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Geospatial Software Developer

Software Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Saildrone

Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles called saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are busy building the world's largest high-resolution ocean datasets, working with governments and private companies around the globe. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have a tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Horizons Ventures, Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

About The Role

The Saildrone fleet of ocean-going drones tirelessly roams the world's oceans collecting data that drive new planetary insights. These are delivered to our customers via beautiful mobile and web apps. We are looking for an outstanding and passionate Geospatial Software Engineer to transform complex data-sets into beautiful maps. As the owner of all things maps and map-based systems, you will develop code to provide high level of utility, high speed and efficient data handling. Your code will be used in critical live applications from drone navigation (nautical charts) to weather data visualization (world maps) and form a key enabling technology for managing our growing global fleet.

You will be responsible for leading entire projects and owning their outcomes from start to finish. This challenge is not for the faint of heart and will require a significant sense of initiative and self-direction, from application design to code implementation, and a passion for building products that impact humanity.

You will be a part of a team of talented individuals who are just as passionate about supporting one another as they are about our planetary mission. Honesty and willingness to accept feedback are critical, as is a sense of humor and generally having fun!


  • Set up and maintain map services related to mobile and web apps
  • Set up and maintain map services related to automated navigation
  • Design, develop, and configure PostGIS/PostgreSQL services with particular attention to performance and scaling
  • Identify open source projects of use to the navigation and weather functions
  • Contribute back to relevant open source projects and maintain an active presence in the FOSS4G community


  • B.S. or M.S. in Computer Science or a related field
  • 4+ years experience in industry
  • Familiarity with OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standards and more informal standards such as Mapbox Vector Tiles and GeoJSON
  • Experience with packages such as QGIS, PostGIS, GDAL, Tegola, Nextzen
  • Active PostGIS development with particular attention on performance
  • Familiarity with OpenStreetMap, including data processing into visual maps
  • Enterprise level front end experience
  • Python, C++, Javascript development
  • Optional: Go development, netCDF experience


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Healthy lunch program provided onsite
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!
  • Fun team activities including our famous monthly social taxiway BBQ
  • Waterfront office, a former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity/maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

This is an exciting new opportunity to join a team at a fast-growing post series-B startup at the cutting edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of an A+ multi-disciplinary team scaling a high-performance business while delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Our waterfront office offers beautiful views over San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Your commute could be a short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mixing software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'.

You can read what the press says about us:

Bloomberg - This armada of drones could conquer the oceans
Inc - The most exciting drones aren't in the air, they are in the oceans
The New York Times - No sailors needed: robot sailboats scour the oceans for data
NOAA -  Adaptable and driven by renewable energy, saildrones voyage into remote waters
The Economist - Sailing the wired seas

Or watch the Saildrone mission being presented the TED stage

Saildrone is an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce.


Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered the property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.