Database Reliability Engineers (DBRE) are responsible for keeping database systems that support all user-facing services (most notably GitLab.com) and many other GitLab production systems running smoothly 24/7/365. DBREs are a blend of database engineering and administration gearheads and software crafters that apply sound engineering principles, operational discipline and mature automation, specializing in databases (PostgreSQL in particular). In that capacity, DBREs are peers to SREs and bring database expertise to the SRE and SAE Infrastructure teams as well as our engineering teams.
GitLab.com is a unique site and it brings unique challenges: it’s the biggest GitLab instance in existence; in fact, it’s one of the largest single-tenancy open-source SaaS sites on the internet. The experience of our team feeds back into other engineering groups within the company, as well as to GitLab customers running self-managed installations
As a DBRE you will:
- Work on database reliability and performance aspects for GitLab.com from within the SRE team as well as work on shipping solutions with the product.
- Analyze solutions and implement best practices for our main PostgreSQL database cluster and its components.
- Work on observability of relevant database metrics and make sure we reach our database objectives.
- Work with peer SREs to roll out changes to our production environment and help mitigate database-related production incidents.
- OnCall support on rotation with the team.
- Provide database expertise to engineering teams (for example through reviews of database migrations, queries and performance optimizations).
- Work on automation of database infrastructure and help engineering succeed by providing self-service tools.
- Use the GitLab product to run GitLab.com as a first resort and improve the product as much as possible.
- Plan the growth of GitLab's database infrastructure.
- Design, build and maintain core database infrastructure pieces that allow GitLab to scale to support hundreds of thousands of concurrent users.
- Support and debug database production issues across services and levels of the stack.
- Make monitoring and alerting alert on symptoms and not on outages.
- Document every action so your learnings turn into repeatable actions and then into automation.
You may be a fit to this role if you:
- Have at least 5 years of experience running PostgreSQL in large production environments
- Have at least 2 years of experience with infrastructure automation and configuration management (Chef, Ansible, Puppet, Terraform…)
- Have at least 3 years of experience with any object oriented programming language in a software engineering role
- Have experience with Ruby on Rails, Django, other Ruby and/or Python web frameworks, or Go
- Have strong programming skills
- Have solid understanding of SQL and PL/pgSQL
- Have solid understanding of the internals of PostgreSQL
- Have experience working in a distributed production environment
- Share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
- Have excellent written and verbal English communication skills
- Have an urge to collaborate and communicate asynchronously.
- Have an urge to document all the things so you don't need to learn the same thing twice.
- Have a proactive, go-for-it attitude. When you see something broken, you can't help but fix it.
- Have an urge for delivering quickly and iterating fast.
- Know your way around Linux and the Unix Shell.
- Have the ability to orchestrate and automate complex administrative tasks. Knowledge in config management systems like Chef (the one we use)
- Passion for stable and secure systems management practices
- Strong data modeling and data structure design skills
Projects you could work on:
- Review, analyze and implement solutions regarding database administration (e.g., backups, performance tuning)
- Work with Terraform, Chef and other tools to build mature automation (automatic setup new replicas or testing and monitoring of backups).
- Implement self-service tools for our engineers using GitLab ChatOps.
- Provide technical assistance and support to other teams on database and database-related application design methodologies, system resources, application tuning.
- Review database related changes from engineering teams (e.g., database migrations).
- Recommend query and schema changes to optimize the performance of database queries.
- Jump on a production incident to mitigate database-related issues on GitLab.com.
- Participate actively in the infrastructure design and scalability considerations focusing on data storage aspects.
- Make sure we know how to take the next step to scale the database.
- Design and develop specifications for future database requirements including enhancements, upgrades, and capacity planning; evaluate alternatives; and make appropriate recommendations.
Database Reliability Engineer
- Provides emergency response either by being on-call or by reacting to symptoms according to monitoring.
- Delivers production solutions that scale, identifying automation points, and proposing ideas on how to improve efficiency.
- Delivers projects, design solutions, identifying potential issues, tradeoffs and risks.
- Improves documentation all around, either in application documentation, or in runbooks, explaining the why, not stopping with the what.
- Improves the performance of the system by either making better use of resources, distributing load or reducing the latency.
- Shares the learnings publicly, either by creating issues that provide context for anyone to understand it or by writing blog posts.
- Deep knowledge of the 2 of the areas of expertise in postgresql ecosystem.
- Great expertise in SQL, able to review sql statements and guide developers with best practices how to interact with the database,for a high-scale web environment.
- Process oriented driven, iterating with the existent or creating new ones.
- Apply elevated testing practices to ensure smooth releases and changes.
- Good comunications skills, colaborative and good working in group.
Senior Database Reliability Engineer
Are experienced Database Reliability Engineers who meet the following criteria :
- Lead and mentor DBREs by setting the example.
- Identifies changes for the product architecture from the reliability, performance and availability perspective with a data driven approach focused on relational databases, knowlend of another data storages is a plus.
- Proactively work on the efficiency and capacity planning to set clear requirements and reduce the system resources usage to make GitLab cheaper to run for all our customers.
- Perform and run blameless RCA's on incidents and outages aggressively looking for answers that will prevent the incident from ever happening again.
- Show ownership of postgresql ecosystem, great plus on ownership of major part of the infrastructure.
- Deep knowledge in architectural overview, knowledge of engineering practices, ORM’s, caching…
- Identify parts of the system that do not scale, provide immediate palliative measures and drive long term resolution of these incidents.
- Identify the SLO (Service Level Objectives) that will align the team to meet the availability and latency objectives.
- Be constructive, strong initiatives, approach with solutions, think out of the box, able to switch focus or priorities as required.
- Priority driven, focused on what matters, raises concerns, delivered focus.
- Deep knowledge in 3 areas of expertise related to postgresql and his ecosystem, considering another data storages an option, general knowledge of all areas of expertise from the postgresql ecosystem, radiate that knowledge.
- Leads and participates in several projects, having an overview and giving input on projects to be accomplished with the best performance and lower impact.
Database Reliability Engineers have the following job-family performance indicators:
Candidates for this position can expect the hiring process to follow the order below. Please keep in mind that candidates can be declined from the position at any stage of the process. To learn more about someone who may be conducting the interview, find her/his job title on our team page.
- Qualified candidates will be sent a short questionaire.
- Qualified candidates will be invited to a 30min screening call with our Global Recruiters
- Next, candidates will move to the first round of interviews
- 60 Minute Technical Interview with our Site Availability Manager.
- 45 Minute Peer Interview with 2 addiational members of the Infrastructure Engineering team
- 60 Minute Interivew with the Hiring Manager.
- Next, candidates will move to the second round of interviews
- 60 Minute Interivew with the Director of Infrastructure Engineering
- 60 Minute Interview with the VP of Engineering
- Successful candidates will subsequently be made an offer.
As always, the interviews and screening call will be conducted via a video call.
See more details about our hiring process on the hiring handbook.
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