Software Engineer

Software Engineer - Squad Lead
Richmond, Greater London, England
Who We Are is an e-commerce platform and subscription business. We deliver tailor-made dog food to over 150,000 dogs every month. Every single bag we ship is unique - which is no mean feat when you produce 11,000+ per day.
We own the whole experience, from our landing page to the customer's front door. We use Python everywhere we can, including in our factory.

What You'll Do

You'll work in one of our autonomous squads made up of engineers, product managers, designers, and quality assurance. You'll collaborate with teams to solve difficult problems across the entire company - from marketing and data to the factory engineers.
We're remote friendly and engineers can take two days a week to work from anywhere. As Python is currently our main language we prefer you to be already familiar with Python or any other web-oriented language (PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, etc).

In this position, you'll get to:

  • Work with a modern web stack and microservices to deliver features and products
  • Lead best practices ensuring great software engineering and appropriate testing
  • Contribute to the ongoing evolution of the platform architecture
  • Participate in bi-monthly hackdays to build or learn absolutely anything you want
  • Build software in an environment that supports your individual growth
  • Ensure our customers have a healthy and happy dog for life!

We ship early and often, so we push multiple deployments live per day through our CI/CD pipelines. Our local development environments have setup guides and it's possible to ship something on your very first day.
We like to keep the code review process friendly and supportive so everyone can learn and grow. We also make space in our sprints for learning and development time, and hold in-house workshops on new technologies.

What Our Leads Do

We have seven self-organising squads that are led by a tech lead/product manager combo. Leads influence and contribute to company-wide decisions and workstreams. They choose the correct implementation paths and run their own sprints. If there are challenges during a project, leads are encouraged to propose solutions such as lowering the scope or iterating with an MVP. Most of our squads run two-week sprints but some occasionally use Kanban-style weeks. It's really up to them.

Leads are in close communication with each other. They make technology and architecture decisions in meetings together with domain experts but anyone can attend and contribute. There is a flat structure and squads help each other out. Decisions are made in the open.

We expect all engineers to grow in their roles. Leads help guide them in this journey through regular 1-on-1 meetings and reviews. Engineers choose their own objectives but leads help ensure these objectives are S.M.A.R.T. and they support along the way.

What Makes Us Different

We prioritise work-life balance. We have flexible hours (start 7-10 am, finish 4-7 pm) and if you're working remotely you'll have the same schedule. You are never expected to reply to Slack messages outside of your working hours.

Squads are free to choose their technology stack. We primarily use Kubernetes, Python 3, Flask, Celery, and SQLAlchemy for our monolith and microservices. AWS is our main cloud provider and CI/CD is paramount. Any new frontend features are built with Vue.js in collaboration with product designers. We have a design system which is currently evolving into a design components library.

We don't use algorithm puzzles in the hiring process. After a phone interview with an engineer, you'll get a short take home test directly related to the work we do everyday. After that, we'll bring you in for a round of interviews. Usually two and a half hours, during which you'll speak to two pairs of engineers and our head of engineering with small breaks in between.

We like to hear our employees' voices. We also use anonymous polls (we publish the results internally) as well as live anonymous Q&A questions to the CEO. We won "The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work for 2020" award and the survey results are public .

You Are Welcome At

You are welcome at no matter what you look like or where you come from. We are actively seeking a diverse pool of applicants, including those from historically marginalised groups. We believe that a diverse company is a powerful company. It's through our differences that we will innovate and change the world of pet food for good.

Read more about Tails Engineering and our working practices on our tech blog .

Work in an office full of dogs, with a team full of ideas. Plus these awesome benefits:

Reward - We offer a competitive salary and generous share award package

Learn - You'll be challenged and given the development opportunities that you'll only find in a high-growth business. We'll also support you with more structured training.

Work - flexible core hours means that you can start anytime between 7-10am and finish 4-7pm (9 hours in total)

Time-out - 25 days' paid holiday which will increase to 26 on your 2nd year anniversary and 27 on your 3rd year anniversary, plus an optional 5 days unpaid leave each year, we'll also give you a day off each year to volunteer in your community

Family - Extended paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave. Interest-free loan to help you with your rental flat deposit

Eat - Free breakfast and loads of healthy snacks every day, we have a special breakfast on Fridays!

Social - Regular team and social events, paid by

Health - Discounted gym membership and health, dental & optical insurance

Pension - Pension scheme and the option to salary sacrifice additional contributions

Travel - Interest-free season ticket loan and bike to work scheme

Have a dog? They'll get some benefits too:

Free products - all of our products for free (for your dog). Or 50% off for one family member or friend

Dog-friendly office - there are plenty of pups to pat and daily lunchtime walks

Training - with a dog behaviourist, to help you and your dog thrive in the office

Time to bond - we offer a pooch plan which means you get extra flexibility in the first weeks of owning a dog, or if your dog is unwell

COVID-19 UPDATE: We are continuing to interview, hire, and onboard remotely. All of our engineering staff are working from home following the UK government's advice. We shipped everyone's tech gear and office chairs to their homes and we're working to ensure everyone is comfortable. We're expanding on our existing remote practices, and holding some fun online events too!

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Contract Type
Expiry Date
20/08/2020 10:38:00
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