Senior SRE / DevOps Engineer - London

  • DevOps Engineer
  • Permanent
  • London, UK

We're looking for Senior Site Reliability Engineers to join our development team and help lead the introduction of SRE into this early stage, rapidly growing business.

You know and value your craft and want to apply it to a mission that matters. You will have significant influence on the business as you work with the rest of the team to help to build this critical function and instil a site reliability mindset across the whole engineering team.


You'll be as happy working with developers on architectural decisions to drive performance and reliability as you are working on infrastructure automation, monitoring and problem diagnosis. You will be an expert voice in team discussions and an important contributor in operational and quality processes and tactics.


As part of this new team you will also champion the SRE way of thinking to drive quality across our stack from our client applications user to the control of robots in the lab and all services in between. You will help both our software and wetlab teams embed observability and reliability into everything we build.

The Project

Named by the World Economic Forum as one of the world's 30 Technology Pioneers 2016, and one of Gartner's 'Cool Vendors in Life Sciences' 2018, Synthace is completely revolutionising biology in a way that has never been done before!

This is made possible through our revolutionary cloud based platform for designing biological experiments, simulating them, translating instructions for automated lab equipment, and visualising complex data sets from the results. All of this is done by Antha, which is already impacting how scientists work with biology in major companies like Microsoft, BASF, Merck and GSK.


Antha lowers the level of entry for scientists wanting to introduce automation to their work, while allowing specialist technicians to get even more out of the existing equipment in the labs. It is directly contributing to faster, more efficient research into hard to cure diseases such as Cancer.

If social impact is important to you, it doesn't get much better than this.

The team

You'll be working within a tight-knit, friendly and collaborative development team on exciting projects with plenty of technical challenges to get your teeth into.

You won't find any micro-management here - we're all about trust, enablement and personal ownership. We give you space and autonomy to solve complex problems, while offering support if/when needed.

We have a clear company vision, and we’re building a strategy and roadmap to go around this. Everyone knows how their work directly impacts the goals we're working towards, and everyone's voice is heard.

Followers of best practice will fit in well, but pragmatism is key. We generally take the approach of using the right tool for the job rather than being fixed to any one particular way of doing things.

When it comes to personal development and progression, we operate a parallel track meaning that 'Senior' doesn't have to mean 'people management'. We love promoting from within, and if you do want to learn leadership skills we can support you. However, you have a choice and if your preference is to stay hands-on, you can become a senior 'individual contributor' and help to lead on technical decisions and direction.


What you'll be doing:

Reporting to the Head of SRE, you'll be working within a tight-knit development team on exciting projects with plenty of technical challenges to get your teeth into, such as:

  • Ensuring systems scale effectively through mechanisms like automation, while evolving systems by pushing for changes that improve reliability and velocity

  • Hardening our existing production environments, introducing good practice and processes for continuous improvement

  • Troubleshooting, testing, and maintaining high-performance and scalable microservices in a global container cluster (Kubernetes, Docker)

  • Mastering our current technology stack which includes: Kapitan, Spinnaker, Kubernetes, Docker, Go, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure

  • Being an advocate for SRE practices across the development team and providing practical guidance

  • Monitoring and maintaining our production system

  • Helping to own (with the development team) the processes and automation infrastructure which ensures high quality continuous releases of reliable infrastructure for our customers

    This is an office based role, with some potential to work from home up to one day a week (depending on projects and business requirements).

    About you:

  • You should have prior experience in relevant role (SRE, DevOps) in an environment when you have been personally responsible for designing tooling and automation

  • You'll need a good understanding of at least two of: Kubernetes (preferred), Cloud (AWS, GCP preferred), Docker, and monitoring solutions

  • A good level of scripting experience is ideally needed (although we're not necessarily looking for programmers)

  • You are committed to enabling and delivering high quality software

  • You use your excellent prioritisation and communication skills to thrive in interesting, fast-paced, multidisciplinary environments

    Bonus points for:

  • If you have experience with Spinnaker and/or Kapitan this is a plus, but don't worry too much if you haven't used them

  • Experience supporting and troubleshooting Production applications in distributed environments (or similar experience) would be useful

  • It's a huge plus if you've moved into SRE from a Software Engineering background (we know we said we're not looking for programmers, but these skills are obviously useful if you have them) - being well versed in any of the following programming languages would be especially useful (but don't fret if you don't have this experience): Go, C, C++, Java, or Python

  • You don't need a background and/or interest in biology to succeed, but an interest in solving problems and continuing to learn from other members of the team will be important

Why work at Synthace:

  • Work with genuinely extraordinary people
  • Open, collaborative, and friendly culture
  • Challenging, groundbreaking and exciting work
  • Chance to be a part of the 'fourth industrial revolution', helping us to create tools and systems that allow scientists to do things like cure Cancer faster!