Startup Systems Engineer, Network Goods

Protocol Labs


Key Summary:

The Network Goods team at Protocol Labs is looking for a startup systems engineer to integrate, improve, and manage our internal tools and services, as well as public-facing technology supporting public goods research and funding.

Network Goods at Protocol Labs

Protocol Labs is a research, development, and deployment organization that builds tools to move science forward faster. The goal of the Network Goods team is to increase the amount and quality of network goods being created, in order to improve the likelihood of a good future. 

Our team is granted both the freedom to develop knowledge by working on novel applications and a responsibility to contribute those skills toward advancing the mission of Protocol Labs.  You’ll feel at home working with us if your knowledge and optimism enable you to craft creative solutions working around evolving needs.

As part of the Network Goods team and as its technology lead, you’ll be contributing directly to our mission of developing and guiding high-impact initiatives to build public goods. You’ll be working across the different sub-teams to ensure technical and non-technical roadblocks are overcome and that our technology stack supports efficient work and experimentation. 

Here, no request is too big or too small to handle. Significant measures of our success are the time we save the team and the improved outcomes we create. There is no typical day: you might find yourself fielding internal support requests, working with researchers to build a decision analysis tool, leading the integration with a third-party grants platform, deploying new features on our website, or flying around the world to support the technology needs for an event.

As a startup systems engineer at Protocol Labs you will…

  • Optimize our tools so that we can interact and support our organization and external partners efficiently and effectively. Proactively work with the team to understand their productivity pain points.
  • Research new internal tools and services that make us more efficient. No existing solution you can find? Build the solution we need, work with an external vendor, or launch a community bounty.
  • Work with researchers and research managers, within and outside Protocol Labs, to understand requirements and workflows and source or create appropriate tooling to enable experimentation.
  • Manage traditional IT support requests including onboarding and off-boarding employees to our internal tools and services.

You may be a fit for this role if you have…

  • Experience in one or more of front-end development, DevOps and infrastructure, project management, IT security, systems integration, data engineering
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, and interpersonal skills
  • Deep flexibility and creativity with the ability to adapt to fast-changing needs and priorities
  • Passion for supporting internal teams and projects
  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in a scientific, mathematical, or engineering  discipline

Bonus points if you have…

  • A track record of building, maintaining, and driving the adoption of user-oriented tooling
  • Familiarity with web3 concepts and the ability to reason about web3 technologies that can be incorporated into PLN tooling or built to support network-wide needs
  • Research experience in a scientific, mathematical, or engineering field
  • An interest in learning more about epistemology or the normative implications of technological development

What’s it like to work at Protocol Labs?

Protocol Labs mission is to improve computing technology to push humanity forward. We have been focused on building protocols, systems, and tools to improve how we store, locate, and move information directly, permissionlessly, and trustlessly. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, drand, and more.As a distributed team, we hire anywhere in the world, and at various levels of experience (entry, senior, staff). We look for people with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds. We have a great benefits package, including parental leave, contributions to your retirement, competitive pay, and unlimited time off. For U.S.-based employees, we also provide platinum-level health, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.

The Network Goods teams (Network Research, Network Funding, and Research Acceleration) works largely asynchronously and remotely via Discord, Slack, Notion, GitHub, and video conference, although we take advantage of opportunities (roughly between monthly and quarterly) to meet in person for work sprints, colloquia, and conferences. Attendance and participation in relevant research meetings, hackathons, workshops, and conferences is also encouraged. 

We strive to document our decision-making in text and default to open and transparent communication and record-keeping wherever possible. We currently use a flexible GitHub-based Kanban process to organize and share our work-in-progress. We think in public on the Protocol Labs Research blog and host a lively Research Seminar, Research Saloon, Discord server, and Journal Club, as well as occasional larger research events. We believe intentional development of technology can lead to a better, more empowering world for all of humanity.