Software Engineer II, Machine Learning, Retrieval Sciences at Etsy

New York
5 months ago

Company Description

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. We build, power, and evolve the tools and technologies that connect entrepreneurs with buyers around the world. Etsy, Inc.'s 'house of brands' portfolio has expanded to now include four individually distinct ecommerce brands -- Etsy, fashion resale marketplace Depop, musical instrument marketplace Reverb, and Brazil-based handmade goods marketplace Elo7. As an Etsy employee, you'll tackle unique problems alongside talented coworkers committed to Keeping Commerce Human. We're large enough that you'll focus on meaningful, complex challenges, but small enough that you can make a rewarding impact.

Job Description

Etsy is hiring a Machine Learning Engineer to join the Retrieval Sciences team. We are looking for individuals who are product and delivery-driven, and are passionate about making ML innovations in information retrieval to help improve the Etsy buyer/seller experience.

Does the problem of finding a needle in the haystack—the perfect handmade or vintage product among hundreds of millions that is unique for each use—using the latest ML innovations, at scale in a two-sided marketplace with 105+ million buyers, 5+ million sellers sound exciting to you? If so, this could be the perfect match.

Our team works closely with other Machine Learning and Information Retrieval Platform teams to develop state of the art, large-scale models to retrieve the most relevant products for Etsy buyers. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about making ML innovations in search and retrieval to improve the Etsy buyer experience.

This is a full-time role based in Brooklyn, NY, or San Francisco, CA, or remote within the US & Canada. Etsy offers three different work modes to meet the variety of needs and preferences of our team: Flex mode for candidates who are comfortable traveling to an office location at least 4-6 days per month, Remote mode, and Office-based mode. Learn more about our flexible work modes and vaccination policy here.

About the Team:

Our team builds the first stage candidate retrieval layer that powers multiple applications in Etsy, including search at We closely track the latest techniques in ML, NLP, and IR research and apply them at Etsy’s scale of hundreds of millions of hand-crafted and vintage items. Here is a sample of models and techniques we design, build, and productionize:

  • Large-scale, distributed, highly efficient inverted indexes incorporating state-of-the-art optimization techniques, written in Rust, for exact lexical matching.
  • Graph retrieval models that represent and make predictions based on billions of interactions between buyers and sellers.
  • Deep neural dense retrieval models powered by transformers and fast approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) search.
  • Extreme multi-label classification (XML) models and federated search applied to a two-sided marketplace.
  • Techniques for diversification and personalization based on user and session context, incorporated into all of the above.

What You'll Do:

  • Work closely with fellow ML engineers, full-stack engineers, applied scientists, and  product managers, in cross-functional teams to deliver most relevant content to millions of users.
  • Develop large-scale ML pipelines & systems to optimize latency, reliability, and scalability.
  • Push the state of the art in ML advances to improve buyers’ search and discovery experience on Etsy. This involves prototyping, integrating, optimizing, and productionizing large-scale ML models that help deliver key results in the buyers’ experience.
  • Validate the effectiveness of the models and pipelines, conducting online A/B experiments at scale.


  • Strong engineering and coding skills, with ability to write high quality production code.
  • Proficiency in Python, Scala, and/or other equivalent languages. 
  • Proven infrastructure background with at least one year of industry experience.
  • You successfully take requirements from design through to delivery, working closely with a team of talented individuals.
  • You have a track record of writing understandable, maintainable, and testable code.
  • You are passionate about applying machine learning in addressing real-world problems.
  • You are knowledgeable in basic ML concepts and have a focused interest in one of the following fields: information retrieval, federated search, natural language processing, deep learning, graph learning, reinforcement learning.
  • Hands-on experience in modern ML frameworks such as Tensorflow/TFX, PyTorch, Keras.
  • You effectively communicate ideas to collaborators in both written and verbal form and are effective in multi-functional teams including applied scientists, ML engineers, and product managers.
  • You care about the implications of your work on end users.


  • Experience in Rust is a plus!
  • Experience training, deploying, monitoring, debugging and iterating on production machine learning systems in industry settings, including hands-on experience in production platforms such as Kubeflow Pipelines.

Additional Information

What's Next

If you're interested in joining the team at Etsy, please send a cover letter and resume telling us why you'd be right for the position. As you've hopefully seen already, Etsy is a place that values individuality and variety. We don't want you to be like everyone else -- we want you to be like you! So write to us and tell us what you're all about.

Our Promise

At Etsy, we believe that a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace makes us a more relevant, more competitive, and more resilient company. We encourage people from all backgrounds, ages, abilities, and experiences to apply. Etsy is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or family status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or caregiver status, veteran status, or any other legally protected status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to participate in the job application and interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. While Etsy supports visa sponsorship, sponsorship opportunities may be limited to certain roles and skillsets.

For U.S. roles only:

Many Etsy roles are open to remote candidates, and you'll be able to identify which ones within the location header of each job description. We're open to remote hires from all U.S. states except Hawaii and Alaska. For candidates who will work remotely from Colorado, visit this link for information related to Colorado's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

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