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Technical Program Manager

Software Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About the Role

We are seeking a hands-on Technical Program Manager to drive hardware and software development for our global fleet of ocean-going sailing drones. As a member of the team, you’ll work closely with engineers, technicians, vendors, and our business organization to facilitate both short-term tactical work and longer-term strategic product initiatives. 

This critical role will have many varied duties, from internal coordination to customer requirements gathering to long term program management. Expect to initially spend 60-70% of your time driving projects tactically, including agile, scrum-based project management; 30-40% for longer-term strategic program management, treating the drones and the data they collect as a product, as well as web and mobile tools and apps used by both internal and external groups.

On our small, tight-knit team, you’ll get leadership visibility and have opportunities to grow as our team grows. 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!


  • Develop requirements and user stories based on multiple stakeholder groups
  • Work closely with engineering teams, tracking task status, making sure progress is being made, removing barriers
  • Help drive a strategic plan for the upcoming quarter
  • Participating in sprint activities: task generation, grooming, selection, retrospectives
  • Understanding high-level project milestones and dependencies and communicating them to the team

Desired Skills

  • BA/BS (or MA/MS) or equivalent experience.
  • Great organizational skills and the ability to compare and select appropriate tools and feature requests.
  • Exceptional communication skills, clear and concise communicator
  • Prior experience with aspects of product and program management on a software project (bonus for experience on hardware/software projects).
  • Technical background in software engineering, other engineering disciplines, or ocean scientific field.
  • Ability to quickly pick up new concepts, and dive into a problem with a solutions-oriented, outcome-focused mindset
  • Willingness to both solicit and give honest feedback
  • Strong technical understanding, ability to establish credibility with engineers
  • Ability to thrive within a fast-paced, ever-changing startup environment
  • Prior experience developing wireframes and product specs are helpful
  • Minimum of five years of experience in project, program, and/or product management


  • 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'
  • A 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.