set of languages and frameworks including Ruby, Lua, Elixir, etc. You know exactly what it takes to design, build, and maintain a large platform that has high availability, redundant systems, and minimal failed/error states. You know how to write efficient code that allows subsystems to be fast. Your Unix skills are above average and potentially expert level. Your functional programming abilities are above average. Your Ruby skills are above average or soon will be because most of the framework is written in Ruby. 


  • You know ASL (American Sign Language) and have familiarity with the deaf or hard of hearing community. 

  • You have spent years working with large media streams

  • You have given a talk on Elixir or Erlang at a meetup  

  • You know SIP/WebRTC protocols based on VOIP

  • You know Unix/Linux especially on SSH, DB connection and script management

  • You know containers technologies such as Docker


You have a bachelors in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or equivalent industry experience.  



  • Love helping others and are drawn to a mission-oriented culture

  • Are highly curious and always learning

  • Could have been a software or systems architect 

  • Have a maniacal passion for clean, super efficient, and fast code

  • See everything in life as a highly distributed system

  • Have a no-fail mentality similar to an airline pilot or surgeon


  • Want an office with a Nerf dart room, 24/7 kegerator, and endless swag

  • Prefer a paint-by-numbers kit over a blank canvas 

  • Strongly prefer to work in-person with your team

  • Are scared of being accountable for technical decisions

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Once you have completed the interview, your information will be forwarded to the recruiting team for decisions on next steps.

Related Keywords: distributed systems, highly distributed systems, voip, media streams, call center, platform engineer, architect, Ruby, american sign language, deaf, asl, elixir, convo, convo relay, unix, linux, signing-centric, functional programming, uptime, redundancy, scalability, docker,

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