Lead Software Engineer

  • 92800 Puteaux, France
  • Full-time

Company Description

WHO WE ARE | Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Paris, Descartes Underwriting was born of the conviction that climate change calls for a revolution in the insurance industry to better protect individuals, businesses, and governments. We provide data-driven insurance products based on satellite imagery and IoT to protect corporate and public sector clients against climate risk and natural catastrophes. Following a Series A funding of 18m USD in September 2020, we opened offices in New York, Singapore, Sydney and London. Today, Descartes’ ambitious and international team of 45+ is proud to protect 150+ clients – several from the Fortune 500 – in 60+ countries.

OUR PURPOSE | Losses from catastrophes and man-made disasters are likely to increase year after year due to demographic density and climate change. We firmly believe that the insurance sector can and must play a critical role in helping enterprises and individuals cope with climate risk. This will require, however, a deep transformation of the sector, as current insurance products often lack transparency, carry expensive premiums, and come with slow claims processing.

OUR APPROACH | True to our namesake, René Descartes, one of the greatest European scientific philosophers of the 17th Century, our company draws a distinct advantage in challenging the approach adopted by traditional insurers. Utilizing forward-looking models and real-time monitoring from satellite imagery, IoT and big data analytics, Descartes’ products help businesses bounce back faster. In collaboration with our partners, our parametric insurance products can serve clients across the globe, from mid-size tickets to EUR +100 million.

Job Description

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 engines of multiple business use cases
  • The processes to make each individual software engineer excel at their work


  • Work closely with Underwriting and R&D managers to set the direction and goals
  • Provide a strong technical direction for the engineering 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


  • Laptop: premium DELL XPS 15
  • OS: you decide



[Management skills]

  • 1 year of managing experience or project management
  • Tech roadmap and MVP critical path definition
  • Scoping and identifying solutions with business team
  • Handling human interactions between tech and business

[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 manage junior developers (you will lead the team to excellence as we grow)
  • Strong team spirit and ability to work (you’ll have to review code and provide feedback)
  • 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)

Additional Information


  • Join a company with a true purpose – help us help our clients be more resilient towards climate risks
  • A competitive salary, bonus and benefits (Premium Alan health insurance, Swile restaurant vouchers, Navigo reimbursement etc.)
  • The opportunity to grow in your role, as the company does
  • Commitment from Descartes to its staff of continued learning and development (think annual seminars, training etc.)
  • Be part of a collaborative, diverse team where your ideas are heard
  • A paid referral scheme for successfully referring peers
  • Frequent team events