Software Engineer, Systems & Reliability at Substack (W18)
$170K - $230K  •  
A place for independent writing.
Remote / San Francisco, CA, US / Remote (US)
6+ years
About Substack

Substack lets writers connect with their audience on their own terms and earn money doing it. We make it simple for writers to publish to an email list that they own, get discovered on the web, and charge for subscriptions.

More than 1 million people pay to subscribe to writers across the Substack network, and the top writers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Substack’s model depends on the success of writers using Substack – we only make money when they do.

We're a team of writers and builders from Kik, Instagram, and some of the worlds top publications. Our investors include Y Combinator, founders of Twitch and Zynga, and most recently Andreessen Horowitz.

About the role

Systems Engineers at Substack are responsible for building the foundational infrastructure, tooling, and systems that enable product engineering and feature development. We architect systems to support Substack’s fast-growing product ecosystem at web scale. S&R engineers work closely across product teams to build the next generation of infrastructure for Substack.

Substack’s compensation package includes a market-competitive salary, equity for all full-time roles, and exceptional benefits. Our cash compensation salary range for this role is $170,000 - $230,000. Final offer amounts are determined by multiple factors including candidate experience and expertise and may vary from the amounts listed above.


  • Build out Substack’s platforms to scale with growing traffic and a multitude of services to support writer and reader communities.
  • Partner with engineers and other stakeholders to design resilient and responsive systems.
  • Contribute to the whole product process in collaboration with designers, writers, support staff, and others. From product concept and research to implementation and deployment, we expect you to own your work and deliver high-quality solutions.
  • We primarily work with Node/Express, Postgres, and Redis, and our cloud infrastructure is hosted on AWS. It’s helpful if you know some of these technologies already, if not, we’ll be excited to help you learn.


  • 5+ years of software engineering experience.
  • Can contribute across the full web stack, with a focus on building resilient, scalable backend systems.
  • Independent and autonomous. We’re too small to micromanage, and expect that every person at the company owns their work and can be a leader.
  • Hold yourself and others to a high standard when working on production systems.
  • Take pride in building elegant and delightful product experiences. Substack works best when it gets out of the way so writers can focus on writing and connecting with their readers. 
  • Enjoy collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders while bringing your own unique experience and background to the team.
  • Believe in Substack’s mission to build a better business model for writing.

Location: Remote (U.S. based)

Substack is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status), age, national origin, veteran or disability status. We’re seeking people passionate about enabling independent expression and building a better business model for creators. If you want to see what media, communities, and content can become when unmoored from advertising models, and you have the skills and experience to contribute, we’d love to meet you.


We use Node, Express, and Postgres on top of Heroku. React for frontend, Stripe for payments.

We keep our tech stack simple and effective to maximize the how much impact each engineer can have. That way, we can focus on solving the problems that matter for our users - great writers and avid readers.

Two of our three founders are technical, and we're looking for folks to work along side us, shipping things that touch thousands of writers and millions of readers.

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