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Senior Software Engineer - Generalist

Kairos Aerospace

Kairos Aerospace

Software Engineering
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2020
About Kairos Aerospace
At Kairos Aerospace, we combine innovative aerospace systems with advanced data science. Unlike traditional aerospace companies, we sell information, not hardware - we operate our sensors cost-effectively at continental scale to produce novel data streams about pressing global problems.
First on our list: spotting hard-to-monitor emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that accelerates climate change. Since starting continuous survey operations in 2018, Kairos has removed methane emissions equal to over 9.2 million tonnes of CO2e through our work. To put that in perspective, that’s equivalent to over 2 million cars being removed from the roads for a year or shutting down about seventeen 350 MW coal-fired power plants.
We call that a good start.
As a team, we love science and engineering, we love getting our hands dirty with hardware and software, and we love seeing our work make a difference in the real world.
We’ve created a diverse, collaborative, supportive, and fun environment based on integrity and treating people right. So no matter your gender, gender identity, race, age, beliefs, sexual orientation, or disabilities, we welcome you and would like to work with you. :-)
It’s never boring, it’s always challenging, and we’re usually laughing.
Software Engineering at Kairos
Everything that Kairos does is driven by software, from recording sensor data while flying at 3000', to ephemeral high-scale cloud-native data processing, to computer-aided GIS analysis, to using machine-learning to extract structured information from geopixels.
The software engineering team is involved in every step of our process, building the automation that allows Kairos to not only image things that humans have never seen before but to do it reliably, repeatably, inexpensively, and quickly. (Yes, you can have all four).
We work primarily in Python, with a smattering of Bash, SQL, Terraform, and Typescript when it makes sense.
We work on single-board-computers, field laptops, in virtualized cloud environments, in containers, inside of web browsers, and even inside lab automation frameworks.
We practice compositional engineering, tying together disparate pieces of technology to create novel artifacts that solve real-world problems.
We practice continuous integration and deployment, automated testing, and have a lovely monorepo.
In short, it's a playground for the skilled generalist.
Kairos is a growing company. As we grow, there will be opportunities for advancement, including into engineering management. Additionally, we’re happy to place more experienced folks at a higher level, commensurate with experience.
Salary Range
Nationwide range
$120,600 - $233,000 base USD/year + bonus + equity + 401k w/match
In order to avoid bias and create an equitable salary structure, at Kairos, we are intentional about our pay strategy. We base compensation on current position (role and skill level) as well as location. Since many of our roles are remote, we create a national range for our open positions that is built to cover both low and high cost of living locations. If you live in a low cost of living area, the location-specific range will fall towards the lower end of the nation-wide range. If you live in a high cost of living area, the location-specific range will be on the higher end of the nation-wide range.

Must Haves

  • Significant Python experience.
  • The ability to learn quickly in a self-guided manner - much of what we do is solving new problems by integrating one or more pieces of new technology.
  • Professional experience in front-end web development along with an interest in learning React.
  • An intimate understanding of at least one of our primary domains - cloud data processing, machine learning, statistical signal analysis, GIS analysis and processing, DevOps / systems engineering, scientific data visualization, software engineering, and release / build engineering.
  • A desire to solve real-world problems over working on technical problems in isolation - none of our work fits in neat boxes. Instead, we have a team that is focused on the impact our work can have on the future of life on the planet and prioritizes real-world progress over problem-focus purity.
  • A belief in modern development practices - we do things like code reviews, unit testing, minimal-viable products, and fast development iteration. We eschew the zealous practice of any development-process religion, but we do pick and choose techniques that help us write better software.

Nice to Have

  • Experience and deep know-how around Bazel and its administration
  • Experience and deep know how around Docker and its administration
  • Strong database skills
  • GIS experience
  • Experience using React to build web UIs
  • Familiarity with Bash, Ansible, and infrastructure-as-code
  • Familiarity with AWS automation via Boto3 scripting and/or Terraform
  • Previous use of continuous integration and automated testing frameworks (we use CircleCI)
  • Familiarity with NumPy and Jupyter notebooks
  • C/C++ experience
  • Experience integrating with camera capture SDKs for network and USB connected cameras
Life at Kairos
A few important facts about working at Kairos Aerospace:
- We provide health, dental, and vision insurance, including subsidized coverage for dependents. Our 401K plan does matching based on the amount of methane we removed from the atmosphere in a given year.
- We think death-march hours are a bad way to run a company. We expect something approximating a 40-hour workweek, but mostly we just care that your work gets done. No, really. (Full disclosure: we occasionally put in some extra hours during crunch periods, but that is the exception, not the norm).
- We do not track vacation time, nor do we have set hours to be in the office. Instead, we encourage taking real vacations, mental health days, leaving early to pick up the kids, working from home, time-shifting commutes, staying home when you're sick, ducking out to the gym - we believe work time should be flexible.
In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have transitioned to 100% remote work aside from hardware and flight operations and plan to continue having remote positions in perpetuity.
(We love it when kids make a cameo in a video call.)