Ground News: Senior Systems Engineer (Remote, Canada)

Headquarters: Kitchener, ON


Senior Systems Engineer (Remote, Canada)

Who We are?
In a world where political polarization and media distrust are at an all-time high, Ground News offers people a better way to stay informed and open-minded. Our mobile app, web app, and browser extension are home to a community of mindful newsreaders who use our news comparison platform to easily see every side of a story and engage with news beyond their filter bubble.
Unlike most news companies, our audience and our values do not align with any specific political ideology. Unlike most tech platforms, we don’t use manipulative algorithms to keep users on our platform to sell more ads. We are supported by our readers who pay for a subscription to build a more nuanced understanding of the news, the world, and themselves.

#1 on Product Hunt (Oct 19, ’20), #2 (Nov 17, ’21), #2 (Mar 26, ’21)

Techstars portfolio company
Winner of Digital News Innovation Challenge by Facebook
Winner of Mobile Apps Showdown at CES
Featured at Mobile World Congress
Featured on New York Times, Financial Times, Newsmax, Forbes and more
Our site has even been retweeted by the POTUS

The Opportunity
As Ground News continues to evolve and expand its offerings, we are integrating increasingly complex systems to introduce new functionalities and improve user experiences. To support this growth, we are seeking a Systems Engineer who possesses a unique blend of technical acumen, a holistic understanding of our platform, and the ability to administer and enhance our systems architecture
The ideal candidate is an experienced and highly motivated Systems Engineer with a proven track record of managing complex systems. You are a quick learner, capable of understanding the intricacies of a multifaceted platform and using that knowledge to make informed decisions. You excel at bridging the gap between technical and non-technical team members, as well as facilitating collaboration and understanding across different technical departments, making complex systems understandable and approachable for all team members.
What You’ll Do

Develop a comprehensive understanding of our platform’s various systems by collaborating closely with system owners. Your goal will be to attain not just a surface-level knowledge but a deep, nuanced understanding that allows you to see the interconnectedness of all parts.
Act as the pivotal technical intermediary among the engineering teams and non-technical stakeholders. Your task involves fielding technical inquiries, suggestions, and feedback, translating complex system functionalities into actionable plans, and conveying these insights in an accessible manner.
Drive system integration and optimization efforts by identifying opportunities to enhance performance, streamline processes, and ensure scalability. Your work will directly contribute to the platform’s reliability and efficiency.
Implement and maintain best practices for system management, including monitoring, performance tuning, and disaster recovery planning. You will ensure our systems are robust, secure, and able to support our growth ambitions.
Facilitate knowledge sharing and documentation, ensuring that critical information about our systems architecture and operations is accessible and understandable to both technical and non-technical team members.
Contribute to the strategic planning of system expansions and upgrades, working hand-in-hand with the development team to forecast future needs and potential bottlenecks.

What You’ll Have

Interdisciplinary Knowledge Application: Primarily, your role is to act as a bridge between technical and non-technical teams, adeptly managing suggestions, questions, and feedback. Whether by providing direct solutions and actionable recommendations or by directing queries to the appropriate teams, your interdisciplinary knowledge will be crucial in enhancing platform coherence and functionality.

Cross-Platform Feature Structuring and Coordination: you will not only play a key role in the initial planning stages but also in the ongoing coordination during the development of proposed cross-platform features. Your responsibilities will include conceptualizing the structural framework of these features to ensure their seamless integration and optimal functionality across the diverse technological landscape of our platform. This involves working closely with various teams to navigate the complexities of integrating new features, maintaining clear communication channels to address any challenges that arise during development, and ensuring that all components work together cohesively to enhance the user experience.
Based on your specific expertise in the key technologies we utilize, you may also be tasked with conducting advanced optimizations and upgrades to individual systems. Your ability to apply your knowledge in at least two or three of these technologies will be pivotal in driving enhancements and ensuring system efficiency.

Key Technologies You’ll Work With
In this role, you will engage with a diverse set of technologies that underpin the Ground News platform. You should have experience with, or the ability to quickly get up to speed on, the following technologies:

AWS Infrastructure (Minimum 3 years of experience required): Proficiency with AWS services including EC2, RDS, CloudFront, CloudWatch, ECS, Elasticache, Route 53, WAF & Shield, Lambda, SQS, and SNS.

MySQL Database (Minimum 2 years of experience required): Solid understanding of MySQL (or similar RDB) for managing our structured data needs, ensuring data integrity, and optimizing query performance.

Terraform (Minimum 1 year of experience recommended): Ground uses TF for infrastructure as code (IaC) to manage a growing proportion of our setup. You’ll use Terraform to automate the setup, maintenance, and scaling of our infrastructure, ensuring consistency and reliability.

Node JS & Express (Minimum 1 year of experience recommended): Familiar with using Node JS and Express for building efficient, scalable back-end services.

Elasticsearch (Minimum 1 year of experience recommended): You’ll develop an understanding of our Elasticsearch clusters, the nature of the data in them, and how to use or augment that data efficiently to achieve our goals.

Other Services and Concepts: Firebase (Cloud Messaging, Authentication), ETL Pipelines, NextJs & Serverless, CI/CD Pipelines, automated documentation.

What You might Have

A deep curiosity and interest in the political system, and the relationship between tech and media
Experience using any of Ground News’ products (app, website, extension, newsletters)
A passion for data analysis and the tools that facilitate it

Why work at Ground?
Co-founded by a former NASA engineer and Bain consultant, a position with Ground News provides an unparalleled learning experience both personally and professionally. At Ground, we prioritize growth: both for our business and team members. You’ll have the freedom to work remotely and play a key role in the development of Ground News products. 
This is an opportunity to work with a growing and mighty team that is fighting every day to build a world where cooperative, civil debate is the norm, media is accountable, and critical thought is the baseline of our information consumption. Ground is based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, but this role is remote in Canada.

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