Staff Software Engineer - Tech Lead (San Francisco)

We're on the lookout for our first IC engineering leader to help build out of our San Francisco engineering team.

As a Staff-level Tech Lead, you’ll make a significant impact at a rapidly growing startup. You will be hands-on across all aspects of Lakera’s self-hosted and SaaS applications from defining our devops workflows to scaling our AI security fleet. 

About Lakera

Lakera is on a mission to secure the era of intelligent computing. We are heading towards a future where AI-powered applications take center stage. Here at Lakera, we're not just dreaming about the future; we're building the security foundation for it. We empower builders, giving them the confidence to navigate this new dynamic landscape and unleash the next phase of innovation. 

We work with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and foundation model providers to protect them and their users from adversarial misalignment. We are also the company behind Gandalf, the world’s most popular AI security game. If you're eager to be part of a team that's not just keeping pace but setting the pace, Lakera is the right place for you. Let's shape the future together.

What You’ll Do

  • As a technical leader you will directly contribute code, processes, and technical direction to Lakera products by bringing your experiences and knowledge to the team.
  • You will use your years of hard lessons learned while working on existing and new SaaS products, self-hosted products, internal ML tooling, CI/CD pipelines, and more.
  • You will augment existing components and design/implement  new components of our core Lakera Guard product stack.
  • You will be using your past experiences working in AWS and other hyperscalers to design and implement services for our SaaS product.
  • You will be diving deep into our most complex problems, providing scalable solutions, iterative implementation plans, and drive the code to make it a reality.
  • You will help guide MVP feature sets, iterative releases, and refactoring for multiple 10X growth scenarios.
  • You will design systems, write code, review code, fix bugs in the small and large, mentor other engineers, draft documentation, participate in on-call rotations, and wear many other hats as needed in a startup environment.

What You’ll Bring

  • 10+ years of commercial software development experience.
  • Deep hands-on coding experience building scalable distributed computing application stacks; Docker/Kubernetes, AWS/GCP, databases, messages busses.
  • Practical experience building monitoring and observability into your systems; Open Telemetry, Prometheus, Grafana, logs, metrics, tracing.
  • A strong understanding of productizing modern Python including type checking, testing, and application frameworks. Experience with accelerated ML frameworks is a plus.
  • A comfort level enhancing CI/CD pipelines with experience balancing coverage, complexity, and time to deploy.
  • Demonstrable experience developing clean, user friendly, and forward looking REST/gRPC APIs.
  • A pragmatic approach to software engineering having worked in a startup or within a startup project as part of a larger organization.
  • Lessons learned from personally leading technical initiatives including technology selection, engineering documentation, and time to market trade-offs.
  • A willingness and desire to mentor, help hire, and build a collaborative culture.
  • A passion for building great software systems, especially in a startup environment where we need to move very quickly.

Location: San Francisco.

Logistics: Hybrid. We’re excited about candidates who want to contribute to our in-office culture.

Deadline to apply: None. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Compensation and Benefits: Our total compensation package is a blend of salary, equity and benefits.

We are committed to paying fairly and aim for these three elements collectively to be highly competitive with market rates. Equity - On top of this position's compensation, equity will be a major component of the total compensation. We aim to offer higher-than-average equity compensation for a company of our size and communicate equity amounts at the time of offer issuance. 


  • Equity package.
  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance.
  • 401k plan with employer matching.
  • Paid parental leave.
  • Unlimited PTO.
  • Health, wellness, and commuter benefits.

👉 Let's stay connected! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram to learn more about what is happening at Lakera.

ℹ️ Join us on Momentum, the slack community for AI Safety and Security everything.

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