Engineering Manager (Remote)

Job description

Location: Remote, UK based, as travel to our London hub will be required once a month.

Team: SDK Engineering

As Ably enters its next stage of growth, we’re looking for talented and curious engineers to help us build and deliver the platform to power synchronized digital experiences in realtime for one billion devices every month by 2023.

Our everyday digital experiences are in the midst of a realtime revolution. Whether attending an event in a virtual venue, receiving realtime financial information, or monitoring live car performance data – consumers simply expect realtime digital experiences as standard. As such, synchronized data in realtime is now business critical for many organisations. Yet, at the same time, organizations don’t have the in-house capabilities nor the time to do this efficiently at scale. That’s where Ably comes in.

We provide a suite of APIs to build, extend, and deliver powerful digital experiences in realtime for more than 250 million devices across 80 countries each month. Organizations like Toyota, Bloomberg, HubSpot, and Hopin depend on Ably’s platform to offload the growing complexity of business-critical realtime data synchronization at global scale.

Working at Ably means helping to build the infrastructure and technology that will power and shape the future of the internet. The opportunity in front of us is immense. But we can’t rest yet. And we’d like your help.

To see what life’s like at Ably, check out our careers page at and read the story of how Ably's core values came to be.

What we do

Ably’s engineering team is deeply technical, collectively bringing a wealth of experience and broad technology skills across infrastructure, security, distributed systems, and much more. The calibre of the code we produce is what excites and motivates us each day. If you enjoy solving hard distributed system problems that are mostly platform agnostic and theoretical in nature, then you'll love working at Ably.

In this role

You will manage the people of the SDK team, continually improve and refine their processes, and ensure they demonstrate success. The SDK team develops open source SDKs for use by Ably’s developer-customers, so success is all about developer satisfaction. And as most of the code is open source, code quality is our CV.

Ably also utilises a network of freelance “Experts” who contribute to many of our SDKs. Sourcing freelancers for that team, working effectively with them, and managing them and their work as part of the wider team, is also an important part of our collective success.

Finally, the Engineering Manager will help the team navigate difficult day to day decisions, provide clarity with wider organisational context, and ensure the team grows not only as people, but in number.

Day to day, you will:
  • Make sure the team delivers value to Ably and its developer-customers, and does so continuously and steadily.

  • Take line management responsibility for the SDK team members.

  • Work closely with the Lead SDK Developer in your team to ensure a high standard of engineering and healthy development environment.

  • Work closely with the SDK Product Manager and the Delivery Manager to ensure initiatives are well-defined, meaningful, and delivered effectively.

  • Ensure each team member is developing their skills, both on the engineering side and also within the company as a whole.

  • Find people for, oversee and orchestrate the work of our extended team: our freelance Experts.

  • Represent the SDK team in many situations, explaining the work in progress and decisions.

  • Work with the CTO, CEO, Chief Scientist and Product and Delivery functions to ensure the team is aligned with wider company goals.

  • Give continual context to the team to ensure they can prioritise effectively throughout their working day.

  • Ensure team members are collaborating, sharing problems, and learning from each other.

  • Ensure plans are realistic and well-structured.

  • Ensure the team manages 3rd line support issues effectively. This means those issues should be dealt with well, but do not derail plans.

  • Help the team make continual process improvements, in software development and other areas such as customer support.

  • Use your knowledge and experience of software engineering and SDK usage to help the team navigate issues, and work through delivery challenges.

  • Help the team promote its work and its knowledge within the organisation, building the relationship with other Ably teams.


It would be great if you have:
  • Engineering management experience in a SaaS or infrastructure business.

  • Good experience with agile development and project management concepts.

  • Demonstrable experience of owning team strategy, building a high-performance culture, and driving change within your team.

  • An affinity for working on open source software, which is visible to the public, in line with our “open for all” value.

  • Background in, and a desire to work with, a variety of platforms and languages. Our SDKs cover a wide (and growing) variety of platforms: server-side, client-side and mobile.

It would be nice if you have:
  • Demonstrable experience of developing SDKs or similar software libraries, and had clear empathy for external developers.

  • Hands-on experience as an application developer using service SDKs like Ably from popular runtimes (like Flutter, Android, iOS, React, etc.)

What’s it like to work at Ably?

Ably is entering a new phase of growth led by an experienced senior team. You’ll be part of a successful, highly motivated, and extremely collaborative team.

To provide the infrastructure required for the next generation of the internet, to tell the world about it, and to support everyone inside Ably to do so we hire people who are ready and capable of taking on challenging problems in a high-growth environment.

We want to work in a company of inclusive people who treat each other well. To really thrive at Ably, you’ll need to believe in and be prepared to do your work in line with our values, which are:

  • Open for all. Open is a mindset. When open, we’re better collaborators, communicators and creators. Whether open source, standards, or protocols, open hearts, minds, and eyes. It’s better when it’s open.

  • Bias for action. We avoid analysis paralysis at all costs. We lean into doing in order to move us forward. When we have enough of what we need to act, we act. 

  • Even the best do better. We want to be the best - but that doesn’t mean we rest when we are. Improvement and growth  - true betterment - is an ongoing journey. One fuelled by curiosity and taking risks. 

  • Technology needs humanity. Our technology means little without people - whether that’s how we treat our colleagues, or how we design developer experiences. Being human matters.

  • Dependable people make dependable things. Dependability is integral to our mission and technology, but being dependable starts with our people. When we care enough to take real ownership of our products and problems - all else will follow. 

  • Bold creativity leads to the greatest rewards.  When viewed through a different lens, what stands in the way can become the way. The bigger the challenge the easier the choice: bold creativity will always move us forward, create better outcomes, and set us apart.

What’s in it for you?
  • A great company culture

  • Share options

  • The chance to learn and grow with a fast-moving company, supported by a learning budget that gives you access to professional training, events, conferences, workshops etc.

  • Remote first: Unless you want to pop into our communal office space in Shoreditch, London, you’ll work from home most of the time, apart from when we have planning sessions and Summits. Travel to the office is at the employee's expense, apart from when we have Ably Summits

  • Your choice of high quality tech kit to work on

  • Home workstation set up budget of £500, plus an annual top-up of £150

  • Regular company away days and social events

  • Friday need-to-know drinks and snacks

  • Private health insurance, including Doctor@Hand

  • Access to private and confidential coaching with Sanctus

  • 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme with AXA

  • A monthly wellbeing budget with Juno

  • 25 days of paid annual leave (33 days including bank holidays)

  • 10 days of paid sick leave (including mental health days) per year

  • Dog friendly office for when you’re in the office!

If you enjoy working as part of a technology company, value open source, and love solving hard problems - then we’d love to hear from you, regardless of whether you fit the job description exactly or not. If in doubt, drop us an email; we’d be more than happy to give you some advice on your application.

We believe our differences as individuals is what makes us great. Our people are at the heart of what we do, and we encourage everyone to be their most authentic self at Ably: we see inclusivity and openness as fundamental to creating long-term success as an organization. We encourage applications from all backgrounds regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, race, religion, educational background or neurodiversity. Ably has an amazing opportunity ahead of us, and we want anyone to be able to contribute to that opportunity.