LLM & Backend Engineer @ Shades (in-person, San Francisco / Bay Area)
We’re looking for an exceptionally talented LLM & backend engineer to be one of two first fulltime hires on the Shades engineering team, and to lead our entire content automation and backend practices.
As one of our first two fulltime engineering hires (the other being a frontend role), you will set the standard for our LLM and backend engineering disciplines as we scale – in terms of culture, process, best practices, and more. You will work directly with the company’s cofounders to build and scale our products and help us achieve our ambitious vision.
Our ideal candidate is someone who adeptly balances extremely high standards (for both themselves and others) with high EQ -- a desire to connect deeply with teammates, and an appreciation of in-person work culture.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Introduce substantial automation to our content production system -- with whatever combination of technologies you deem best (could be LLMs, LangChain, text clustering, text and video extraction/parsing, APIs like Exploding Topics or Perigon, etc.) -- to give a 10x boost to our daily content volume
- Build, scale, and maintain our database and backend services to empower our iOS app, Android app, and mobile web experience
- Make architectural decisions for our entire stack
- Act as release manager for new experiences on app and mobile
- Support new product features – starting with close advising on UI/UX designs and product decisions, proceeding to implementation, and finishing with launch (testing, deployment, monitoring, analysis)
- Act as a leader of the team, in an execution capacity, and eventually in a people-management capacity as we scale
We aren’t dogmatic about how many years of experience you have, or what your previous position/title was, or whether you have formal management experience. What matters is your proficiency, your empathy and EQ, your ability to hold yourself and others to an extremely high standard, and your belief in our mission to unlock the potential of online information.
Your skills should include:
- A solid foundation in the fundamentals of machine learning, and confidence working with LLMs, LangChain, etc.
- Mastery of RESTful APIs, databases, asynchronous web services, data structures, design patterns, and cloud platforms like GCP/AWS *
- A keen interest in UI/UX designs and product decisions – even though you won’t be the owner of those areas, you’ll be a key advisor and will give input often
* We also aren’t dogmatic about specific tools or technologies – part of your responsibility will be to decide what approach will best serve our users and our growth plans.
You should apply for this role if you’re excited about these reasons to work at Shades:
1) We have an ambitious vision for the future.
2) We have strong early signs of product-market fit.
3) We are backed by world-class investors and advisors.
4) We are champions of a team culture imbued in everything we do.
5) We are establishing a fully in-person working environment for our product teams.
6) You’ll have massive ownership and scope.
Shades is the future of news and information.
Our mission is to unlock the potential of online content consumption – which is currently stuck in clickbaity newsfeeds, social media echo chambers, mindless-scroll products riddled with low-nutrient content, and walls of text that are unapproachable for most people.
Shades is the only way to get filled in quickly and comprehensively on everything that’s going on, from culture to news to the latest trends. We show you all the latest issues from multiple perspectives – presented as quick, visual, snackable summaries that are highly shareable. Each Shades page is the internet's canonical reference point on that topic.
The idea of “multiple viewpoints” is at the core of our vision and product. Especially in a world where things are moving toward a single authoritative voice (LLMs), we believe in the importance of showing multiple perspectives by default, and letting people decide for themselves. We will use LLMs heavily to power our user experiences, but we want the final product shown to users always to showcase different POVs. In particular, this approach is what GenZ loves, and why they have loved our early product.
For any topic from politics to sports to movies to celebrity gossip to science, the Shades page for that topic is the internet’s canonical reference point – where all unique viewpoints are represented, and where you can share your own take and see how it compares to your friends’ takes, or people’s takes from around the internet.
We have an ambitious vision: We believe that everyone in the world with an internet connection can benefit from using Shades to keep up with what’s happening. We want to grow Shades as a product and company into something that spans decades and is used by billions of people.