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Phocas Software

Senior Software Engineer - AI

location icon Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Simple isn’t easy. We should know.

During 20+ years of delivering financial planning and analytics products that are simple to use, we’ve overcome numerous complex challenges. We’ve had plenty of failures, but from each one we try to learn and push forward with an alternative approach. This is how we've stayed at the leading edge, creating products that are changing the way the world works.

To help us stay at the leading edge, we’re hiring a senior software engineer who has an interest in AI/ML tools such as large language models (LLM). In this role, you’ll be working as part of an exceptionally talented cross-functional team developing new interfaces for our customers to interact with our products. Currently, the team is creating a way for users to get answers from our analytics product by asking questions in natural language.

After that, who knows? We have no preconceived ideas, and the role will be heavy on experimentation and iteration as we search for the best ways to help our customers and to differentiate our products. We could be training models on our customers’ sales data to provide insights on customers they could target. Or forecasting our customers’ budgets. Or something else.

Questions you’ll be asking (and hopefully answering) include:

  • What’s the best way to prompt an LLM so that it answers a user’s query?
  • Our AIs run against vast and unique customer datasets, so how can we give an LLM the right amount of domain knowledge to set it up for the best chance of success?
  • How do we know whether improving the AI’s behaviour in one area has negatively affected its behaviour in another?
  • The area of AI is progressing at breakneck speed - is there anything new that we could use?
  • What should we try next?

For us to excel in this area we need to fuse the very best product management approach with the very best engineering approach. You will be particularly successful in this role if you have a talent for thinking with a product mindset as well as an engineering mindset. But we don’t expect you to know it all already. In all our roles, learning and improvement is as critical to our success as it is yours, so we set aside time for you to spend on your personal development.

What we're looking for:

  • 6+ years of experience working on complex software products, preferably ones that process massive quantities of data
  • A confident, experienced senior engineer who can devise, communicate and implement well-informed technical solutions, thrives on ambiguity and is happy exploring an emerging domain
  • A strong history of delivering software products that run on cloud-based infrastructure (preferably Amazon AWS)
  • Good knowledge of C# is essential – and TypeScript would be a nice plus
  • If you have data science experience with tools like python, keras, tensorflow, Jupyter Notebooks and similar then we’d love to know
  • A creative approach to problem solving
  • Enthusiasm, passion, a willingness to learn, and a growth mindset.
  • A sense of fun and a genuine desire to work as part of a diverse and collaborative team that is empowered to make decisions.

What's in it for you?

  • Competitive salary and stock options plan
  • Dedicated time for learning and development each fortnight
  • Benefits include life cover, income protection insurance and subsidised health cover
  • Work with some of the best tech talent in Christchurch
  • Central location with free parking and easy motorway access
  • Flexible hybrid working policy

Generally Phocas is a strong supporter of international talent, however due to current visa settings and processing times, at present we are only considering applicants who hold NZ working rights for this position.

More about Phocas

Over the past 20 years Phocas has grown from a UK-based startup to a global organisation with nearly 300 employees around the world, headquartered in Sydney, with a Product & Development team here in Christchurch.

Phocas helps people feel good about data by doing the hard work for them. We offer a range of products that enable our customers to quickly and easily analyse data from multiple sources, discover insights, and share reports. Our solutions are used by around 30,000 people in businesses across a wide range of industries. We change the way people think and work, and make it easier for them to be decisive and operate with confidence. We pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach and are committed to delivering high-quality software that meets the evolving needs of our clients.

We are a 2023 Circle Back Initiative Employer – we commit to respond to every applicant

To all recruitment agencies: Phocas does not accept agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, Phocas employees or any other company location. Phocas will not be responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.

Phocas is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and protected veterans status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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