Software Engineer at

Who we are

The Data Guild is a venture studio based in San Francisco, California. We are scientists, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs passionate about making a difference in the world through the thoughtful application of data to address critical challenges of our time. We believe complex challenges require tight-knit teams with diverse perspectives to understand problems holistically and build solutions that deliver real results.

What we do

Our mission is to bring data-driven products to market that improve the health and resilience of our society and planet. We achieve this in several ways: through spinouts from the Guild, by working directly alongside portfolio company teams, and in concert with strategic partners. We work in domains such as healthcare, life sciences, renewable energy, and climate change. These are all complex sectors whose needs are not well-served by the existing venture ecosystem.

Who we are looking for

We're looking for a new Guild member: a humble and kind person who loves to work with others motivated to make the world a better place while having loads of fun along the way. We want you to bring your full self to the journey. Got a bunch of side projects or interests you are passionate about? We want to hear about them. Curious, lifelong learners who laugh easily and often are our kind of people.

For this particular role, we are seeking a software engineer skilled in Python to join the Guild. This individual’s primary role will be to support Motiva.AI, a Guild portfolio company working to empower marketing and service professionals with technology to develop more meaningful relationships at scale with the populations they serve. In addition, you will take part in shaping our culture and process at the Guild. We have large ambitions and want you to help us swing for the fences.

Motiva.AI’s mission

Motiva.AI is on a long-term mission to scale empathy and connection between organizations and the people they serve in new and meaningful ways. In many domains, organizations are struggling to serve more people with less staff and are poorly utilizing their most precious available resource: human attention. Motiva’s objective is to build technology that allows service professionals to offload tasks that are uniquely suited for automation and free up time to engage in tasks that require a human touch. We believe a platform that facilitates more effective human-machine collaboration in service of a population’s needs is key.

At present, the Motiva team is productizing next-generation machine learning capabilities to optimize engagement experiences by automatically testing permutations of message content, timing, and delivery channel. We're applying this technology in domains such as business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing, healthcare, and life sciences.

The position

We're looking for a software engineer skilled in Python to work on building out the backend data services that define the machine learning core of the Motiva.AI product.

Primary responsibilities for this position include:

  • Collaborating with the founding CTO on the design of new services
  • Implementing and evaluating the performance of these systems in simulated and real-world environments
  • Diagnosing faults in the production system as they emerge

This role will involve close mentoring and serves as an excellent opportunity to develop additional data science and applied machine learning experience.

As a candidate for this position, you are not expected to have experience with all aspects of the responsibilities listed above; nor are you expected to have a depth of particular experience with any of our tools. We have omitted specific technologies from this job description because we feel that skills and tools can (and will, by necessity!) be learned on the job.

Remote work

Due to the collaborative nature of this role, candidates who are in or can relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area are preferred. We are open to candidates that would work remotely provided that they have prior experience working in distributed teams. Salary is adjusted based on regional cost of living.


The highlights:

  • Pay range: $100-125K (for Bay Area candidates)
  • Excellent healthcare options
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Strong support for parental leave and caretakers with children
  • Transparent salary scale internally
  • Guild equity to share in the returns from the Guild’s portfolio

We believe that the current startup ecosystem doesn’t fairly share returns with those who create the underlying value. Employees at traditional startups take on very concentrated risk, and are rarely granted an ownership stake large enough to match that wager. In addition, prevalent startup culture and work patterns effectively discourage or exclude participation by talented candidates from many backgrounds, family situations, and under-represented groups.

We’re working to establish something different.

As a collective, we invest our time and energy across a variety of activities and we share in the value that we collectively generate. As a Guild member, you earn an equity stake in the Guild, accruing a portion of ownership that is commensurate with your level in the organization. We’re excited to offer this unique value proposition that bears some relation to startups while reducing risk and expanding opportunity.

The team

The Guild team values analysis, communication, action, sustainability, and reflection. We work collaboratively to find the best solutions to problems. We focus on tools and processes that support our work rather than on individual heroics.

We are not a stereotypical "work hard, play hard" startup team. We are responsible adults with diverse backgrounds and interests, who take our careers and our lives seriously. We believe that the best way to iterate towards success is by taking care of ourselves, our families, our users, and one another.

We aim for a sustainable approach to work and life, because that is the best way to maximize long-term speed, while retaining clarity of vision. Compassion is our strategy.

What to expect from us

If we decide to move the conversation forward after receiving and reviewing your application materials, we’ll reach out to schedule time for initial interviews with key staff members. The interview process will include solving technical problems presented during the course of those conversations. If those discussions go well, we will define a short-term, paid, trial project to assess your work and give you a chance to understand how our team works. Upon successful completion of that assessment, we will extend a final offer.

Everyone is welcome

We encourage people from historically underrepresented communities in technology to apply, including women, people of color, people with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQ.

We look forward to hearing from you! Interested applicants should send us a note at with a resume and pointers to any relevant online resources.

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