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.
Fueling Creativity: Journey to the Heart of Railway's Product Engineering Team
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.
- 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!)
- Flows for scaling and evolving your project over time with teammates.
Now, let's hear from the team themselves.
Why Work at Railway?
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.
Valerie, a product designer with almost 6 months at Railway.
I was drawn to Railway because of the TEAM! From my very first interview with Ian (recruiter), I knew this was a team of amazing and kind people. Railway the product had always captivated me as one of my favorite examples of a ‘sassy and playful’ while still delivering a powerhouse of capabilities. I've had the privilege of working on some amazing products in my career. Whenever I reflect on my career so far, it's always the people. Heck even the reason I was drawn to dev tools was because of how much I loved my engineering teams over the years and saw them suffer with shit workflows and terrible UI. I work hard for my users, but I'll sacrifice everything for our team. (I know it's painfully cheesy)
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.
Flourishing at Railway
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.
Someone who is confident owning their own destiny while shaping the future of Railway. With a bias towards action, they can take an idea from abstract concept to making it a reality. Someone who is customer-centric and not afraid to hop on calls or join discussions on Forums! (shameless plug)
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.
Exciting Projects and Work
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.
For me, I'm a super nerd about making experiences so invisible that you don't even notice them. Part of me loves a flashy or innovative experience (I LOVE our canvas and it's future) but the idea of making it so stupid easy that users don't even notice the UI, I'll cry tears of joy. Also cost controls and observability - making our users feel confident and unstoppable, no fear of runaway spending. To me it speaks volumes to how much Railway cares about their user case. We have their backs.
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.
Hop on Board and Let's Ride Together
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!