Coming Soon – Backend Software Engineer


Backend Software Engineer

ActiveState is securing open source software supply chains and enhancing dependency management with an on-demand SaaS Platform and CLI tool that lets DevSecOps automatically build any runtime environment using any open source language ecosystem on any platform. We’re building an ambitious language distribution platform so that no engineer ever has to suffer dependency hell again, and we need your help!

This position is open to full-time telecommuters anywhere in Canada or continental US. You can also choose to work from our headquarters in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

This position is open to experienced candidates with a track record in this area. We’re building up our systems to scale out to more languages and ecosystems, and we’re looking for someone who knows how to analyze, design, build, monitor, and optimize backend systems to help us make the most of our data!

What You’ll be Doing

Our audacious goal is to build all of the open source software released on the internet completely from source, in an automated and repeatable way. Our platform resolves dependencies for open source languages and libraries all the way up and down the stack. If this sounds like a difficult computer science problem, it is! If you’re motivated by graph theory, dependency resolution, and wrestling with practical applications of things like the Byzantine Generals Problem, we want to meet you!

This specific team develops and maintains the systems that perform the dependency resolution algorithm, model dependency data, and produce the APIs for interacting with this system. On this team, you’ll spend time breaking new ground to support new languages and systems as well as optimizing our existing systems. You will help us manage the complexity of modeling the entire open source ecosystem, solving complex dependency problems, orchestrating whole-project builds from source code, and finding efficiencies along the way. If this sounds like an intriguing opportunity, we want to talk to you!



  • Working for a stable and growing company that offers the environment and personal growth potential of a start-up as well as the stability of a successful business with established revenue.

  • The chance to grow and grow with a team, as we expand our data portfolio and team.

  • The chance to collaborate with a smart, considerate, enthusiastic team of people.

  • The chance to work on a project that will change the work lives of developers around the world, including your own!

  • Competitive salary and bonus plan.

  • Comprehensive benefits package and health/wellness credit program.


  • Multiple years of professional programming experience in modern imperative languages, e.g. Python or Go. This means deep experience with at least one programming language, and at least shallow experience with several.

  • Professional experience designing, writing, and using web APIs (JSON and REST required, GraphQL a plus).

  • Experience creating and maintaining complex software systems along with the ability to design non-trivial applications and components from scratch.

  • The ability to write clean, well-tested code with clear documentation.

  • Backend development experience, including SQL and database integration.

  • Experience with at least one major platform (Linux, MacOS, Windows) and exposure to the others.

  • Excellent written and spoken skills, both technical and non-technical. You’ll need to work closely with your developer teammates, as well as be able to have coherent conversations with people from QA, sales, marketing, and other parts of the company.


If you have experience with any of the following please make sure to highlight it in your cover letter:

  • Notable contributions to or presence in at least one open source project or language community.

  • Experience with SAT solvers, graph theory, and dependency resolution algorithms.

  • Experience working with build systems, continuous integration, and debugging.

  • Microservices, message queues, and distributed computing.

  • Agile processes, including breaking large projects up into smaller stories, estimation, working in branches (GitHub Flow), code review, and CI.

  • Perl, Python, Tcl, Java, or Ruby, especially an understanding of their respective language communities and their toolchains.

  • Experience working on a build system or performing build engineering, including compiling code and debugging issues with build tools such as make, autotools, and Bazel.


What to Expect

We’re a polyglot company and embrace using the best language or tool for the given task at hand. We gladly use Python, Elm, JavaScript, Golang, Bazel, Docker, Kubernetes, Haskell, Airflow, and other modern tools. Quality is as important as speed. We’re building for the long run, so you’ll need to enjoy writing tests and documentation too.

We use open source software whenever possible, and we also like to contribute back to the open source ecosystem. We embrace open sourcing both libraries and tools developed in-house where that makes sense.

Our day to day work practices are centered around GitHub, pull requests, code review, continuous testing, integration, and deployment, and agile development. We coordinate with each other and the rest of the company using Slack for chat, Zoom for video calls and screen sharing, Jira, and Google Drive. We’re always looking to improve our practices and we expect you to help us to do so.


Working At ActiveState

ActiveState has a collaborative, respectful, and professional culture. We’re all about working together to find the best solutions, and making sure that the experience of doing so is positive for everyone involved. There is a commitment from the CEO on down to making work at ActiveState a great experience for all.

Our company is a team of 60+ and growing, with half of the positions in technical roles. We maintain a set of core, overlapping hours, but we’re flexible with specific start and end times and are understanding about appointments and life events.

Our vision is to have an ActiveState solution on every device on every planet, so we certainly don’t lack ambition! But even though we’re ambitious we don’t expect work to become your life. We know you will do your best work in a positive environment free from death marches.  For more about working at ActiveState and our Glassdoor rating go to



Please submit your contact info, resume, and a cover letter below. Submissions without a cover letter will not be considered. We look forward to hearing from you!We are committed to creating a welcoming environment for everyone at ActiveState and we welcome applicants from all walks of life.Even if you don’t feel you meet every exact requirement, we still would love to hear from you and why you think you would be an awesome addition to our team and we encourage you to apply.

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