Clara Labs

Clara is a digital employee that schedules your meetings, getting you to the work that matters, faster.

LOCATION San Francisco, CA

COMPANY SIZE Between 10 and 25

# OF ENGINEERS Between 10 and 25




TAGS Task Management, Productivity Software, Artificial Intelligence, Marketplaces, Communications Software, YC Summer 2014

What do we do?

Clara is an automated system that handles meeting coordination through emails and manages the complexity of its users’ calendars.

Why join us?

Clara Labs is establishing a new class of virtual assistant that understands you like a person, but operates at the scale, speed, and persistence of a machine. To do this, we mix intelligent automation software with remote human contractors to form an efficient, distributed remote-knowledge-work service.

Our initial focus is on scheduling meetings via email. We believe that by reducing anxieties caused by cluttered inboxes, complex calendars, and juggling preferences and calendars, customers can have more time to focus on what matters.

We aim to make automated assistants a truly everyday productivity tool. Our approach differs from traditional machine assistants (think: Siri) in our deep focus on conversation quality and human-like product flexibility. We build technology to maximize user experience, without constraining ourselves to the latest technology bandwagon. As a result, we’ve been delivering a highly reliable and flexible natural language interface from day one.

Engineering at Clara

- Shipping early and often leads to better products.
As an example, we scheduled thousands of meetings for our first customers manually before building any software. We’ve found that persistent iteration leads to tighter feedback loops between our customers, our contractors, and our product development team.

- Ownership enables contributors to do their best work.
Critical thinking and invention are key virtues of each team member. Individuals identify problems and solutions, and are responsible for driving projects to completion.

We're taking on problems that are previously unsolved: building large-scale human-machine learning hybrid systems. Here are a few types of problems engineers at Clara work on:

• Semantic interpretation of received messages; includes conversation modeling and natural language processing.
• Modeling highly complex calendars and meeting preferences across many different usage patterns.
• Formulating “bite-sized” tasks and distributing real-time work load across a network of international human contractors.
• New user interfaces for combining machine learning and human expertise to process message-based tasks; we’ve built a “mail client” and “calendar client” like no other.
• Engineering underlying services (such as messaging protocols, calendaring servers, real-time work dispatching) to come together reliably and support the items above.

Technical challenges

You will help to conceive of, build, and maintain features of the Clara platform. Some example core feature areas we work on today are: prediction-driven scheduling UI, calendar and preference modeling, load-balanced contractor task distribution, and advanced payment allocation algorithms.

You will also play a key part in product design and development. At our size, engineers are often responsible for features end-to-end, collaborating closely with and balancing the needs of operations, design, and machine learning.

You should have experience in at least one of the following and familiarity across the full stack:

• Web application and UI development: e.g., building polished frontend UX interactions, architecting web applications.
• Systems Engineering: e.g., real time & distributed system architecture.
• Data Modeling: e.g., recurrence based data modeling, expert-systems modeling.
• Protocols & API Integrations: e.g.,messaging protocols (e-mail, SMS), calendaring protocols, & third party API integrations.

Additionally, we're looking for engineers that are customer focused, collaborative, and excited to pursue difficult, often loosely defined problems.

Nice to have(s):
• Experience with React and Flux.
• Experience with Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, and AWS.

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