Location: Trinity College Dublin
Level: Bachelor or Master in Computer Science or equivalent experience


Post Summary

The ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin has received funding to hire a start-up founder to spin-out the business start-up Darwin & Goliath http://darwingoliath.com in the field of recommendations-as-a-service.

The position is to be filled with a product manager, machine-learning engineer, software engineer, or software architect. The person is expected to work together very closely with the project lead and Business Administrator. Both will be responsible for developing a recommender-system as-a-service that uses unique machine-learning technology, which is based on the research of Professor Joeran Beel who is the project lead. This position is flexible in the responsibilities and open to focus more on either software engineering / machine-learning or on the architectural and product management part.

There is currently a prototype of the system http://darwingoliath.com, which delivers around 1 million recommendations per month to several pilot partners. The goal of the project is to develop a market-ready prototype of the recommender-system as-a-service, acquire around 10 more pilot partners, and spin-out a start-up company. The two employees are expected to be the founders of the start-up company, together with Professor Beel. The expected long-term roles of the two employees / founders are CEO, CTO, CPO, CPIO, COO or comparable.

The primary task will be to design, develop and maintain the recommender system. This includes identifying suitable machine-learning and recommendation frameworks; researching, designing and implementing a novel meta-learning recommendation approach; designing database schema; writing code and administering (cloud) servers. However, additional tasks such as intern supervision, writing a business plan and acquiring pilot partners may be conducted, too. In general, as the project progresses, the tasks and responsibilities listed may be expanded and shared between the two employees. Both employees will be expected to work as a team and both are responsible for the project success.

Informal enquiries about this post should be made to Professor Dr Joeran Beel beelj@tcd.ie 

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

  • Applying various machine-learning and recommendation frameworks
  • Designing and implementing a novel meta-learning recommender-system approach
  • Designing and implementing the recommendation API (REST Web Service)
  • Ensuring high code quality
  • Developing and maintaining a production system that delivers millions of recommendations to around a dozen of partners, which each may have millions of users.
  • Supervision of software engineers, and student interns/volunteers
  • Supporting the research team of Prof Beel
  • Perform other duties which will arise from time to time and as directed by the head of the Project.

Person Specification


  • Bachelor or Master in Computer Science, or a similar field, a minimum of three years of work experience.

Knowledge & Experience (Essential & Desirable)


  • Experience in designing and building large-scale (cloud) applications that deal with dozens of millions of requests per months and store and process Terra Bytes of data.
  • Experience in software development processes and tools including build systems such as Gradle, continuous integration tools such as Jenkins, versioning systems such as Git, and ticket management systems such as JIRA
  • Good knowledge in data formats (in particular XML and JSON), Web Services (REST) and Web standards (HTTP/HTTPS).
  • Excellent knowledge in Python, MySQL, and Linux
  • Very high self-motivation and hands-on experience
  • Extremely high attention to detail and accuracy
  • Love for high code quality


  • Good Knowledge in Recommender Systems and Machine Learning
  • Experience with agile project management methods (Scrum or Kanban)
  • Start-up experience
  • Experience in A/B Testing
  • Ability to work on own initiative but also to work as an active and efficient team member when required.
  • Other related experience and skills which the candidate may have to offer will be taken into consideration.


Skills & Competencies

  • Organisational Ability; Excellent organisational and task management skills together with the ability to work on a number of tasks simultaneously. Have the ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines;  be capable of working on own initiative and work under time constraints; Be enthusiastic, flexible and willing to work outside usual office hours when required; Ability to develop creative solutions to multi-faceted problems
  • Conscientious; Have a pro-active approach to work, anticipating and resolving problems in advance; Attention to detail, from anticipating and addressing issues in advance to understanding requests and delivering quality work with minimal errors
  • Customer Focus: customer service skills are essential.  Demonstrate emotional intelligence and communicate with a high level of initiative, tact, diplomacy and confidentiality
  • Flexibility: Can operate flexibly within a busy work environment; can shift focus when required; assist beyond normal work hours when a need arises; be able to undertake other duties as necessary
  • Team Worker: Ability to operate effectively as part of a team – tolerant, cordial and willing to help others, shares work and information; establishes rapport with others can influence and develop effective networks;
  • Motivated: Displays a ‘can-do’ attitude, is committed to the Centre and wishes to contribute to its development; a clear demonstration of enthusiasm and passion for the role. An ability to motivate others in terms of making applications to funders


Application Information

In order to assist the selection process, applicants should submit a Curriculum Vitae and a Cover Letter (1x A4 page) via jobs.tcd.ie that specifically address the following points in their application 

Applicants must have relevant industry experience. Applicants should clearly address this experience and how they obtained their knowledge in their application.
Illustrate, through past example, their ability to work on their own initiative and resolve problems.


Full application details available here