Senior Database Engineer

Job description

A better internet, where privacy is the default, is possible. Building this better internet might seem daunting or even unthinkable, but at Proton, this is what we do every day.

Proton was founded in 2014 by a group of scientists who met at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Our first product, Proton Mail, is now the world’s largest encrypted email service. Subsequent Proton products, such as Proton VPN, Proton Calendar, and Proton Drive, give our users full control over how and with whom their data is shared.

Today, Proton makes privacy universally accessible. Journalists from outlets like The Guardian and The New York Times, some of the world’s largest organizations, and people in more than 180 countries have signed up for over 70 million accounts. Our diverse and dynamic team is made up of more than 400 members representing over 40 different nationalities. While we are based in Geneva, Switzerland, we have offices in Zurich, Prague, London, Vilnius, Skopje, Taipei, and many more employees working remotely around the world.

Join one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies to help us solve challenging problems and build new products that will reach hundreds of millions of people. We want to create more than just one of the world’s most impactful tech companies; we want to create a new internet that serves the interests of all people. We need you, your voice, your ideas, and your ambition to make it happen.


Purpose of the role

Databases form the backbone of internet services and must scale with our growth while being highly reliable. You will join a growing database team to improve and scale our relational databases while maximizing availability. You will collaborate with infrastructure as well as product development teams to ensure that database best practices are built into every aspect of design and implementation.

Your work will directly improve the user experience of millions of people around the world. You should have extensive experience building and operating distributed, highly-available systems. 


What you will do

  • Build database infrastructure that allows the business to grow rapidly. That means looking forward and identifying obstacles and tipping points in the infrastructure and taking action to remove them in a cost-efficient way.
  • Understand the data and workloads to identify existing and future performance issues and resolve them quickly or head them off entirely.
  • Scale yourself and the team by sharing your knowledge and by automating high touch processes either through code that your write or with quality open-source solutions.
  • Own the design, implementation, operation, and support of a large, international fleet of MySQL databases that are crucial to the successful operation of our global platform.
  • Troubleshoot complex technical problems and assess and mitigate risks.
  • Partner with software development teams to deliver highly available, high concurrency, low latency services.
  • Participate in design reviews with software teams and drive feedback on architecture, design, system integration, performance, and scalability issues as it pertains to databases.
  • Assist in developing long-term database technology strategies and influence corporate database engineering processes and standards.

Job requirements

  • 5+ years delivering highly available, scalable, distributed databases systems using non-proprietary software
  • Software development experience with a solid grounding in software engineering and computer science, particularly as it relates to distributed systems.
  • Solid knowledge of MySQL and Linux
  • Solid background in performance tuning and problem diagnosis at the OS, database, and application levels.
  • Thrive on ambiguity, drive to consensus, deliver results.

Bonus points for

  • Experience with ProxySQL, Ansible, Orchestrator, Puppet, Icinga, Percona tools, CentOS, Bash, Python, and Golang
  • Willingness and ability to learn quickly
  • Basic knowledge of networking and server hardware and storage systems relevant to databases


Why you should join Proton

  • Be part of a movement - Proton is not just a product or service but a community-driven movement united by a shared vision of online freedom. Our services are open source, audited, and supported by community contributions. We give back to our community by maintaining core encryption libraries and by supporting other organizations furthering the same goals as us.
  • Work with smart and dedicated people - Our team is diverse, collaborative, and tight-knit with people coming from all walks of life, including many of the world’s top academic institutions and organizations, such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Caltech, Cambridge, and ETH.
  • Join a strong brand - Our encrypted email service - ProtonMail - has grown to be a staple of online security and privacy. Proton has been featured in multiple popular television and film productions, such as Mr. Robot, Knives Out, Sounds of Metal, and more.
  • Grow with us - We’re one of Europe’s fastest-growing startups, doubling in size every year. Our growth gives you limitless career and educational opportunities as well as the opportunity to work side-by-side with many world-leading experts in their fields.
  • Have your voice heard - We value your opinion and encourage you to speak up and share your ideas and thoughts. At Proton, no problem is someone else’s problem. We collectively strive to do the right thing and be the undisputed best in the world at everything we do.
  • Benefits – these vary by location and type of contract but expect support on your vacation, parental leave, refreshment if working from the office, learning and development opportunities, equity for shared success, flexible working hours and remote work, company events and team building activities.



Proton uses the Recruitee recruitment platform for a more effective hiring process and a better candidate experience. Your data will always be kept confidential and is not shared with any third parties. Keep in mind that you will receive emails from the email address careers@protonmail.recruitee.com or other addresses on the protonmail.recruitee.com domain.

Proton does not accept unsolicited resumes from any sources other than directly from a candidate. Proton will not pay a fee for any placement resulting from the receipt of an unsolicited offer, even in a situation when the relevant candidate is employed by Proton.

By applying to a role at Proton, you acknowledge that we will process and store your personal data for at least the duration of the hiring process and as necessary to enter a contractual relationship with you.