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Platform Engineer £32000 to £40000

Meet your interview panel:

Ian chilton 7b9ad16288acd8ee89c90f0ff8547af485c077729f32bb3141feddbcbbf54db6
Ian Chilton
Pamela hinds 65218f934cc6e91b705d07e5164ff4eebd50925aa9cd2a9b9347a3ec5655001f
Pamela Hinds

We're looking for a Linux expert to maintain our cloud hosting systems and raise the bar for our internal deployment systems. You'll be keen on measurement, monitoring and reliability, and want to be a creative member of a new & growing team within our company.

Closes 20/03/18.

Bytemark's cloud services platform has been running since 2012. Due to its growth, we’ve recently created a "Platform Team" to take charge of its reliability, monitoring and performance. Our team of skilled engineers is brand new and led by a former software engineer. We're hoping you might want to be the platform team's 4th member.

You'll be a Linux pro and use your expertise to maintain both our internal & customer-facing systems and help bring our monitoring & deployment infrastructure up-to-date. You'll help an expanding team of engineers deploy software quicker and ensure our thousands of customers get the highest reliability for all their online services across Bytemark's two UK data centres.

Your work here would depend on your skills and experience, but may include:

  • working to break down risks and operational requirements;
  • installing, configuring and reasoning about Linux, database and cluster systems;
  • setting operational standards through documentation & automation;
  • analysing and replacing legacy monitoring and deployment systems (some going back 10 years);
  • planning more ambitious redeployments and gathering requirements from engineers & support staff.

If you're keen to get involved in the new department of a growing company or bring modern system administration experience to a mature hosting company, we want you to apply.

What kind of company is Bytemark?

Bytemark is 30-person strong hosting company founded 15 years ago, now with around 3000 customers. Our head office is in beautiful, historic York. Our mission is to provide solid, reliable hosting with a strong focus on the UK market. We have a deep appreciation for the free software movement and as we've grown, made sure that our recruitment and management are truly equal-opportunity, providing a flexible 37.5 hour average work week and family-friendly employment policies.

Whilst we have a mix of staff in traditionally "technical" and "non-technical" roles, everyone in the company is encouraged to excel in their field, regardless of their position or workflow. To be honest, we don't really like categorising people according to whether they happen to be a programmer or not, as everyone at Bytemark is valued for the diverse skills and ambitions they bring to the company.

Our two largest teams are currently Engineering & Customer Support — building things and helping our customers use them is where we spend most of our time. However our Platform Team is a new investment and inherits much from our Engineering team.

We're currently replacing our oldest hosting services with newer, automated, better-featured ones and bringing them all together on a single control panel. There are many aspects of this that need pulling apart and rebuilding.  

Hosting has been a solid business, allowing us risks that narrow software startups couldn't. Owning our own data centre has given us amazing security. We're using our 15 years of experience to continue this history of innovation and to build a company structure with a long-term view.

Your duties would include:

  • Working with your colleagues through online chat and a job queue system.
  • Reporting to the Platform Manager.
  • Participating in daily stand-up meetings.
  • Building and maintaining individual Linux systems.
  • Maintaining our Bytemark Cloud platform (called BigV internally).
  • Maintaining and helping to scale out our MySQL & PostgreSQL databases.
  • Methodical decommissioning and rebuilds of older systems.
  • Gently supporting users who crave reliability, both customers and staff.
  • Thinking about our business in terms of risks, not servers.
  • Breaking down jobs into manageable chunks, communicating with a distributed team.
  • Participating in a 1-in-4 out-of-hours rota (starting from March 2018, see below).

Out of hours rota

Bytemark currently has a single out-of-hours rota among our Support team, covering customer, hardware and data centre issues.

From March 2018, we are planning to expand this with a second-line rota for Platform issues, which you will need to be ready to cover on a 1-in-4 basis as part of your work.

Career progression

The Platform Manager will work closely with you and the HR Director to establish your learning needs and ensure that you have the training and resources you need.

We would like you to have a commitment to your own professional development and actively seek learning opportunities. Bytemark will pay for 5 days of conference or training (including expenses) each year to pique your interest and further your skillset.

Skills we're seeking

For this position

  • Traditional GNU/Linux distro experience: in-depth with Debian, Redhat, Ubuntu, Arch or similar.
  • Low-level understanding of Linux: boot loaders, systemd, process states and all the tweaky stuff that breaks.
  • Any database management experience: we rely on MySQL, PostgreSQL but anything similar would be useful.
  • Any systems automation experience: we rely on Ansible and Puppet but have tried all the others!
  • Bonus: Experience of server hardware builds, drivers, bleeding-edge Linux kernels.
  • Bonus: Experience of RabbitMQ or other messaging systems, which we use to join our services together.
  • Bonus: Programming or software engineering experience (we use Ruby and Go but anything would be interesting)
  • Bonus: Experience of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos, Docker Swarm or other "cloud native" platforms (we're starting to build our in-house experience in this area)


This position will be centered around either our York or Manchester offices. Working remotely may be possible if you have the right experience. Our company has been split between York, Manchester and several fully remote workers for years, so we have various ways of making that work.

Our whole team comes to our York HQ three times per year for a meal, catch-up and talks, but each department meets up on a much more regular basis.

Employment benefits

  • Standard holiday allowance: 25 days holiday + UK bank holidays
  • Extra holiday allowance: 1 day per full year of employment up to 32 days
  • Allowance for home broadband service
  • Bytemark-administered group personal Pension Scheme
  • Annual health cash plan & private health care
  • Enhanced Maternity - 16 weeks pay + 8 weeks 50% pay
  • Enhanced Paternity - 2 weeks pay + 2 weeks 50% pay
  • Childcare voucher scheme
  • 5 days per year allowance for training purposes
  • Company-provided bicycle for employees within cycling distance.

Our policies and benefits enable every staff member to balance both family and work commitments, without sacrificing individual ambition or professional development.

Before you apply

Please understand these points before applying:

  • You must already be eligible to work in the UK — we are not sponsoring visas for this position.
  • We will request and review references from successful candidates
  • We would ask successful candidates to complete a Basic Disclosure Scotland check (which will be reimbursed)

What are you waiting for?!

There's no "cultural fit" requirement. If you're a keen learner, customer focused and can work well within a team, we'd love to have you on-board!

This position is now closed.