Data Scientist

Thumbtack San Francisco, CA (relocation offered)

Job Description

There are only two kinds of truth in the world: philosophical truth and statistical truth. Philosophical truth draws on pure reason; statistical truth draws on data. Philosophical truth can be hard to apply to business, but statistical truth lies at the very heart of Thumbtack. Our collective reverence for the power of statistical analysis is, we believe, one of our key advantages as a business and one of the primary drivers of our success.

What is a "data scientist", anyway? Well, it's "data" and "scientist":


"Only the data are real". Unfortunately, most data are extremely unwieldy. Drawing correct conclusions from data requires a sharp analytical mind, a deep understanding of the fundamentals of statistics, and a broad toolbox of statistical and machine learning techniques. It also requires the engineering skill to wrangle data from various sources and to implement computationally-challenging algorithms over large data sets.


A scientist practices the scientific method: formulating hypothesis, testing them, and drawing inspiration for new hypothesis from the results. This requires the scientist to use both sides of her brain in tandem, creatively coming up with useful hypotheses and analytically testing, rejecting, revising and expanding them in a continual interplay. A great scientist doesn't simply analyze data to answer a question. A great scientist finds the incredibly valuable questions no one had thought of.

We're looking for a brilliant individual to form the cornerstone of our data science team here at Thumbtack. Our process gives you full ownership over the projects you tackle: so dream big, then execute well.

  • You'll be given the latitude to survey Thumbtack as a business, identify key opportunities, and use any and all available data to draw actionable conclusions that will guide the direction of the company.
  • You'll design, implement and launch experiments to test your hypotheses.
  • You'll identify and implement metrics that align with company goals.
  • You'll contribute to our Python codebase and perform analyses in R or another statistics tool of your choice.
  • You'll advise coworkers on the (mis)use of statistics to understand data.

If we do our job right, the Yellow Pages will be a thing of the past and we'll
introduce real efficiency into the local services market.

Here are a few example projects

  • Which markets in our ecosystem are most healthy? Which are least healthy and how can we improve them?
  • Are service providers becoming more or less engaged with Thumbtack over time? What's driving these changes?
  • Which consumers are most delighted by their Thumbtack experience? What drives the differences and how can we best improve the experience for our users?
  • Are some service providers consistenly under- or over-charging for their services? How does that affect consumer behavior? Could we offer advice to help them improve their businesses?

Skills & Requirements

  • You're proficient with advanced statistical analysis and machine learning techniques in an environment/tool/language of your choice (we use R and Python/Pandas currently).
  • You have a deep understanding of probability and statistics.
  • You have the analytical chops to break down big, open-ended problems into manageable pieces, then attack the pieces from a variety of angles, all without losing sight of the bigger picture.
  • You're comfortable working with a large, complex code base (we use Python)
  • You express yourself clearly and concisely in written and verbal discussion of complex problems.
  • This job description resonates with you.

About Thumbtack

Build the Future at Thumbtack

Ever wonder why you can buy any product you want online with a single click, but you can’t hire a DJ, photographer, handyman, house cleaner, or any other service without making a dozen phone calls? So did we.

Thumbtack is making it dramatically easier for consumers to hire local service pros. We have incredible traction, a talented and passionate team, just raised $12.5m from Sequoia, and are excited to be solving a real problem for real people. Come build the future with us.

Why Should You Join Us?

Incredible Traction: We’re now helping millions of consumers a year across the country find the right pro and driving our business owners more than a quarter billion dollars worth of jobs annually. We’re just getting started.

Talented team: Our team is talented, fun, and passionate about what we do. 

Enormous opportunity: Local services are a $500+ billion market and the space is wide open. This is your opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a dent-making company that is solving a real problem for real people.


Chef-Prepared Food: Our chef prepares lunch and dinner daily in our in-office kitchen. Lunches and Wednesday team dinners are a time to gather around a communal table and invite friends to the office. 

High-Quality Health Care: Health, dental and vision insurance for you and your dependents, with 100% of premiums covered by us. We also cover the membership fee to One Medical so you’ll have access to high-quality, modern health care.

Compensation: Competitive salary and equity, and access to a 401(k) program.

Flexibility: We believe in working very hard, but we have flexible hours. We don’t have a vacation policy.

Beautiful Office: A beautiful loft office close to the Powell Street Muni and BART, bus lines and Caltrain.

Great Equipment: Huge monitors and the work environment of your choice, Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, whatever makes you most productive.

Thumbtack Bucks: $500 when you start and $150 per month thereafter to spend hiring service professionals on Thumbtack.

Education Reimbursement: $1500/year for books, classes, conferences or other educational expenses to help you gain new skills or expertise.

Joel Test score: 10 out of 12

The Joel Test is a twelve-question measure of the quality of a software team.

  • Do you use source control?
  • Can you make a build in one step?
  • Do you make daily builds?
  • Do you have a bug database?
  • Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
  • Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
  • Do you have a spec?
  • Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
  • Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  • Do you have testers?
  • Do new candidates write code during their interview?
  • Do you do hallway usability testing?

How to apply

Please apply here:


Learn more about Thumbtack

We have great benefits

Competitive compensation, including meaningful equityMonthly $150 allowance to spend hiring service pros on ThumbtackFull health, dental and vision insurance for you and your familyBeautiful SF location - close to public transportationFlexible working hours and as much paid vacation as you need$1500 learning credit each year for books, courses and conferencesFresh lunch and dinner every day cooked by our in-house chefGreat equipment - huge monitors and work environment of your choice

Who you’ll work with

Jeremy Mikkola
Alexander Kojevnikov - Software Engineer
Chris Mueller
Eric Naeseth
Steve Howard
Katie Thomas
Ben Anderson

Visit the Thumbtack company page

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Data Scientist at Thumbtack - R