Come Work With Us

Tlon Team
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Tlon gives people control over the tools they use to stay connected. Our mission is ambitious and demands rigor, intensity, and persistence in our everyday work.

Excellence doesn't happen overnight or alone. The magnitude of our work attracts equally audacious, talented individuals. We're collectively driven to change the way people compute.

Pursuing this mission won't be easy. We're pretty sure if it were the easy way, well, everyone would be doing it. But we're also confident in the foundation we've built, the direction we're going, and the speed with which we're headed there.

Sound fun? We're hiring. We're based in San Francisco, but our team is distributed. Here are some open positions:

For specific information about each job, read on.

Systems Engineer

Tlon is looking for a systems programmer and backend engineer.

We're building a high quality messenger and communication tool for small groups. We think high quality tools are yours to control, so we build on top of a network designed to belong completely to the user.

We're looking for an experienced systems programmer and backend engineer to join the team working on the support system for our messenger. That system is Urbit: an unusual, compact stack designed as a personal server.

Urbit is a purely functional system with its own unique programming language and interpreter. Our software is built on top of Urbit, and we contribute to its kernel development to advance our product work.

You will join a small, close-knit, distributed team that is working to continuously improve and deploy on top of Urbit. Tlon is a very engaged, high-throughput environment. Grit and determination are a must. We love to work hard because we love the work that we do.

You have:

  • Many years of experience building and deploying robust systems, at least some in decentralized or distributed systems
  • Strong systems programming experience in C, Rust, or similar
  • Some functional programming experience is a plus, but not required
  • Experience with cryptography and crypto systems is a plus, but not required
  • Either a CS, physics, or math background or a track record of expert engineering work
  • A demonstrated interest in decentralized or distributed systems
  • A demonstrated interest in Urbit or keenness to learn a new system

Tell us in your cover letter:

  • The most significant technical project that you have deployed
  • The thorniest bug you ever worked through and how you solved it
  • What interests you about Urbit technically
  • Something you're looking forward to about the future

Product Engineer

Tlon is looking for an exceptional product engineer.

Over time we intend to expand our flagship toolkit into a platform and are working hard to engineer a clean, straightforward interface system. This is a mobile-first, cross platform project.

We're looking for someone who is up to the challenge of thinking about interfaces from first principles and understands that engineering quality translates to interface clarity. We value responsiveness, speed, and well-structured code.

You have:

  • Built and shipped a mobile product that you're proud of to a nontrivial userbase
  • Experience working on small teams that ship continuously and at a fast pace
  • Proficiency with React Native
  • A track record of building precise, responsive interfaces
  • A strong interest in design and interface
  • Some formal training in visual design or architecture is a plus, but not required

Tell us in your cover letter:

  • About the project you have built and shipped that you're most proud of
  • A story of something you achieved through determination and dedication
  • Why you care about decentralized systems
  • Something you're looking forward to about the future

Site Reliability Engineer

Tlon is seeking a Site Reliability Engineer to help run the Tlon Hosting platform.

Tlon runs the largest hosting platform on Urbit and aims to provide a seamless user experience. Urbit is unique in that every user has their own personal server, analogous to having your own personal computer.

Our platform runs these individual servers for users inside of Kubernetes. Our infrastructure is built on Google Cloud, using Terraform and Kubernetes.

We are looking for an SRE to help maintain and streamline our operations. You will be responsible for identifying ways to automate the management of thousands of Urbit ships, as well as ways to enhance performance, reduce costs, and improve reliability of the platform at large.

This role is unique because it requires a keen understanding of Urbit itself, in addition to the typical systems stack of Kubernetes/Linux/cloud computing concepts. Ideally you are excited about Urbit, decentralization, and computing sovereignty.

We fully recognize our users' ownership over their data and encourage the right to exit, but also aim to provide the most seamless Urbit experience possible. Ideally, we want Urbit to be rock-solid and “fade into the background” for most users.

We use Prometheus and Grafana to track system metrics, and Honeycomb for application tracing. While many of our backend services are written in Haskell, we’re slowly moving to Go for our tooling. We recently rewrote our custom Kubernetes operator for managing ships in Go using the operator-sdk framework.

This role will work closely with the lead SRE to help shape the future of the platform.


  • Maintain, scale, and monitor the hosting infrastructure on Google Cloud, including our Kubernetes clusters, Urbit distribution moons, and stars and galaxies using Terraform
  • Develop tooling to automate typical Urbit administration tasks (streamlining packs/melds, automating application installation, automating Urbit OS updates)
  • Participate in pager rotation for the platform
  • Streamline our CI/CD processes for our backend services
  • Identify cost-saving opportunities, scaling bottlenecks, and help shaping our plan for larger platform growth

What we’re looking for:

  • Deep experience with Kubernetes. You are familiar with the concepts of how Kubernetes functions, and have opinions about how to design custom operators
  • Expertise with Terraform. You know the strengths and weaknesses of Terraform, and know how to wield it effectively
  • Familiarity with Google Cloud. Other cloud experience (like AWS) is great too. Ideally, you can knowledgeably discuss the tradeoffs between different cloud providers for different initiatives
  • A keen understanding of cloud networking topology, and how to build robust multi-regional, multi-cloud networks
  • Familiarity with scripting languages like Bash, Python, etc. Experience with Go is a plus
  • Experience with Urbit is a plus. Ideally, you know the basics of ship operation like packing, melding, chopping, and debugging, or you're excited to learn
  • A strong desire to “automate away” daily toil to free yourself to focus on longer-term initiatives
  • Self-driven engineers who are comfortable with working in a startup environment
  • Bare metal experience is a plus

If you're interested in working at Tlon but you don't see an open position that fits your particular skill set, we'd still like to hear from you. Send us your resume ([email protected]) and tell us why you think Tlon's mission is important, and how you'd contribute.