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Sr. Back End Java Engineer



Software Engineering
United States · Remote
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023

About Airship

At the dawn of mobile apps, Airship powered the first commercial messages and then expanded its data-led approach to all re-engagement channels (mobile wallet, SMS, email), app UX experimentation and feature release management.

Now, with Airship App Experience Platform (AXP), brands can create and adapt native app experiences on their own — with no ongoing developer support or app updates required.

Having powered trillions of mobile app interactions for thousands of global brands, Airship is proud to be at the forefront of what has become the digital center of customer experience, loyalty and monetization — mobile app experience (MAX).

Learn more about Airship here: Airship Newsroom + Airship Customers

Airship is looking for a strong Senior Distributed Systems Engineer to help us grow and evolve our platform. The Distributed Systems that power Airship are made up of multiple microservices writing in Java and databases that scale independently to handle the sending, display, and reporting for billions of notifications every day. Our engineers deal with massive scale and all of the interesting problems that come with it. If you think that sounds interesting, read on.

About the Role

Platform Engineers at Airship maintain and improve the backend services that power our platform. They are responsible for the reliability, scalability, and maintainability of a large, distributed system. We provide low latency services that process streams of events from mobile apps, web, mobile wallet, email, sms, and internal services. In an average week, you will:

  • Read, understand, and write code and unit tests (primarily in Java)
  • Deploy new features and improvements that make our platform better
  • Collaborate with a strong, cross-team group of Platform Engineers to design new features that will be implemented across multiple distributed microservices
  • Work with Infrastructure, QA, and other Engineers to troubleshoot issues that are escalated through Support
  • Test changes, both manually and by writing and updating unit tests
  • Attend meetings with the product team, including morning standup, weekly team sync, and project-specific working sessions

What to Expect

There are opportunities for both collaborative and independent work and you will be part of a larger functional team with plenty of other Senior Engineers ready to help if you need it.

Within the first week, you will:

  • Be introduced to the cross-functional team and will learn what each role does
  • Set up your development environment, be granted access to source code and internal systems
  • Read a lot of documentation and watch a few videos to learn about our product and platform
  • Clone code and set up one or more local instances of services
  • Be assigned your first ticket and start solving real problems

Within the first month, you will:

  • Gain familiarity with team processes
  • Write code, unit tests, and internal documentation for the new features you are working on
  • Deploy your changes to our production environment
  • Update assigned tickets as the status changes and communicate closely with the tech lead on your team to stay unblocked
  • Participate in daily standups and other team meetings
  • Participate in code review (including reviewing code written by more senior Engineers)

Within the first 3-6 months, you will:

  • Join the on-call rotation and collaborate to resolve production issues (the entire team takes turns with week-long shifts)
  • Continuously explore, understand, and improve unfamiliar codebases
  • Make pragmatic decisions about when to refactor and when to iterate
  • Deploy updates across multiple services to bring new functionality to end users


  • Over time, take on more responsibility for a distributed system designed to handle massive load
  • Gain a broad understanding of the infrastructure and tools available through Google Cloud Platform
  • Contribute to schema design (we use a mix of SQL and NoSQL databases)
  • Troubleshoot latency and scale issues by navigating internal dashboards, understanding things like database load and partitioning, and reading logs


  • Experience writing Java and familiarity with industry best practices
  • Experience maintaining applications that power public APIs
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently, and in a team environment
  • Experience with a cloud platform (Google Cloud Platform, Azure, or Amazon Web Services)
  • Experience with distributed NoSQL systems or key-value stores

Bonus points for:

  • Memory optimization and performance tuning of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Experience working with batch processing, streaming and asynchronous workloads
  • Experience improving, adapting, and extending a mature codebase

Airship’s Talent Commitment

At Airship, we are committed to Attracting, Retaining and Growing Top Talent. To do so, we strive to make our innovative digital-first organization a great place to work and provide employees with compensation that is aligned to our Company mission and values.

Our culture is one of High-performance, Accountability, and Team Collaboration, and our Compensation structure is designed to reflect that.

Compensation at Airship
Airship’s compensation is determined by a variety of factors including market data, experience ladders, and geographical location. The starting salary range for this position is: $114,800 - $129,8000 per year. Some roles may also be eligible for commission, bonus, competitive equity packages and other performance incentives. In addition, we also provide an extensive suite of Benefits offerings as part of our Total Rewards approach to compensation.

Benefits at Airship

Workplace Flexibility (Fully Remote Option) + WFH stipends + Medical, Dental, & Vision Insurance (PPO/HSA Options) + Mental Health Benefits + Open PTO Policy (take the time you need) + 401(k) Retirement Plan w/a match + Stock Options + Professional Development Program + Mentorship Program + Employee Resource Groups + Culture Club + Supplemental Benefits (Life Insurance, Short/Long-Term Disability, Flexible Spending) + Parental Leave + Employee Assistance Program + Referral Bonus Program.


Duties and responsibilities described are not a comprehensive list and additional tasks may be assigned to the employee from time to time; or the scope of the job may change as necessitated by business demands and may be amended at any time at the sole discretion of the Employer.