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Staff Software Engineer - Data

Software Engineering | Hybrid in Alameda, CA | Full Time | From $180,000.00 to $220,000.00 per year

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 21 Things That Happened for the First Time in 2021 and Popular Science's 100 Greatest Innovations of 2021.

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL, and operate our missions worldwide. Saildrone is backed by top-tier investors in the frontier tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective. 

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.


The Role

Data is Everything. The Saildrone fleet of ocean-going vessels tirelessly sails the world's seas piecing together the world's largest high-resolution meteorological oceanic dataset at a rate, precision and price point that was previously impossible. With NOAA approved data precision and demonstrated reliability, two other datasets that you'll be working with are ocean floor depth mapping and maritime domain awareness, which is anything associated with the safety and security of our oceans, such as illegal fishing and drug enforcement.

You will build the data pipeline powering both our external APIs and internal business intelligence about our drones. An effort spanning architecture, development, reliability, and scale, it is critical in our mission to deliver planetary insights.


Required skills and experience

  • 8+ years of relevant experience
  • Experience in data pipeline/platform software development in cloud environments (AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of Athena/Presto, BigQuery, Redshift, Snowflake, or Vertica data querying technologies
  • NoSQL experience - DynamoDB, Redis, Influx, Timescale
  • Familiar with Argo, Airflow, or Luigi workflow orchestration engines


Desired skills and experience

  • Experience working with time series, geospatial, geo-temporal, or map-tile data would be a huge bonus
  • Experience with data from drones or robots, such as those from ROS-based systems, would also be very helpful
  • Expertise in Python or NodeJS programming languages
  • Familiar with Parquet or Protobuf data file formats
  • Working knowledge of relational databases (Postgres)
  • Experience with serverless functions, such as AWS Lambda
  • Knowledge of visualization tools such as Jupyter Notebooks, Tableau, AWS Quicksight
  • Experience with developing and deploying distributed services with Docker
  • Experience with Ansible or Salt for executing commands on remote systems
  • Built data pipelines for Machine Learning applications

Location: This is a hybrid position is out of Alameda, CA.  Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film 'The Matrix'.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced Parental Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan


Catch up on the latest news about us:

The Tiny Craft Mapping Superstorms at Sea – The New York Times

Saildrone Takes the Wraps Off its Voyager Autonomous Research Vehicle – TechCrunch

An Underwater Mountain was Newly Discovered off California Coast – San Francisco Chronicle

The Quest for CO2: You Can’t Capture What You Can’t Find – Inside Unmanned Systems

Hacking the Anthropocene with Survivalist Robots [VIDEO] – Freethink

Here’s What Hurricane Fiona’s Surf Looked Like, from Atop a 50-foot Wave – The Washington Post 

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS 

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill 

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now These Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN 

Saildrone Featured Videos Playlist


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Individual compensation packages are based on geographic location, scope of the role, relevant experience, and the ability to deal with complexity and problem solve within our organization, among other factors.

Individuals who require employer sponsorship to remain employed in the United States now or in the future will not be considered for hire for certain positions.

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