Engineering Manager (remote, UK-based)

Job description

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

Working at Ably means helping to build the infrastructure and technology that will power and shape the future of the internet. Chatting on WhatsApp, hailing an Uber, asking Alexa what the weather will be like tomorrow, working in the same Google Doc as your colleague: all of these things rely on complex, behind-the-scenes realtime infrastructure. That’s what Ably provides for companies like HubSpot, Toyota Racing Development, OfferUp, and Hopin.

We now live in a remote-first world where realtime digital interactions underpin our daily lives. In the near future, Autonomous Vehicles, IoT devices (e.g. connected fridges or environment sensors), and AI-powered experiences will be the norm. But new infrastructure is required to power it all.

The opportunity in front of us is immense. Our mission is to become the definitive realtime infrastructure of the internet while powering and accelerating adoption of realtime user experiences. We’re on track. Everyday we deliver billions of realtime messages to more than 200 million people in 80 different countries across web, mobile, and IoT platforms. But we can’t rest yet. In five years we want to reach one billion people everyday.

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.


In this role

You will manage the people of the Realtime team, continually improve and refine their processes, and ensure they demonstrate success through delivery. The Realtime team provides the engine at the heart of the Ably machine. As such its technology is complex, and still has enormous opportunities for innovation. So 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 individuals, but in number.

Day to day, you will: 

  • Take line management responsibility for the Realtime team members, and all that entails.
  • Represent the Realtime team in many situations, explaining the work in progress and decisions made.
  • Ensure each team member is developing their skills, both on the engineering side and also within the company as a whole.
  • Work with the CEO, CTO, 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.
  • Make sure the team delivers value to Ably and its customers, and does so continuously and steadily.
  • Ensure the team manages 3rd line support issues effectively. This means those issues should be dealt with well, but do not overwhelm the team.
  • Help the team make continual process improvements, in software development and other areas such as the support rotas.
  • Use your knowledge and experience of software engineering to help the team navigate tricky technical issues, and work through delivery challenges, so that the Realtime engine is built with integrity and in a timely manner.
  • Help the team promote its work and its knowledge within the organisation, building the relationship with other Ably teams.

It would be particularly valuable if you had:

  • Demonstrable experience of walking engineers through problem-solving situations.
  • An affinity for working openly, on open source software.
  • Good experience with agile development and project management tools and ideas
  • Engineering management experience in a complex SaaS or infrastructure business.
  • A strong background in server-side technologies. The Realtime team primarily works with Node.js and Go.

What’s it like to work at Ably?

Founded by two engineers who spotted a hard and largely unsolved problem, Ably is, at its heart, an engineering company. To provide the infrastructure required for a high-bandwidth, remote-first world we hire engineers with a broad set of technical skills who are ready and capable of taking on challenging realtime engineering problems.

As a company and engineering team we’re committed to a future internet that’s open, with all engineers contributing to existing open source projects.

We want to work in a company of inclusive people who treat each other well. As an Ablyan, you’ll enjoy taking ownership and making an impact, with work that is both varied and challenging. To 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 lense, 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 good, competitive salary
  • 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
  • Your choice of high quality tech kit to work on
  • Home workstation set up budget of £500, plus an annual top-up of £250
  • 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 or counselling via Sanctus
  • 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme with AXA
  • A monthly wellbeing budget with Juno
  • Company contributions towards your pension
  • 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 spec 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 encourage applications from all backgrounds regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, race or religion. If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.