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Lead Software Engineer Scientific Engine (Python) - CDI

Descartes Underwriting

Descartes Underwriting

Software Engineering
Paris, France · Remote
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Descartes was born out of the conviction that the ever-increasing complexity of risks faced by corporations, governments and vulnerable communities calls for a renewed approach in insurance. Our team brings together industry veterans from the most renowned institutions (AXA, SCOR, Swiss Re, Marsh, Aon, ...) and scientists on top of their field to bring underwriting excellence. After 5 years of existence, Descartes has secured a leading position in parametric insurance for weather and climate-related risks utilizing machine learning, real-time monitoring from satellite imagery & IoT. After a successful Series B raise of $120M USD, we launched Descartes Insurance, a 'full stack' insurer licensed to underwrite risk by the French regulator ACPR. With a growing corporate client base (350+ and counting), our diverse team is headquartered in Paris and operates out of our 13 global offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Descartes is trusted by a panel of A-rated (re)insurers to carry out its activities.


Due to our consistent growth, we are seeking to expand our Data, Software and DevOps team. We are searching for a Lead Software Engineer to manage a team of 4. As team lead, you will oversee:

  • The python scientific engine of a business use case
  • The processes to make each individual software engineer excel at their work


  • Contribute directly on the code base either individually, in pairs or more;
  • Organize REX sessions to share the knowledge received with the rest of the team;
  • Ensure compliance to internal standards and practices;
  • Present the progress and goals;
  • Contribute to the technical roadmap through architecture meetings, design documents;
  • Lead & coach your engineer team to consistently deliver according to their roadmap;
  • Provide expertise to help your team:
    • Develop, optimize and update software for:
      • Calculation of risk models;
      • Data collection, preparation and visualization;
      • Export of outputs adapted to users;
      • Testing and validation of existing solutions;
      • Monitoring of contracts and associated data.
    • Support, test and correct the tools of:
      • Continuous development and continuous integration (CD/CI);
      • Data storage;
      • Version management of scrips, codes, languages and computer systems;
      • Modularization and containerization of IT solutions;
      • Connection to external and internal API’s.
    • To participate in:
      • The assessment and definition of user needs;
      • Modeling the risks of underlying contracts;
      • The choice of technical solutions;
      • Discussions with IT partners;
      • Improving the skills of your technical staff;
      • Managing the access and rights of users of internal tools.


  • Cloud provider: GCP
  • Code versioning tool: Git + Gitlab
  • OS: Linux
  • Code base: Python



[Management skills]

  • 1 year or more of technical management experience;
  • Handling human interactions between tech and business;
  • Experience mentoring a team of software engineers by unblocking complex situations and sharing best practices (code reviews, pair programming..);
  • Scoping and defining tech priorities according to roadmap and maintenance;
  • Excellent communication skills, in both formal and informal settings, and in English and French.

[Hard skills]

  • 3 years of experiences as a software engineer or data scientist;
  • Solid knowledge in Python;
  • Solid engineering background:
    • master in computer science, mathematics, physics or earth science.
  • Experience optimizing and profiling python code;
  • Experience in a microservices architecture;
  • Good knowledge with Docker;
  • Solid knowledge production development workflow (code reviews, fast forward git policy, TDD);
  • Fluent in English and in French.


  • Strong interest with climate issue (it’s not a hoax, many people suffer from it)
  • Being comfortable to work alongside corporate insurers (some still wear suits 👔)
  • You enjoy CI/CD automation (or at least appreciate the elegance of a well-crafted pipeline)
  • Willingness to help junior developers (remember how you were when you started 💬)
  • Strong team spirit and ability to work (you’ll have to review code and have your code reviewed)
  • Rigorous, creative and meticulous mind (we handle large insurance, we take our time)
  • Strong desire to learn (there’s no limitation to the tech used, we’re happy to test and learn new tools)
  • Eagerness to work in a multi-cultural environment (policies and teams are from all around the world 🗺️)


      • Opportunity to work and learn with teams from the most prestigious schools and research labs in the world, allowing you to progress towards technical excellence;
      • Commitment from Descartes to its staff of continued learning and development (think annual seminars, training etc.) ;
      • Work in a collaborative & professional environment ;
      • Be part of an international team, passionate about diversity ;
      • Join a company with a true purpose – help us help our clients be more resilient towards climate risks;
      • A competitive salary, bonus and benefits;
      • You can benefit from a punctual home office days.

      At Descartes Underwriting, we cherish value of diversity whatever it may be. We are committed to fighting against all forms of discrimination and for equal opportunities. We foster an inclusive work environment that respects all differences.

      With equal skills, all our positions are open to people with disabilities.


      • Step 1: Call and HR Interview with our Talent Recruiter
      • Step 2: Technical project submitted via GitHub
      • Step 3: Technical interview
      • Step 4: Manager interview
      • Step 5: Final round interview with the team
        (Candidates can opt to have the manager interview before the technical project and interview)