Our vision

 

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.

The challenge

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.

Requirements

We’re looking for a passionate developer to lead the 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. In addition to the leadership responsibilities of this role (below) 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

  • Be a core part of the operations management team, laying out and driving the development roadmap based on the forecasted business plans

  • Build the team, both in terms of hiring and guiding personal development for the members of your team through coaching, mentoring and management support

  • Guide the development process within the operations team. Ensure that the development team is able to work in a way that suits them best, and they are able to deliver outstanding software that not just gives the customer what they need, but does so in a timely fashion.

  • Collaborate with the wider development teams - especially the other Tech Leads from our Data team and Digital Product squads - on architecture, best practice and ensuring smooth integration between systems

  • 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.

  • has proven team leadership experience - running sprints, collaborating with stakeholder, driving software vision and growing individuals and teams

  • 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 adequate tests and documentation

  • is able to can write functional and efficient SQL, is self sufficient in HTML and Javascript, and can deftly navigate a linux server environment on the command line

  • 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

  • competitive salary and lucrative share awards package
  • a £2,500 budget to buy whatever development kit you need to be at your best

  • a personal development budget for training, conferences, books, etc.

  • regular internal hackdays, after-work activities and team events

  • flexible working hours (start 7-10 am, finish 4-7 pm)
  • dog-friendly offices in Richmond and Heathrow, with great transport links into the city and beyond

  • discounted tails.com dog food for you or a family member or friend

  • regular social activities, cinema trips, pub quizzes, ten-pin bowling etc.

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