Senior Platform Engineer - Tlon Hosting Platform - Remote

Urbit is a social OS for everyone, and Tlon is the primary company building it. Currently, most people run their Urbit OS on their own machine, but this won’t work for the masses. People need an easy way to get onto the network, and Tlon Hosting is building the product and platform to provide that. We are committed to becoming the primary infrastructure company for Urbit, hopefully managing millions of Urbit instances (aka “ships”) in the future. You will be joining a small team that is laying the foundation to build an ambitious and profitable business, which means you can have a big impact, and not only at Tlon, but on Urbit at large.

We are looking for an infrastructure and platform engineer that is capable of leading the development of the next iteration of the hosting system. Running many Urbit instances at scale is not easy, because each instance needs to be carefully monitored and most Urbit life-cycle tasks need to be fully automated. To that effect, we implemented our own Kubernetes operator and additional tooling, all of which are written in Haskell. The role we are hiring for will have a central place in the further buildout of the system. You will develop the basic primitives and APIs that other engineers use to create a full featured hosting product. Additionally, you will need to be able to think strategically about how to iterate on the hosting platform so that other people can build on top of Urbit without having to worry where and how most of the Urbit instances run. In other words, hosting will have to become the most reliable and fool-proof way of using Urbit.

Urbit is written in its own programming language, Hoon, and the runtime is written in C. But the hosting platform code is all written in Haskell, and that is what we are hiring for.

The position and team is 100% remote. Most of us work in Europe time zones, and we prefer UTC ± 3 hours, but we are flexible. We do multiple offsites every year where we get to spend time IRL as a team and with everyone else at Tlon. There are about 40 people at Tlon currently.

Compensation range is $140-190k base salary, plus benefits, plus sizable bonus. There is a slight difference in the comp package structure depending on whether you are in the US or not, but in dollar value it should come out the same.

Full job posting: Senior Platform Engineer - Tlon Hosting Platform

To apply, write us here: apply@tlon.io

My name is Lukas, and I’m the VP of Hosting at Tlon. Feel free to ask any questions here as well.

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The entire OS is a single pure function that provides application developers with strong guarantees: automated persistence and memory management, repeatable builds, and support for hot code reloading.

Sounds enticing

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I consider urbit between technically goofy, obscurantist, and pointless at best. However, I would also have much more severe concerns about working with or being associated with this project:

(google up more if you have the stomach for it)

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Since this always comes up, but also considering that this is a job posting, and thus trying not to wade too deeply into this, a quick comment:

Yes, Curtis invented and built Urbit from about 2002-2019. Tlon was incorporated in 2013, and Curtis left in 2019, and had almost no involvement in the project and company since then. Urbit can and should be considered a separate project from his political writings, and most people at Tlon do not subscribe to his political views, especially the leadership of Tlon.

As for the links you posted, they are quite old, one sided take down articles with an axe to grind, many more recent articles show Urbit in a more neutral and positive light. So I encourage you to google Urbit and Tlon more and see what people have to say about it.

What Tlon is building is very ambitious and anyone joining the company can work on a very interesting project with a huge potential upside. As for Urbit: it is real and there is daily progress on the system, now for years, and thousands of people are on it every day; it is certainly not vacuous as you describe it.

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didn’t know Tlon used Haskell, that’s awesome. Good luck and all the best to you. i admire your saintly patience in explaining this over & over to people who probably don’t listen anyway.

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Urbit can and should be considered a separate project from his political writings, and most people at Tlon do not subscribe to his political views, especially the leadership of Tlon.

This might be what some need to keep repeating to justify to themselves to keep taking those Thiel-bucks. However, it does not explain to my why:

  • “NY Urbit Week” was by the account of this blogger an event full of parties for and by the self-proclaimed neoreactionary “art” scene: Fear and Loathing on Planet Urbit - by Mike Crumplar
  • The “Mars Review of Books” described as “the intellectual magazine of the Urbit project” includes lengthy screeds about covid denialism, and a review in praise of Nick Land who along with Yarvin is considered one of the intellectual founders of neoreaction. (I won’t link this nonsense)
  • Galen Wolfe-Pauly, the cofounder of Tlon, who is still associated afaik, appeared on the “wet brain” podcast, which is a podcast associated with the NY neoreactionary scene: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-da-beep-is-web3-w-galen-tlon-toby-shorin-ed-urbit (more than once, and a podcast which has also hosted yarvin).
  • etc.

While Tlon might not have a direct association with Yarvin, it seems pretty evident to me that the broader associated social interest around this technology is reliant on people whose main interest is the association with Yarvin’s ideas (though perhaps with the claims of genetic racial inferiority of some to others scrubbed clean – from public view at least).

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While I understand the urge to comment on job postings to “warn” applicants of political views or implications of working for that company, I also find it somewhat annoying.

On every thread on reddit from a blockchain company we have to read about how it wastes energy and is a source for fraud and gambling.

Meta destroys democracy. Banks are destroying economy with their greed. Military associated companies fuel war, etc etc

It is my opinion that if you’re not interested to engage with a company on a job posting, you should refrain from commenting on that thread. If you think you need to publicly warn about a company or industry, write a blog post and share it with the community (possibly on another thread than the hiring thread).

I think that’s good manners. Everyone can and should do their own research.

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Plenty of people make decisions on employment based not only on immediate pay or conditions but on if the company is one they would be comfortable working for in terms of more broader concerns about the nature or history of the company, how being employed there is perceived more widely by others, etc. as well.

As such I think it is perfectly on topic to discuss these things in a job offer thread. Sure, people should do research. But also, a discussion forum is for discussions, and if one person did some research and has some pertinent information and links, it is beyond appropriate and in fact actively helpful if they do others the courtesy of sharing that information rather than forcing everyone to dig it up themselves.

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You missed the point.

  1. You’re absolutely free to share information in public. As I said: write a blog, create a new thread, share it.
  2. However, doing this on job posting threads is bad form. These things create chilling effects that make people stop using this forum or reddit to promote new positions. I’ve worked for at least one company that didn’t want to do a job posting anywhere, where Haskell community members can comment. Because the threads quickly derail into negativity.

Even companies you deem worthy of your time may not want to post their positions here, because there may be someone else who has a negative opinion about them.

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The discussion is interesting and a bit too meta for this thread (which is a specific job offer from a specific company). Consider opening a new topic if you want to further debate the dos and donts of job posting threads.

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