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Backend Software Engineer - (Java) - Layout AI

What you’d be doing in this role

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.

As our new Backend Engineer in Layout AI you will work closely with a cross functional team of Frontend, Backend and Machine Learning Engineers to improve our understanding of designs and build new Design AI capabilities and experiences.

At the moment, this role is focused on:

  • Design, develop and deploy solutions to challenging Design AI problems – working closely with other backend engineers, ML engineers, frontend engineers, designers, and product managers to deliver features and experiments to our users
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing and effectively advocate for engineering needs to non-technical stakeholders within the group
  • Use AI to automate design decision for our users
  • Model initiative and ownership in achieving goals, improving processes and solutions
  • Identify opportunities for cross-team collaboration to work on new ideas and improvements that help achieve our goals

You're probably a match if

  • Commercial experience in a software development environment, building scalable backend systems
  • Most of our code is in Java, so ideally you will be comfortable using Java (or another similar object-oriented programming language)
  • Firmly grounded computer science and engineering fundamentals including concurrency, multithreading, data structures, solution design, architecture, and design patterns
  • Experience or strong interest in design. This team works at the intersection of machine learning and design so a genuine desire or proven experience in this space is essential
  • Working collaboratively with team members and communicating optimally
  • Good writing and verbal communication skills

About the team

Layout AI is essential in fulfilling Canva's mission to 'empower the world to design' by using AI to automate design decisions for our users, irrespective of their design skill level. By making the editor 'smarter' through AI, you will have a huge impact in driving user growth and retention by taking our product to the next level.

We are exploring new territory. Outside the domain of pixels, Design AI is severely under-developed across the entire tech industry. Whilst conventional modern ML techniques clearly play a role in Design AI, much of it does not easily apply to working with structured design data or operating within the constraints of a browser-based editor. It’s necessary to combine modern ML with low-mid tech algorithms, design domain knowledge, heuristics, and crafty new inventions.

Our recent projects

  • We have built technology that powers some of Canva's newest Magical features such as Docs We have built technology that powers some of Canva's newest Magical features such as Docs to Decks, Magic Presentations, Magic Design, and Magic Layouts.
  • Content transfer platform: We developed algorithms and systems to match user content to templates it can be inserted into, including developing representations, indexing and lookup for different use cases, and models to optimise for user preference.
  • Design quality and element function labelling: We designed labelling schemas to represent aesthetic concepts, including the function of media in a design, and the usability of templates for specific applications. We then strategically developed classifiers using a mixture of methods.
  • Font recommendation: We designed a model for recommending fonts to the user given the current fonts in their design and other contextual features.

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 range 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.

We celebrate all types of skills and backgrounds at Canva so even if you don’t feel like your skills quite match what’s listed above - we still want to hear from you!

Please note that interviews are conducted virtually.

Join the team redefining how the world experiences design.

Hey, g'day, mabuhay, kia ora, 你好, hallo, vítejte!

Thanks for stopping by. We know job hunting can be a little time consuming and you're probably keen to find out what's on offer, so we'll get straight to the point.

Where and how you can work

Our flagship campus is in Sydney. We also have a campus in Melbourne and co-working spaces in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. But you have choice in where and how you work, we trust our Canvanauts to choose the balance that empowers them and their team to achieve their goals.


Engineering team

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