Why join Diffgram now

Anthony Chaudhary
4 min readOct 6, 2022

This article is for folks looking to switch to a new job now.

Photo by Ross Findon

Here’s three reasons to join Diffgram now:

  • Be a Named person
  • Real impact and high freedom of expression
  • Small team

For context, there’s a simple formula for figuring out your impact:

Contribution * Visibility

In many teams, the structure of the team itself makes it hard to make major contributions, and often the visibility of any contribution is internal only. For example being a cog at big company or the two hundredth employee at a closed source startup.

At Diffgram:

1) A lot of your day to day work falls into making a real contribution.

2) As commercial open source, your work has higher visibility.

3) As a small startup your work gets published fast… sometimes same day. (If it passes ci/cd tests 😊)

4) You are a “Named” person at the company. It’s Anthony Sarkis, not engineer #129857857.

5) You are working in a novel and important area of new ML programs.

Naturally this isn’t for everyone.

In fact probably most engineers aren’t the right fit. But if you are someone who wants to really make a visible impact there are few other companies where you can do that at this level. We are basically at the perfect joining stage of having figured out a lot of stuff, having a strong growing revenue in a growing area, and a need to rapidly expand on known trajectories.

A few considerations about the company

  1. Most popular fully open source training data platform
  2. We know the general boundaries of what we are building, at least for the next few years (I won’t call it product market fit because that’s such a cliché term but… something like that.)
  3. There are still many hard technical problems to solve
  4. We know who our clients are — large enterprises (and startups serving enterprises) with complex business needs. Diffgram Enterprise has a very specific audience.

A few considerations about the team

  1. All of us are similar to “senior” or “principal” at a big tech company.
  2. High hiring bar — only working with people like yourself.
  3. All remote, highly self directed, no stand up meetings, etc.
  4. We try to minimize “grunt” work. Either it’s something that’s worth our time to do (or abstract, or integrate etc.), or it’s not worth doing.
  5. Anyone can discuss any item on technical concerns. We have a strong learning culture including learning from each other, and researching novel areas on demand.
  6. We have high expectations of each other, but also respect to teach each other so there’s lots of seemingly silly (well at least from me) questions that lead to really interesting conversations.

Examples of Contributions

Occasionally we further highlight select areas of the system that we work on:

Technology for World Best

Customer revenue is the best investor. Few teams are in a position to grow on Customer revenue and that’s us.

We are building the best possible technology in the world for Training Data. This means we have to actively get feedback and be prepared to not just be judged internally, but to have the code be judged externally by the community and customers. It also means being willing to actively research competitive options. Within our opinionated view of training data we take ideas from all relevant sources.

We are purposely maintaining a very small elite team. Think whatsapp and where they (as a startup) got with their team size.

This area is still on the start of the curve and won’t peak for many years. There’s demand and need to grow, but not to grow at all costs. Further, we have made some very specific choices that remove the need for a lot of traditional overhead in a growing company, allowing us to stay focused on engineering the product to be the best solution for customer’s business problems.

Does this fit you?

  • ~5–7 years of experience
  • python/js experience (yes we know you can learn any stack but this will help you hit the ground running)
  • Extreme level of willpower and motivation
  • Remote +/- 3 hours of PST is preferred, generally anywhere in the Americas. (Just a tactical reality of current setup, if you think you are a really great fit but live on the other side of the ocean please still contact us.)

We have a highly challenging, but respectful, hiring process. I promise we will never reject you for not being able to reverse a linked list.

We pay well as a mix of cash and equity. Pay is based relative to cost of living for your region. It is not a big tech style salary. I believe the other benefits of the role described above, and the equity side, are some of the biggest reasons to choose Diffgram. There’s ample opportunities to have a comfortable financial future, but the immediate gain is working on a world class project near the ground floor.

If you want to be part of that I encourage you to apply. If you do, and think you got missed on some filter there then email me directly anthony sarkis @ diffgram.

We get many applications daily so please don’t be upset or offended if we don’t respond or continue, it may be just not a fit a this time.