Engineering Manager, AI



Software Engineering, Other Engineering, Data Science
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2024

Role summary

Volley is a leader in the voice-activated entertainment space with AI at the core powering voice-driven games for our users including speech recognition and proprietary systems that build upon Natural Language Understanding (NLU). We are pioneers in leveraging generative AI for gaming with 20 Questions being one of the first LLM-powered experiences on connected platforms and we are actively expanding our portfolio. We’re looking for an Engineering Manager to lead teams creating some of our flagship voice-AI-driven games. You will lead a team of full-stack engineers working across platforms including Roku, FireTV, and Alexa to deliver best-in-class voice-activated AI gaming experiences to our users.

Our AI team is at the forefront of our R&D efforts to ensure that we’re leveraging the advances in AI technology to deliver the best experiences for our users by innovating on fun, creative, new games and enhancing user engagement in existing titles. You will partner with many teams and functions to ensure that we have appropriate data, monitoring, and testing tools in place and ensure appropriate guardrails are in place to deliver safe and fun experiences for our users.

You will leverage your expertise to ensure that we’re utilizing our data sets to appropriately train/use machine learning models and set up pipelines for teams forging ahead as trailblazers in voice-activated entertainment across all our platforms.

We’re actively expanding our game titles and platforms and this is an opportunity to play a pivotal role in creating innovative, fun AI-powered games across connected devices.

This job opportunity offers a hybrid work arrangement, and we are specifically seeking candidates who are comfortable with on-site attendance in our Bay Area office three times per week and are either currently residing in or near the Bay Area or willing to relocate for on-site work.

What you'll do at Volley

  • Be actively involved in strategic and product decisions, and ensure that the team is driving and executing toward Volley’s overall vision.
  • Build machine learning systems and pipelines for training, shipping, and operating machine learning models
  • Collaborate and execute projects cross-functionally with the data science, product, infrastructure, and safety council teams.
  • Ensure engineering outcomes meet or exceed established standards of excellence in code quality, system design, and scalability
  • Manage a team of engineers and ensure they are highly motivated, and developing in their careers by providing stretch opportunities, and timely and actionable feedback.
  • Use first principles in resourcing decisions and be able to recruit a team of diverse engineers that are best in class in the industry.
  • Contribute to company-wide engineering efforts as part of the engineering leadership team.

Stuff you may have done before

  • Proven leadership in hiring diverse teams.
  • Strong passion for gaming and innovation in game development.
  • Experience managing teams that leverage real-time, distributed data processing
  • Thrive in fast-paced agile environments with rapid innovation.
  • Experience in Natural Language Processing, Audio ML, Signal Processing or Text Generation


  • 3+ years of direct engineering management experience
  • 1+ years of experience working within a team responsible for developing, managing, and optimizing ML models or ML infrastructure
  • 5+ years as a software developer; bonus points if you have game development experience.
  • Technical credibility and proven track record of building and deploying machine learning models or systems that have effectively solved critical business problems
  • Keen product sense and demonstrated ability to establish cross-functional partnerships and influence overall strategy.
  • Creative problem solver that can drive execution and lead through ambiguity.
  • Motivated to help your team members succeed, experience growing engineers.

Our stack

  • Typescript & Node.js
  • Python, Snowflake, dbt, EC2
  • React, React Native, Brightscript
  • DynamoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis
  • Proprietary Game Engine
  • Kubernetes

The hiring process

  • Stage 1 - Preliminary Phone Screen with our senior recruiting lead.
  • Stage 2- Hiring Manager Chat with Senior Director of Engineering.
  • Stage 3 - Behavioral Phone screen with one of our Engineering Managers. May include a technical chat with our engineers as well.
  • Stage 4 - Virtual On-site with various partners and teammates. This is a mix of management, technical, and collaboration skills interviews.
  • Stage 5 - Founder Chat with our co-founders (CTO/CEO).
  • Stage 6 - Offer

What's in it for you

  • Your medical, dental, and vision insurance is 100% covered by Volley, for yourself and all dependents and we match 401k!
  • We offer a flexible, hybrid work-from-home and in-office work model.
  • We offer 4 weeks of paid time off (enforced 2-week minimum), 16 paid holidays, 40 hours of bereavement leave, and unlimited sick days.
  • Our generous parental leave policy includes 24 weeks at 100% pay for birthing parents and 12 weeks at 100% pay for non-birthing parents.
  • We offer visa support for eligible candidates, making relocating for the job smoother and more streamlined.
  • A full breakdown of our benefits is **here!**

For Pay Transparency: The salary range that we expect to pay for this position is $166,881 - $229,461 annually. This is a portion of the pay band for the role and level we are seeking. The final offer amount will depend on experience, education and skills. Base pay is only one part of the total package that is provided to compensate and recognize employees for their work

About Us

Volley is the leading developer of AI-powered games for Amazon Alexa, Roku TVs, and mobile devices. Our games attract millions of users every month. Popular Volley games include Song Quiz, Jeopardy!, and The Price Is Right.

We believe voice interfaces will become the main way people access entertainment in their living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and cars. We're building a bundled subscription product similar to Netflix or Spotify for the emerging category of “AI-powered games.”

Volley was founded by Max Child and James Wilsterman in 2016. We're headquartered in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. We're a quickly growing team that truly enjoys working together. If you think you would enjoy creating joyful games on top of a rapidly evolving AI technology stack, please get in touch!

Volley believes in an inclusive workplace and is committed to building a team from a variety of backgrounds. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, perform essential job functions, and receive the other benefits and privileges of employment.

Underrepresented candidates and candidates from nontraditional backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply!