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Staff/Principal Software Engineer: Backend API Team



Software Engineering
San Mateo, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023
Observe is a SaaS Observability product that enables businesses to investigate modern distributed applications 10x faster. Observe ingests anything with a timestamp (e.g. system and application logs, metrics, and traces), and then structures that data so that it is correlated and easy to navigate. We enable engineers to spend more time coding features and less time investigating incidents. Finally, because of Observe’s unique elastic architecture, it is priced based on usage, making it cost 10x less than incumbents. Watch this video to learn more about our mission.
Traditional approaches to this problem have resulted in fragmented tooling and fragile dashboards which, in turn, have resulted in exploding costs and complexity. At Observe, we believe that the core challenge lies in organizing and relating telemetry data emitted by those applications, despite the fact it is constantly changing. Solving this data problem makes observability an order of magnitude easier, faster, and less expensive. At Observe, we didn’t set out to build another monitoring tool company, we set out to build a data company. Observe is founded by top enterprise VC Sutter Hill Ventures and has a founding team from leading Enterprise SaaS companies Snowflake, Splunk, and Wavefront.
The API Team owns the "high semantics" modeling layer, which captures the shape and relationships between different parts of our customers’ data. The goal of this team is to support and guide our internal power users as they build seamless UI and efficient data systems. We work with tools like Golang, Kubernetes, GraphQL, and Postgres, as well as our temporal-relational query language, OPAL.

What you have the opportunity to accomplish:

  • Build out the API and application platform that drives the rest of the Observe product (this includes our API servers, API designs, API authentication, application metadata, modeling layer, language compiler, and the infrastructure that our services run on)
  • Develop GraphQL APIs that can be easily consumed by our user interface or through terraform
  • Design shared infrastructure components that optimize for the developer experience, scalability, performance, reliability, and long-term maintainability
  • Write robust unit tests that are quick, reliable, and allow our team to continuously deploy to our kubernetes service infrastructure
  • Be a strong contributor to the product vision and team planning

You'll be successful in this role if you have:

  • Strong computer science fundamentals
  • BSCS degree or equivalent experience
  • 10+ years experience working on service infrastructure
  • A solid understanding of database fundamentals and SaaS application architecture
  • Experience building and deploying scalable, secure and performant APIs
  • Proficiency with distributed systems, SOAs, and performance measurement and optimization
  • Ability to visualize the flow of data through a complex application.

What We Like:

  • A passion for user-centric product development and end-user performance
  • Attention to developer experience and productivity
  • Enjoy thinking rigorously about API design patterns and diving deep into the detail
  • Interest in enterprise analytics
  • Startup or growth-stage experience

Some of the projects we might be tackling in the next six months:

  • Migrating our metadata processing layer to in-RAM processing with database persistent backing
  • Inventing a new API to efficiently serve slices of large datasets to browser
  • Horizontally scaling our service infrastructure across Kubernetes nodes
  • Building a distributed in-RAM messaging system for cache invalidation
  • Implementing APIs to enable users to better model their data in the Observe UI
About Us
Observe's mission is to turn business data into information. Our SaaS Observability product ingests anything with a timestamp - logs, metrics, traces - and then curates and relates that data to provide unique insights into a customer’s data universe. If a customer has a problem on the application layer, engineering teams can seamlessly find the root cause of the issue whether that’s a new release pushed to production from Jenkins, or an underlying database or memory issue. We enable engineers to spend more time coding features and less time investigating incidents. We reduce outages and issues with customer experience. And we leverage an elastic cloud architecture so that customers only pay for what they use. To learn more about Observe, visit or join the conversation on Twitter @Observe_Inc.
Observe Inc. is a diversity-friendly zone. We seek to assemble a heterogeneous team where employees from all backgrounds can feel valued, appreciated, and celebrated, and where individual development does not come second to our collective goals.