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Software Engineer – Infrastructure

Amsterdam

At Optiver, we pioneer our own trading strategies and systems using clean code and sophisticated technology, running a global network with thousands of high-performance, low-latency applications that solve problems in nanoseconds.

As we trade in several exchanges around the world, we must co-locate servers in each one, and manage them alongside the ones running in our  Amsterdam data center. Since the “cloud” is not available in exchanges and, more importantly, we need full control of every detail of our infrastructure, we build and manage each aspect. It means that we manage more than 1500 servers in more than 15 locations around the world. All of them are connected with a mix of low-latency and long-distance lines – and we need a Software Engineer, Infrastructure to join us in managing them. 

 

WHO WE ARE:

Optiver is a tech-driven trading firm and leading global market maker. As one of the oldest market making institutions, we are a trusted partner of 50+ exchanges across the globe. Our mission is to constantly improve the market by injecting liquidity, providing accurate pricing, increasing transparency and acting as a stabilising force no matter the market conditions. With a focus on continuous improvement, we participate in the safeguarding of healthy and efficient markets for everyone who participates.

Our Amsterdam office is where it all began. Over 35 years ago, Optiver’s business started with a single trader on the floor of Amsterdam’s European Stock Exchange. Since our 1986 founding, Optiver’s Amsterdam office has grown into one of the most dynamic and exciting trading floors in Europe. Our culture reflects the Dutch capital city’s progressive, innovative and inclusive nature. With its unique spirit, Amsterdam is the ideal hub for our teams to trade a wide range of products from listed derivatives to cash equities, ETFs, bonds and foreign exchange. 

 

WHAT YOU'LL DO:

There are different teams in the Infrastructure Department working to create a robust and reliable foundation for Optiver's core business. The UNIX team in particular manages all Linux servers and turns to automation to provide the best possible experience for our Operational and Developer Teams.

We want to solve the challenges of infrastructure operations with software and we want to build teams with the exact mix of skills required for that. We look for Software Engineers with an interest in the topic, but also for people with good understanding of networking or the Linux Kernel internals. Our team is an intersection of these two profiles. 

As our next team member, you can expect to: 

  • Focus on all aspects our Linux server management;
  • Work on our automation projects, writing mostly Python code (yes tests are code too 😉) together with other tools like Ansible
  • Participate in the design and implementation of our core infrastructure systems;
  • Split your time between operational tasks and development (50:50). Note: Some members of the team do a bit more operational work, while others are more development-focused. This depends on individual skillsets and preferences;
  • During the week you will have your “Operational Day”  where you keep an eye on our dashboards in case of incidents while helping other users in our chat or at your desks. On those days you will also work on small operational tasks like triggering server install, applying configuration changes, debugging issues and implementing small features.

Some examples of day to day tasks:

  • Provision servers through our automated deployment pipeline;
  • Apply configuration changes to our infrastructure;
  • Debug production issues;
  • Support Developers and Operations teams;
  • Plan and coordinate changes in our infrastructure together with other teams in the department.

Some example projects we are working on right now:

  • Command line client and HTTP API (we use FastAPI) to provision Linux bare metal servers and networking devices;
  • Work on the piece of software that will kill all connections to an exchange in case of unexpected issues in our systems – a crucially important Risk Control given the nature of highly automated, low latency trading;
  • A system that describes our infrastructure and to audit Intent vs Truth in our infrastructure (this is the source for all the Infrastructure as Code that we do).

Some example projects we are planning to work on:

  • Replace our monitoring system;
  • Replace Cobbler with an image-based solution to achieve minimal provisioning time;
  • Remove ourselves from the server provisioning pipeline. Give the control to users.

 

WHO YOU ARE:

  • A Software Engineer with a strong desire to automate your work with a reluctance to do repetitive tasks but an eagerness to solve problems;
  • You think that not all the tools are good for every problem and you can adapt to what the current problem needs;
  • You can code in Python or have the propensity to pick it up. If you don't consider yourself a developer, you can do some scripting and work with Linux or networking low levels;
  • The ability to multitask and handle priorities in collaboration with other teams;
  • A proactive approach to problem solving;
  • Experience with real life infrastructure and Linux servers.

Bonus points if you have:

  • Experience building Python tools for infrastructure automation;
  • High attention to detail coupled with strong communication skills;
  • Experience with configuration management (we use Ansible but experience with similar tools is considered);
  • Experience with networking;
  • Knowledge of virtualization, bare metal server management.

 

WHAT YOU'LL GET:

  • The chance to start your career working alongside best-in-class professionals from over 40 different countries.
  • Our performance based bonus structure is unmatched anywhere in the industry. We combine our profits across desks, teams and offices into a global profit pool fostering a truly collaborative environment to work in.

Alongside this you will get great secondary benefits such as 25 paid vacation days, fully paid first-class commuting expenses, training opportunities, discounts on health insurance, breakfast and lunch facilities, sports and leisure activities, Friday afternoon drinks and even weekly in-house chair massages. Being highly international, we are accustomed to guiding expats through their relocation, offering competitive relocation packages and providing visa sponsorship where necessary.

 

HOW TO APPLY:

Apply directly via the form below for the position of Linux Systems Engineer. Please provide us with a CV and letter of motivation in English. Applications without a letter of motivation will not be reviewed. When we think there is a potential match, you will hear from us sooner than you expect. If you have any questions feel free to contact our Recruiter Theo Schneider via [email protected]. Please note, we cannot accept applications via email for data protection reasons.

Please note, if you are selected from your application to proceed to the next round for the position of Linux Systems Engineer you will be required to take an online assessment.

Kindly note that we do not require any assistance from third-parties including agencies in the recruitment of this role.

 

DIVERSITY STATEMENT:

As an intentionally flat organization, we believe that great ideas and impact can come from everyone. We are passionate about empowering individuals and creating diverse teams that thrive. Every person at Optiver should feel included, valued and respected, because we believe our best work is done together.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is hardwired through every stage of our hiring process. We encourage applications from candidates from any and all backgrounds, and we welcome requests for reasonable adjustments during the process to ensure that you can best demonstrate your abilities.

More information on how Optiver Europe processes your personal data can be found in our Privacy Policy

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