For freedom and solidarity online

Koumbit is looking for a new member on our infrastructure/sysadmin team

Job offer

Koumbit is looking for a new member on our infrastructure/sysadmin team, to work 28 hours per week, at a rate of $21 per hour. The position will be held from January 28th 2018.

Koumbit has been providing web, email, and server hosting in addition to web site consultation services since 2004. We maintain physical and virtual servers, hosting platforms, network infrastructure, and phone systems. Koumbit is based around openness and equality: workers are specialized in open source technology and are organized non-hierarchically.

The hiring process for this position will prioritize people who are socially excluded and marginalized from work in system administration, open source, and IT in general, particularly women and those who do not identify as men. We encourage applications from people who are trans, queer, not white, indigenous, disabled, or have precarious immigration status. If you face social discrimination for these reasons or others that you think we should take into account, let us know.

Skills and training

Required skills:

  • ability to work in a constructive manner in a non-hierarchical collective:
    • demonstrated capacity listen to others, be open, empathic, and communicate non-violently
    • awareness of systemic power (sexism, racism, etc) in interpersonal relations and group dynamics
    • demonstrated judgment of what should and should not be brought up in meetings
    • have a strong interest in non-hierarchical democratic structures
    • to be capable of having your behaviours challenged
    • to take the interests of the collective into account in your decisions
  • share the values of the Koumbit network: self-management, openness, and solidarity. For more details, see: https://wiki.koumbit.net/PrincipesEtValeurs
  • autonomy and a large capacity to learn new technologies and methods of working
  • good time management and balancing of priorities
  • having good commuication with your own work team, the rest of the collective, as well as with clients.
  • capacity to communicate verbally and written in french and in english


  • Most new members of the infrastructure team do not already have a lot of background in system administration, and we will provide on-the-job training for many tasks and skills.

  • You should expect a lot of working collaboratively with team members, taking on new challenges, learning by doing tasks you have not done before, asking for help when you need it.

Description of tasks

For your initial period of time at Koumbit, you can expect that much of your work will be be composed of the following tasks that require less access and knowledge of our systems.

Initial tasks

  • level 1 support:
    • Verify that the problems reported by workers and clients correspond to specific problems on the software they are using.
    • Diagnosing current problems related to the unexpected behaviours of software
    • Doing followup with clients and with those responsible for managing the services
    • Helping clients with the processing of their requests
  • respond to the support level 2 requests of co-workers and clients
  • follow and make updates to a wide range of documentation
  • participate in interventions at the data centre
  • manage the servers and equipment of Koumbit, running principally with Debian GNU/Linux
  • receive, clarify, and prioritize the requests of clients with the goal of solving the issues raised
  • attend team meeting and worker assemblies

Full list of tasks

After you have been working at Koumbit for a longer period of time and have become more familiar with our systems, you would also become involved in the following tasks. Any prior experience in these areas is also very helpful.

System administration tasks:

  • manage the creation of login accounts for users
  • conduct maintenance operations and software updates
  • respond to urgent notifications (to be "on call" at night, all alone, with servers that are exploding and frightened clients who are 6 times zones away)
  • manage SSL certificates
  • do maintenance and participate in the development of the AlternC control panel
  • free software we use: Debian GNU/Linux, OpenSSH, Puppet, Ganeti, Xen, PHP, Apache, Varnish, MySQL, NFS, Postfix, Dovecot, Bash, OpenLDAP, AlternC, Git

Service management tasks:

  • manage a multitude of services: web servers, emails, databases, web caching, serial console, PDU
  • manage web applications like Aegir, Drupal, Wordpress and Alternc
  • manage network services like dhcp, dns, nfs, voip, vlan, wifi
  • document and plan improvements of these services
  • diagnose performance problems with these services
  • free software we use: Nagios, Munin, Bash, Charybdis, Asterisk, MoinMoin

Tasks for project management and client accounts:

  • reevaluate the needs to the client based on the issues they raise
  • write quotes, proposals, and do billing.
  • free software we use: Redmine, RT, wiki

Participate in collective management:

  • Sit on different committees (for example: legal, finance, HR)

Additional knowledge assets

Knowledge sought:

  • knowledge or interest in processes of democratic decision making in the organization of our work.
  • knowledge of the basic protocoles of the internet (SMTP, HTTP, IMAP, IRC, SSL)
  • basic knowlegde of programming (especially in shell scripts, python, perl, ruby or PHP)

Assets and knowledge to develop: It is expected that the candidate will learn about these topics during their time at Koumbit:

  • experience in system administration and IT support
  • managment of various free software services
  • management of network equipment like routers (FreeBSD), network switches (HP), serial console servers, and PDUs
  • facilitating meetings, taking notes, and coordinating meetings
  • configuration of PBX Asterisk
  • management of Drupal and Aegir sites
  • Recommended reading: The Pratice of System and Network Administration (2nd Edition)

Other details that you should know

  • Work from our office in Centre-Sud (remote work is an option for up to one third of hours)
  • We expect that candidates adhere to the ethical code of sysadmins, and the Principles and Values of Koumbit.
  • Koumbit provides workstations for use in our office, but having your own laptop for data center visits and client meetings would be helpful.
  • Sadly, our office is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Knowledge of french is necessary to operate within the collective.

Possibility of paid internship

We have an opportunity to offer a paid internship. The internship should be spread over a minimum period of 6 months or around 900 hours. The hourly rate is $17.50. At the end of this period, the selected person can stay with Koumbit.

Here are the eligibility criteria for trainees:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years old at the beginning of the internship;
  • Have recently completed post-secondary education (in the two years preceding the beginning of the internship);
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a person granted refugee status in Canada;
  • Do not collect Employment Insurance benefits during the internship;
  • Assess yourself as underemployed, which means you are employed below your level of education or hold part time jobs.

You are encouraged to apply even if you are not eligible for the proposed internship.

If this position interests you, please send your CV and a cover letter by email to embauche@koumbit.org by Sunday January 5th at midnight. We thank everyone who takes the time to respond to this job ad, but we'll only contact people we select for an interview.

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☏ +1 514 907 9494
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Mar/Mer: 10h à 12h et 13h à 16h
Jeu: 10h à 12h
Mon: 10AM to 12PM
Tue/Wed: 10AM to 12PM et 13AM to 16PM
Thu: 10AM to 12PM

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1883, rue Amherst, Montréal (Québec) H2L 3L7, Canada
Veuillez noter que nos bureaux n'ont pas de stationnement attitré.
1883 Amherst Street, Montreal, Quebec, H2L 3L7, Canada
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