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.

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. Data and algorithms have been right at the core of tails.com from day one. We’re already using data in ways that have never been seen before in the pet industry and we’re only just scratching the surface of what’s possible. Owning the data engineering stack is about owning the veins that feed the whole business. We need a step change in the volume of data feeding the predictive models and insights team which steer our decisions. We need to crack open our tools used across our operational teams, from supply chain to customer experience, and pipe that insight directly to the people who need it most. At the centre of it all we need robust and reliable platforms which can support a multi-national, fast growing and constantly changing cutting edge data science and analytics operation.

Requirements

In the first 12 months you will

 

  • Define and deliver a data infrastructure architecture plan which builds the capability we need for the coming years. That will likely involve bringing online new storage and warehousing solutions, devising where and when to bring streaming and real time analytics into the picture, integrating with more 3rd party providers and evolving the platforms which run our analytics and data science models to make them more robust and scalable without taking the ownership of the logic away from the insights teams. Knowing when to build and when to buy will be key, and you’ll be as comfortable managing a 3rd party SaaS provider as you do a home-grown python application.

  • Define the plan and build the team that will support that architecture, with the support of our Director of Technology and Head of Data.

  • Build scalable platforms. You’ve built data hungry production-level applications before with at least some recent experience with Python and have a good understanding of software design patterns (especially those which relate to large scale data processing in a distributed environment). You’ll use that to build well-documented and appropriately tested platforms that enable other teams to do what they need to do.

  • Keep everyone in the loop using your proven team leadership experience - running sprints, collaborating with stakeholders and driving software vision.

  • Make sure the data keeps flowing. Ultimately this is in part an operational role, and you’ll be responsible for some systems which the business relies on to function. That means you’re ready to act, triage, debug and do what needs to be done when things don’t work as they should. It also means that you’ll always be looking for ways to improve the reliaibility and monitoring of our current stack (based mostly on Python, Airflow, MySQL, Redshift & dbt - all running in the cloud on AWS). You’ll expertly walk the fine line between keeping the platform strong and stable as we scale, while enabling the teams who build on your platforms to be nimble and change their logic fast and often.

  • Be the hoarder that likes to share. We’re a young company but have grown fast, and in places we’ve run with “just enough” data integration. As the level of our insight grows, you’ll work with our Data team to make sure we level up to collect and store every useful data point and help get the results of our analysis into as many places as possible. That could mean working with our frontend team or factory team to build instrumentation layers for our tools, it could mean leading the data integrations with new 3rd party platforms, but also working out how to get data science backed recommendations or predictions back out into our operational tools and planning systems for those teams to share in the benefits of the data and insight we have.

  • Coach & Mentor Analysts, Data Scientists and Developers on how to best make use of our data infrastructure and how to efficiently deal with large amounts of data. Typically that means helping analysts with performant SQL, coaching developers on meaningful instrumentation to make sure we capture the right information at the right time and helping data scientists understand the platforms which their models and algorithms are running on so that we can use them to best advantage.

  • Have fun. If you don’t get a kick out of (directly, and through your team) automating the movement of millions of data points around a constantly moving business without skipping a beat then this probably isn’t the role for you :)

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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