Research Software Engineer


San Francisco, CA, US / Los Angeles, CA, US / Overland Park, KS, US / Chicago, IL, US / New York City, NY, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Engineering Software
  • Post Date: 05/26/2021
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 575 Market Street Floor 4, San Francisco, CA, 94105

About Replica

Replica is a next-generation urban planning tool that can help cities answer key transportation questions.

Job Description

Replica is an enterprise data platform that delivers critical insights about the built environment. With better data, human-context and an intuitive design, Replica helps public and private sectors make informed, effective, and responsive decisions. By showing how people live, move and work, we contextualize hard choices, allowing our clients to see around corners and understand the trade-offs surrounding their decisions. Whether for a city planner increasing public transit to underserved neighborhoods or for a grocery chain evaluating where to open a new location, Replica’s insights lets clients make more informed, people-centered decisions.

We spun out of Alphabet in 2019 and recently secured series B funding from venture firms including Founders Fund, Innovation Endeavors, Sidewalk Labs, Firebrand Ventures, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Today, we are a team of 50 employees with offices in San Francisco, New York and Kansas City.

We value our customers, believe in being resourceful, and work in service of each other to scale our product. As we build our team, we are committed to pursuing and bringing together a diverse workforce and creating an environment of inclusion. We value our differences and we encourage all to apply. We are committed to equal opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, gender, gender identity, parental or pregnancy status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, Veteran status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.

The Team

The Research and Development (R&D) focuses on designing and implementing urban modeling algorithms using very large data sets. Most of the R&D and engineering team is based in San Francisco, but we work with cross-functional teams in Kansas City and New York and customers across North America.

The Role

We’re looking for a Research Software Engineer with experience bringing computationally heavy algorithms to production and implementing end-to-end data processing pipelines. You will be a part of the team responsible for developing production-grade optimization and machine learning models that capture behavioral choices of city dwellers in a privacy-preserving way. You will work at the interface of R&D and data engineering, scaling Replica’s algorithms to model some of the largest metropolitan regions in the world and establishing data pipelines to deliver daily insight to decision makers in government and the private sector.

    Within your first month, you will build a deep understanding of Replica’s data protection and location privacy principles, technology infrastructure, coding style and standards, and have made incremental improvements to our code base.
    By the end of month 3, you will have contributed to the implementation of a range of optimization algorithms, enforcing modeling accuracy, performance and scalability.
    By the end of month 6, you will have significantly contributed to Replica’s production pipelines. Acting as a development arm of R&D, you will own significant parts of production data pipelines, defining requirements and contributing to the next generation of our tooling and infrastructure in collaboration with engineering teams.
    By the end of year 1, your work will have enabled new applications and novel use cases at scale, accuracy and realism never achieved in urban modeling before.


    You are highly skilled in software development and an expert in scalable, reliable, maintainable and well tested implementations of advanced data processing, statistical and numerical optimization methods.
    You have 5+ years of professional practice, preferably in the Python ecosystem (numpy/scipy/pandas/dask).
    You have built performant data-intensive pipelines and have hands-on knowledge of distributed computation systems. You have worked with technologies such as Kubernetes, Dask, Prefect, BigQuery.
    You are a strong technical communicator with a bias towards action and shipping. You constantly improve development velocity and are able to maintain quality, accuracy and avoid regressions at the interface of R&D, data engineering and infrastructure.
    A graduate degree in operations research, computer science, computational math or other relevant field with experience working in a fast-paced applied research environment is a plus.

What We Value

    A collaborative approach to problem solving. You’ve worked with cross functional teams before and you enjoy the process.
    Empathy. You are curious and eager to learn more about our users and understand their needs.
    Balance. You weigh speed and quality carefully and understand the tradeoffs.
    Active participation. You jump in and actively engage with the team and customers to build products people use.
    Ability to navigate ambiguity. Things get blurry, but you persevere to find clarity and communicate effectively with your teammates to ensure clarity for all.
    Passion. You are driven to improve the quality of life in urban environments.


    Our people! We work as a team and are excited to contribute to city planning
    Competitive salary based on experience and potential for impact
    Equity at an early stage startup
    Health benefits including medical, dental, vision, FSA and HSA options
    401k account + employer contribution
    Offices in San Francisco, CA, New York and Kansas City
    Flexible PTO

Replica is an Equal Opportunity Employer

    Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily.
    The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.
    Ability to operate at both a strategic/conceptual level and at a detailed, operational level metrics driven; highly disciplined
    Must have strong interpersonal skills, maturity and good judgment and be capable of communicating with a diverse range of individuals
    A hands-on, action-oriented approach that fits well with the entrepreneurial, fast-paced culture
    Engaging leadership style that builds and sustains credibility with colleagues, clients and other stakeholders
    Broad functional experience in areas of strategic planning and marketing, sales and market development and planning

If you don't think you meet all of the criteria above, but still are interested in the job, please apply. Nobody checks every box, and we're looking for someone excited to join the team.

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Disclaimer: Local Candidates Only
This company does NOT accept candidates from outside recruiting firms. Agency contacts are not welcome.