Software Engineer - Backend
Posted: July 20, 2020
Vow is a food company -- a very different one. We’re creating real meat products from animal cells, instead of the animal itself. We’re bringing together cutting edge innovations in science, technology, culinary and design to make sustainable food that’s both irresistible and accessible for billions of people worldwide.
The work that we are doing is a critical step on the path to creating a future where humans can exist in sustainable harmony with our planet, something we can proudly hand over to our children and grandchildren. We’re not only making food that is great for humans and great for the earth, but also creating food that is the most delicious, desirable choice of any food available. This is a mission we believe in deeply.
In our short history since founding in April 2019, we’ve grown to be a team of 13 and gained a lot of attention for our world-first: the first kangaroo meat cultured in a lab (Wall Street Journal, The Australian and Channel 9). We’ve now grown 7 species and counting, with an even more ambitious plan through 2021 and beyond. We’re backed by Australia’s most prolific VC firm Blackbird Ventures, alongside a long list of prominent investors and partners.
As a Software Engineer - Backend* *at Vow, you'll enable and dramatically accelerate this future through software and data. You’ll become part of a major industrial revolution happening around the world today -- the synthetic biology revolution. In the words of Andreesen Horowitz, *“Bio today is where information technology was 50 years ago: on the precipice of touching all of our lives. Just like software—and because of it—biology will one day become part of every industry.”  *You’ll write software to automate data capture and analysis, program scientific robots to turn difficult physical tasks in the lab into rapid, fully reproducible systems, and enable every team member at Vow to do massively leveraged, creative work everyday.
One day, you’ll be building an automated image and stats processing pipeline to pull data from an array of sensors and devices, analyse cell culture outcomes, and pipe these into our PostgreSQL & Metabase data platform ready for visualisation and decisioning. The next, you’ll be programming liquid handling robots and Raspberry Pi’s to run cell culture experiments at 80x the pace of humans working alone. Every single day, you'll be working in a fast-paced environment on the nexus of software and hardware automation, data science and biology, putting real food in the hands of people worldwide and making an unambiguously positive impact on the world.
You will work directly with our Head of Engineering and cross-functionally across our rapidly growing team. You’ll be given ownership and autonomy, empowered to bring the very best ideas to life, and be positively stretched to your limits everyday. You’ll bring your pragmatism, strong communication skills, desire to make a real world impact, and sincere empathy for users to your engineering work at Vow.
The position is based in North Parramatta, Sydney, Australia.
What you'll do:
- Architect, build, and scale backend software as part of a biotechnology stack that spans everything from biology to hardware to backend software to frontend apps.
- Work in a modern backend stack built on TypeScript, Python, PostgreSQL, and AWS.
- Manage and run the entire software development cycle, including customer interviews, problem definition, architecture, prototyping, testing, training, documentation, and driving key metrics. As you gain experience and earn the trust of team members and stakeholders alike, you’ll be entrusted to define the product and technology roadmap in your areas of expertise.
- Enthusiastically tackle any part of the stack as needed for the successful shipping of an engineering project, including hardware, firmware, data engineering, and frontend, even if it means learning a new skill or being out of your comfort zone.
- Review code and other work materials of your fellow engineers.
- Meaningfully contribute improvements to our culture and organisational processes.
- Learn about biology, hardware, design and culinary from our multidisciplinary team and leverage these balanced perspectives in your work.
In return, we will support you with:
- We’ll work tirelessly to provide you a productive, safe, supportive and collaborative work environment.
- Active transparency to let you actively contribute to every facet of the business.
- Access to gym facilities.
- Constant opportunity for growth, weekly 1:1s, and mentorship from an experienced and dedicated leadership team.
- No legacy overheads -- the freedom to define the best approach to solving problems, both technically and organisationally.
- Massive room to grow in an exciting, emerging industry.
- High-stakes work that matters deeply to the company and the world. A mission for you to sink your skills and passion into.
- You have at least 5 years software engineering experience shipping code in production tech stacks, including in mission-critical and large scale systems.
- You have at least 2 years production experience in backend systems specifically, as opposed to exclusively in web or mobile frontends.
- Formal degree qualifications are not required, but if you are self-taught, then you have evidence of commensurate industry experience and demonstrated desire to master your craft.
- You’re kind, curious, take pride in your work, and enjoy learning new things.
- You’re product and user obsessed. You constantly think about the perspectives of end-users and your impact on the mission even when it’s not asked of you. Your users feel heard when they provide feedback, or better yet, when you actively seek it out.
- You’re able to identify and make pragmatic tradeoffs that incorporate cost/benefit into every key decision, rather than aiming for perfect or chasing rabbit holes.
- You effectively communicate challenges, goals, technical concepts and project outcomes in clear language suitable for your audience.
- You're mission aligned -- you want to apply your skills to build a better food system and a brighter future. For some of us this is about animal welfare, for others it’s saving the environment or caring deeply about developing incredibly delicious foods - all different perspectives on the same mission.
Ideally you'll also have:
- Previous hardware and electronics experience, in a personal or professional setting
- Previous lab experience, ideally in the field of biology
- Previous relevant experience in automation & robotics
- A love of food, cooking or experience in a culinary setting
- Experience in Linux server environments
- Experience in AWS cloud environments
Ultimately this role will be shaped around the right candidate. If you love the mission and want to work on some of the most exciting and impactful problems on the planet today, we want to speak to you.
Vow’s mission is to make food products for everyone, and we mean everyone. To do that well we need a workforce that’s representative of the people we serve. We celebrate multiple approaches and points of view, we are inclusive and we believe diversity drives innovation - so we’re building a culture to match. Uniqueness is powerful - be yourself and come as you are.
How to apply