Our portfolio companies are always looking for great people. Apply to the opportunities below or send us your profile.

Senior Software Engineer – Data Science at Prodigy Finance
Cape Town, ZA

Prodigy Finance - who we are

Prodigy Finance is a platform that enables financing for international postgraduate students at the world’s best universities, whilst delivering competitive financial and social returns to alumni, institutional and private investors.

This borderless and innovative model enables education loan financing to students from across the globe, whilst using predicted post-degree affordability rather than present-day salary. Since 2007, Prodigy Finance has extended over US$500 million through the platform to fund over 12,000 students from over 150 countries.

Our team of over 170 (and growing) is already truly global. Our head office is in London with much of the team being based in beautiful Cape Town. We also have an office in New York plus team members based across Europe and Asia.

We are funded by some of the best, pre-eminent institutions in the world including Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, AlphaCode, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Why this is an amazing opportunity

This role is perfect for an experienced Software Engineer who wants to supercharge their career by experiencing first-hand what it is like to be part of an energetic, extremely fast growing startup. You will be part of a focused team that goes out into the rest of the business looking for opportunities to study and measure its core business operations, learning how to make them better and putting in place infrastructure to support ongoing measurement and learning.

The sense of impact and reward will be huge. You will help to build a product which makes a very real difference in the world. Be a part of delivering socially responsible financial services to the masses; make it possible for students from more than 100 countries to obtain the finance to fulfil their dream of studying at the world’s top universities and schools.

We are a small non-hierarchical team; this means that you are going to get exposure to all aspects of our business immediately. You’ll gain as much accountability as you can handle and have a huge influence on scaling the company.

Our team is very international and very sociable; you will interact with the broader business on a regular basis. The position will be based in Cape Town.

One of our goals is to build one of the top FinTech teams and cultures anywhere in the world. This means putting a lot of time into ensuring we only hire people with exceptional potential, and creating the best working environment possible. If you want to work somewhere where you're learning from some of the best brains in FinTech, this would be a good fit.

Why join Prodigy Finance

Be a part of a pioneering global growth company

Experience the excitement and learn from being part of an incredibly fast-growing young company. No kidding – exponential growth. Happening right now

Be pivotal in scaling the business by identifying smart solutions and partners with tech at the heart of it

Enjoy the agility and flexibility offered by a startup culture. A sociable, relaxed and friendly work environment (with a serious coffee culture where you can wear shorts to work)

We will help you make your mark. Make a real impact on the business and experience a steep learning curve with huge opportunities to grow and develop

Gain an inside perspective on the functioning of a venture-backed FinTech startup, backed by top VCs, learn day-to-day management and build functional expertise

Build a platform that helps to make a very real difference in the world

What you will do in the role

As a Senior Software Engineer joining the Data Science team at Prodigy Finance you will be exposed to the functioning of the technology, product, operations and business teams and you will increasingly take on a leadership and decision-making role as we grow Prodigy Finance’s data function. You will support senior team members on larger projects and take ownership of smaller projects ensuring accurate and timely project delivery with a focus on strengthening internal relationships with other disciplines.

Specific responsibilities are to:

Become an integral and trusted member of the tech team; be a leader, coach and mentor, decision maker and handle a full caseload of hands-on coding/implementation projects

Take a leadership and decision-making role in the technical architecture and implementation of data science projects. This includes project prioritisation, evaluating technical debt, technical problem resolution and working with Data Scientists to evolve prototypes into production systems

Execute a number of projects which contribute to the improvement of delivery of data science projects. Take responsibility for coding the core implementation of projects and getting data models into products and the hands of users.  Make an impactful contribution, ask great questions, and execute high quality work

Assume responsibility as a mentor and guide for more junior members of the team

Researching and staying abreast of key technical developments and industry trends and innovations

Completing reasonable tasks as requested within the broad parameters of the role

Contribute to architecting and building a system for the training, updating and deployment of data models into production in a repeatable and replicable fashion

What you will be measured on

Technical acumen; fluency in Python, delivering great code on time and on budget, have an impact, earn respect as a great programmer

Critical judgement and leadership aptitude; become a trusted and respected member of the team, make great decisions, flag issues early, evaluate and solve problems, communicate strategic and tactical priorities, be a sounding-board for both junior team members and the CTO

Mindfulness; be aware of how your work and your behaviour impacts not only the Data Science team, but also the rest of the business

Ability to work alongside Data Scientists and offer technical mentorship, while in turn learning how to be a Data Scientist

What you need to be great at

Technical competence; love coding, able to learn new paradigms quickly and look to continuously improve and find better ways of doing things

Excellent critical judgement; able to make good decisions, be trusted, respected and dependable, be proactive and responsive, ask the right questions, raise flags at the right time, able to prioritize and plan workloads with the team

Coaching and mentoring; teaching concepts, listening and adapting, empathy and a motivation to understand what makes others tick

Team leading and team spirit; we are all contributing to the same business, so be a great individual contributor but be more motivated by the leading the team to achieve - we only win if the team wins - see the impact of your own work and positively influence and help the work of others

Getting up the front of the bus; get stuck in, execute, generate ideas, have an impact, don’t just sit back and be a passenger

Being comfortable and fluent in mathematics and statistics

Who we are looking for; track record must haves

8+ years of development experience (to include unit testing, system architecture, code design and experience working with production systems)

Strong experience in Python

Tertiary education in mathematics or statistics at a first-year level or equivalent

Demonstrable track record of working with a relational database, for example PostgreSQL

Professional fluency in open source tools, including GitHub, Jenkins, and others

Experience with cloud platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud or Azure

Capacity and inclination to learn and must be passionate about data science. Really passionate

Experience with and committed to writing unit tests in difficult situations

Experience architecting and managing production systems

Hunger for and ability to create well designed code

Experience that would be nice to have (but we’ll trade off if everything else fits)

Ideally you will have 3 years’ experience of Python, and 8+ years general work experience. We will consider you if you have less work experience, but you need to live and breathe open source coding and possess the attributes described, with the potential to become a great team leader

Exposure to XP practices (test, TDD, pairing, CD, etc) or a passion to learn to work this way

Previous experience with Python data science tools

Experience in Agile methodologies (SCRUM)

Start-up experience. Sometimes the earth moves beneath your feet at Prodigy Finance so you've got to be comfortable with ambiguity, able to wear lots of hats, and adapt easily as we continue to grow

The Prodigy Finance fit; attributes which run true in everyone at Team Prodigy

To be an A player at Prodigy Finance, you need to possess – in spades - the following attributes:

Innovative + Smart

Be curious enough to want to know more, think out the box, maybe even break the box, show initiative and be smart about it to find implementable, impactful solutions.

International + Accountable

Push yourself to be better every day. Work with others across the world, be resilient, add value and then hold yourself accountable. Encourage and celebrate each other.

Energetic + Fun

Sense of humour = survival. Bring energy and fun. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Work hard and find the time to play. We’re in this together.

Do you want to be our next Senior Software Engineer in our Data Science Team?  Here’s what to do now:

If this sounds exciting and you'd like to have an informal chat, get in touch below and tell us why you want to work at Prodigy Finance. 

Stay in touch with Balderton

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on news from Balderton, and our portfolio.