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Infrastructure Engineer

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

Our Saildrone vehicles operate in one of the harshest environments on the planet, sending back consistent, high-quality data, on extreme duration missions. While each Saildrone vehicle is incredibly robust, we also need a back-end and server-side infrastructure that is equally robust to support our drone network and data repositories.

We are looking for an energetic and dynamic engineer to work on the ongoing creation and maintenance of our technical infrastructure. Responsibilities will range from network and tech-ops at our shoreside headquarters for our fast growing team, to managing our cloud-based networks and data repositories. Technical challenges range from optimizing performance and reliability to enabling rapid scalability. Ideal candidates would also have experience at the sys-admin level on embedded Linux hardware. This role requires both a strong technical mindset to solve complex problems as well as the people skills to grow and develop the team.

At Saildrone, we believe in fostering a culture with strong engineering values and goals as the key to building a great company with solid services. The ideal candidate will be responsible for building the right framework and tools to manage complexity so that we can evolve quickly as Saildrone grows.


  • Tech-ops of our Cloud and headquarters IT infrastructure
  • Help design, maintain and extend our cloud-based, office IT, on-prem, and embedded platforms
  • Collaborate within the company to set goals, plan roadmaps and achieve results in infrastructure
  • Focus on reliability, scalability and security
  • Engage with other engineering teams such as Data, Design, and Embedded to collaborate on projects across the company
  • Documentation of design and processes


  • Focused, detail-oriented, and careful
  • Expert with EC2 and other AWS services
  • Exposure to On-Prem, Datacenter, or Hardware deployments and their management
  • Well versed in automation frameworks such as Salt, Puppet, Ansible, Terraform, and CloudFormation
  • Deep understanding of  at least one system scripting language, Bash, Python, Ruby (Bash/Python Preferred)
  • Working Knowledge of NoSQL Datastores like HBase, MongoDB, Cassandra, InfluxDB, Hadoop, or Spark
  • Solid grasp of networking technologies such IP, TCP, UDP, VPN, DNS, Firewalls, HTTP, SSL, VXLAN, and Routing Protocols
  • Functional Knowledge of Docker Swarm, Mesos, Kubernetes, or containers at scale
  • Ability to ramp up with new environments, processes and projects quickly
  • Carefully balances new approaches, technologies, or tools with the use well-established methodologies
  • Passionate about the oceans, Saildrone and be a great communicator
  • BS or MS in Computer Science
  • A passion for Saildrone's mission

Desired Skills

  • Previous experience as a technical lead
  • Experience with embedded Linux, especially Debian-based
  • Experience with the ELK stack or similar
  • Knowledge of application and system security
  • Experience with stress testing frameworks and system performance indexing
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting tools like Ganglia, Nagios, tcpdump, htop and Wireshark
  • Disk imaging and Linux package management
  • Experience in related technical field/discipline


  • 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 drive your function 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.