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Senior Software Engineer - Conversational AI

Company: Wal-Mart
Location: Sunnyvale
Posted on: June 6, 2021

Job Description:

Position Summary...

What you'll do...

The Cortex team is the core A.I. platform powering the vision of delivering the world's best intelligent personal assistants to Walmart's customers, accessible via natural voice commands, text messages, rich UI interactions, and a mix of all of the above via multi-modal experiences.

We believe conversations are a natural and powerful user interface for interacting with technology and enable a richer customer experiences - both online and in-store. We are building and designing the next generation of Natural Language Understanding (NLU) services that other teams can easily integrate and leverage, and build rich experiences: from pure voice and text shopping assistants (Siri, Google Assistant, Text to Shop), to customer care channels, to mobile apps with rich, intertwined, multi-modal interaction modes (Me@Walmart).

Interested in diving in?

We need solid engineers with the talent and expertise required to design, build, improve and evolve our capabilities in at least some of the following areas:

  • Service oriented architecture in charge of exposing our NLU capabilities at scale, and enabling increasingly sophisticated model orchestration.
  • Since the service takes in traffic for a large set of Walmart customers (that is 80% of American households!), you will get to solve non trivial challenges in terms of service scalability and availability.
  • You will design and build the primitives to efficiently orchestrate model-serving microservices, taking into account their dependencies, and improving the combined latency and robustness of such microservices (e.g. fan out in parallel to N services for a single request, and reply with whichever gives the fastest answer).
  • You will also bake-in functionality which can drive improved machine learning modeling and experimental design, such as A/B testing.
  • Model serving and operations
  • There is a constant tension between model improvements (more computations) and model serving latency. So, we are always in a quest of crunching more numbers, while preserving our SLAs, and controlling the operational costs.
  • You will guide our efforts to always find the best tradeoffs in terms of architecture, tooling (Tensorflow serving? / ONNYX? / Triton?) and infrastructure (CPU? / GPU?, GCP? / Azure?) for model serving - based on the latest model developments and product requirements.
  • In particular, you will drive principled and scientific load-testing efforts, to clearly identify the tradeoffs at hands, and tune/optimize the model-serving stack.
  • Tooling, infrastructure and pipelines for reproducible workflow and models, enabling rapid innovation across the entire product lifecycle.
  • You will author and maintain pipelines that safely build and deploy models to production via continuous deployment.
  • You will achieve scalable and efficient resource management capabilities (cloud infrastructure).
  • You will provide robust and built-in diagnostics for quality control throughout.
  • You will integrate - or build - labeling tools which can seamlessly integrate at the heart of our conversation data store (GCP, BigQuery) and intertwine multiple labeling sources of various confidence levels.

Come at the right time, and you will have an enormous opportunity to make a massive impact on the design, architecture, and implementation of an innovative, mission critical product, used every day, by people you know, and which customers love.

As part of the emerging tech group, you will also have the additional opportunity of building demos, proof of concepts, creating white papers, writing blogs, etc.

Here are some of our team publications:

Blog Posts

Papers & Talks

Minimum Qualifications

  • Solid data skills, sound computer-science fundamentals, and strong programming experience.
  • Deep hands-on technical expertise in full-stack development.
  • Programming experience with at least one modern language with an efficient runtime, such as Scala, Java, C++, or C#.
  • Experience with at least one relational database technology such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or MS SQL.
  • Some level of fluency in Python (lingua-franca of our data-scientists).
  • Understanding of the challenge of distributed data-processing at scale.
  • Deal well with ambiguous/undefined problems; ability to think abstractly.
  • Ability to take a project from scoping requirements through actual launch.
  • A continuous drive to explore, improve, enhance, automate, and optimize systems and tools.
  • Capacity to apply scientific analysis and mathematical modeling techniques to predict, measure and evaluate the consequences of designs and the ongoing success of our platform.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Bachelor's degree or certification in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, or any other related field.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Large scale distributed systems experience, including scalability and fault tolerance.
  • Experience taking a leading role in building complex data-driven software systems successfully delivered to customers
  • Relentless focus on scalability, latency, performance robustness, and cost trade-offs - especially those present in highly virtualized, elastic, cloud-based environments.
  • Exposure to cloud infrastructure, such as Open Stack, Azure, GCP, or AWS as well as infrastructure management tech (Docker, Kubernetes)
  • Experience building/operating highly available systems of data extraction, ingestion, and massively parallel processing for large data sets. In particular experience in building large scale data pipelines using big data technologies (e.g. Spark / Kafka / Cassandra / Hadoop / Hive / BigQuery / Presto / Airflow).
  • Hands-on expertise in many disparate technologies, typically ranging from front-end user interfaces through to back-end systems and all points in between.
  • Familiarity with Machine Learning concepts & processes
  • Masters or PhD in Computer Science, Physics, Engineering, Math, or equivalent.

Minimum Qualifications...

Outlined below are the required minimum qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no minimum qualifications.

Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and 3 years' experience in software engineering or related field OR 5 years' experience in software

engineering or related field.

Preferred Qualifications...

Outlined below are the optional preferred qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no preferred qualifications.

Master's degree in Computer Science or related field and 2 years' experience in software engineering or related field

Primary Location...

680 WEST CALIFORNIA AVENUE, SUNNYVALE, CA 94086-4834, United States of America

About Walmart

At Walmart, we help people save money so they can live better. This mission serves as the foundation for every decision we make, from responsible sourcing to sustainability-and everything in between. As a Walmart associate, you will play an integral role in shaping the future of retail, tech, merchandising, finance and hundreds of other industries-all while affecting the lives of millions of customers all over the world. Here, your work makes an impact every day. What are you waiting for?

Walmart, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer - By Choice. We believe we are best equipped to help our associates, customers and the communities we serve live better when we really know them. That means understanding, respecting and valuing diversity - unique styles, experiences, identities, ideas and opinions - while being inclusive of all people.

Hello, Silicon Valley

You don't have to choose between your career and your lifestyle in Silicon Valley. Here, you can have both.

Discover Silicon Valley

  • Beauty

Filoli Gardens, Woodside

View an art exhibit, take a nature hike, explore the historic Filoli House, or take a class at this gorgeous 654-acre property.

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Computer History Museum

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The Dish

Hike or jog throughout the year on terrain dedicated to academic programs, environmental restoration and habitat conservation.

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Golden Gate Park, SF

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The Tech Museum

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Santana Row - San Jose

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Pacifica State Beach

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Golden Gate Cemetery

This national cemetery comprises 161 acres dedicated to all the members of the armed forces who served our country.

All the benefits you need for you and your family

  • Multiple health plan options, including vision & dental plans for you & dependents
  • Financial benefits including 401(k), stock purchase plans, life insurance and more
  • Associate discounts in-store and online
  • Education assistance for Associate and dependents
  • Parental Leave
  • Pay during military service
  • Paid Time off - to include vacation, sick, parental
  • Short-term and long-term disability for when you can't work because of injury, illness, or childbirth

Eligibility requirements apply to some benefits and may depend on your job classification and length of employment. Benefits are subject to change and may be subject to specific plan or program terms. For information about benefits and eligibility, see

Frequently asked questions

  • On average, how long does it take to fill out an application?

On average, it takes 45-60 minutes to complete your application for the first time. Subsequent applications will take less time to apply as our system saves some of your application information. Please note that some positions require the completion of assessments in order to receive consideration for that role. Those would take additional time.

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No, you cannot change your application after submitting, so please make sure that everything is finalized before you hit the submit button.

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Processing of information on paper is minimal, and Walmart processes application information using an applicant tracking system (ATS). Access to the data within the ATS is restricted to authorized personnel, and the system itself is held to high security standards by Walmart.

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