Front-end Engineer

San Francisco, CA
Product - Engineering
Full-time
Facet is a close-knit team of engineers, visual creatives and machine learning experts based in San Francisco. Our thesis is simple: While media becomes increasingly personalized and topical, the process of creating art remains frustratingly manual. We use machine intelligence to amplify human creativity, allowing artists, designers, and creatives of every stripe to take control of their process and focus on exploration and art direction.

We have just launched our first product, a web-based ML-powered image editor, into private beta, and we're expanding our founding team in San Francisco. Facet is backed by Slow Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, South Park Commons, and a diverse group of designers, product thinkers, as well as AI engineers from Google Brain and Salesforce.




This role is a unique opportunity to bridge the technical and creative divide, solving difficult engineering challenges in the service of artistic goals.

You would be responsible for designing and building our core frontend architecture. Facet is a web app with the complexity of a desktop app, and it's important that it stay fast, stable, and easy to modify. Core challenges include creating and maintaining a strong foundation for the Facet product frontend, building interfaces to explain and control powerful image editing operations, like example-based color match, and diagnosing performance issues across both our React frontend and the underlying Typescript / WebGL image rendering engine.

You might be a fit if you

    • Empathize with designers, artists, and visual creative workers.
    • Enjoy working on and pushing the limits of a cutting edge web development stack: Typescript, WebGL, React and Redux.
    • Have experience working on complex web apps with difficult state management challenges.
    • Are excited about learning how to execute image processing and ML tasks in the browser with WebGL and tensorflow.js
    • Want to develop new forms of user experience that allow human designers to work collaboratively with AI.

Technical Challenges

    • Frontend architecture. We're building an image editor used by artists, so performance is paramount. At the same time, we need to provide a foundation for rapid iteration on our product and its interface, and for resource-intensive image processing. Doing this successfully requires deep thought about how information is organized and transported around our app.
    • Real-time browser-based image processing: Performing complex editing operations on millions of pixels in real time isn’t easy. We need to use GPU acceleration, careful memory management, and extensive caching — and we’re looking at any web technology that could give us a boost. We use WebGL extensively, and we're starting to explore WebAssembly.
    • Splitting state-of-the-art AI models across the browser and the server: Many AI models won’t run in the browser, but we can’t get real-time interactivity by running solely on the server. We are constantly trying to figure out new ways to pre-compute as much as we can on the server, then send compact result summaries to the client that enable sophisticated real-time editing.

Why join us?

    • AI for creative tools is something we at Facet believe very deeply in—as machine perception improves, we're truly at the cusp of a renaissance in new tools for visual artists.
    • Facet is something that has the potential to become huge independent powerhouse, making creative work easier and more accessible for folks of all stripes, and we’re the right team for this problem.
    • We are highly technical and we are backed by AI and product experts from Google Brain, Salesforce Metamind and FAIR. Joe founded two successful companies prior to Facet: Metamarkets was acquired by Snap last year and Premise has expanded to provide basic income and data services to underserved communities in over 30 different countries. Matt has deep expertise in computer graphics and machine learning, and previously led the engineering team at Operator.
    • As a member of the founding team, you’ll have a significant influence on our product and we're top 1% in equity compensation for our early employees. We’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to write and rewrite a ton of code, and we’re going to struggle with product direction and market development. We’re being upfront because above all else we value honest communication and collaboration. There is no other way to successfully navigate a seed stage business. By working together, we can go farther, faster, and accomplish more than any of us could by ourselves.

Projects you might work on

    • Adding a new selection visualization mode to our editor, where selections and user-provided image annotations are previewed as color overlays on top of the photo that the user is editing, with live updates as the user makes changes.
    • Building a client-side tool for matching photo colors by example. Accurate color matching is a core Facet feature that lets users quickly adjust local tone curves and in a content-aware way. Foregrounds, backgrounds, skin tones, etc. are all matched separately and blended together seamlessly.
    • Rebuilding our photo collections index page to let users search photos by content.
    • Tracing slow editing actions through our system and proposing not just fixes for the current problem, but design principles to help us avoid future performance issues.

Facet benefits

    • Three weeks paid vacation.
    • Comprehensive health coverage and we cover 100% of your premiums.
    • Maternal/paternal leave.
    • Build your own work environment: customize your laptop and desk setup with any peripheral or accessory you'd like.
    • Order any work-related books on the company's Amazon account.
    • Flexible working hours: we have daily team stand-ups, but we understand if you work better when you're not tethered to your desk.
    • Relocation assistance.
    • Commuter benefits including a monthly ride-sharing stipend.


Working at Facet

Facet powers visual storytelling at scale through creative and supportive AI.

Consensus goals, independent execution. We value collaboration on goal setting and technical/company direction while giving individuals latitude and ownership over how these goals are achieved.

Marathon, not a sprint. Creative AI is a rapidly blooming space, so we need to move quickly to build product and grow our market. We all juggle multiple roles and we’re in it for the long haul. At the same time, we understand downtime is important. We don’t have an explicit vacation policy, but unlike other startups we expect you to gauge your level of stress and take one when you need it.

Sane experimentation. We're exploring new territory and building a new product category. We need to experiment and try new things while maintaining a stable foundation for our future work. Our product should make the world better, and we shouldn't break anything we’re not sure we can fix. Facet is partnering with artists and designers to develop a powerful, ethical approach to our technology, democratizing artistic expression in a safe, responsible way.

Creative + technical. Facet is about making technology a partner in the creative process. We enjoy product design, engineering, and research—but also photography, music, art, and cooking.

Diverse backgrounds. We’re solving a completely new problem and need a diverse set of viewpoints and voices to fully understand its scope and extent. We’re building a company and culture that can responsibly and respectfully integrate a plurality of voices.

Tea and baked goods. We’re really into tea and baking & think these are good things. You might disagree with us (cf. “diverse ideas”), but you should be aware.