Ubuntu on WSL Software Engineer

  • Canonical
  • Home based - Americas, EMEA
  • 29 May, 2024

Job Description

Canonical is a leading provider of open source software and operating systems to the global enterprise and technology markets. Our platform, Ubuntu, is very widely used in breakthrough enterprise initiatives such as public cloud, data science, AI, engineering innovation and IoT. Our customers include the world's leading public cloud and silicon providers, and industry leaders in many sectors. The company is a pioneer of global distributed collaboration, with 1000+ colleagues in 70+ countries and very few roles based in offices. Teams meet two to four times yearly in person, in interesting locations around the world, to align on strategy and execution.

The company is founder led, profitable and growing.

We are hiring an Ubuntu on WSL Software Engineer to grow the team working on this exciting technology. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) opens up new possibilities for Linux development in Windows environments. WSL offers a specific set of capabilities to bridge a containerised Linux into the Windows desktop, allowing for interesting new kinds of integration to take place at that boundary. It is a potent new way to enable open source developer experiences on Windows workstations. We are excited to explore these possibilities, helping to shape the future of Windows-and-Linux development. We work closely with the Microsoft WSL team to ensure that the latest capabilities in WSL are well integrated with Ubuntu. We work with other open source developer communities to ensure that WSL makes a happy place to work with their libraries, toochains and applications.

This team delivers the best Linux experience on WSL to a huge audience. You will have direct influence over the roadmap for Ubuntu on WSL and will specify, architect and develop features in association with engineering managers, product managers and developer advocates. If you enjoy public speaking you would be welcome to speak at conferences about your work on WSL, and interact with a very enthusiastic community.

This role involves learning and driving improvements anywhere in the Ubuntu system, from the lowest level up to user experience and a GUI. The team works in a range of languages including Python, Golang, Flutter (Dart) and C/C++. If you don't already know about containers the role will challenge you to understand the details of kernel confinement and low level system services. The successful candidate will be passionate about the future of Ubuntu, mindful of the dynamics of the open source ecosystem, and equally aware of the needs of large organisations. Strong communication and relationship skills are as important as superb technical skills.

Location: This is a home-based role, in the EMEA or Americas time zone.

The role entails the following:

  • Implement support for new WSL features in Ubuntu
  • Closely follow upstream development in WSL
  • Manage Ubuntu WSL applications in the Microsoft Store
  • Implement support for Ubuntu features on WSL
  • Contribute to upstream projects in support of WSL features
  • Define, manage and execute test plans
  • Work with other teams at Canonical to ensure that Ubuntu is released every 6 months on schedule
  • Respond and work to resolve issues raised by end users and customers

What we are looking for in you

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Computer Science or related engineering field
  • Exceptional academic track record from both high school and university
  • Software development experience in a high-level language - preferably Go, Python or C++
  • Confidence to respectfully speak up, exchange feedback, and share ideas without hesitation
  • Track record of going above-and-beyond expectations to achieve outstanding results
  • Passion for technology evidenced by personal projects and initiatives, preferably on WSL!
  • The work ethic and confidence to shine alongside motivated colleagues
  • Professional written and spoken English
  • Experience with Linux (Debian or Ubuntu preferred) 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, curiosity, flexibility, and accountability
  • Appreciative of diversity, polite and effective in a multi-cultural, multi-national organisation
  • Thoughtfulness and self-motivation 
  • Result-oriented, with a personal drive to meet commitments 
  • Ability to travel internationally twice a year, for company events up to two weeks long

Additional skills that are nice to have

  • Knowledge of Windows, especially system-level capabilities like storage, filesystems, permissions, hyper-v
  • Experience with Windows Subsystem for Linux, virtualization, and containers
  • Knowledge of PowerShell, Visual Studio, and Azure DevOps
  • Knowledge of Ubuntu desktop technologies (GNOME, D-Bus, systemd, Xorg/Wayland, etc.)
  • Debian or Ubuntu contributor/developer
  • Awareness of agile development methodologies and tools

What we offer colleagues

We consider geographical location, experience, and performance in shaping compensation worldwide. We revisit compensation annually (and more often for graduates and associates) to ensure we recognise outstanding performance. In addition to base pay, we offer a performance-driven annual bonus or commission. We provide all team members with additional benefits, which reflect our values and ideals. We balance our programs to meet local needs and ensure fairness globally.

  • Distributed work environment with twice-yearly team sprints in person
  • Personal learning and development budget of USD 2,000 per year
  • Annual compensation review
  • Recognition rewards
  • Annual holiday leave
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Opportunity to travel to new locations to meet colleagues
  • Priority Pass, and travel upgrades for long haul company events

About Canonical

Canonical is a pioneering tech firm at the forefront of the global move to open source. As the company that publishes Ubuntu, one of the most important open source projects and the platform for AI, IoT and the cloud, we are changing the world of software. We recruit on a global basis and set a very high standard for people joining the company. We expect excellence - in order to succeed, we need to be the best at what we do. Most colleagues at Canonical have worked from home since its inception in 2004.​ Working here is a step into the future, and will challenge you to think differently, work smarter, learn new skills, and raise your game.

Canonical is an equal opportunity employer

We are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. Diversity of experience, perspectives, and background create a better work environment and better products. Whatever your identity, we will give your application fair consideration.

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