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Head of Developer User Experience, Stability, and Infrastructure



Software Engineering, Other Engineering, Design
San Francisco, CA, USA · Portland, OR, USA · New York, NY, USA · Remote
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2023

In 1940, German submarines sank more than twelve hundred British ships. Without regular shipments of food, the British Isles would starve. They needed a new strategy.

Surprisingly, the strategy didn’t come from the sailors engaged in the day-to-day of combat with German U-boats—it came from eight women from the Women’s Royal Navy Service. With the help of former ship captain Gilbert Roberts, who trained them on the practical capabilities of the ships and submarines, they ran wargames that revealed the British seriously misunderstood German tactics: they had assumed the U-boats would attack from outside the shipping convoy; in actuality they waited for the convoy to pass over them, and attacked from the stern.

The women—nicknamed the Wrens—developed new strategies for fighting the submarines, overcoming skepticism when 18-year old Janet Okell five times defeated a British admiral in submarine wargames. The tactics they developed were extremely successful, and they trained over 5,000 officers throughout the course of the war.

Their success highlights how technique and training can enable those in the field to have an outsized impact. At Mercury, several teams fill the role of enablers, via education, tooling, and frameworks that support those building the product. Mercury is hiring a Head of Developer User Experience (DUX), Stability, and Infrastructure to manage these teams.

We have two developer user experience (DUX) teams, one each on frontend and backend. These teams work on:

  • Training new engineers.
  • Improving testing and tooling for our codebases.
  • Rounding out sharp edges that degrade developers’ quality of life.

The teams also work on projects more specialized to their domain. For example, the frontend team builds our design system, creating a palette of reusable components in conjunction with design, while the backend team improves foundational Haskell tools, like the GHC compiler.

Our stability team works on improving the stability and performance of Mercury. This work is wide ranging, spanning making improvements to Postgres, improving integrations with tools like Honeycomb, and educating developers on writing performant and correct code.

Finally, our infrastructure team manages our AWS environment with Terraform, stands up services like Tailscale and Teleport, and updates our NixOS servers with critical security patches.

The scope of this role is wide-ranging. We're looking for someone who is already quite strong on the developer user experience side, who can grow their technical expertise to include stability and infrastructure.

In this role you'll:

  • Manage the managers of our four non-product teams, providing guidance on roadmap planning and people management.
  • Build a deep understanding of the work performed by those teams, down to the level of discussing what topics should be part of our curriculum, advising on prioritization between design system work versus CI stability.
  • Build a strategy for developing our new engineer training programs into an ongoing education program that spans the lifetime of engineers at the company.
  • Communicate with the rest of our engineering team, in order to better prioritize work for your teams, and communicate the benefits your teams provide.
  • Enable collaboration between these teams in key areas like full-stack engineer education, CI/CD, and deployments.

You should:

  • Have a solid understanding of web development.
  • Have worked as an engineering manager or in some sort of leadership capacity before, ideally as a manager of managers.
  • Have ideas about how to best educate engineers.
  • Have a working knowledge of Haskell, or be very eager to learn it.

Our salary ranges are based on paying competitively for our size and industry, and all employees receive salary + equity + benefits. Individual pay decisions are based on a number of factors, including qualifications for the role, experience level, skillset, and balancing internal equity relative to peers at the company.

The ranges shared are for the expectations as laid out in the job description, however we are often open to a wide variety of profiles, and recognize that the person we hire may be less experienced or more senior than this job description as posted. If that ends up being the case, the updated salary range will be communicated with you as a candidate.

The salary range for candidates in the US is $304,000–$334,000.

The salary range for candidates in Canada is CAD 290,000–318,500.