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Vice President of Engineering - SF

Focal Systems

Focal Systems

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2022

Vice President of Engineering

Location: San Francisco, CA (local candidates only)

Type: Full time salaried

Rate: $500k – $1.2m USD annual total compensation (including value of stock options)

Who we are

Focal Systems is the industry leader in retail AI solutions. We are a Silicon Valley based startup that has more than doubled in size every year since inception. We are a Deep Learning first company. Our mission is to automate and optimize brick and mortar retail using deep learning computer vision. Focal Systems has been deployed at scale with the top retailers in the world - including Walmart Canada. We are looking for smart, creative and passionate people who want to help build a great and enduring company and deploy Deep Learning to the world!

We have a global engineering team so you will need to support engineers in all geographies.

What we are looking for

We are looking for a VP of Engineering to take over from the CEO to lead and grow our globally distributed engineering teams. In this pivotal role, you will helm the management of both backend, infra, deep learning, embedded, and frontend engineering groups, who are the architects and custodians of our advanced retail AI solutions. Your mission involves more than just overseeing teams; it's about nurturing a culture of innovation excellence, driving down COGS, shortening latencies, and scaling our system to support millions of deployed cameras around the world. You will be at the forefront of developing strategies and implementing processes that ensure our engineering teams operate at the peak of efficiency and creativity. As the ideal candidate, you embody the spirit of a proactive self-starter, thriving on taking full ownership of your domain. Your expertise is not just in managing, but in rolling up your sleeves and actually solving these massively difficult scaling challenges at lower and lower price points. Your role is critical in shaping the future of our AI solutions, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of technology and customer satisfaction. We seek a leader who is not only technically proficient in distributed systems, but also possesses the interpersonal skills to build and sustain high-performing teams. Your vision and leadership will be the driving force behind our engineering excellence, propelling our company to new heights in the ever-evolving landscape of AI technology.


What you will do

  • Manage a team of engineers to ensure our technical infrastructure from backend to frontend is developed and maintained to the highest standard
  • Help to build processes and tools that help create an outstanding developer experience for our engineering teams
  • Oversee the development of scalable data heavy backend infrastructure using Python, FastAPI, Kafka and more
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to ensure seamless integration of backend infrastructure with frontend UIs
  • Set clear objectives, performance expectations, and development goals for your team, and provide regular feedback and coaching
  • Recruit, hire and onboard new team members as needed
  • Foster positive team environment encouraging creativity, innovation and continuous improvement

What you need to be successful

  • Advanced degree in Computer Science or related field
  • 10+ years of experience in distributed systems
  • 10+ years of experience in software development
  • 5+ years of experience leading top-tier engineering teams
  • Strong experience in Python, experience in React is desirable
  • Strong experience in deploying and maintaining scalable data heavy infrastructure
  • Understanding of AI and machine learning techniques and tools is desirable
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Proven ability to lead, motivate and develop a high-performing team
  • Unwavering commitment our Mission & Core Values
  • Able to work in our SF office a few times per week

Why Focal Systems

Strong Values and Mission
We are a tightly-knit team with an ambitious mission and a strong set of core values, which define our approach to business and have successfully guided us since inception.

Exceptional Team
We are a team of hard-working, fun-loving professionals from some of the most eminent universities, research labs, and tech companies of our time. We pride ourselves on recruiting exceptional individuals to help us redefine the state-of-the-art.

Outstanding Partners
We work with 10+ of the largest retailers in the world and have a world-class roster of investors, advisors and partners to support & advise us in our endeavors.

What we offer

We care deeply about the health, happiness, and wellbeing of all of our employees. We offer:

  • Competitive salary and attractive stock options
  • Paid time off & sick leave
  • Team retreats
  • Education grants