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Senior Systems Reliability Engineer

Date: Jul 5, 2019

Location: Evanston, IL, US, 60201

Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Job Requisition ID: 15695

Additional Locations: Montreal, Orlando

HMH Software Engineering – Software Engineering 

HMH Software Engineering provides cutting edge, individualized learning experiences to millions of students across the United States.  We are as driven by this mission as we are by continuously improving ourselves and the way we work. Our offices are high energy, collaborative bee hives of activity where work is centered on small, autonomous teams that build great software.  We trust each other, hold ourselves and our teammates accountable for results, and improve student outcomes with each release.

At HMH we constantly experiment with new approaches and novel ways of solving problems.  We often succeed and sometimes stumble – either way we learn and move forward with more confidence than we had the day before.  We are as passionate about new technologies and engineering craftsmanship as we are about transforming the EdTech industry itself.
We’re not just looking for hands on a keyboard to pound out code, we’re looking for talented teammates and colleagues who contribute as much as they receive and thrive working with us.  
If this sounds like you let’s talk.


The Opportunity - Systems Reliability Engineer - Technical Services Team


Who We Are

The Bedrock Technical Services Team operate, develop, maintain and support the newest services delivery platform for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We focus on reliability, availability, performance and scalability of the newest efforts in the education space.


What you’ll do

As a member of the Bedrock Technical Services Team you will be working with engineers and fellow team members, worldwide to deliver reliable, scalable services running on Apache Mesos/Aurora. You will work closely with these engineers to develop the latest in cloud systems and software solutions in a rapidly developing space.



  • You will identify, investigate and fix application performance, systemic inadequacies and latent reliability issues.
  • You will influence standardization and process refinement within the engineering organization.
  • Troubleshoot stack-wide engineering issues related to hardware, software, network, applications and cloud service providers.
  • You will mentor engineers and team members on methodology, standards, monitors and best practices.
  • Take part in peer code reviews providing qualitative feedback and facilitate and learning environment through equitable exchange of ideas.
  • Represent the team’s efforts and advances through internal presentations, blog articles and thorough documentation of these efforts.


Who You Are

  • Expert knowledge of Linux servers, specifically RHEL/CentOS/Amazon Linux.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of TCP/IP, security (application and systems) and experience supporting multi-tiered technologies.
  • Practical knowledge of high level scripting language (Python, etc).
  • Practical knowledge of caching technologies, messaging protocols and software design and life cycle.
  • Practical knowledge of practices and use of source control, specifically git.
  • Practical understanding of application and systems design and an ability to communicate trade-offs, benefits and pitfalls of various decisions in those designs.
  • Possess the ability to adapt and adjust to rapidly changing land-scape and priorities.
  • Strong ability to work independently and prioritize tasks with little or no direction.
  • Demonstrable ability to effectively and efficiently troubleshoot and communicate and influence a disparate range of individuals through effective communication and decision making.
  • A critical thinker looking past the immediate concerns and distractions and considering the landscape of the future.
  • A passionate lifelong learner and innovator realizing the current technologies and problems are perishable and change is inevitable.


Desired Skills

  • Practical experience in Java, Scala or GoLang.
  • Experience with or a strong desire to learn Apache Mesos/Aurora, Zookeeper and Amazon Web Services.
  • Familiarity with open source software development culture, community and workflows.
  • Practical experience with monitoring and alerting workflows and technologies.


Education & Experience:

  • High School/GED Graduate
  • Minimum 4 years of experience as a Software Engineer


Physical Requirements

  • Might be in a stationary position for a considerable time (sitting and/or standing).
  • The person in this position needs to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.
  • Constantly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
  • Must be able to collaborate with colleagues via face to face, conference calls, and online meetings.



Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world.

For more information, visit  

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an equal employment opportunity employer and participates in E-Verify. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.

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