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Working at Audius - Reimagine Music with Blockchain

Mihaela Popa 21 April, 2021 | 4 min read

Audius is a decentralized, community-owned, and artist-controlled music-sharing protocol. A team of entrepreneurs, engineers, audiophiles, and blockchain experts on a mission to empower a new generation of audio artists on the decentralized web.

The company, founded in 2018, is fully remote, with the team currently distributed across the United States.

Audius provides a blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists monetize their work and distribute it directly to fans. It recently surpassed over 3MM monthly active users and has big plans for the future. On top of this exciting platform, Audius also launched their own crypto token last year, $AUDIO. So there are lots of interesting technical challenges and complexities to work on.

Audius is the world’s first decentralized and open-source music streaming platform designed to be controlled by its community of independent artists, fans, & developers — not a single corporation or major record labels. It is Ethereum-enabled and based entirely on open-source code.

With Audius price recently hitting an all-time high and the team hinting at future NFT integrations, the company is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

We chatted with the Audius team about their tech stack, the tech challenges they’re currently working on, their internal culture and what they’re looking for in new members of their team.

Can you tell us a bit about Audius's tech stack?

Audius is building a decentralized protocol and application stack built on top of the blockchain. While our basic technologies themselves tend to be familiar (think React, Typescript, Node.js, Python-Flask, Redis, Postgres) with the exception of blockchain development itself (Solidity, Rust), our specific implementations and the types of problems we solve with the technologies we use are novel.

We choose our technologies to stay flexible, build performant systems, and abstract technical complexity away from end-users (artists & fans). And although we're happy with our current stack, we frequently and readily embrace new technical components and paradigms that build a better product. Everyone brings something new in that capacity.

Some other buzz words we build with: Docker, Kubernetes, IPFS, The Graph, Redux-Saga, Redux-Toolkit, React Hooks, Typescript, CircleCI, Segment, Amplitude, Sentry.

What are some tech challenges Audius's dev team is trying to solve?

Many of the problems we need to solve aren't searchable on Google or Stack Overflow, but rather need invention, design, and experimentation in-house. A lot of this stems from the nature of the decentralized protocol and technology we are building. As it stands today, the majority of traffic to the Audius Protocol is not served from servers we ourselves run, but rather a network of third-parties powered by a digital economy.

This means the typical rules in simple Front-end / Back-end systems don't always apply. For example, in order to meet scale, we can't simply put more servers behind a load balancer. Rather, instead, we need to rethink the patterns that clients use to establish connections to servers to get data from. To get a better sense of this kind of technical complexity, see our Whitepaper.

In addition to the pure technical components of "how Audius works," we spend a lot of time as a team thinking through how to abstract technical complexities away from users. We believe that blockchain is the technology that will empower the next generation of content creators on the internet, but in its current incarnation, its user experiences tend to be a limiting factor.

Even though Audius runs on the blockchain and every user account has a wallet with an associated cryptographic public / private key pairing, you wouldn't need to know it. Solving difficult, abstract problems like these are the core of what makes engineering at Audius unique.

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How would you describe Audius's culture?

Audius is a remote team spread across the United States rallying together to build the next generation of music streaming on the internet. We're a tight-knit team solving some of the deepest fundamental flaws in the music industry with some of the newest, groundbreaking tech available. Our team reflects that work — we are mission-driven, collaborative, and fast-paced, building towards empowering the next generation of artists and fans online.

We're a small company that values digital face-to-face interaction in the remote workspace and frequently have cross-functional lunches, virtual games, cultural celebrations, and happy hours. Because music is at the core of our DNA, we frequently share music over Slack, celebrate music together in person (COVID-19 permitting), and have monthly music/learning stipends as one of our core benefits (concerts, lessons, etc.)!

Team3.jpg

For more details about Audius, their open roles, perks and benefits check out their company page!

What would make someone successful at Audius?

You are collaborative and team-oriented. You enjoy working with a small group to solve big problems that need innovative solutions with attention to detail. You are extremely self-motivated and empowered by open-ended questions and learn quickly and effectively. Having a background in blockchain, crypto, or music isn't a requirement so much as being excited to learn and contribute to solving unique problems with unique constraints in a fast-paced consumer space.

None of us are experts in everything, but where your knowledge ends, you've got the skillset to ask great questions and know how to find the right help. At Audius, we write and ship new features constantly and have plenty of opportunities for ownership, project leadership, and invention.

Finally, why should someone work at Audius?

You should work at Audius because you'd like to see creators of digital music content rewarded for their work. You want to solve challenging and novel technical problems that haven't been solved before and you want to learn through the process. If you believe in the power of community, Audius is the right place for you to dream big and help us reimagine music on the internet.

If you’re excited by the thought of that, you should definitely check out their open roles!

Author's avatar
Mihaela Popa
Community Manager at WorksHub

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