We're making Africa the first cashless continent.
In 2017, over half the population in Sub-Saharan Africa had no bank account. That's for good reason—the fees are too high, the closest branch can be miles away, and nobody takes cards. Without access to financial institutions, people are forced to keep their savings under the mattress. Small business owners rely on lenders who charge extortionate rates. Parents spend hours waiting in line to pay school fees in cash.
We're solving this by building financial services that just work: no account fees, instantly available, and accepted everywhere. In places where electricity, water and roads don't always work, you can still send money with Wave. In November 2017, we launched a mobile app in Senegal for cash deposit, withdrawal, and peer-to-peer and business payments. In 2019, we expanded to Cote d'Ivoire. Now, we have millions of users and are growing fast. Our goal is to make Africa the first cashless continent. And that's where you come in....
How you'll help us achieve it
You’ll lead the Reliability team, which ensures that Wave’s backend stays as close to “always up” as possible, and can scale as our userbase grows. Reliability is extremely important to Wave for two reasons:
- We’re one of the fastest-growing financial services ever, which causes a steady stream of new load-induced issues to resolve.
- We’ve become critical infrastructure for many of our users—if we go down, they can’t access their money.
Because of this, it’s one of our top engineering priorities.
As team lead, you will:
- Prioritize the team’s work, in collaboration with senior engineers and other stakeholders
- Support and mentor your teammates to become more effective engineers and colleagues
- Design processes (e.g. incident response, postmortem review) that allow the team to operate smoothly
- Collaborate with other product and platform teams to implement reliability improvements across Wave
- Attract and hire exceptional engineers onto the team
You might like this role if...
- You care a lot about working on software whose mission you believe in. We think working at Wave is an extremely effective way to improve the world. By helping us stay reliable and scalable, you’ll have a big impact on the lives of lots of underserved people.
- You want to be part of an engineering culture that values simple and straightforward architecture over cutting-edge shiny tech. This helps us keep Wave simple to operate and makes it easier to achieve our reliability goals.
- You want to work on a team where it’s easy to collaborate. Our mission-focused culture makes sure that everyone you’ll work with is here primarily for the same reason—to make our users’ lives better. That alignment makes it easy to work with anyone across the company, even if there’s some tension between your short-term goals. This is especially helpful for a team like Reliability that collaborates closely with many other product teams.
- You have at least 1 year of experience as a manager supporting a reliability-focused team or other team that was on call for a critical service.
- You’re in a timezone between GMT-5 and GMT+3, or willing to align your work hours to that timezone.
- You’re willing to travel to Africa 3x/year for ~4 days each time (Wave covers all costs).
- People management: coaching, performance evaluation, mentorship, career development
- Project management: prioritization, tracking schedules and deadlines, communicating across team/org boundaries
- Process design: running a smooth on call rotation, incident response, postmortems, load testing, capacity planning, etc.
- Recruiting: predicting staffing needs, designing interview loops, evaluating candidates, closing
About the Reliability Team
The Reliability team’s scope includes:
- Building tooling to observe and debug outages and performance problems
- Hardening Wave’s backend to be more resilient to incidents
- Enabling product teams to discover and fix reliability / performance issues in code they own
- Responding to incidents, analyzing postmortems, and prioritizing the resulting action items
Some recent projects, as examples of specific things the team has worked on:
- Improve the throughput of our double-entry accounting ledger by tracking down subtle edge cases in Postgres’ implementation of serializable isolation.
- Scale our database by introducing read replicas while preserving within-session read-your-writes consistency.
- Build load-testing infrastructure to make sure we’re ready to handle, e.g., millions of sheep purchases during Tabaski.
About Engineering at Wave
- Boring technology
- Simple, predictable designs
- Deeply understanding our tools and systems
- Being tenacious in the face of tricky problems
- Constantly trying to improve, as engineers and colleagues
Our current tech stack:
- backend: Python 3 (+ mypy) monolith
- monitoring/observability: Honeycomb, Datadog, PGAnalyze, New Relic
- database: Postgres
- orchestration: Kubernetes
- infrastructure: GCP / Terraform
- cache: Redis
- data warehouse: Snowflake
- API layer: GraphQL
- android frontend: Kotlin/Jetpack
- iOS frontend: Swift/SwiftUI
- web frontend: TypeScript/React
- You can work remotely from anywhere (between UTC -5 and +3) with reliable Internet access as long as you have work authorization.
- Every two to four months, you’ll travel to Africa for a one-week retreat with your team. (Wave covers all costs.)
- This role involves participating in an on-call rotation.
- Our salaries are competitive and are calculated using a transparent formula. For this role, depending on your level of experience and location, we offer a salary range of $160,100-$200,100 (or local equivalent), plus equity targeted to be worth 4x your annual salary.
- Major benefits:
- Subsidized health insurance for you and your dependents and retirement contributions (both vary from country-to-country)
- 6 months fully paid parental leave and subsidized fertility assistance
- Unlimited vacation with a 20-day minimum requirement
- $10,000 annual charitable donation matching
- We have a rapidly growing in-country team in Senegal, Côte D'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Uganda, plus remote team members spread across the world. We're deeply passionate about our mission of bringing radically affordable financial services to the people who need them most.
- We foster autonomy for our employees. You'll own your own projects at every stage, from understanding the problem to monitoring your solution in production.
- We’re backed by world-class investors including Founders Fund, Sequoia Heritage, Stripe, Ribbit Capital, Y Combinator and Partech Africa.
How to apply
Fill out the form below, and upload a resume in English.
Optional: Please feel free to add a cover letter or note if there is anything additional that you would like to share about your interest in Wave/the role or your experience. We review applications on a rolling basis.
Wave is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.