Work at a Portfolio Company

Head of Engineering



Software Engineering
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, November 9, 2020
Be a pioneer in modern communication using technologies 🚀
Architect & lead one of the most impactful projects of a generation: rethinking human communication, starting with the deaf & hard-of-hearing.
Ava started as a mobile and cloud-based deep-learning system that can uniquely daisy chain mobile devices' microphones to accurately live-transcribe any conversation. As users brought it in massé at work and school, the platform quickly added human curation through live professional transcribers, multiple languages, and web & desktop compatibility.
We're looking for an experienced Engineering Leader to empower a sharp AI-driven engineering team and the architecture of our systems to be able to reach the next level of scale.
If you’ve successfully led and scaled an engineering team of our size, you have a strong technical acumen and are able to bring together business and product units to collaboratively build a coherent engineering roadmap, and are looking to make a huge impact on society, this is an ideal position for you.

You'd be perfect for this role if

  • You've managed successfully an engineering team before, in a high-growth environment and a strong engineering culture.
  • You have a strong desire to manage, empower and grow a team of engineers from 5 to 50, wanting to really prove yourself as a great engineering leader.
  • You still want to grow your technical chops, and expect to contribute technically in a meaningful way — this is a startup environment.
  • You've built yourself great quality products that have reached a large audience, and have been involved in key decisions regarding building systems for a large scale.
  • You can learn technologies as you go, exceptionally fast. To you, technologies are about tools and tradeoffs, not an ideology.
  • You care and can think deeply about the business implications of our engineering work. You're not just going after cool stuff — you understand the balance between craft, speed, and the bottom line.
  • You're a great and articulate communicator.
  • ✨ Nice to have: You've designed complex systems such as call centers, real-time peer-to-peer or centralized conversations.

So... what will you do as the Lead Backend Engineer at Ava?

  • You'll review & elaborate an ambitious but realistic engineering roadmap, in collaboration with all stakeholders, in particular our AI Lead, CTO, and Product Lead - and keep it current.
  • You'll take meaningful ownership in solving some of our complex challenges - around scalability, stack complexity across platforms, and necessary technologies to adopt.
  • You'll constantly keep an eye on the big picture to prepare the team for new challenges that might come up.
  • You'll manage a team of 6 engineers quickly growing to 12+, using effective practices to help everyone deliver and you will be instrumental to build a great engineering culture.
  • You'll articulate our technological choices & approach alongside our CEO to investors and other key stakeholders

What's special about this role?

  • Meaningfully impact lives, at scale: How often do you hear about apps that make people cry with joy? The need for more social justice is strong, and it is really for us a unique opportunity and privilege for us to be able to meaningfully improve the lives of 100,000 people - and yet to still be at the very beginning of our mission!
  • Join us at an incredible time: We're well-funded and hit product-market fit, which gives us a huge green field to work with. You'd join at the perfect time to shape our engineering culture, what we build and how we grow, so we can create a more inclusive world.
  • Work with some of the best people in the world: We have an incredibly talented and passionate team that is a lot of fun to work with. We're still super small and have accomplished some things that were thought impossible!
  • Tackle our most interesting and impactful problems: Our team is still small, and people wear many hats. We're facing challenges of scale and want to ace this next phase. This is your shot at shining and making a huge difference based on your experience and technical vision.
Thanks for making it here. You probably are really good at what you do and have many choices in front of you. If you are looking to grow your unique talents and leverage them for something truly meaningful, while being in a great company, you've come to the right place.
We hope you'll apply!