Staff Engineer, Machine Learning

Staff Engineer, Machine Learning

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive. 

At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.

About the team


Xero’s Machine Learning solutions operate as evolving products that are owned in cross functional pods made up of Applications engineers, Applied scientists, Data and Platform engineers. Our teams have been largely geographically co-located, however in today’s world of remote working we are now open to remote working.  Our teams remain connected to the global guilds of their specific discipline to leverage and share practices and tools. We are evolving and maturing constantly!

Our tech stack currently includes:

- A lot of Python, which may evolve to include languages like Go
- Deployments on Kubernetes using Helm and AWS Lambda using Terraform
- Data stores that include Snowflake, S3, DynamoDB, MS SQL, and Aurora
- Spark and Dask for data analysis and processing, and Kafka for streaming  
- Model pipelines in Tensorflow and spaCy

How you'll make an impact

As a Staff Engineer in the Data Applications team you will be a technical subject matter expert with a specialisation in building machine learning training and inference pipelines and frameworks.

Xero views the application of intelligent, data-driven products and services at scale as a key competitive advantage for our business, now and into the future. As a Staff Engineer in the Data Applications team you will lead the design and build of the data pipelines and Machine Learning applications that will enable Xero to bring smart, data-driven, personalized services to millions of customers around the world.

As a cross-functional team designing and building data assets, pipelines and machine learning applications you will help answer questions like:

- When should we use CPUs vs GPUs to serve machine learning models in production?
- How do we ensure our services are reliable and built to scale with Xero’s growth?
- When is the best answer an ML model? And when is it a simple report?
- How can we automate our transformation and training pipelines so they are repeatable and easy to operate?
- What is the best way to receive feedback from our users to measure the accuracy of predictions?

Key responsibilities

    • Be hands-on coding and reviewing, including troubleshooting, proofs of concept, and core project contributions with long-term maintainability in mind.
    • Enable the development of easy-to-use infrastructure, tooling and libraries for data science workflows including experimentation and pathways to production.
    • Provide guidance for largely autonomous cross-functional teams to conceive, design, build and operate complex, data driven solutions to internal and customer facing Xero business challenges.
    • Define and lift our technical standards, creating patterns and tools for engineers and scientists as well as for the wider Xero product teams to be able to adopt.
    • Keep a watching brief on adjacent roadmaps and upcoming technology challenges, guiding the team to navigate them successfully and integrate seamlessly with other teams.
    • Champion the ethical development of data processing systems which include ML/AI components and ensure your teams are always working with the best interests of our users in mind.
    • Cultivate a fun, rewarding, agile and results-driven culture that lives and breathes our Xero values.

What you’ll bring with you:

    • Demonstrable experience in developing both training and inference systems for machine learning pipelines.
    • An expert programmer in at least one of Python/Scala/Java/.Net/Golang/TypeScript.
    • Comfortable with AWS infrastructure, CI/CD tooling, and working on the ‘nix command line.
    • Familiarity with distributed data systems (eg: Spark, Dask, Ray) or streaming applications.
    • Extensive experience operating production systems and the ability to debug complex problems throughout the stack.
    • Deep familiarity with cloud-native application architectures.
    • Experience influencing, mentoring, leading and developing high performing teams within an agile delivery environment.
    • Clear and concise communication, both written and oral, and the ability to advocate the technical vision for your programs of work to a diverse set of stakeholders.

Why you should become a Xero

It’s a diverse and inclusive environment, with people who will respect, challenge, support and mentor you to do the best work of your life. We’re a place where innovation and change are not only encouraged but also celebrated. We value our people and want them to enjoy and take pride in their work.

We’re very supportive of flexible working arrangements and offer a competitive remuneration package including shares and life insurance, in addition to your base salary. We have a culture we’re proud of. Whether you're after a workplace with a social vibe, or a workplace which understands your family is priority - Xero is all of that and more.

Why Xero?

At Xero we support many types of flexible working arrangements that allow you to balance your work, your life and your passions. We offer a great remuneration package including shares plus a range of leave options to suit your well-being. Our work environment encourages continuous improvement and career development and you’ll get to work with the latest technology.  

Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate successfully. We are a member of Pride in Diversity, in recognition of our inclusive workplace. So, from the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.
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