Senior Software Engineer (Search) - Ancestry (San Francisco, CA)

  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

When you join Ancestry, you join our family tree. Backed by history, science, and technology, we’re creating a new world of connection, innovation, and understanding. Whether it’s reuniting long-lost relatives through DNA or unearthing new family stories from historical records, Ancestry empowers life-changing experiences. With over 10 billion digitized historical records, 100 million family trees, and 14 million DNA kits sold, Ancestry is bringing the power of personal discovery to people around the world.

For more information on what we do and why you would want to work at Ancestry, visit

Job Description

Ancestry is seeking a Senior Software Engineer to join our Search Platform team. In this role, you will work to deliver a platform that enables Ancestry application teams to serve our customers seamlessly across physical, digital, mobile, and social media. The Search Platform team develops and maintains search services and the underlying search engine that enable millions of subscribers around the world to find and discover their ancestors and family history in historical documents. 


In this role, you will leverage your expertise by building large scale distributed search systems to shape the future of Search at Ancestry. You will have a high bar for quality and think about long-term solutions to ensure our systems are healthy and scale for international growth. You partner well and will take the lead on projects that range from formulating experimental POCs to enabling new platform capabilities.  Successful candidates must be organized, analytical, and adept at working in a team environment.



  • Design, develop and deploy search software solutions that have a high impact on Ancestry customers
  • Develop core technologies and tools required to manage and scale search systems infrastructure in AWS
  • Develop tools, processes and metrics to ensure a high-quality data pipeline
  • Develop dashboards to help manage infrastructure and visualize data
  • Bring creative ideas for existing and future Ancestry products and leverage the power of data to solve complex problems.
  • Works in collaboration with Data Scientists to constantly optimize the performance of the search engine by deploying and updating ML models.
  • Mine existing data for insights and recommends additional sources of data for improvements.




  • 5+ years experience with high throughput, distributed systems.
  • Comfortable working with cloud-oriented applications in AWS using the following services EC2, SQS, Lambda, API Gateway
  • Expert level in SQL, with knowledge on how to efficiently and effectively query and design tables for very large datasets
  • Experience with a browser based front-end framework such as React or Angular
  • History of working independently and collaborating in small teams to support production infrastructure and applications
  • Proven skills in object-oriented design and development
  • Expertise in Java or similar language
  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Education: BS/MS in CS/Electrical/Mathematics or equivalent experience


Preferred Experience

  • 2+ years experience in the following areas: Lucene based search engine with data sets larger than 1TB
  • Experience with front-end development creating dashboards to manage infrastructure and visualize data
  • Experience with machine learning and deploying models
  • Big Data processing tools (Hadoop / Spark)
  • Python
  • Experience with A/B testing
  • Knowledge of relevance and ranking algorithms

Additional Information

Ancestry is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Ancestry via-email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Ancestry. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Ancestry as a result of the referral or through other means.

 Ancestry is an Equal Opportunity Employer that makes employment decisions without regard to race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, pregnancy,  sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, military or veteran status, citizenship, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.   In addition, Ancestry will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities




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