MemSQL is sponsoring Topcoder Open for the third consecutive year. MemSQL’s in-memory database powers many well-known companies, such as Morgan Stanley and Zynga. Nearly half of our engineers are Topcoder Open Algorithm finalists in recent of various years, and we have more IOI and ICPC medals than we have engineers.

MEMSQL WAS FOUNDED BY topcoder members

There’s a reason why MemSQL wants topcoder members. Building a database is an extremely hard task. We write very complex C++ code that needs to be fast and bulletproof. We cannot hire average engineers to do that – we need people who are insanely smart. Incidentally, this is exactly the quality you need to become a good topcoder. Clearly, there are many skills we need at MemSQL that topcoder members might not have. We’ve seen that smart coders can quickly learn these skills, but average coders, regardless of experience, cannot learn to be smart.


There’s a reason why topcoder members who work at MemSQL like it. First of all, MemSQL tackles some of the hardest problems on the market. One of our interns said that working at MemSQL is like doing full day SRM five days a week. But since almost every company in the world claims that the problems they solve are the hardest, we will be more specific:

1. Our entire storage engine is lock-free. Building lock-free data structures and algorithms is very challenging. So is testing it. As part of building the storage engine we found fundamental bugs and errors in several books and whitepapers that are well-known and loved in the industry. Also, check out our post about common lockfree pitfalls in C++.

2. MemSQL is a distributed database. Managing the cluster is a hard task. Servers die in random order and quantities and without any warning, and the cluster needs to continue operating without losing data.

3. Building a SQL query optimizer is far from trivial. People who use databases write insane queries, expecting that the query optimizer will figure out what they actually mean and how to execute that query with decent performance.

Some other things we work on that have interesting subproblems include column store, database replication, and JIT translation of SQL queries into machine code. Most important, all the areas listed above have open work items, so if any of them sound interesting, chances are we need someone to work on them.


Besides that, MemSQL gives you everything other companies do plus some extra. We have 100% health coverage, market salaries and early stage option grants. We also have an office in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood with lots of activities within walking distance. And we have a fulltime chef who prepares gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day (check out our food blog).

The biggest problem tocoders face when they start working full time is that their full skill set is severely underutilized, minimizing their impact. Layers of management and bureaucracy have wasted the talent of many red topcoder members already (ask your more senior friend what he’s been working on the last 6 months). MemSQL today has the biggest commercial database cluster ever deployed in the world and is written by a relatively small team. You will have a huge impact at MemSQL, which is only bounded by your skills and desire to learn and code. Send your resume to