Software Engineer - Squad Lead
17th July 2020
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Software Engineer - Squad Lead
Richmond, Greater London, England
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!
Who We Are
Tails.com 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
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
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 Tails.com
You are welcome at Tails.com 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
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 tails.com
Health - Discounted gym membership and health, dental &
Pension - Pension scheme and the option to salary sacrifice
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 tails.com 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
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