tails.com is a tech-centric startup, using the power of technology combined with applied nutritional science to change the world of dog food for good.
We launched to the public in July 2014. We’re proud members of the TechCity Future Fifty, a prestigious network of the UK's fastest growing tech companies, and are #4 in the Startups 100 index of exciting UK startups to watch. We also scooped a whole bunch of awards at the 2016 and 2017 Startups Awards, including Tech Business of the Year.
4 million. That’s how many meals we deliver every single month, and we’re just getting started.
Imagine a world where what you feed your dog is being as carefully optimised as the recommendation engine for what to watch next on Netflix. Well that world exists - we’re creating it right now.
So where do you come in? Turn 4 million into 4 billion. Owning the fulfilment stack from end-to-end is part of the secret sauce that makes tails.com, and we’re investing heavily in truly groundbreaking automated fulfilment technology and revolutionising our internal tools to deliver more meals to an ever-growing customer base across the UK. We’ll need smart automated fulfilment solutions integrated into our core technology stack. We’ll need new algorithms to optimise order fulfilment and handle more types of food. We’ll need better tools around stock management, prediction, ordering and logistics. We’ll need to manage a multi-site, multinational just-in-time supply chain. And we’ll need to keep making investments in our technology stack to ensure we’re able to work effectively as we grow.
Tech stack + team
Because of the bespoke nature of our product, we’ve had to build pretty much the entire tech stack behind tails.com: the website, the blend algorithm, the billing and subscription engines, and the wealth of automation and workflow systems that run the physical fulfilment process in our blending room.
Our main tech stack consists of a series of applications and services written in Python (Flask + SQLAlchemy + Celery), utilising Redis for caching, data storage and service decoupling, with MySQL and S3 providing durable data storage.
We communicate in real time with various physical devices, such as label printers, scales, and custom-built weighing machines and automated fulfilment lines, and control the manual elements of order fulfilment through wrist-mounted computers and scanners. Our goal is to automate and error proof every step of the highly customised fulfilment process.
Although we’ve been trading for over 3 years we are still a startup, so you'll have a huge impact on the architecture of the tech platform and the shape of the team team as they evolve. We have just started the journey of automating the fulfilment process, and joining the fulfilment team gives you the opportunity to work with our factory engineering team to further our production process, as well as ensure that we are industry leading in our ability to track, predict, and order all of the necessary stock.
We’re looking for a passionate software engineer to join the digital operations development team. Aside from being someone who enjoys hands on experience solving real problems and working closely with others, you will:
Write (a lot) of code. This is a hands-on role, so you should relish getting stuck into building simple solutions to complex problems that are appropriately scalable and robust.
Contribute, both in ideas and execution, to the ongoing evolution of the platform architecture.
Collaborate with members of the wider Tails engineering team, to deliver high value features that help to get even more meals out to our animal friends.
Interact with both software and hardware - this can mean creating printable menu cards, debugging issues with weighing devices, scanning barcodes, and much much more.
Refine the skills and techniques necessary to take the next step in your career, whether that’s leading a team, architecting complex systems or being the best developer you can be.
Have fun. If you don’t get a kick out of (directly, and through your team) automating several tonnes of specialised industrial equipment (and humans), this probably isn’t the role for you :)
In terms of specific skills, we’re looking for someone who:
has significant professional development experience with at least some recent experience of Python, and has built and run production-level applications using modern web application frameworks such as Flask, Django, Rails, Laravel etc.
understands architecture and software design patterns - particularly those that apply to distributed systems - and knows when to use them (and when not to)
writes high quality, readable and maintainable code with appropriate tests and documentation
has experience working within cloud-based environments (we’re all-in on AWS, but GCP or Azure experience is perfectly acceptable)
What we’re offering
- Fantastic development opportunities within a high-growth business
- Learning & Development budget for training, conferences, books, etc.
- 25 days of holiday which increases up to 26 days after 2 years of service and 27 days after 3 years of service
- 5 days of unpaid leave per year
- Extended paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave (one month extra of 90% pay)
- Discounted health & dental insurance
- Pension scheme and opportunity to salary sacrifice
- Referral programme, £1000 for each hired referral who passes probation
- Interest-free loan to help with seasonal train ticket
- Flexible working hours (start 7-10 am, finish 4-7 pm)
- Flexible working requests (e.g. working part-time)
- Bike to work scheme
- Regular team and social events, paid by tails.com
- Fully stocked kitchen - free breakfast, coffee, tea, fruit & snacks
If you have a dog:
- Free dog food for your dog, or 50% for a family member or friend
- Dog-friendly office
- Dog behaviour training in the office
- And if you’re about to get a dog, or your dog is not well, you can request some extra flexibility during a temporary period of time to spend extra time with your dog