Data Scientist

Christopher Peters
Christopher Peters / January 4, 2016

Hi there!

We're looking for a Data Scientist to join Zapier. Interested in supporting a product that helps the world automate their work so they can get back to living? Then read on…

About You

You're both passionate about business and statistics. You're a maker and self-learner. Most of what you'll do is identify and prioritize our most valuable business problems, analyze the related data, and communicate actions teammates should take in response. Today, Zapier serves over 900k users, enabling them to connect over 600 apps in over a million ways, and we’re growing at a rate of 7% each month.

You know how to design and analyze randomized-control experiments. Advanced skills with one or more of the following methodologies will be important: survival analysis, nonparametric statistics, bootstrapping, forecasting, point processes, parametric statistics with beta, gamma, poisson and negative-binomial-distributed data. You're also comfortable writing SQL queries and either Python or R to munge and analyze data.

Perhaps you’ve used econometrics to analyze business problems, run your own business, or helped a company grow in the past? You’re passionate about business. You enjoy helping teammates with pivot tables and spreadsheets and are interested in SaaS metrics like churn, lifetime value, activation, engagement and retention. Translating roughly defined business problems into clear statistical problems and back again will be key to this job.

You use Exploratory Data Analysis to learn the reasons behind data and communicate in polished and visually clear graphs. When communicating with teammates, you balance the essence of data with the complexity of data by designing clear statistics, graphs and tables that are easily digested by wide audiences. You seek domain expertise from your co-workers and apply a variety of statistical techniques to answer their questions.

The current data science stack is a unit-tested internal R library, an AWS Redshift database and an EC2 instance with gobs of memory. Need an RDS, S3 bucket or EC2? No problem, just spin one up.

You like to build tools for others that help them make decisions. You enjoy exploring data and helping others understand the narratives that appear in data. You also have a passion for business.

Things You Might Do

Zapier is a startup, so you'll likely get your hands dirty in a little bit of everything. That said, here are some things you'll do:

  • Learn about your teammate's challenges and consider how data might help
  • Clearly and effectively communicate the results of analyses to a wide audience
  • Visualize and explore processed data in a polished manner
  • Develop data tools to make others jobs easier
  • Help conduct randomized-control experiments
  • Leverage open-source libraries and tools
  • Help customers via support to ensure they have the best experience possible
  • Experiment: this is a startup so everything can change

About Zapier

For the past four years, Zapier has been helping people across the world automate the boring and tedious parts of their job. We do that by helping everyone connect the web applications they already use and love.

We believe that there are jobs a computer is best at doing and that there are jobs a human is best at doing. We want to empower businesses to create processes and systems that let computers do what they are best at doing and let humans do what they are best at doing.

We believe that with the right tools, you can have big impact with less hassle.

We believe in small teams. Small teams are fast and nimble. Small teams mean less bureaucracy and less management and more getting things done.

We believe that credentials don't say everything. Our CTO has a finance degree. Our CEO has an engineering degree. Our CPO has a mechanical engineering degree. What you love doing is way more important than the credentials you have.

We believe in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. All teammates at Zapier agree to a code of conduct.

The Whole Package

Location: Planet Earth.

If you want to work remote, that's great. If you want to work near others, that's cool too. Our team is distributed across California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and the UK because it lets us work with the best people. You don't have to be located in the USA either. Some of the team live in the United Kingdom, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia. You just have to be talented!


  • Competitive salary (we don't use remote as an excuse to pay less)
  • Great healthcare + dental + vision coverage
  • Retirement plan with 4% company match
  • Profit sharing
  • 2 annual company retreats to awesome places
  • 14 weeks paid leave for new parents

Pick your own equipment. We'll set you up with whatever laptop + monitor combo you want plus any software you need.

Unlimited vacation policy (plus we insist you take at least 2 weeks off each year - this isn't a vague policy where unlimited vacation means no vacation). Work-life balance is really important to everyone at Zapier - we believe it and practice it!

Work with awesome companies around the world. We partner with great software companies all over the world and you'll constantly get to interact with people from these great companies.

How to Apply

We have a non-standard application process. Creativity is certainly encouraged. To jump start the process we ask a few questions we normally would ask at the start of an interview. This helps speed up the process and lets us get to know you a bit better right out the gate. Make sure to answer each question. Have fun with them. :-)

  1. Send an email to
  2. Tell us about yourself.
  3. Include links to any online code / repositories you've worked on.
  4. Tell us about your favorite software library, package or technology.
  5. Tell us about your favorite analysis technique and why it's useful.
  6. Pick one specific data service you've designed and built. Explain your process from 0 to shipped. Include details of the technologies you used, why you chose them, what design patterns you tried and the trade-offs you had to make.

Finally, wait for us to reply. I reply to everyone, even if we don't seem like a good fit.