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Software Engineer in Data Full Time

at Ship Shape Cardiff in Cardiff (Published at 08-07-2021)

  • Permanent role, immediate start
  • £40,000-50,000 per year plus 3% pension
  • 4.5 days per week
  • WFH the norm, office up to 3 days per week
  • Hack day once per fortnight
  • Cardiff

br/>The Role

Ship Shape Search takes unstructured data in the form of news articles and social media output and turns it into actionable insight.

We are looking for a developer to work with our systems architect to build tools that our researchers and automated services use to construct our knowledge base. Leveraging our existing dataset with NLP techniques, we are building a targeted web crawler to strengthen our core product.

Ultimately we need someone who understands how an engineering team works (e.g. deployment, Pull requests, good practice). You need to be able to write production code with minimal pick-up time for the next developer.

Our Data Services technology stack is microservices-based and hosted on AWS.

What you?ll be doing:

  • Primary: Development of event-driven python microservices. Data transformation and integration development.
  • Secondary: NLP and machine learning development.

Ongoing projects:

  • Data sourcing and data QA workflow system
  • Load (batch/ delta/ realtime) facilities for automated sources
  • API build
  • Basic GUI build for manual entry of data (basic CRUD, not e.g. single-page apps)

We are looking for someone with experience of the following:

  • Professional experience as a developer (language agnostic), 5 years minimum.
  • Of the 5 years minimum, Python 1 year
  • Docker, 2 years minimum.
  • Developing into AWS/Azure, 3 years minimum. Bonus points for having used Fargate or Kubernetes on AWS.
  • Elasticsearch (extra points for open distro on AWS), 2 years.
  • Postgres, 3 years.
  • You will have built systems in the past using Flask/FastAPI or something similar with Pydantic and SqlAlchemy for data modeling.
  • CI/CD. We need you to care and understand about CI/CD.
  • DevOps. There will be a separate DevOps function, but you will be expected to participate and be well versed in DevOps principles such as GitOps to be able drive these practices as the company grows.

Must have the below, but not necessarily experience professionally i.e. can be areas of interest to you that you?ve not had a chance to use at work:

  • NLP. You need to have used libraries like Spacy, SBERT, Transformers (or similar) and Gensim and be able to fluently talk about NLP. Big points for post grad qualifications in this area.
  • Machine learning in general. Pytorch, Scikit-learn, etc. Data-wrangling.
  • AWS Sage Maker

If you don?t have the exact specs defined above, we still want to hear from you. We are a friendly company with learning at its heart.


Candidates must have the right to work in the UK, and must be available to work up to 3 days per week at our Cardiff office.

Presently we work remotely due to COVID, though we have access to a meeting space in Cardiff. From October we will have a permanent office, and anticipate being physically present for planning and design each fortnightly sprint after which we are likely to develop remotely. However there may be times when we need to be physically together to co-produce deliverables, and for those times you need to be prepared to be in the office up to 3 days per week.

About Ship Shape

What?s different about working here?

We need you to take note of this, it?s important. We will be asking you about it in our recruiting questions, and it?s a key part the right person will want to join and stay with Ship Shape.

At Ship Shape:

4.5 day weeks – not 5 days

You?ll get a paid half-day off per week. We can be flexible with which half-day you take off each week as long as it fits with your team-mates.

The best ideas, the best teams, and the best productivity comes from having time and space to think. So for living up to Your Part of the Deal an extra half-day from us – you pay us back with your inspiration and perspiration

Hack day/ Research Day every fortnight

This idea normally applies only to IT roles, but at Ship Shape it applies to every role. Each fortnight post-probation you have one hack day to work on whatever project/ research/ skills improvement/ hack you want. It does need to have some connection to the business and your professional development, but you?ll be actively discouraged from doing your day job in disguise on this day.

The best ideas, the best teams, and the best productivity comes from people that can grow at work and have ideas. The grindstone doesn?t allow for that. So have a hack day.

Leave work on time

This is not a sweatshop, and none of the Founders will be impressed by stories of late night oil being burnt. Sure there is a genuine need occasionally; but let?s work together to make it occasional.

All of the Founders have worked in big firms where long hours were the norm. None can remember that this helped them, their then employers, nor their careers in the long-run.

If you work, really work, not just attend, for 8 hours in a day you are tired. It?s that simple.

The best ideas, the best teams, and the best productivity comes from people that are hard workers and not merely attending. Flogging yourself for long hours, surviving on caffeine, doesn?t help this. Leaving work and thinking about something else does help this, so we mandate it.

Cardiff is our centre, not London, New York, Tokyo, Paris

London is awash with Fintechs. There are fewer in South Wales. Ship Shape will be based in Cardiff and not just back-office functions, it is the heart of the company. All of the product development, executive functions, sales and marketing – it will all be here.

We believe the best ideas, the best teams, and the best productivity is found in companies that commit to a place so that their staff can build a life there. Happy staff lead to a happy company.

20 days annual leave plus bank holidays

We thought we should write this in case you thought it might not happen in addition to the half day off every week. But it does.

The best ideas, the best teams, and the best productivity comes from people that genuinely take a holiday and fully switch their mind elsewhere.

Your pension of choice

We offer SMART auto-enrolment pension, and you can stay with that if you wish

However the Founders have their own pensions and salary sacrifice into those, and you can do the same. If you have a pension with no weird administrative overhead in paying into it, then we?ll pay into it

As part of the salary sacrifice we?ll still put in an amount that matches the employer contribution to your pension that we would have paid had you not opted out, so you don?t lose out.

So that all sounds good. It will work if we find the right staff.

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent

Salary: £40,000.00-£45,000.00 per year

Additional pay:

  • Bonus scheme


  • Company pension
  • Sick pay
  • Work from home


  • Monday to Friday

Work remotely:

  • Yes

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