Ocean Career: Saildrone Software Engineer

We are seeking an experienced software engineer to join a great team responsible for manufacturing verification, their execution infrastructure, and the effective presentation of their results.

Our manufacturing facility is delivering an ever-growing variety of custom components which control our drones and handle our mission payloads. This team is using familiar web-services tooling to automate initialization, testing, and serialization of that hardware in order to ensure its quality and reliability. We're seeking a generalist software engineer who can write sensible, reliable software and who's excited to get hands-on with electromechanical systems.

In this role, you can expect to work side-by-side with technicians, hardware and software engineers, and production staff as internal customers, delivering reliable and user-friendly tools.

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world. Saildrone provides real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and uses proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate 24/7/365, without the need for a crewed support vehicle. We work with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and drug trafficking.

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC, St. Petersburg, FL, and Fall River, MA, and operate our missions worldwide. We are 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.


  • Design, develop, and maintain manufacturing verification and hardware-testing software for manufacturing ocean-going autonomous drones.
  • Design and troubleshoot automated functional tests for cutting-edge hardware.
  • Design, develop, and maintain web-based tools for effectively presenting hardware test results.
  • Participate in defining best practices to deliver great software on an outstanding team.

Required skills and experience

  • 3+ years experience writing Python in a professional development environment.
  • B.S. in an engineering discipline (or equivalent experience), Electrical Engineering or Computer Science preferred
  • Bash and general Linux knowledge
  • Experience with modern software development practices (Git, CI/CD, Unit and Integration Testing, Agile Methods).
  • Experience developing REST APIs within Service-Oriented Architectures.

Desired skills and experience

  • Familiarity with basic Amazon Web Services (S3, RDS, DynamoDB).
  • Configuration-as-code deployment tools (Ansible, Salt, Puppet, Chef, etc.).
  • Hobbyist+ level of electronics understanding; basics of digital buses and the ability to read datasheets. Familiarity with test bench equipment.
  • Knowledge of IP networking, CAN bus, NMEA2000, and serial communication protocols (RS-232, RS-422, etc.).

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. 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'.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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