R&D Applied AI Engineer
Engineering – Research & Development /
Full-time, Remote /
Mechanical Orchard is a fast-growing startup that takes a fresh view on old problems. We replace legacy computing systems for the Global 2000, with a focus on mitigating risk and creating a genuinely solid foundation for innovating and adapting.
Our background in software development and the impact on the industry is well known, and we've literally helped write the book on XP and other impactful agile practices. We’re applying the same thoughtfulness and rigor in weaving AI into everything we do. We believe in the durable principles behind agile, and embrace the power of cross-functional teams, collective ownership, test driven development, short feedback loops, and continuous improvement.
We are Generous, Ethical, Effective, and Kind.
Mechanical Orchard takes a disciplined approach to legacy modernization, starting with a focused, collaborative discovery phase to create a shared understanding of the existing system. This is followed by a “steel thread” that paves a path to production, cutting through integration, testing, access, and organizational hurdles for the first modernized job or application workload. We then scale up and accelerate the modernization process, gradually reducing risk and steadily unlocking innovation for our customers.
Our R&D team is leading the way in using generative AI and other technology to accelerate this legacy modernization journey.
We’re starting with comprehension tools to facilitate reverse engineering, with AI-generated source summaries, interactive dependency visualizations, and LLM agents that empower our delivery teams and allow them to hit the ground running.
Here’s what Jeff Schomay, our staff AI engineer has to say about it:
“Working on the R&D team offers constant fun and interesting challenges. Legacy code bases are hard enough to understand by trained software engineers, let alone AIs, and the traditional code-aware models and embedding techniques don’t work so well with COBOL, so we have to make innovative inroads to the problems that build upon each other. But the effort is worth it and we feel like wizards when our clients start realizing that we can show them insights into their own systems that they’ve been working on for over 30 years that they’ve never seen before.”
Our vision is an AI-first platform that streamlines the entire modernization process from discovery through to production operations. This platform aims to augment the capabilities of our delivery teams, offer unparalleled transparency for our customers, and firmly establish Mechanical Orchard as a disruptive force in the legacy modernization industry.
As an applied AI Engineer on the Mechanical Orchard R&D team, you will work as part of a cross functional team developing internal and/or customer facing tools and/or products using Elixir, python or other programming languages.
In this role, you will also be expected to:
- Develop, test, and integrate generative AI applications using public or open source LLMs, frameworks such as LlamaIndex, vector stores, prompt engineering, Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), agents, model fine tuning, and LLM evaluation tools
- Collaborate closely with other engineers and other roles such as product managers, data scientists or ML researchers, or product designers
- Engage in Extreme Programming practices such as pair programming, test-driven development, refactoring, continuous integration and continuous delivery
- Operate and support production platforms and applications as a team in the context of the agile DevOps model
- Collaborate with other teams at Mechanical Orchard, including client delivery and sales teams on technical discovery efforts for existing customer systems including legacy applications
- Continuously learn about generative AI and other relevant emerging and foster the growth of the team and organization through mentorship, tech talks, and other means
As the ideal candidate, you have at least 3 years of experience as a software and/or AI engineer in a professional, team based environment, and have expertise in at least one modern programming language.
You have a foundation of theoretical knowledge about machine learning and data science, combined with recent practical experience with generative AI including LLM prompt engineering, evaluation, application integration, and production deployment.
Strong communication and collaboration skills as well as empathy are essential for working closely with the R&D team, our internal and external customers, and others at Mechanical Orchard.
This is a full time, remote position, and we’re looking for candidates in the US Eastern, US Central, or European time zones.
Occasional travel may be required for customer visits or team gatherings.
Mechanical Orchard, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Prohibits Discrimination and Harassment of Any Kind. Mechanical Orchard, Inc. is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Mechanical Orchard, Inc. are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. Mechanical Orchard, Inc. will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. Mechanical Orchard, Inc. encourages applicants of all ages. Mechanical Orchard, Inc. will provide reasonable accommodation to employees who have protected disabilities consistent with local law.
We look forward to reviewing your application. Thanks!