Applied Machine Learning Research Engineer
Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2023
Who We Are
Roboflow is a venture-backed SaaS startup that empowers innovators all over the world to build, train, and deploy computer vision models. Roboflow believes that computer vision is a foundation technology that will transform nearly every industry. We currently have over 250,000 users, including half of the Fortune 100. Roboflow has enabled our customers to accelerate cancer research, conduct experiments in space, accelerate the world’s transition to green energy, and improve the retail experience (to name a few!) with world-altering technology. Investors like Y Combinator, David Sack’s Craft Ventures, Lachy Groom, the founders of OpenAI (Sam Altman and Greg Brockman), and many others back Roboflow.
As with any rapidly scaling startup, we hope to build a team that is both versatile and adaptable. Each role has tremendous potential for growth. As such, we believe that coachability, enthusiasm, and an entrepreneurial mindset are more important than experience or qualifications.
Our goal is to build a magnetic environment for exceptional talent.
What We're Looking For
We’re looking for people that can own a large set of problems and are motivated by the question, “How can I improve this?” Over 80% of our current team is a former founder and they love working at Roboflow because they get to work autonomously and build solutions from the ground up (but you don't have to be a former founder to thrive at Roboflow!). Roboflow is still early stage and each department runs a startup within itself that defines a problem, works with our customers, builds ideal solutions, and adapts quickly to changes.
What You'll Do
Roboflow is hiring our first research engineer on the machine learning team to drive research initiatives that improve the growing suite of machine learning tools that underpin the Roboflow application. Roboflow is actively used by thousands of engineers and it is now imperative for us to keep our machine learning tooling at the cutting edge and to push the state of the art forward in the ways that we are uniquely positioned, given the breadth of computer vision applications that our product is capturing.
This role will involve adapting and extending open source machine learning technologies into usable and scalable software. Wide-ranging curiosity and enthusiasm for diving into abstract problems, coming up with good solutions, and seeing them through to completion are essential responsibilities.
Our core belief is that computer vision is a foundational technology that is going to transform nearly every industry. This is an opportunity to shape how millions of developers will experience and use it for the first time. Your contribution will have a massive impact.
📅 Within one month, you will…
Spend the first week onboarding in person with your manager (you'll come to our NY or SF Hub!)
Start building a trusting relationship with your peers, and learning the company structure.
Ship a substantial new feature to an end user within your first week
Build your first Roboflow computer vision product (if you haven't already)
📅 Within six months, you will…
Attend your first all company onsite
Be ramped up on other relevant parts of the Roboflow product.
Who You Are
You are a curious self-starter who wants to be part of an exceptional team, with a focus on using Roboflow's computer vision tools to impact and improve every industry.
On the machine learning team, we primarily work on building and maintaining technology within Roboflow’s training, search and deployment services, but from time to time we're also helping deliver on enterprise contracts, and coding awesome open source projects and sample projects. We currently support the fine-tuning and deployment of object detection, classification, instance segmentation, and semantic segmentation models. In the beginning, you will be executing on research initiatives that we have embarked on with partner organizations - centered around the Roboflow 100 object detection benchmark. As we discover results within these initial projects, the role will branch into your own curiosities in the intersection of computer vision research, AI research, and the Roboflow application. If you need a rigid list of tasks spelled out in a multi-month roadmap, this role probably will not be a good fit.
We’re especially keen to add someone to our team who has deep experience and passion in the field and will help us live on the frontier of computer vision technology.
Who You'll Be Working With
We are currently a team of 30 team members located all over the US and Europe. Our team’s backgrounds range from high school whiz kids that organized a student club, former founders of technology companies and fashion lines, CMOs to CEOs, and have experience scaling businesses to millions in revenue. We want to work with exceptional people with a diverse background. At this early stage, you'll have the ability to work cross-functionally with many members of the team and solve a wide array of problems.
You will directly be working with our Machine Learning Lead and a team of Machine Learning Engineers.
Where You'll Work
Roboflow is distributed across the US and Europe. We currently have Hubs in New York City, San Francisco, Des Moines, and are open to opening more as we grow in different cities. We provide opportunities (like team onsites in different cities) and resources (like a travel stipend) to work in person with other team members as much as you'd like, while also supporting remote team members. You can work from one of our Hubs, work from home, work at a co-working spaces, etc. We want you to work where you work best!
When You'll Work
Given that we are an remote company and can hire almost anywhere in the world, we don’t have a particular time-zone preference for this role. However, you may need to be available for non-recurring urgent meetings outside of working hours. We have a flexible schedule that allows you to work collaboratively with other team members and asynchronously when needed. Note: Customer facing roles will skew towards our customer base US timezones.
Progressing to Senior
What You'll Receive
To determine your salary, we use a number of market and data-driven salary sources. We review all salaries every 6 months to ensure we stay in line with the market.
💰 The target compensation for this role is $120,000 base salary.
📈 In addition to our cash compensation, we offer generous perks and benefits. Below are some of the highlights:
$2500 Travel Stipend to travel anywhere anytime to work with alongside other Roboflowers
$350 Productivity stipend to spend on things that make your work environment more productive, like high speed internet at home or a co-working space
Cover up to 100% of your health insurance costs for you and your partner or family
Equity in the company so we are all invested in the future of computer vision
Interview Process (~X hours)
Below is the interview process you can expect for this role. We are all motivated to work with an exceptional team and don't currently have recruiters at Roboflow. You will be speaking directly with our team about what it's like to work and thrive at here. We like to work fast at Roboflow, so don't be surprised if all the below conversations happen over a day or two.
[45m] Meet with hiring manager Paul Guerrie, Machine Learning Lead, for introduction to assess for overall mindset and skillset
This first interview is a time to get to know more about the role, allow us to get to know you better, and ensure it's a good fit for both parties to continue moving forward in the process
[45m] Technical Assessment, if applicable
Team Interview Phase:
[30m] Meet with CTO, Brad Dwyer
[60m] Meet with hiring manager again
Use this time to review specifics about the job description
Begin working through your 30/60/90 projects
Final Interview Stage:
[30m] Meet with Kate Wagner, Head of Operations for a culture discussion
[60m] Meet with Joseph Nelson, CEO
We check references and conduct a background check
Note: you are welcome to request additional conversations with anyone you would like to meet and we will accommodate as best we can.
Our goal is to build the world's best computer vision paradigm and corresponding code infrastructure to back our customer’s applications. This means we handle a lot of challenging complexities like seamlessly ingesting dozens of data formats, processing millions of images per day, and deploying auto-scaling machine learning infrastructure that can handle our customers' most demanding training and deployment needs.
Our core app sits atop Firebase with assistance from auto-scaling groups of Docker containers (for jobs like archiving datasets and training models). We also heavily lean on serverless infrastructure so we can gracefully deal with bursty traffic involved in manipulating datasets that can range anywhere from one hundred to one million images.
Our machine learning infrastructure runs in AWS, with a few deployments spanning into GCP. We train and deploy various state of the art models in a variety of machine learning frameworks. All of our machine learning applications are closely integrated with the core Roboflow web application.
We also maintain a library of Colab notebooks our customers can use to train common computer vision models, a directory of public datasets, and a web of format specifications. We see building and supporting mini-projects like these that are helpful to the community at large as part of our role in democratizing computer vision.
Not sure if this is you?
We want a diverse, global team, with a broad range of experience and perspectives. If this job sounds great, but you’re not sure if you qualify, apply to our Former Founders role or subscribe to our career newsletter by emailing "Subscribe" to [email protected]. We carefully consider every application, and will either move forward with you, find another team that might be a better fit, keep in touch for future opportunities, or thank you for your time.
Learn More About Us
We are building a diverse Satellite team that is distributed across the globe. Roboflow is an equal opportunity workplace; we welcome people from all backgrounds, communities, and experiences.
We provide competitive compensation and stellar benefits to accelerate your personal and work life.
Learn more about what it is like to work at Roboflow by reading blogs.
We want to ensure Roboflow is an environment that suits your working style and empowers you to do your best work.
See our careers page for all open listings.
Skills - you should be familiar with many of these concepts and technologies and have built projects with some of them:
- Machine Learning Research: PyTorch, ONNX, TensorRT, TFjs, YOLO, Transformers, COCO
- Backend + Cloud: node, Docker, python, Flask, pip, REST, AWS, GCP
We anticipate the role being focused 50% on machine learning research and 50% on implementing results of your research into the Roboflow application.You certainly don't need to be an expert in all of these areas; but should be excited to learn new skill sets as you need them. We also hope you'll bring some new knowledge and experiences you can share to help level-up the rest of the team. Your opinions on which research ideas we tackle and how we integrate them will be highly valued.
- Extending the capabilities of the Roboflow 100 auto-benchmark server
- Training a YOLOv8 Objects 365 checkpoint on YOLOv8 and evaluating how much it improves Roboflow 100 training results
- Writing a blog and example training notebook on DETA
- Assessing and implementing an auto-batching strategy for our training machines
- Surveying general open source OCR models and implementing one of them in the Roboflow inference server
- Assessing and implementing Neural Magic apis to deploy Roboflow models
- Training a general object detector across on Roboflow Universe datasets
- Evaluating capabilities of zero-shot object detection models for label assist