Java Language Specialist Build Engineer
ActiveState Software

ActiveState Platform - made by developers for developers! We are reinventing build engineering with an on-demand SaaS Platform and CLI tool that lets developers automate the building of any runtime environment using any open source language ecosystem on any platform. In Beta right now, we support Python and Perl and we're hiring to add more languages and packages! We’re building an ambitious language distribution platform so that no engineer ever has to suffer dependency hell again, and we need your help to add Java to it!

This position is open to full-time telecommuters anywhere in Canada. You can also choose to work from our headquarters in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

This position is open to both junior (including fresh out of school) and senior applicants. The salary for this position will be commensurate with your experience.

What You’ll Be Doing

As a Java Language Specialist on our team, you are responsible for using your deep understanding of Java; it’s internals, dependency management, idioms and community to teach our Platform to build and distribute Java for multiple Operating Systems.  You'll be responsible for building a Java runtime from its source code and writing software to consume everything in the Java ecosystem.  Note this is not a Java development role, rather you'll be writing software to create custom Java distributions and this software won't necessarily be written in Java.

Our day to day work practices are centered around GitHub, pull requests, code review, CI for testing, and agile development with Pivotal Tracker as our project management tool. We’re always looking to improve our practices and we expect you to help us to do so.

Our team is scattered around the US and Canada, so we coordinate with each other and the rest of the company using Slack for chat, Highfive for video calls and screen sharing, Pivotal Tracker, and Google Drive.

We like to use open source software whenever possible, and we also like to contribute back to the open source ecosystem. We embrace open sourcing both libraries and tools developed in-house as long as those are not mission-critical code.

What’s In It For You

  • Working for a stable and growing company that offers the environment and personal growth potential of a start-up.

  • The chance to work with a smart, passionate team of people.

  • Competitive salary, bonus, and stock option plan.

  • Comprehensive benefits package and health/wellness credit program.


  • Deep understanding of Java internals and ecosystem

  • Experience with C/C++ programming on multiple operating systems (Windows/UNIX/OSX) and the build system for a Java distribution (e.g. OpenJDK)

  • Excellent written and spoken skills, both technical and non-technical. You’ll need to work closely with your developer teammates, as well as be able to have coherent conversations with people from QA, sales, marketing, and other parts of the company.

  • A willingness to engage in the process of defining our work through conversations with product management, other engineering teams, and the rest of the company.


If you have experience with any of the following please make sure to highlight it in your cover letter:

  • You are a maintainer, contributor to a Java distribution (e.g. OpenJDK, Oracle Java) or have a popular Java based Open Source project. We make special accommodations to help you maintain those activities.

  • Experience working on a build system.

  • Experience building a core Java distribution from source code

  • Agile processes, including breaking large projects up into smaller stories, estimation, working in branches (GitHub Flow), code review, and CI.

  • C or C++ code and debugging compiler issues across platforms.

  • Perl, Python, Tcl, or PHP, especially an understanding of their respective language communities and their toolchains.

  • Big iron operating systems including Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX.

  • Build tools such as make, autotools, bazel, etc.

Working At ActiveState

ActiveState has a collaborative, respectful, and professional culture. We’re all about working together to find the best solutions, and making sure that the experience of doing so is positive for everyone involved. There is a commitment from the CEO on down to making work at ActiveState a great experience for all.

Our company is a team of 40+ and growing, with 2/3rds of the positions in technical roles. We maintain a set of core, overlapping hours, but we’re flexible with specific start and end times and are understanding about appointments and life events.

Our vision is to have an ActiveState solution on every device on every planet, so we certainly don’t lack for ambition! But even though we’re ambitious we don’t expect work to become your life. We know you will do your best work in a positive environment free from death marches. For more about working at ActiveState and our Glassdoor rating go to

How To Apply

Please submit your contact info, resume, and a cover letter below. Submissions without a cover letter will not be considered. We look forward to hearing from you!

We are committed to creating a welcoming environment for everyone at ActiveState and we welcome applicants from all walks of life.

Even if you don’t feel you meet every exact requirement, we still would love to hear from you and why you think you would be an awesome addition to our team and we encourage you to apply.

Posted about 1 year ago