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We use conversations to make business buying frictionless, more enjoyable, and more human

NLP Engineer

$80k – $125k AngelList Est.
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NLP Engineer
Building bots and gaining insights from billions of chat messages
At Drift, we’re raising the bar for natural language understanding and dialog management, developing systems that converse with humans for several minutes, and tools to deeply understanding what was said.  

To get there, we're inventing new AI frameworks, capable of exploiting multiple representations of meaning, maintaining coherent dialogue over many turns, and explaining their own decisions. Based on 8 years of research at MIT, and inspired by the human ability to acquire language from few examples, our systems use context to learn from sparse human dialogue data, and improve with subsequent data and human feedback.

You will:
Join a small team creating a proprietary NLU stack from the ground up!
Be granted freedom, authority, and responsibility to make our customers successful
Work with a wide range of systems, processes and technologies and own problems from end-to-end
Uphold our Drift Leadership Principles and be the teammate you want to work with
Collaborate across the organization with other teams within engineering, sales, operations, and customer success
You may be a fit for this role if you:
Have experience building statistical models to understand language at the level of words, sentences, conversations, and/or industries
Are exceptional in a few areas (ex:Scikit-Learn, spaCy, PyTorch); We like pointy people
Are excited about collaborating with conversation Designers, Front End Developers, and Data Engineers
Can stitch together many different services and processes, even if you have not worked with them before
Uphold quality standards in engineering, security, and design
(BONUS) Have experience with pre trained language models like ELMo, BERT, GPT-2
You might work on:
Building an active learning framework for labeling of chat data at scale
Researching methods for learning an ontology of domain specific terminology to power NER
Designing diagnostic systems to continuously monitor the performance of classifiers
Developing applications that crawl millions of lines of chat text to discover patterns and suggest new content for bots
Who you'll work with:
Whether you're an intern or a principal, you will get to work on hard problems together. We want you to bring out your unique experience and specialities!

Chris Ward, NLP Data Scientist, joined July 2016. Chris develops our NLU stack, including our intent classifier.
Jeff Orkin, Head of Data Science, joined May 2015. Jeff designed our unique event-based dialog manager, and works closely with our ML engineers and Data Scientists.
Sarah Laeuchli, Product Manager, joined August 2017. Sarah & the team own our AI bot platform and built the data-driven authoring process we use today.
What's it like to work at Drift?
We help companies build better pipeline faster by connecting them now with the people who want to buy now. Drift is changing the way businesses buy from businesses by building software tools that make conversational commerce accessible to anyone. We want the world to revolve around the customer, and we lead by example.

Drift hires people who want to make a difference in the lives of others. In product, we have engineers, PMs, and designers with broad sets of skills (from a variety of backgrounds) who are ready to tackle some of the most meaningful problems in the industry—from building adaptive AI for bot-supported conversations, to designing next generation chat experiences, to bridging the gap between old and new ways to buy—through this work, we're changing the global buying experience.

We look at Drift as a constantly-adapting learning experience; for all of us, we believe we're at the forefront of an enormous opportunity. We support one other in our curiosity and creation—which we pursue through small, frequent releases to see what works for our customers. We are enormously reflective as a team and knowledge-sharing across disciplines powers our day-to-day work.

Product teams at Drift are small by design. We want you to feel like you're part of a successful garage band. These teams are supported by centralized groups that build tooling and train on topics like UX, security, compliance, and leadership so we can get better as we grow larger.

We want to work in a company of positive, hardworking people who treat their colleagues exceptionally well. The kind of people who are committed to going out of their way to succeed in their work, and to help other Drifters improve over the long term (by helping them get better at what they do).

We celebrate wins as a company. Whether it's sales bonuses, trips for team MVPs, or the most "high-fives", we celebrate one another as much as possible. We also have a culture of transparency that we carry on with extraordinary alignment, executive reports, and automated stats for everyone.

In both our products and our people, we aim to share the pains and successes of our customers. We are building a company that is abnormally successful. To do that, we need to both embrace tradition, and seek success that goes far beyond "the way we've always done things".
Job type
Visa sponsorship
Not Available
3+ years
Hiring contact

Meg Barss

Avatar for Meg Barss

Health, dental and vision plans

At Drift we offer employees and their families top of the line health insurance to ensure that they are taken care of outside of the office.

Parental leave

At Drift we want to support anyone starting or growing their families. Primary caregivers receive 12 weeks of fully paid leave with a 4-week Return to Work Program, and our secondary caregivers receive 4 weeks of fully paid leave.

Equity benefits

We grant stock options because we believe every employee should be an owner at Drift and share in the value we are creating together.

Work-from-home friendly

Drifters are offered a number of work from home days throughout the year to help simplify scheduling and ease the burden of commuting.

Generous vacation

Every employee is given 15 PTO days in year one, and 20 days starting in year two.

Free, catered lunch - every day

Yes, every day!

Wellness benefits

We want to give employees as many tools as we can to continue to keep them healthy and active! This includes ClassPass and local gym discounts, in office workouts with Inner City Weightlifting, standing desks, and a Healthy Rewards program.

Professional development

We offer Drifters multiple professional development opportunities including a Mentor Series, where external guests come in for fireside chats. Additionally, we hold in-office career development workshops multiple times a year for employees.

Camp drift

Every summer we take a few days as a team and head to Western Massachusetts for Camp Drift, an all company off-site at a summer camp filled with activities like zip-lining and canoeing, so that we could celebrate the summer and be together.


After three years every Drifter is entitled to a month long sabbatical to rejuvenate, gain knowledge and pursue their interests.

Dedicated diversity/inclusion staff

We continuously seek more diversity in our talent pool because we believe that true innovation reflects varying perspectives, skills, and backgrounds.

Casual dress

Everyone at Drift has a different style and we want you to bring that to work every day, so as long as you consider it appropriate for the workplace, you're good to go!

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Drift at a glance

We use conversations to make business buying frictionless, more enjoyable, and more human

Drift focuses on Internet, SaaS, Enterprise Software, Sales Automation, and Apps. Their company has offices in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and Tampa. They have a large team that's between 201-500 employees. To date, Drift has raised $107M of funding; their latest round was closed on April 2018.

You can view their website at http://www.drift.com or find them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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