Moving on from Quantopian

Note: Many others at Quantopian have been furloughed through no fault of their own. I encourage you to reach out to other Quantopian alumni and help them find the new opportunities that they deserve.

Hi, I’m James! For the past three years I’ve been a site reliability engineer (SRE) at Quantopian, a crowd-sourced quantitative investment startup. Unfortunately, COVID-19 impacted the company’s ability to continue operations and the majority of employees were furloughed on Monday (4/20/2020). Since it is unclear when or if that furlough will end, I have decided to start a job search for a new role at the senior, lead, or engineering manager level.

Note: I am not open to relocation at this time, so I’m only considering transit-accessible roles in the Boston area or positions that will remain remote full-time after COVID-19. I’m also avoiding air travel due to the climate emergency, which limits how far I can travel for business reasons.

I’ve been programming for about fifteen years and started out as a full stack software engineer before gradually taking on more operations work. At this point I’ve been a “devops engineer” in one form or another for a decade. My current interests include cloud migration, data pipelines, CI/CD systems, and Kubernetes-native development. During my time at Quantopian, I had the opportunity to play a lead role on several projects along those lines:

  • Designing and building a system for serverless execution and analysis of Python trading algorithms using Kubernetes, Argo Workflows, Amazon S3 and Amazon Athena.

  • Migrating the majority of our batch processes, including our primary fund trading workflow, to Apache Airflow DAGs and Kubernetes pods deployed via self-service GitHub pull request.

  • Moving legacy services to Kubernetes deployments, including on-demand Kubernetes developer environments using Helm and

  • Converting our “pet” Jenkins instance into an autoscaled on-premise Buildkite deployment with Dockerized builds and parallelized tests.

That said, I’m a dedicated generalist who enjoys doing a little bit of everything! I want to strike a balance between development and operations, to understand both business needs and engineering requirements, and to bring about organizational change by co-evolving social and technical systems.

As much as I have a soft spot for shiny new tech, I’m at my most effective when engaging with legacy processes to remove barriers to modernization. I’m quite comfortable with regulation and bureaucracy, having previously worked on a presidential campaign, neuroimaging research at a university, and most recently in finance.

Outside of work, I do occasional consulting, have conducted Ansible live trainings with O’Reilly Media, and have helped run several SRE/devops conferences. I’m also a conference speaker on topics like data pipelines in Apache Airflow, mental health in the tech workplace (which I also wrote a book chapter about), and how tech can learn from the history of organized labor.

As far as my personal life, I spend a lot of time helping organize a queer and anarchist housing cooperative. That means cooking, budget spreadsheets, home improvement, planting an edible lawn, and more - sort of like having a second job! I’m also helping organize Malden’s COVID-19 mutual aid group. When I have leisure time, I’m all about permadeath/ironman achievement hunting and competitive Magic: the Gathering - want to draft?

If I sound like a promising future coworker and you have a position that aligns with what I’m looking for, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to send an email to [email protected], or DM me on Twitter at @jmeickle. I prefer hearing from other engineers directly rather than recruiters, and I’m deeply appreciative of inquiries that state the company name, job duties, and salary range up front.

Written on April 22, 2020