The Pragmatic Engineer Job Board
Engineering Manager, Database
Remote (Global)
Posted a month ago

Our mission

We're making Africa the first cashless continent.

In 2017, nearly 60% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa had no bank account. That's for good reason—the fees are too high, the closest branch can be miles away, and nobody takes cards. Without access to financial institutions, people are forced to keep their savings under the mattress. Small business owners rely on lenders who charge extortionate rates. Parents spend hours waiting in line to pay school fees in cash.

We're solving this by building financial services that just work: no account fees, instantly available, and accepted everywhere. In places where electricity, water and roads don't always work, you can still send money with Wave. In November 2017, we launched a mobile app in Senegal for cash deposit, withdrawal, and peer-to-peer and business payments. In 2019, we expanded to Cote d'Ivoire. Now, we have millions of users and are growing fast. Our goal is to make Africa the first cashless continent. And that's where you come in....

How you'll help us achieve it

Wave is one of the fastest-growing financial services ever, and our data is rapidly getting too big to live on a single instance. We're starting a Database team to own our data layer, making sure it can scale reliably and product engineers can work with it effectively. You'll lead this team.

The team will own 4+ large self-hosted Postgres clusters on Google Cloud Platform and bare metal (the latter due to data sovereignty requirements), a Snowflake data warehouse, and various pieces of related tooling.

You'll personally be responsible for:

  • Setting the technical strategy for Wave's database systems: deciding what they should look like when we have 10x as many users and engineers, and charting a path to get there.
  • Hiring, coaching, and mentoring the engineers on your team.
  • Setting up and managing team processes like oncall.
  • Working with the rest of the engineering team to develop and propagate best practices for using databases effectively.
  • Talking to your users, i.e., product engineers, to understand how the database team can help them move quickly.

Key Details

  • You can work remotely from anywhere (between UTC -5 and +4) with reliable Internet access.
  • Every two to four months, you'll travel to Africa for a one-week retreat with the rest of Wave's remote team. (Wave covers all costs.)
  • Our salaries are competitive and calculated using a transparent formula. For this role, depending on your level of experience and location, we offer a salary range of $164,000 - $190,000 (or local equivalent), plus extremely generous equity.
  • Major benefits:
    • Subsidized health insurance for you and your dependents and retirement contributions (both vary from country to country)
    • Six months fully paid parental leave and subsidized fertility assistance
    • Unlimited vacation with a 20-day minimum requirement
    • $10,000 annual charitable donation matching


  • You care a lot about working on software whose mission you can believe in.
  • You have 4+ years of professional engineering experience.
  • You have previous experience in a technical leadership role.
  • You have experience working with a large relational database serving a transactional workload.

About engineering at Wave

We value:

  • Boring technology
  • Simple, predictable designs
  • Deeply understanding our tools and systems.
  • Being tenacious in the face of tricky problems
  • Constantly trying to improve, as engineers and colleagues.

Our stack:

  • database: Postgres
  • data warehouse: Snowflake
  • infrastructure: GCP / Terraform / bare metal
  • orchestration: Kubernetes (does not manage Postgres)
  • backend: Python 3 (+ mypy)
  • [you won't work with anything below here, but listing them for completeness]
  • API layer: GraphQL
  • android frontend: Kotlin/Jetpack
  • iOS frontend: Swift/SwiftUI
  • web frontend: TypeScript/React

Our team

  • We have a rapidly growing in-country team in Senegal, Côte D'Ivoire, Mali and Uganda, plus remote team members spread across the world. We're deeply passionate about our mission of bringing radically affordable financial services to the people who need them most.
  • We foster autonomy for our employees. You'll own your own projects at every stage, from understanding the problem to monitoring your solution in production.
  • We’re backed by world-class investors including Sequoia, Stripe, Founders Fund, Ribbit Capital, Y Combinator, and the cofounders of PayPal.
Wave Mobile Money
Wave Mobile Money provides an app-based financial solution to save, transfer, and borrow money.
Size:  501-1000 employees
Funding Level:  Early-stage Startup
Total Amount Raised:  200.0 M
Year Founded:  2018
Founders Fund
Ribbit Capital
Sam Altman
Gergely Orosz's Notes
Gergely Orosz
Curator of The Pragmatic Engineer Job Board
10.5/12 on The Pragmatic Engineer Test. Areas missing: career path for managers (as a growing team, this is WIP). The oncall process - and making it a good experience - is work in progress.