Senior DevOps Engineer

  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (Home Office)
  • HO Team: Information Technology and Data Management

Company Description

Uncommon Schools is a nonprofit network of high-performing charter public schools that are closing the academic achievement gap and preparing students from historically underserved communities for success in college and beyond. Uncommon currently manages 55 schools serving more than 20,000 students in six cities: Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, Rochester, and Troy. Uncommon graduates persist in and graduate from college at rates far higher than their peers. We believe that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal through our professional development workshops, books, and district partnerships. 

Job Description

Summary of Role

Role Overview

Uncommon’s Data & IT (D&IT) team is undergoing an exciting transformation to improve technology operations and systems! We are seeking a skilled Sr. Dev Ops Engineer with experience in building and supporting a data warehouse, cloud adoption plans, cloud application design as well as cloud management and monitoring! Additional responsibilities include support for application architecture and deployment in cloud environments. This role will act as a domain specialist on our enterprise architecture and cloud environments.

Core Duties & Responsibilities


  • Operationalize the vision of automation and shift to DevOps at Uncommon
  • Voice support for automation and hone the D&IT team’s radar for opportunities to automate tasks
  • Provide recommendations and execute plans to improve efficiency and reduce application and server related incidents.
  • Lead the delivery of continuous integration, continuous deployment, providing templates and patterns to follow to ensure code produced by other team members can be deployed and scaled on standardized technologies and platforms
  • Chip into IT projects as a solutions architect to design and develop high-quality solutions to advance our enterprise architecture
  • Review and analyze existing systems and recommend improvements
  • Advise the IT Leadership team on change and release management

Vendor/Partner Management

  • Contract & Payment: Lead renewal and payment of yearly contract outsourced engineering partner
  • Be A Great Partner: Establish relationships with vendors, act as a liaison between vendor and Uncommon on any projects, and own school-level issues & difficult conversations.
  • Partner concerns: Work with Director to handle vendor issues

System Design, Management, and Support

  • Automate a robust, flexible system for high availability cloud hosting of a legacy system (PowerSchool) that supports limited advanced DevOps mechanisms or services, along with the Dev Ops Engineer (team of 2)
  • Develop tooling and processes to drive and improve customer experience, create playbooks.
  • Perform and automate daily system administration tasks to verify that all systems are up and running
  • Install and configure software in virtualized environments to ensure high availability
  • Design and support all aspects of AWS/Azure environments
  • Supervise and fix application issues to guarantee high availability, optimal performance, and system responsiveness
  • Maintain the current systems infrastructure and lead the future implementation and maintenance of solutions based on strategic and functional needs
  • Operate and maintain orchestration routines in production
  • Complete monthly operating system and application software updates and software version upgrades
  • Install and configure new servers environments as needed
  • Ensure backup processes run successfully
  • Execute any SDLC tasks including requirements definition, design, development, peer review, testing, documentation, release, deployment, operations, maintenance
  • Perform root cause analysis for production issues where the root cause is in infrastructure, environment, configuration, or deployment routines; understand when to raise to the vendor and product manager; remediate root causes and implement preventative actions
  • Solve application performance issues and engage the Product Manager/Owner as needed to identify and resolve the issue
  • Performs database monitoring and fixes database performance issues
  • Act as tier 3 support for any infrastructure issues
  • Participate in after-hours maintenance when vital, respond to emergencies, participate in customer calls when called upon in support of initiatives and incident response
  • Act as lead engineer in the management of hosted systems used within the environment
  • Identify and advance issues with technology partners and manufacturers
  • Work closely with the D&IT leadership team and outsourced engineering partner to address outstanding items and prioritize remediation
  • Train IT Support team to handle common issues
  • Ensure team adoption of new processes by creating training materials and providing mentorship, guidance, support, and performance feedback to other members of the D&IT team.


Required Skills & Abilities

  • Proficient in scripting, and Git and Git workflows
  • Experience in developing Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery pipelines (CI/ CD)
  • Automation experience with at least one configuration/ deployment management system such as Google Deployment Manager, Terraform, Chef (AWS OpsWorks) Puppet, Ansible, AWS Cloud Formation, Salt, or other such tools.
  • Experience working at least one of the following languages: Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, and Java
  • Proficiency in Linux administration
  • Solid grasp of automation tools
  • Experience running an ecosystem of similar complexity in a multisystem environment
  • Comfort diving into various content areas to problem solve and identify strategic next steps
  • Demonstrated ability to diagnose issues, identify root causes, and implement effective solutions
  • Ability to find and prioritize critical-path activities, making assumptions and contingencies for potential risks into account
  • Maturity, flexibility, comfort with ambiguity, and a sense of optimism/can-do demeanor especially in the face of opposing demands and external pressures
  • Strong organizational systems for both self and others to ensure accountability for timely, high-quality outcomes
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a diverse set of audiences
  • Change management skills, and ability to lead and influence partners without direct authority to make change
  • Experience balancing detailed thinking with big picture strategic decisions demonstrated through the ability to break down sophisticated projects into key achievements and concrete action steps
  • Experience providing documentation/visibility into key aspects of projects (e.g. progress, achievements, etc.) for senior leadership and other partners
  • Action-orientation with excellent follow-through skills
  • Works well independently and in teams in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Comfort with collaboration, open communication, and reaching across functional borders

Preferred Skills & Abilities

  • Prior experience working in schools and/or urban communities
  • Experience with PowerSchool SIS server environment
  • Experience with Oracle

Educational Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience required (Computer Science, Information Systems, Business, or equivalent subject preferred)
  • Certificate, credential, or coursework in DevOps preferred.

Experience Requirements

  • 10+ years of experience as an IT professional
  • 5+ years experience managing one or more cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, GCP)
  • 4+ years experience working at least one of the following languages: Node.js, Python, C#, and Java (Javascript or Python is preferred)
  • 3+ years experience with Configuration Management and Deployment tools like – Puppet, Ansible, Chef, AWS Cloud Manager, Terraform etc.
  • 2+ years experience using APIs for purposes of integration between applications
  • 2+ years experience with Git and Git Workflows
  • 2+ years Automation experience with at least one configuration/ deployment management system such as Google Deployment Manager, Terraform, Chef (AWS OpsWorks) Puppet, Ansible, AWS Systems Manager, Salt, or other such tools.
  • Experience with SDLC methodology
  • Demonstrated experience with frequent, incremental code testing and deployment

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Working on a computer involving video and audio

Additional Information

Uncommon Schools offers salaries commensurate with experience and a very generous benefits and vacation package. All staff members receive extensive professional development, and are equipped with a laptop computer and all necessary supplies.

Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for meaningful dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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