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Engineering Manager (ML + Backend) - Recommendations Platform

About the Role

You will be accountable for driving the success of the engineering team and building an impactful and cohesive team that is aligned in reaching the vision of the group. You’ll be coaching, mentoring, and growing a team that is a mix of machine learning engineers and backend engineers while developing your coaching capability to scale the team and meet the needs of the recommendations team vision

At the moment this role is focused on:

  • Helping the team deliver scalable and robust product features to the core experience for Canva users around the world.
  • Encouraging machine learning excellence by helping your team’s MLEs grow their ability to do high velocity, product oriented, and novel machine learning projects.
  • Ensuring that your team maintains a high degree of operational readiness by contributing to operational planning, dashboard reviews, and post-incident-reviews.
  • Owning and driving the delivery of large, cross-team, and cross-group initiatives and projects from ideation to completion, with autonomy and independence of decision making.
  • Collaborating with the Product Manager to understand and contribute to the product roadmap.
  • Driving the planning and refinement of seasonal goals, ensuring there is alignment between the company, group, and teams.
  • Contributing to high-impact Canva Company goals like Magic Design when the opportunity presents itself.

Fostering a culture of collaboration and advocating for the engineering needs of non-technical collaborators within the group.

You're probably a match if you have:

  • A history of success in technical people leadership and mentorship of engineers.
  • Commercial experience in a software development environment, with a focus on launching novel machine learning systems into production and maintaining a high quality bar for launched systems. Our backend stack is service oriented, mostly running on Java and Python backends and on AWS Infrastructure managed by Terraform.
  • Firmly grounded computer science and engineering fundamentals including concurrency, multithreading, data structures, solution design, architecture, and design patterns.
  • Contributing to the full life cycle of ML/data models: data analysis, data preprocessing and pipeline, modelling, tuning and productionization.
  • Experience in distributed systems knowledge would be beneficial.
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills, with the ability to break large projects down into smaller ones and deliver on them through others.
  • Success in encouraging others to achieve their full potential and builds diverse, impactful teams.

Apply today and uplift the recommendation platform capabilities we provide our customers to ensure we are reliable, efficient and secure by default.

What's in it for you?

Achieving our crazy big goals motivates us to work hard - and we do - but you'll experience lots of moments of magic, connectivity and fun woven throughout life at Canva, too. We also offer a stack of benefits to set you up for every success in and outside of work.

Here's a taste of what's on offer:

  • Equity packages - we want our success to be yours too
  • Inclusive parental leave policy that supports all parents & carers
  • An annual Vibe & Thrive allowance to support your wellbeing, social connection, office setup & more
  • Flexible leave options that empower you to be a force for good, take time to recharge and supports you personally

Check out for more info.

Other stuff to know

We make hiring decisions based on your experience, skills and passion, as well as how you can enhance Canva and our culture. When you apply, please tell us the pronouns you use and any reasonable adjustments you may need during the interview process.

Please note that interviews are conducted virtually.

As Canva scales change continues to be part of our DNA. But we like to think that's all part of the fun. So this will give you the flavour of the type of things you'll be working on when you start, but this will likely evolve.

About the Group

Canva is full of AI-powered magic, but our ML-powered Recommendations may very well be the most-used machine-learning system at Canva. Serving over one hundred million users every month, our recommendations help Canva users to find exactly what they’re looking for before they know they’re looking for it, so these recommendations have to be on-point, so we are always working with cutting-edge technology, reading new research papers, and running dramatic experiments to improve our recommender systems. The Recommendations team is a great fit for someone looking to make a huge impact on Canva Users by employing the latest in Machine Learning Research.

A few of the Recommender Systems that we own:

  • Recommending Canva templates to users to get the started with their design, helping them jump start their designs.
  • “Magic Recommendations” for images, video, audio, and graphics to help users automatically find just the right content to add to their design. recommend templates, images, videos, audio, graphics, and more. 
  • Design-aware recommendations for images, graphics inside the Canva Editor
  • Recommendations for Canva Creators your might like to follow
  • Recommendations for Fonts you might like to use
  • And many more!


Engineering team


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