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Systems Engineer

Software Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

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 tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by 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 in search of an energetic and dynamic Systems Engineer to join our team. In this role, you will be part of a talented, collaborative group at the forefront of exciting new ventures in the autonomous vehicle space.

Core responsibilities include managing on premise (200,000 sqft facility!) and on vehicle Windows and Linux based compute and network infrastructure.  The engineer will be working with our vehicle team to ensure repeatable, reliable vehicle computer systems and improving network communication.  The systems engineering role is based in the Infrastructure group and will work across the Infrastructure, Vehicle and Software Engineering teams to ensure underlying system operability and drive improvements to existing processes.  This role will work on embedded systems, traditional datacenter tasks and other exciting projects.


  • Responsible for the quality, reliability and availability of IT systems
  • Maintain operations and system documentation of IT systems
  • Develop and improve instrumentation for monitoring the health, availability, security and efficiency of scalability of systems.
  • Work cross functionally with various engineering teams and IT vendors to ensure smooth project delivery.
  • The ideal candidate will have experience configuring embedded Linux on ARM-based systems with high reliability. Develop automation and best practices.


  • (High) Must be US citizen or permanent resident.
  • (High) Deep experience with Linux operating systems on both traditional x86 and ARM-based systems.  preferably Debian.
  • (High) Strong knowledge of networking including TCP/IP, WPA supplicant, and common protocols such as DNS, NTP, LDAP.
  • (High) Understanding of at least 2 dynamic routing protocols (BGP, OSP, EIGRP, etc)
  • (High) Experience deploying a configuration management framework in production environments. (Salt, Ansible)
  • (High) Experience with running workloads on VMware ESXi.
  • (Med) Have strong automation and scripting skills – proficiency in python and Bash
  • (Med) Strong eye for quality control and attention to detail.
  • (Med) Experience managing Windows server based systems.
  • (Low) Experience with network communication over LTE and satellite communication systems.
  • (Low) Knowledge of version control software, GitHub preferred.
  • (A PLUS) Security clearance


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!
  • 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:

NOAA West Coast Fisheries Survey
Follow the Saildrone
White Shark Voyage Wrap Up

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 property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.