Engineering at Nylas

Our mission is to empower the world to communicate with context and insight. The Nylas Cloud APIs powers email, calendar, and contacts features in SaaS products ranging from CRM and marketing automation to recruiting tools, scheduling assistants, legal and real estate platforms, and more. The Nylas email API integrates with 100% of email service providers, allowing bidirectional email sync between SaaS apps and your email client.

Job Openings at Nylas

Top Engineering Values

Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
  • Engineering-Driven

    Nylas is a product built for engineers, by engineers.

    Our company was started by engineers, for engineers: to make it easy to add email, contacts, and calendars to any app. We have spent the last five years developing an API that is clean, performant, secure, and makes the lives of other developers easier. Since a user’s inbox has more data than your typical startup, we’ve had to solve some pretty challenging big data, high speed, and availability requirements. We’re still a relatively small company (~ 40 people) who thrive on applying what we’ve learned within engineering to growing our company.


    Our Developer Success Engineers bridge the gap between customer and engineering.

    They are both technical and customer facing, which allows us to dive deeper into customer issues and resolve them with very little back and forth. To recruit a DSE who has both a customer service background and a deep drive to learn software engineering, we recruit actively through groups like HackBright and HackReactor. This lets us find candidates with non-traditional software engineering backgrounds to increase the diversity of our teams. Our goal is to have our DSEs grow into Software Engineers and we’ve instrumented a formal mentorship program to support this over the long term.


  • Team is Diverse

    We hire from all backgrounds to create a diverse team.

    Through the leadership of our CTO Christine Spang, we’ve worked very hard to have an engineering team that is equal by identified gender. We actively work with and support organizations like HackBright, WomenWhoCode, Code2040, /dev/color, POCIT, and others who push the tech industry to be more diverse and inclusive. Every six months we bring in industry leaders to run a Diversity & Inclusion workshop for our new hires to discuss issues of race, bias, opportunity, and more. Last summer, we partnered with Code2040 for our internship program and we’re proud to support more Black and Latinx software professionals.

  • Actively Practices Inclusion

    We’ve open-sourced our employee handbook.

    At one of our company offsites, we spent a significant amount of time discussing our company values. From those conversations, we decided to model the company that we aspired to be, and make it easy for others to fork that handbook if they wanted to borrow from or were inspired by it. Why make it public? If we’re lucky, people will fork it, work on it, and perhaps use it as a starting point to create their own.


    We make a big effort to create an inclusive environment that is open, frank, and predictable. One of the ways we are working to maintain this is by implementing a new engineering growth and leveling framework that recognizes contributions which are typically undervalued or ignored in traditional engineering ladders. Areas like clear communication, organizational design, and well being are held at the same level as technical growth.

  • Committed to Personal Growth

    We provide both structured and unstructured paths for growth.

    Nylas provides multiple paths for mentorship to accommodate for different learning styles. If you like open-ended plans then your manager will make sure that you’re well aligned with company goals and leave space for you to figure out how to get there. For those who prefer a more structured path, we offer pairings with senior engineers who share their experiences with active, hands-on mentorship. Additionally, each engineer has a $1,000 education budget to use on classes, conferences, or materials to continue growing outside of their day-to-day work.


    Above all, engineers at Nylas have the ability to push themselves out of their comfort zone by refining our processes, suggesting new product ideas, and finding new and creative solutions to improve our API. Nylas is a startup that empowers its individuals to have high levels of ownership and help drive the company forward.

  • Heavily Team Oriented

    We build teams to have strong ownership and accountability.

    Our engineering department is split into four distinct teams: Product, Platform, TechOps, and Customers. The Product Team owns customer facing features like adding API endpoints, new protocol support, and our developer dashboards. The Platform Team develops and maintains robust, scalable, and easy-to-use abstractions in support of the Product Team. Our TechOps team creates, manages, and ensures the smooth and secure operation of our technical infrastructure. Finally, Our Customers Team owns the issues that don’t seem to fit anywhere else, but are important to our customers.


    Each team has a team lead who both decides on its process and how to empower each team member to have an active voice on important engineering and product decisions. The teams hold regular retrospectives to reflect on what is and is not working well.

  • Work/Life Balance

    Nylas is a place where you can bring your whole self to work and be accepted as who you are.

    It's a place that values growth and learning, puts high value on empowering employees, and we know it's healthy to have a life outside of work. While we are a startup and sometimes have to rally to hit a deadline, we strive to plan projects in a way that supports healthy work-life balance.


    We offer a mandatory 2-week, contiguous vacation with an unlimited vacation policy, and we trust everyone to properly coordinate around busy (and less busy) times. The mandatory 2 weeks is designed to both encourage people to truly unplug, and ensure there is no single point of failure operationally in the company. We also offer (and have exercised) a caretaker / parental leave policy of up to 16 weeks for those expecting or needing to take care of ill family members or newborns.


    Lastly, we allow everyone to work from home when they need to. You don’t need to get pre-approval or talk to your manager unless you plan to work from outside of the office for more than a few days in a row, or need to coordinate working from a different timezone. We trust that you know how to work productively from wherever. We currently have four fully remote engineers (in Boston, New York, and San Diego) and are open to bringing on other all-remote team members.

  • Open Communication

    Each week we get together for a company all hands.

    All hands is our fully transparent company-wide meeting where we discuss what has happened during the week, and reflect on successes and failures. It is a recap of the past week and we go over operations, sales, marketing, finance, and engineering departments accomplishments. We always host an AMA at the end to openly discuss any company issues.


    Unlike other all hands meetings that are usually run by a single person, each department head or project lead presents at ours. It is one (of many) forums for people to ask questions and challenge decisions, even around fundraising. Our executive team members are entirely transparent about open business negotiations, and will share updates about fundraising whether they are good or bad.


    Lastly, we are diligent about hosting regular retrospective meetings to learn from our mistakes and come together as a team to improve our processes. Our monthly all company retrospectives allows us to have open and frank conversations on a regular basis.

  • Start-to-Finish Ownership

    Everyone who joins has such a tremendous impact to the company, and brings something that doesn’t exist yet here.

    This is a startup. If you need a super structured world, this isn’t the right place for you. The people we have attracted understand the impact of our product and have ideas about how to push it further. At Nylas, we ask for forgiveness, not for permission.


    If you have a question about design or marketing, you should speak directly to a designer or someone on the marketing team. We’re not a huge company, which means you will have full ownership of your project. While we avoid 1-person projects as much as possible, project teams can have as few as two engineers, giving each person a tremendous amount of freedom and responsibility. Everyone touches all parts of the codebase. Everyone is a full-stack engineer.


    Additionally, all Nylas engineers participate in a customer focused rotation where we work exclusively on the most critical customer facing issues. This allows each engineer to work directly on what customers have highlighted as their biggest issues. These may include really complex ActiveSync authentication situations, Unicode parsing issues, data duplication, and more. Each engineer spends two weeks of their choosing every two months to empathize with our customers.

Values

  • Engineering-Driven
  • Team is Diverse
  • Actively Practices Inclusion
  • Committed to Personal Growth
  • Heavily Team Oriented
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Open Communication
  • Start-to-Finish Ownership

Company Properties

  • B2B
  • Technical Founder(s)
  • Remote-OK

Team Members

  • 2 Admins
  • 8 Business
  • 25 Engineers
  • 4 Marketing

Vacation Policy

Instead of accruing vacation time, you will plan the vacation time you would like to take off with your manager. There are no limits, but we ask you to work with your manager and team to plan responsibility. For every day taken off we ask for a week’s notice. We also highly encourage all of our staff to take two consecutive weeks off annually to recharge.

Tech Stack

Python

MySQL

Redis

Kinesis

HAProxy

Linux

Javascript

React

Redux

Flux

Flow

Elasticsearch

AWS

Jenkins

MyPy

nginx

Interview Process

First you’ll speak with one of our founders or hiring managers. Next you’ll meet with one of our engineers to do a timed coding challenge. Finally, you’ll come onsite, have lunch with us and meet the rest of the team for 4-5 hours.