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Engineering Manager - Database Reliability Engineering

Remote US


Engineering Manager - Database Reliability Engineering: Overview

At Sprout Social we are building software to last. Every day our 30,000+ global customers depend on us to connect them with their customers, so reliability, scalability, and performance are top of mind. Sprout Social is used by organizations like DoorDash, General Mills, Trello, Make-a-wish Foundation, Edelman, and Blue Cross Blue Shield who rely on Sprout to build stronger relationships with their customers through social media.  

We’re looking for an Engineering Manager to lead our Database Reliability Engineering (DBRE) team. Its mission is to deliver a reliable, scalable, secure, and cost-effective data layer to power all our products. We build “Paved Roads”: a menu of standardized, production-grade database technologies that all of our product teams leverage to deliver value quickly with technologies like MySQL, Elasticsearch and HBase. We also partner closely with product engineering teams to provide subject matter expertise to ensure excellent outcomes on novel product features. We proactively invest time to improve all aspects of engineering operations by writing software to automate toil in Java and Python, ensuring high quality observability, and creating clear processes in order to maintain reliability.

You will be responsible for helping set the team’s roadmap in concert with stakeholders, ensuring consistently high engineering quality, proactively developing your team’s talent and growing them in their careers, and working alongside your direct reports by getting your hands dirty. It’s important to note: our engineers do not operate as lone wolves or “10x devs.” Instead, we work in diverse, collaborative teams that get the best results sustainably.

We are looking for a creative, collaborative, technical leader to help build highly reliable and scalable database solutions at scale. If you are passionate about infrastructure, excited to guide other engineers with their careers, and want to lead a team that has a massive impact on the success of the entire company, we’d love to talk with you!



These are the minimum qualifications that our hiring team is looking for in this role:

  • 1+ year of experience managing or leading engineering teams
  • 7+ years building and maintaining reliable, scalable systems or software in a Linux/UNIX environment
  • 3+ years experience operating and maintaining RDBMSs like MySQL, Postgres, etc.


Additionally, these are the preferred qualifications that would indicate a particularly strong candidate:

  • 3+ years experience with one or more of Elasticsearch, HBase, Elastic MapReduce
  • 3+ years experience with one or more infrastructure-as-code or configuration-as-code tools, such as: Terraform, CloudFormation, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, SaltStack, etc.
  • 3+ years experience programming in at least one language, such as Python, Java, Golang, Ruby, etc.
  • 2+ years experience with one or more Cloud providers; AWS, GCP, or similar


Within 1 month, you will:

  • Complete Sprout’s in-depth onboarding, covering our company mission and values, hearing directly from executives and founders, and in-depth training on our products and the value that Sprout delivers to our customers.
  • Make a plan with your director to set initial priorities, align on expectations for your role, plant goalposts for your career, and learn about Sprout’s approach to infrastructure,  product engineering, and engineering management.
  • Learn about and interact with our core technologies: MySQL, Elasticsearch, HBase, EMR, NSQ, and Vault.
  • Start familiarizing yourself with how we use Terraform, Chef, and Kubernetes to deploy infrastructure, configuration, and code changes.


Within 3 months, you will:

  • Learn Sprout's management practices and tools.
  • Begin formally managing your team.
  • Collaborate with your team members and fellow developers to deliver value to our users.
  • Engage regularly with the team, Infrastructure Director, and other stakeholders to prioritize upcoming project work to ensure we meet our most critical objectives.
  • Participate in technical design processes with your teammates to gain alignment and ensure we’re building the right things in the right amounts.


Within 6 months, you will:

  • Successfully migrate critical legacy datastores to managed database technologies to reduce operational load and increase reliability.
  • Partner with product teams to deliver database solutions at scale that enable powerful features for our customers.
  • Collaborate with development teams to influence data structure and storage decisions.
  • Shadow a team member and then join the on-call rotation – don’t worry we’ve got your back!
  • Debug reliability and scalability issues across multiple layers of the stack and multiple database technologies.
  • Meet with direct reports regularly and provide them with specific constructive feedback on their work and help them formulate career growth plans.
  • Mentor engineers to provide guidance and coaching on code implementation, design review, and other software engineering and agile practices.
  • Participate in Engineering management discussions in order to learn from peer managers and to share lessons learned.
  • Participate in management workshops designed to level-up your feedback and coaching skills.
  • Form a career growth plan with your manager and work towards it.


Within 12 months, you will:

  • Complete career ladder and performance review evaluations for your direct reports.
  • Actively mitigate risk of failed delivery and missed deadlines through courageous, transparent communication with colleagues and stakeholders throughout a project life cycle.
  • Lead efforts to maintain and improve the reliability, scalability, and security for our data layer.
  • Collaborate with the team to identify technical debt and come up with a plan to improve, and weave that work in with projects.
  • Work directly with other infrastructure team leaders and senior leadership across engineering and product to define and align DBRE’s roadmap with the larger organization’s needs and goals.
  • Help promote and instill SRE principles like SLIs/SLOs/SLAs by working with engineers and product managers to understand how to make realistic tradeoffs in reliability and performance of their systems and services.
  • Surprise us! Use your unique ideas and abilities to change your team in beneficial ways that we haven’t even considered yet.


Of course, what is outlined above is the ideal timeline, but things may shift based on business needs and other projects and tasks could be added at the discretion of your manager.

Our Benefits Program

We’re proud to regularly be recognized for our team, product and culture. Our benefits program includes:

  • Insurance and benefit options that are built for both individuals and families
  • Progressive policies to support work/life balance, like our flexible paid time off and parental leave program 
  • High-quality and well-maintained equipment—your computer will never prevent you from doing your best
  • Wellness initiatives to ensure both health and mental well-being of our team
  • Ongoing education and development opportunities via our Grow@Sprout program and  employee-led diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Growing corporate social responsibility program that is driven by the involvement and passion of our team members
  • Beautiful, convenient and state-of-the-art offices in Chicago’s Loop and downtown Seattle, for those who prefer an office setting

Whenever possible, Sprout wants to provide our team with the flexibility to work in the location that makes the most sense for them. Sprout maintains a remote workforce in many places in the United States. However, we are not set up in all states, so please look at the drop-down box in our application to see whether your state is listed. Few roles require an office setting. If your position requires a physical presence in a Sprout office, it will be evident in the job listing and your offer letter.


Sprout Social is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and an Affirmative Action Employer. We do not discriminate based on identity- race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex (including sexual identity), age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran or military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, order of protection status, citizenship status, arrest record or expunged or sealed convictions, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local law. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our 2021 DEI Report.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. We'll do all we can to ensure you're set up for success during our interview process while upholding your privacy, including requests for accommodation. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this email address.

For more information about our commitment to equal employment opportunity, please click here (1) Equal Opportunity Employment Poster  (2) Sprout Social's Affirmative Action Statement (3) Pay Transparency Statement

When you apply for employment with Sprout Social, we will process your job applicant data, including your employment and education history, transcript, writing samples, and references as necessary to consider your job application for open positions. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our Privacy Policy. California residents have additional rights and should review the Additional Disclosures for California Residents section in our Privacy Policy.

Additionally, Sprout Social participates in the E-Verify program in certain locations, as required by law.


About Sprout

Sprout Social offers deep social media listening and analytics, social management, customer care, commerce and advocacy solutions to more than 30,000 brands and agencies worldwide.

Sprout’s unified platform integrates the power of social throughout every aspect aspect of a business and enables social leaders at every level to extract extract valuable data and insights that drive their business forward. Sprout operates across major social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Sprout Social powers open communication between individuals, brands and communities through elegant, sophisticated software. We are relentless about solving hard problems for our customers and committed to both customer and team success. Our team’s shared belief in Sprout’s mission promotes a culture of openness, empowerment and fun.

2022 Glassdoor award for Best Places to WorkBest Workplaces™️ in Chicago - USA 2021 award from Great Place To Work