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Engineering Director, Machine Learning



Software Engineering
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2023

Figma is growing our team of passionate people on a mission to make design accessible to all. Born on the Web, Figma helps entire product teams brainstorm, create, test, and ship better designs, together. From great products to long-lasting companies, we believe that nothing great is made alone—come make with us!

Figma is seeking a visionary Director of Engineering to lead our Machine Learning (ML) Platform Team. This role is pivotal in driving the technical strategy and execution of our AI initiatives aimed at accelerating Figma's mission. The Director of Engineering will be responsible for leading a small, yet highly impactful team of engineers, focusing on key product experience, applied research, and ML platform development. The ultimate goal of this team is to leverage AI to enhance design accessibility, revolutionizing the way users create and collaborate on designs.

What you’ll do at Figma:

  • Technical Leadership: Provide hands-on technical leadership, guiding the ML Platform Team in building and maintaining a robust and scalable machine learning platform that supports Figma's design ecosystem.
  • Applied Research: Lead the team in exploring and conducting applied research in the domain of Language Models (LLMs) and other relevant areas of AI. Translate research findings into practical solutions that elevate Figma's design capabilities.
  • Strategic Vision: Develop and execute a clear technical roadmap for the ML platform, aligning with Figma's mission and business objectives. Continuously innovate and drive the adoption of AI technologies to enhance product experiences.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate closely with cross-functional teams including product managers, designers, and other engineering teams to ensure seamless integration of AI capabilities into Figma's products.
  • Team Building: Recruit, mentor, and retain a high-performing team of engineers. Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous learning within the ML Platform Team.
  • Technical Excellence: Set and maintain a high bar for technical excellence, ensuring the team follows best practices in software development, machine learning, and platform architecture.

We'd love to hear from you if you have:

  • 5+ years experience hiring and leading teams as an engineering manager.
  • Significant experience in building and leading high-performing engineering teams, with a focus on AI/ML platform development and applied research. Strong understanding of Language Models (LLMs) and related technologies is highly desirable.
  • Proven track record of developing and executing technical strategies that drive product innovation and business growth.
  • Deep domain knowledge and understanding of machine learning frameworks, data pipelines, and platform architecture. Experience with natural language processing and generation is a plus.
  • Excellent collaboration and communication skills, able to work effectively across disciplines and levels of the organization.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic startup environment. Comfortable taking calculated risks and experimenting with new approaches.
At Figma, one of our values is Grow as you go. We believe in hiring smart, curious people who are excited to learn and develop their skills. If you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with the points outlined in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Pay Transparency Disclosure

If based in Figma’s San Francisco or New York hub offices, this role has the annual base salary range stated below.

Job level and actual compensation will be decided based on factors including, but not limited to, individual qualifications objectively assessed during the interview process (including skills and prior relevant experience, potential impact, and scope of role), market demands, and specific work location. The listed range is a guideline, and the range for this role may be modified. For roles that are available to be filled remotely, the pay range is localized according to employee work location by a factor of between 80% and 100% of range. Please discuss your specific work location with your recruiter for more information.

Figma offers equity to employees, as well a competitive package of additional benefits, including health, dental & vision, retirement with company contribution, parental leave & reproductive or family planning support, mental health & wellness benefits, generous PTO, company recharge days, a learning & development stipend, a work from home stipend, and cell phone reimbursement. Figma also offers sales incentive pay for most sales roles. Figma’s compensation and benefits are subject to change and may be modified in the future.

Annual Base Salary Range (SF/NY Hub):
$280,000$381,000 USD

We will work to ensure individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please let your recruiter know if you require accommodation.

About Figma

Dylan Field and Evan Wallace co-founded Figma in 2012 with the vision of building tools for designers in the browser. Their goal was to create the first design tool that combined the accessibility of the Web with the functionality of a native app. Today Figma is a platform with tools and spaces to support the entire product development process—idea to design to build—and has simplified collaboration for companies like Microsoft, Uber, and The New York Times to name a few.

At Figma, we celebrate and support our differences. We know employing a team rich in diverse backgrounds, experiences, and opinions allows our employees, products, and community to flourish. Figma is an equal opportunity workplace—we are dedicated to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national orientation, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.

By applying for this job, the candidate acknowledges and agrees that any personal data contained in their application or supporting materials will be processed in accordance with the applicable candidate section of Figma's Privacy Policy.