Director, Site Reliability Engineering (Worldwide Remote)

Job description

Hi, we’re DuckDuckGo, the Internet privacy company for everyone who wants to take back their privacy now. For over a decade, we've been building our all-in-one product, developing new privacy technology, and working with policymakers to make online privacy simple and accessible for all.

Our app is now downloaded more than 50M times a year, and our private search engine packaged with it has become the #2 search engine on mobile in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. Oh, and we've been profitable since 2014 with revenue currently exceeding $100 million a year! Now, we’re rolling out a suite of new privacy solutions, including Email Protection, App Tracking Protection and our first-ever Desktop Apps for Mac and Windows.

We’re looking for a Director, Site Reliability Engineering to help shape our all-in-one privacy solution and join our mission to show the world that protecting your privacy online can be simple.

The Opportunity

In this role, you will:

  • Lead and mentor other Site Reliability Engineers. This includes providing technical direction and guidance to members of the team to meet the needs of millions of users.
  • Lead and advise high-complexity projects from scoping to production.
  • Lead the development of our On-Call and Incident Response processes.
  • Assist in determining the future technical direction of our deployment from the standpoint of reliability and performance.
  • Help to develop an SLI/SLO-based health and response culture.
  • Participate in on-call rotation with other members of the SRE team.
  • Work closely with the engineering team to triage production issues and determine appropriate solutions including code changes, performance, and architecture considerations.
  • Apply pragmatic reasoning to navigate complex challenges and competing interests.
  • Participate in the full development cycle: technical design, implementation, QA, review, and release.

What You Will Bring to DuckDuckGo

  • Experience managing a 24x7 on-call rotation for a large-scale deployment.
  • Experience leading a team of engineers (SRE/DevOps/Ops).
  • Investigative ability: Ability to root cause sources of instability of high-traffic, distributed systems.
  • Large-scale thinking and experience. Understands reliability challenges of large-scale deployments.
  • Deep experience administering and troubleshooting Linux and web technologies.
  • Moderate to advanced programming experience preferably in a high level language like Perl or Python.
  • Expert problem-solving ability (identification of problems and solution development).
  • Highly-pragmatic decision-making.
  • Ability to lead and collaborate on high-impact and complex projects from proposal through post-mortem.
  • Skills to wrangle vague problems, propose innovative solutions, and execute them with a strong focus on metrics and impact.

How We Will Support You

Our core values -- build trust, question assumptions, and validate direction -- underpin how we work day-to-day and the support we give our team members. We strive to empower our team members to be self-directed and self-motivated in their work.

  • Remote First, Always: We've always been a fully distributed company with team members all over the world. We trust you to get your work done wherever, whenever.
  • Commitment to Personal Growth: Every team member has an annual budget of $1,250 USD to invest in their professional development. Every team member also has a dedicated Career Advisor, who serves as a guide to help you develop your strengths, identify your motivations, and understand your opportunities for growth.
  • Leadership: We have many different types of leaders and possible combinations of leadership roles, so you can grow your career in a way that aligns best with your personal goals. You can seek additional leadership roles by being directly responsible for projects, taking ownership of areas of the company, developing and maintaining internal processes, or pursuing advisory roles.
  • Work/Life Balance: Team members have the freedom and flexibility to organize their own work schedules. We want you to thrive both in and out of the office. We trust you to use good judgment and take the time off that you need to bring your best self to work.

We also offer paid parental leave, a co-working stipend, office setup reimbursement, and a wellness stipend. More support resources can be found in our, Team Member Support Guide, which explains how we make your well-being a priority.

For more information on how we collaborate worldwide, from leadership in our relatively flat organization to start-to-finish ownership, check out DuckDuckGo Culture: How We Work.


  • Annual compensation: $210,000 USD and stock options.

Hiring Process

Hiring works best when it's a two-way street. Learn how we help you get to know DuckDuckGo and envision your future role here. Find out more about how we hire.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DuckDuckGo provides equal work opportunities to all team members and applicants, and it prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

We want to ensure that our hiring process is accessible. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process because of a medical condition or disability, please send an email to to let us know the nature of your request.

If you think you might thrive in this environment, we would love to hear from you.

Please note that:

  • Sometimes we meet up! Expect to travel at least two times a year: once for our all-hands meetup and again for a team retreat (each around 4-5 days). While these plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to recommence all company meetups in 2022.
  • While we offer a flexible work arrangement with no core hours, expect an average full-time commitment of 40 hours per week.
  • A successful candidate will be subject to a background check and must receive satisfactory results of the same, as a condition of joining the team.
  • By applying for this role, you confirm that all information submitted is accurate and complete. You further acknowledge that providing false or fraudulent information during the application process is cause for denial of an offer, revocation of any existing offer, or other adverse action, up to and including termination after the start of your commencement of work.

Job requirements

On-call rotation details

Currently, the rotation is what we call 4/3 split:

  1. There is one shift rotation (one primary person and one secondary) from Monday 9am ET to Friday 9am ET.
  2. There is another shift from Friday 9am ET to Monday 9am ET
  3. With the current number of people, we have right now this means you are on-call one week a month (half primary, half secondary).
  4. On average, there's around 0-5 pages/incidents per week

As the team grows, we are looking to improve and update the current rotation. We are open to scoping and experimenting with on-call responsibilities.