Search Engineer, Tumblr (Content Discovery)

Tumblr launched in 2007 with the belief that people need a place to say what they want, be who they want, and connect over what they love. We continue to build out Tumblr as a platform for free expression, individuality, and human connection. A key part of fostering an ecosystem of free expression is getting the right content in front of the audience who is most interested in it.

Tumblr’s Search Team is looking for a motivated and independent engineer who is excited to develop and maintain our algorithms to surface the best content from billions of posts (videos, GIFs, memes, etc) and give users control to sort, filter, and explore it.. You’ll have the ability to influence the content included in thousands of sessions per second, and will solve problems pertaining to the retrieval, ranking, filtering, and personalization of content viewed on Tumblr through  mobile applications and on the website. Help us make social media a beautiful experience.

The Role

Engineers at Automattic are responsible for the engines of Automattic: a variety of codebases and systems devoted to making the web a better place.

In this role, you’ll likely:

  • Deploy high-performance distributed systems for search and discovery across billions of posts.
  • Iterate on the systems powering Tumblr’s Search and Dashboards with a constant eye on improving the user experience.
  • Explore and implement new signals and features to improve content quality and relevancy.
  • Launch A/B tests and perform analysis to validate hypotheses, and build tools to enable continuous experimentation.
  • Build out new content datasets using Elasticsearch, Hadoop, Kafka, Druid, Flink and/or Spark.
  • Maintain a fleet of servers via Puppet and Kubernetes to keep the  search and discovery services running and performing well.
  • Train and deploy machine learning models for classification, filtering, and ranking.
  • Work closely with our Systems and SRE teams to craft and maintain architectures that support efficient development and deployment of your ideas.

We are looking for:

  • Experience deploying and maintaining production search systems.
  • Familiarity with Elasticsearch, Solr, or Lucene.
  • Proficiency in Java, and/or Scala; deep knowledge in Information Retrieval, and/or recommendation algorithms.
  • Familiarity with Hadoop and MapReduce, including frameworks such as Spark, Hive, or Scalding.
  • A desire to build a safe and inspiring search experience for our users and a passion to help everyone express their true selves, regardless of their income, gender, race, politics, language, or where they live in the world.
  • Excitement to join a globally distributed team. Familiarity with remote work is welcome.

Some tools we use:

  • PHP, Java, Scala, Golang 
  • Elasticsearch, Lucene 
  • Scalding, Hadoop, Spark
  • Puppet, Kubernetes
  • MySQL, Memcached, Redis

Here are some areas in which you can grow and have further impact in the future at the company:

  • Leadership – we offer a variety of leadership options to those who have interest, including becoming a team lead and managing releases.
  • Learning and development – we have a generous personal development budget and encourage you to grow your skills through courses, books and conferences.
  • Architecture – we encourage developers to develop expertise in the systems they work with, guide their evolution and mentor other developers working on them.
  • Engineering effectiveness – we believe in helping other developers become more effective through tools, practices, cross-team collaborations, and process improvements.

How do we work?

  • We’re kind to each other and our users – we strive to build a positive, supportive, and inclusive culture of cohesive teams focused on delivering value to our customers.
  • We work as a global and distributed workforce resulting in a unique way of working built around our creed
  • We offer flexible work arrangements allowing our team members to work when they feel best.
  • We open-source! We’re cool with open-sourcing everything except passwords, or secret keys.
  • We ship often, deploying many times daily with the help of peer code review, continuous integration, and our global workforce in over 70 countries.
  • We welcome collaboration, and you can be involved in any discussion across our many communication channels.

Curious who works in engineering at Automattic? Meet our JavaScript Engineers – Lena and Riad!


Does this sound exciting?! If yes, click the Apply button below and fill out our application form. Let us know what you can contribute to the team!



About Automattic

We are the people behind, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Tumblr, Simplenote, Longreads, Day One, and more. We believe in making the web a better place.

We’re a distributed company with more than 1800 Automatticians in 90+ countries speaking 90+ different languages. We democratize publishing and commerce so anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone with a product can sell it, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or country.

We believe in Open Source and the vast majority of our work is available under the GPL.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Automattic

We’re improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry. At Automattic, we want people to love their work and show respect and empathy to all. We welcome differences and strive to increase participation from traditionally underrepresented groups. Our DEI committee involves Automatticians across the company and drives grassroots change. For example, this group has helped facilitate private online spaces for affiliated Automatticians to gather and helps run a monthly DEI People Lab series for further learning. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a priority at Automattic, though our dedication influences far more than just Automatticians: We make our products freely available and translate our products into and offer customer support in numerous languages. We require unconscious bias training for our hiring teams and ensure our products are accessible across different bandwidths and devices. Learn more about our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion and our Employee Resource Groups.

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All Jobs Require

  • Great communication skills. We’re a distributed team, so frequent and clear written communication is a must.
  • Self-driven work ethic. You need to be a self-starter who loves taking initiative and seeing things through to completion.
  • Curiosity and the desire to learn. Our business is changing and growing fast, who knows what will be the skills of tomorrow? Flexibility is key.
  • Ability to Travel. We value those rare occasions when we meet our colleagues in person. Normally, we require 2–3 non-consecutive weeks of travel per year, usually by plane. Currently, company travel is limited, and travellers must be vaccinated. All travel is optional for now. We’re continuing to explore new, remote ways to stay connected.