Dovetail's mission is to enable the world to create better products and services through deep customer understanding. We empower 45,000+ people, from agencies to universities to Fortune 100 companies, to make sense of their customer research in one collaborative and powerful research platform.

We're growing rapidly and looking for a Principal Engineer to join our product engineering team. Over the next 18 months, we have ambitious plans to more than double the size of our product team, evolve from a single to a multi-product company, and scale our platform to meet the needs of our rapidly growing customer base. We’re all about sweating the details on delightful experiences, tackling ambitious technical challenges head on, and constantly delivering customer value. As a Principal Engineer, you will be a critical part of setting our technical strategy, defining how we work, and help the rest of our engineering team grow in an efficient manner.

What you will do

  • Collaborate and support engineering teams with tough challenges. You will spend significant time collaborating with each product team to support their most difficult decisions and features. You can effectively build trust with every engineer by having an empathetic, supportive approach to helping them with their biggest challenges. You are an intent listener and seek first to understand these challenges. You are able to motivate by helping team members think in ways they hadn’t considered before. You don’t just do the thing, you show others how it can be done.
  • Mature our engineering function. As we grow you'll be responsible for evolving our engineering processes to keep us delivering customer value with high velocity. You will understand how our products, teams, and ways of working and culture need to evolve so we continue to thrive as we grow. You will use your experience and skillset to coach others, not just uncover issues. You are comfortable getting in the weeds with any engineering team to understand the root issues of how they are working. You set the standard for each team by teaching them and showing them how it’s done. Every interaction leaves teams feeling more confident in their ability to execute their goals. You recognize that market timing matters, and bring a sense of urgency to everything you do.
  • Define and communicate the technical vision. Working closely with our CTO and other principal engineers, you will define Dovetail’s technological vision and strategy, which complements our product vision. You are a constant advocate for this strategy and guide our technical leads to build our platform in service of your vision. You listen and consider suggestions to evolve your vision, and are comfortable making changes in the face of new information.
  • Identify, prioritize and solve systemic technical challenges. You are in constant pursuit of our next big systemic challenges, especially those that cut across multiple teams. You not only proactively raise these issues, but work closely with product leadership to explore solutions, determine priorities, and lead projects to solve them.
  • Investigate and validate new technologies. Our biggest technical challenges start with you. You proactively determine when we need to investigate new technologies to support the execution of our product roadmap. You are one of the primary innovators within our engineering function. You are just as comfortable testing out new technologies as you are teaching our teams about them.
  • Advocate and maintain engineering quality. Dovetail takes great pride in the quality of the software we ship to our customers, and that starts with the standard that you set for our teams. You support new team members in understanding these expectations and find scalable ways to prevent introduction of bugs, regressions, UX inconsistencies, or performance issues. You make sure this standard is shared with every team by influencing the technical leads. You take it personally that every team member feels the responsibility of quality.

Your background

  • Extensive experience building web products. You'll have hands-on exposure to building the frontend and backend of web products with technology like TypeScript, React, GraphQL, Node, ProseMirror, PostgreSQL and AWS.
  • Excellent, concise communicator. You can easily convey your thoughts, opinions, and feelings with your product team and have the ability to articulate effort vs impact tradeoffs. You can distill complicated challenges down to their simplest expression.
  • Experience managing complex software projects. You'll have the ability to own the delivery of complex features, break down requirements and provide reasonable estimates. You have worked on projects with stakeholders across multiple teams and functional roles.
  • You have experience teaching others. You have mentored junior team members to help them learn to think through complex problems, adopt new technologies, and improve their decision making.
  • You are pragmatic and flexible. Like your new teammates, you're used to doing what's necessary to get the job done. You'll need to be comfortable with ambiguity, be resourceful to solve problems, and be able to adjust to shifting deadlines and project goals.
  • When you do it, you nail it. You share our keen eye for quality. You don't half-ass your work, instead what you ship is top-notch. You cut scope before cutting quality. You are seen as someone who leads by setting a high bar for others to follow.

At Dovetail, we’re passionate about building and fostering an environment where every team member feels supported and valued. We celebrate individualism, welcoming everyone to show up as their authentic selves every day. It’s no secret that diversity builds the best teams, large or small, so we highly encourage applications from people who identify as part of an under-represented group. Please take a peek at Dovetail’s commitment to Program 50/50 and hear why we’re officially a Great Place to Work on our careers page for more info!


  • Equity for everyone. We put our money where our mouth is. No matter your role, we provide equity for all along with competitive salaries. See your investment grow as Dovetail grows.
  • Extra paid days off. Enjoy ad-hoc KitKat days to take a step back and spend it however you like. Hit the beach, spend time with your family, pick up that hobby you’ve been meaning to try, or anything in between!
  • Equal parental leave. We offer an inclusive framework of 12 weeks equal paid leave to support new parents. Every family is unique, so you make the call how you’d like to take care of what matters most.
  • Floating public holidays. Public holidays don’t always align with when you want to take leave. So the choice is yours when it comes to swapping public holiday leave for a later date. You do you!
  • Flexible work-life balance. We love our bright and shiny offices, celebrating wins together, and working on super collaborative and cross-functional projects. While our teams love coming together IRL, we also let you make the call on how and where you want to work
  • Develop and grow. Take a course, attend a lunch and learn, or head to a conference to help you grow! We love to support you any way we can, so expect Dovetail to be your #1 fan when it comes to achieving your career goals.
  • Modern and pet friendly offices. Bring your pooch to our modern, ergonomic offices in the heart of Surry Hills. We also host monthly events for the whole team to connect and unwind.
  • Annual retreats. We aim to go away every year to celebrate achievements and have some fun as a team. New Zealand followed by the Whitsundays… where to next?
  • Health is wealth. We believe that everyone has the right to mental wellness and support so every Dovetailer has access to Uprise (Employee Assistance Program) for themselves as well as their families.

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