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Senior Software 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

We are in search of a Senior Software Engineer to join our core vehicle team. You will be joining a talented, collaborative team at the forefront of exciting new ventures in the autonomous vehicle space. You will be actively designing and developing mission-critical software that runs on our ocean drones.  Examples might include navigation and obstacle avoidance, integration of cutting-edge ocean sensors, client-server communication, and data compression. Ideally you are comfortable wearing many hats, and capable of wide-ranging software development efforts; from prototyping new solutions to writing production-ready code.

A robotics background is a plus but more than anything we are looking for a smart, dedicated individual who has the interest and passion to take on new challenges and see them through. Some background in ocean science or ocean acoustics (echo sounder) would also be a plus but above all, the interest and capacity to learn about these subject areas is a must.


  • Collect requirements, design, implement, and maintain features that will run on-board the saildrones
  • Write robust code capable of fault-free operation over long mission duration
  • Research how to implement new advanced technologies
  • Help define data requirements for new sensors
  • Analyze sensor data for calibration and validation


  • B.S. or M.S. in Robotics, Computer Science or a related field
  • 8+ years industry experience writing production-ready code
  • Proficient in C/C++
  • Python or Matlab for data analysis
  • Experience with a networking and multi-process frameworks such as ROS a plus
  • Experience with embedded hardware a plus
  • Basic Linux (Debian) system administration
  • A passion for Saildrone's mission.


  • 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.