Engineering Manager (remote, UK-based)

Job description

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

With our Series A funding secured, we are looking for an engineering-centric manager who can lead our core Realtime team, helping them grow as individuals and demonstrate really effective delivery success. The Engineering Manager will initially report directly to the CEO, and when we complete our search for a VP of Engineering will report into them.

Working at Ably means helping to build the infrastructure and technology that will power and shape the future of the internet: we handle the complex, behind-the-scenes realtime communication required to power digital experiences like chat, live updates in maps or apps, IoT device control, and remote collaboration.

Developers at companies like HubSpot, Toyota Racing Development, OfferUp, and Hopin choose Ably because, when it comes down to it, we’re the only realtime communication platform that dependably delivers at global internet scale.

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 100 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

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 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.
  • 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
  • Share options
  • A remote first company. 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/Summits which happen on average once a month
  • Health insurance, including Doctor@Hand
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • A monthly wellbeing budget with Juno
  • Cycle to work
  • Regular company away days and social events
  • Weekly team breakfast or lunch
  • Free drinks and snacks in the office
  • Ongoing professional development (training, events, conferences), including an assigned budget
  • 25 days of paid annual leave (33 days including bank holidays)
  • Company contributions towards your pension
  • Your choice of high quality tech kit to work on

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.