Principal ML Engineer

  • Zalando
  • Hybrid (Zürich, ZH, Switzerland)
  • 15/04/2024
Full time Data Engineering Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence Software Engineering Data Warehouse

Job Description


As a Principal Engineer in the Zalando eCommerce Platform Sciences team you will work with exceptional engineers and science leaders to spearhead the strategy for building platform capabilities and ML infrastructure, and collaborate closely with the Personalisation, Search, and Browse teams and the central Machine learning productivity teams.

We are looking for an experienced ML engineering leader to be part of the leadership team and support various cross-group machine learning and applied science teams to define and drive the architecture and technology strategy for Discovery within Zalando.


  • Mentor junior to senior engineers and actively collaborate with other teams. Share knowledge and expertise within our talented engineering and science community.

  • Architect, design, and develop our machine learning platform capabilities and infrastructure to be able to serve our 50M customers.

  • Work closely with applied science and engineering leaders, product managers and other business stakeholders to bring our state-of-the-art solutions to the customers and to discover and identify new opportunities.

  • Drive the operationalization of solutions deployed in production, and help the team grow and cultivate best practices in software development and MLOps. Operate a complex and advanced system landscape that meets the highest standards in terms of reliability, performance, and latency.


  • Excellent software development engineering skills to design computationally effective solutions for machine learning operationalization and maintenance (MLOps/MLaaS) in large-scale production environments (data engineering, data version control, model serving, continuous monitoring & alerting).

  • Experience leading the architecture and design (design patterns, reliability and scaling) and building of new and current machine learning systems.

  • Expert in Python, Scala and Spark. Hands-on experience with Docker, Git, AWS EC2, S3, Databricks, SageMaker, Flink, PostgreSQL, Redis. Experience in working with machine learning products, including deep learning, especially around recommendations, ranking, and search. Experience with deep learning platforms, tools and frameworks (TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc.).

  • Experience building, deploying and operating data-driven systems in a cloud environment, including experience with feature stores & feature engineering pipelines, data ingestion & transformation, and machine learning workflow orchestration.

  • Good communication skills and experience leading organization-wide collaborations. Ability and eagerness to understand the business context where the team operates and the customer problems being solved.

  • Experience coaching and mentoring senior engineers, and working closely with applied scientists, senior machine learning engineers and data scientists.

Zalando Benefits

Career Development

  • We offer peer-to-peer performance reviews twice a year

  • Learn and develop through our extensive Zalando training platform

  • Join regular all-hands, team meetings, Q&A-sessions, and quarterly anonymous employee surveys to ask your questions and provide your feedback

  • Support from an international team of experts; mentoring and professional development opportunities


  • 2 days paid leave per year for volunteering

  • 25 holiday days per calendar year

  • Online sports courses, wellbeing, and nutrition advice offered by Humanoo personal wellbeing coach app

  • Mental wellbeing support by our Employee Assistance Program and professional consultants to help you find health resources


  • Flexible working hours

  • Relocation assistance available for internationals

  • Home office equipment available for hybrid working, to support you working from home

  • Hybrid working model with 60% remote per week

  • Opportunity to work from abroad for 30 (working) days per calendar year


  • Access to the employee shares program

  • 40% shopping discount on products shipped and sold by Zalando, and 30% discount on Zalando Lounge

  • Discounts from a wide range of external partners

  • SBB Half Fare Travelcard


  • 4 weeks paid paternity leave and 17 weeks paid maternity leave

  • 3 fully-paid child sick days per year

  • Free counseling, assistance, and referral service for all matters concerning yourself and your family via the Fürstenberg Institute.


It’s the perfect time to join Zalando on our journey, from being a pioneer in the world of e-commerce, to the starting point for fashion in Europe. We connect customers, brands, and partners across 23 markets.

Help us drive digital and sustainable solutions for fashion, logistics, advertising and research, bringing head-to-toe fashion to more than 48 million active customers through a team of diverse skill-sets, cultural backgrounds, and interests.

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Donatella Marcellino

Please note that all applications must be completed using the online form - we do not accept applications via email.