Escalation Engineer for Open Source DHCP

Job description

We are looking for a full-time escalation engineer for Kea. Kea is an open-source DHCP server written in C++11 that is rapidly gaining in popularity. We want a tinkerer who is interested in using their lab skills to support our users, in particular, to reproduce, investigate and fix reported issues. Attention to detail and a methodical approach are critical. You will be working relatively independently to figure out how to simulate different network scenarios, using a mix of our tools (different DHCP client simulators such as perfdhcp or ISC Forge, performance test lab, etc.), existing open-source tools (GitLab, GitHub, Jenkins, etc.) and possibly developing new ones. The ability to understand and extend complex C++ code is essential for this position.

The primary software of interest will be Kea (c++11), with sporadic exposure to Stork (go, typescript), ISC DHCP (c), and BIND 9 (c).

Part of the job will include writing up your findings, communicating solutions and recommendations to users, and occasionally delivering presentations on your findings.

The entire team works from home, so you will be managing your own work environment. We communicate constantly via instant messaging and email and have regular team meetings several times a week. Most of our developers and support customers are in Europe and the US. It is important that you are able to work during the European and US East Coast business day for collaboration with the rest of the team.


ISC funds the development of open-source software by selling technical support subscriptions. We have a small team of dedicated support engineers. Not infrequently, our support users have questions or problems that require testing to reproduce the problem or to verify a solution. This testing could result in a solution for the user, or in the identification of a specific bug or requirement for development. In case of a software bug, the development of a solution is required, which, depending on the nature of the problem, may vary from trivial one-liners to complex code writing.

The Kea code is well maintained, with user and developer documentation, extensive (6000+) unit-tests, available system tests, reasonable review practices, a substantial number of code comments, etc.

The Kea development team contributes to developing the Internet standards for DHCP, and Kea aims to be a reference implementation of the DHCP standards. Working with IETF RFC standards is part of our daily job.


  • Occasionally respond directly to customers
  • Investigating software and configuration issues
  • Debugging and fixing software bugs
  • Maintaining, tweaking, and evolving the CI/CD environment (this includes unit, functional, system, conformance,  performance, fuzz tests)
  • Troubleshooting Kea issues and writing code reproducing them
  • Approving product releases for delivery

Job requirements

Required Skills

  • At least 2 years of experience as a developer, QA software test developer, or similar role
  • Strong general troubleshooting skills, with the ability to assess, document, and solve complex issues
  • C++ knowledge is required (preferably c++11 experience)
  • Experience with installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting Unix-like systems (Linux, BSDs)
  • Knowledge of IPv4 and IPv6 networking, both from a theoretical and a practical standpoint
  • Ability to communicate freely in English (verbal & written)

Desirable Skills

  • Practical experience with Python (or willingness and ability to learn it)
  • Understanding of the DHCP protocol
  • Practical experience with Kea, ISC DHCP, and other DHCP implementations
  • Practical experience with GitLab CI and/or Jenkins
  • Knowledge of virtualization technologies (containers & hypervisors)
  • Practical experience with software packaging
  • Practical experience with Git

Educational Requirements

Bachelor's Degree in a scientific or technical subject, preferably computer science or computer networking. Alternatively, a sufficient professional experience in network-related fields.


Anywhere. Although ISC is located in Newmarket, NH (USA), most of ISC's staff work from their homes throughout the world.

This position is open to anyone regardless of nationality and is suitable for home working.  Note that occasional travel (roughly 1 time per year) to the company's meetings will be required. Previously we met in the US and EU. Travel is expected to resume after the COVID-19 epidemic ceases.

To learn more about ISC and its critical role in the Internet community, visit