Flight Systems Software Engineering Manager

Sunnyvale, CA /
Hardware /
Full Time
/ Hybrid
About Kairos Aerospace 

At Kairos Aerospace, we combine innovative aerospace systems with advanced data science. Unlike traditional aerospace companies, we sell information, not hardware - we operate our sensors cost-effectively at continental scale to produce novel data streams about pressing global problems.
First on our list: spotting hard-to-monitor emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that accelerates climate change. Since starting continuous survey operations in 2018, Kairos has removed methane emissions equal to over 72.6 million tonnes of CO2e through our work. To put that in perspective, that’s equivalent to over 15.8 million cars being removed from the roads or shutting down about forty-seven 350 MW coal-fired power plants for a year.
We call that a good start.
As a team, we love science and engineering, we love getting our hands dirty with hardware and software, and we love seeing our work make a difference in the real world.
We’ve created a diverse, collaborative, supportive, and fun environment based on integrity and treating people right. So no matter your sex, gender, sexual identity, gender identity, race, age, beliefs, sexual orientation, or disabilities, we welcome you and would like to work with you. :-)
It’s never boring, it’s always challenging, and we’re usually laughing.

A note of encouragement: If you don't meet 100% of the qualifications below, you should still seriously consider applying. Studies show that you can still be considered for a role if you meet just 50% of the role's requirements.

Individuals with a disability are encouraged to contact [interview.accomodations@kairosaerospace.com] to request assistance with your application and accommodations in advance of your interview. 

Flight Systems Software Engineering Manager

Accurately detecting and quantifying methane emissions requires robust hardware solutions that scale.  Hardware at Kairos requires tight integration of short wave infrared (SWIR) cameras, optical cameras, and GPS/INS systems using in-house software to collect the data needed to accurately detect and pinpoint methane plumes. This software interfaces directly with our field crews who pilot the planes and operate our field units. The hardware team is responsible for specifying components, improving the Kairos imaging pod through continuous design improvements, implementing new features in our flight software, and supporting the field crews by troubleshooting issues as they arise. We are looking for curious and passionate leaders to help scale our flight software team, organize solutions and, as a result, mitigate climate change in an actionable and tangible manner.

An ideal software engineering manager for this position is someone interested in leading a small flight software team while still being able to contribute to the technical projects on the roadmap.  You are excited about helping senior software engineers navigate any roadblocks that stand in their way as well as working alongside those same engineers as an independent contributor. 

You will have experience working with either Python or C++ as your primary language with a demonstrated aptitude to be able to pick up the other.  You will have project management experience and have shown the ability to break down a team level objective into actionable key results.  You will have worked on a team tasked with writing software for hardware systems (autonomous vehicles, drone delivery service, IOT systems, etc).


    • 2 years of management experience
    • Python or C++ proficiency
    • Demonstrated ability to pick up new languages quickly
    • Git proficiency


    • Project management experience
    • Experience interfacing with hardware systems (IOT, mechatronics, etc)
    • Experience with task management platforms (JIRA, Asana, etc)
    • Ability to code in Bash
    • Experience with Docker-like Linux containers
Life at Kairos

A few important facts about working at Kairos Aerospace:
- We provide health, dental, and vision insurance, including subsidized coverage for dependents. Our 401K plan provides a 50% employer match on employee contributions up to 8%.
- We think death-march hours are a bad way to run a company. We expect something approximating a 40-hour workweek, but mostly we just care that your work gets done. No, really. (Full disclosure: we occasionally put in some extra hours during crunch periods, but that is the exception, not the norm).
- We do not track vacation time, nor do we have set hours to be in the office. Instead, we encourage taking real vacations, mental health days, leaving early to pick up the kids, working from home, time-shifting commutes, staying home when you're sick, ducking out to the gym - we believe work time should be flexible.
In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have transitioned to 100% remote work aside from hardware, flight operations, operations engineers, or any role that specifically states it is in the office. For most positions, we plan to continue having remote opportunities in perpetuity.
(We love it when kids make a cameo in a video call.)

Kairos Aerospace is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, training, and apprenticeship. Kairos makes hiring decisions based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time.