Sep 19, 2023

Principal Developer – ML

  • REA Group
  • Richmond, Melbourne VIC
Full time Information Technology Manufacturing

Job Description

  • Experience Hybrid working arrangements in a flexible environment – ex: Work from the office or home in a rhythm that suits you.

  • Sustainability - We are certified carbon neutral and committed to reducing our impact on the environment.

  • Charities – We have long-term partnerships with charities working to address homelessness.

We're REA

REA Group  is not your average digital business. From humble beginnings in a garage in Melbourne’s east in 1995, we have grown into a leading global digital business, specialising in property.
With bold and ambitious goals, we are changing the way the world experiences property. No matter where you're at on your property journey, we're here to help with every step - whether that's finding or financing your next home.

Our people are the key to our success. At the heart of everything we do, is a thriving culture centred around high performance and care. We are purpose driven and collaborative, which drives innovation and our ability to make a real impact. As such, we’re proud to be named in Australia’s “Top 5” Best Workplaces two years in a row, as well as being recognised as a Best Workplace for Women.

Where the team fits in

The Principal Machine Learning Engineer works within the Experience Engine Portfolio in the Consumer Group. The portfolio is driving the future of personalisation, privacy, and data science by building innovative solutions that lead the way on how the world experiences property. 

Our team is made up of experts in a wide range of disciplines, including machine learning, data engineering, software development, cloud computing, and user experience design. We are constantly learning and innovating, and we are always looking for new ways to use technology to make a positive impact on the world. 


A Principal is the most senior member of the technical engineering pathway at REA and is a deep specialist in a technology competency who sets the standard for engineering excellence across the organisation.  

As a Principal Machine Learning Engineer, you will play a pivotal role in shaping and advancing our machine learning initiatives within a collaborative team environment. Leveraging your extensive technical expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, you will be at the forefront of ML research, executing our technical strategy, driving innovation, and enhancing our products. Your responsibilities will encompass the design, implementation, and maintenance of machine learning solutions that align with REA's strategic objectives. 

You will form part of a Data Science team and will contribute to the success of the team’s mission. You will lead or significantly contribute to medium-large scale AI/ML solutions and initiatives that have strategic impact for your group and for REA, often spanning multiple squads.  


In addition to your team responsibilities, you will drive the technical excellence of your specialised competency across the organisation. You will champion technical practices and decision making to ensure high-quality outcomes for our business. Other activities may include participating in or leading guilds relevant to your specialization, ensuring we are sponsoring events that bring outside thinking into REA and increasing REA’s technology brand awareness in the community. 

What the role is all about

  • Technical Leadership: Lead and inspire a cross-functional team of engineers, fostering a culture of technical excellence and innovation. Contribute directly to the planning and execution of medium to large-scale machine learning solutions and projects with strategic implications for both your team and REA. 

  • Machine Learning Expertise: Lead ML research and utilise your deep understanding of AI/ML concepts, algorithms, and techniques to guide the team in creating effective solutions. Act as a subject matter expert to ML engineers, data engineers, data scientists and business stakeholders to upskill, share knowledge and best practices related to ML engineering and data science.  

  • Agile and Collaborative Practices: Promote agile development, continuous integration, and collaborative coding practices. Encourage knowledge sharing, pair programming, and continuous learning within the team. 

  • Team Development and Mentorship: Foster a positive and engaging team culture, contribute to recruitment efforts, establish effective processes, and provide mentorship to both junior and senior team members. Support the growth and development of your team's technical skills and expertise. 

  • Technical Advocacy: Champion machine learning best practices and support technical decision-making across the organization including ethical use of data and compliance with all legal (privacy) requirements. Collaborate with REA University's School of Tech to align training resources and strategies for AI/ML competency. Develop and deliver training materials, workshops, and initiatives that elevate the technical skills of the broader REA community. 

  • External Engagement: Drive REA's technology brand awareness in the broader tech community. Participate in relevant guilds, conferences, and events to foster outside thinking and bring innovative ideas back to the organization. Embrace diversity and inclusion principles in all external engagements. 

  • Continuous Learning: Stay current with developments in the machine learning field, both within REA and the broader technical community. Keep abreast of emerging trends and techniques, and integrate this knowledge into the organization's technical practices. 

Who we’re looking for

  • Extensive experience as a senior/staff/lead ML engineer, with a track record of successfully delivering complex projects and features. 

  • PhD or master’s degree in computer science, Mathematics, Statistics or a similar technical field of study with a specialisation in Machine Learning, Data and AI. 

  • Expert in Python, and relevant ML frameworks - PyTorch , TensorFlow, sci-kit learn, etc.  

  • A specialist in one or more domains within the ML Engineering discipline – NLP, Deep Learning, Recommender Systems, etc. 

  • Can proactively identify and recommend the most appropriate ML approach and tools required to derive insights and optimise for scale.  

  • Demonstrated knowledge and application of machine learning, statistical analysis and modelling on both structured and unstructured data (e.g. image and text).  

  • Familiarity with dev-ops tools and techniques, particularly Docker, Git, and CI/CD.  

  • Demonstrated ability to clean, synthesise, transform, and manage data of any format and from various sources to support development of ML models.  

  • Proficiency with leveraging MLOps tooling in a production environment on a major cloud - GCP, AWS or Azure. 

  • Exposure to development of APIs, working with streaming data (e.g. Flink, Kafka) tools is a plus.  

  • Understanding of Gen AI tools, offerings, eco system and applicability. 

  • Ability to communicate, collaborate, and contribute effectively across teams and with various business stakeholders.  

  • Ability to present data, findings, and provide recommendations in an engaging way.  

  • Motivation to learn and share knowledge – mentoring others and striving to do things better.

The REA experience

The physical, mental, emotional and financial health of our people is something we’ll never stop caring about. This is a place to learn and grow. We’re committed to your development – both professionally and personally. Your experience with us is something we take seriously.

We offer: 

  • A hybrid and flexible approach to working -  

  • Flexible parental leave offering for primary and secondary carers 

  • Programs to support mental, emotional, financial and physical health & wellbeing

  • Our Because We Care program offers employees volunteering leave, community grants, matched payroll giving and our Community Café donates 100% of revenue to charity.

  • Hack Days so you can bring your big ideas to life  

  • Performance recognition programs because hard work should never go unnoticed

Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  

We are committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe teams with diverse ideas and experiences are more creative, more effective and fuel disruptive thinking - be it cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gender identity, disability, age, sexual orientation, or any other identity or lived experience. We know diverse teams are critical to maintaining our success and driving new business opportunities. If you've got the skills, dedication and enthusiasm to learn but don't necessarily meet every single point on the job description, please still get in touch.

If you like the sound of us, then we think you should apply today. We're proud to be Circle Back Initiative Employer and we commit to respond to every applicant. While we're looking at your application, and preparing to come back to you with an update, why not get to know us a bit more through our various social channels?