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Team Spotlight: Product Engineering

In the Team Spotlight series, we’ll embark on a journey through the inner workings of the most pivotal Railway teams. In this first installment, we’re talking with some members of the Product Engineering team.

Product Engineering is responsible for building the user-facing product that Railway users know and love. The Product team endeavors to make developers' lives easier by building the interfaces that make Railway infrastructure easy to use for users around the world.

Railway's Product Engineering Team is comprised of four full-stack engineers with diverse backgrounds, ranging from ex-founders to seasoned startup veterans. This diversity and history of building internet companies is the cornerstone that empowers them to create a sophisticated product catering to developers of varied backgrounds and technologies.

Before we delve into personal perspectives, let's explore some of the exciting projects the Product Engineering team has recently undertaken. From open-source initiatives to large-scale products and features, these projects impact hundreds of thousands of developers around the world:

  • Nixpacks (Open-source project):
  • Observability (Logging stack replacement):
    • Replaced the logging stack with ClickHouse and a Go service, enhancing observability.
  • Railway CLI:
    • Empowers users to connect, create tunnels, and deploy from their computers, with a Rust touch.
  • Canvas:
    • A drag-and-drop interface for building infrastructure, presenting fun frontend challenges.
  • 1-Click Templates:
    • A community built marketplace where users can publish software. (and get paid for it!)
  • Environments:
    • Flows for scaling and evolving your project over time with teammates.

Now, let's hear from the team themselves.

There are a lot of great reasons to work at Railway, and we spoke with our product team about what got them excited to work at Railway, and why they’re still here today!

Here’s what they had to say:

Faraz, a product engineer with nearly 3 years at Railway, resonates with the core problem the team is solving – eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel in infrastructure.

I can relate to the problem we're solving which when simplified to its core (imo) is ‘if someone's solved this (infra) problem once, why do I need to solve it again? I want to instead focus on solving the problem (insert startup idea) I am trying to solve.’ The team is also full of exceptionally talented people who are incredibly kind and we actually make an effort to keep it that way. The working culture allows me to live my life the way I want without any interference as long as I deliver on the things I am supposed to deliver on.

Evan, a product engineer with almost 4 months at Railway, loves the focus on ownership and working on problems he cares about personally.

After running my own startup for the past 4 years, working at Railway provides the same sense of autonomy and ownership. We have an interest-oriented ownership principle: work in the problem space that you’re passionate about. The work falls into place very quickly when you’re working on something you care deeply about. Tacking on the great people on the team makes it even better!

Jake, Railway’s first and founding engineer, is motivated by building something he has always wished existed.

I've long wished for a platform like Railway to exist. Helping to build something that I would personally use all the time is a tremendous source of motivation. Working at Railway allows me to work in the two areas that I really enjoy: building enjoyable web experiences and making complex systems simple to use. I believe in the vision. The current product is one thing. But we all have big ideas on where to take it over the next 5-10 years. I really really want to see it happen, and helping create it is even better.

Next we talked to the team about what makes someone successful at Railway.

Here’s what they said:

To thrive at Railway, you need to be able to take an idea to production. We value individuals who genuinely care about their work, emphasizing craftsmanship over mere checkbox completion.
Active communication and intrapreneurship are two important ingredients to the recipe of success at Railway. Life at Railway is asynchronous. As a result, actively communicating progress on work (whether it is good or bad news!) is so crucial. While we drive lots of projects as individuals, having a pulse on what everyone else is working on is equally as important.
Folks who are builders at heart without a doubt flourish at Railway. Especially talented individuals who can turn an idea into reality, and those who enjoy simplifying complex problems. The culture is hands-off, requiring self-motivation and a proactive approach. It's a place for those who thrive in an environment where they can take charge of their direction.

To be at your best we believe that you must have the chance to work on things that truly excite you, and create opportunities for you to both showcase your skills, but also grow.

I spoke with our product team about what projects at Railway that did this for them.

Here’s what they had to say:

On a higher level, it's how we do the work than what it is. There's no levels of management to go through. You're given a problem and then you get to see it all the way. On a lower level to point to something specific, it sometimes feels like building a mini startup within a startup. As an example, some of the observability stuff can be its own SKU, same with the Template Marketplace. They're solving core developer lifecycle problems along with the primary build/deploy things we do.
I love the challenge of working on first-time user experiences and “a-ha!” moments in product. As an ex-founder, I want to execute on demonstrating the value of Railway to our users as quickly as possible. It is a product problem that goes far beyond implementation and into the weeds of how Railway as a business succeeds. Watch this space!
I’ve worked on so many exciting projects while at Railway. Most recently has been the environments experience and how teams configure and evolve their projects and infrastructure over time. Next was the service canvas/Railway metro project. We went from supporting a single service (1) to multiple (N). There were so many exciting challenges throughout this process. Nixpacks also comes to mind. How can we take a directory of user code and turn it into a deployable image with as little configuration as possible.

At Railway, we're not just a passionate team building products — we're bringing design principles to internet infrastructure so that every developer can build applications faster.

If you value impactful work, thrive in an environment where building for our users is the passion, and love complex and novel engineering challenges, Railway could be the next stop on your career journey.

Ready to hop aboard? Check out our current openings!