Software Engineer, Infrastructure

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Software Engineering /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are leading the race to market with our all-electric  Vertical Take off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kitty Hawk’s latest high-performance electric VTOL vehicle. It is designed to be fast, small, and exceedingly quiet, taking advantage of new possibilities to free people from traffic. 

We are looking for a Software Engineer to join our flight controls team and lead our Infrastructure efforts. You will be responsible for creating and automating the deployment of build and CI pipelines with a focus on SITL (software in the loop) and HITL (hardware in the loop) verification. You will also team up with Controls Engineers to dynamically scale simulation environments based on flight test requirements.


    • Set up Bazel-based software builds and test environments
    • Design CI pipelines and automation
    • Adopt test driven methodologies in tools development
    • Work closely with controls engineers to dynamically scale simulation environments based on flight test requirements
    • Manage many system configuration profiles to support ad hoc creation of HITL or SITL simulation environments
    • Develop build scripts and tools to suit flight test workloads
    • Document systems and best practices for software developers and a growing Infrastructure team
    • Troubleshoot application deployments, recreate flight test issues
    • Support continuous integration, including batch simulation, various levels of hardware integration, static and dynamic analysis, and code coverage

Minimum Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree or higher (or non-US equivalent) in CS, EE, IS, Math or equivalent
    • Minimum 3 years of working experience in software development or systems administration
    • Experience working with Bazel
    • Experience with CI pipelines (BuildKite, CircleCI, Jenkins etc)
    • Experience with cloud-based Linux compute (AWS, GCP etc)
    • Strong coding experience with common dev-ops languages such as Python and/or Go
    • Enthusiastic problem solver who loves challenges, and maintains a positive attitude in a dynamic working environment

Preferred experience:

    • Experience with Haskell and Haskell/Bazel integration
    • Experience with protocol buffers
    • Experience with Clang / gcc tool chains
While our ideal candidate for this role is "senior," and has more than the three years of relevant work experience listed, we understand "senior" is an ambiguous term that discourages candidates from expressing interest, especially candidates from underrepresented groups. We welcome all those that wish to apply to do so, as your application will be reviewed directly by either our recruiting team and/or hiring team. If you are missing a few of the requirements above but didn't have the fortune of dissecting Linux as a kid or the opportunity to work on CI/CD for mission critical software, we still encourage you to apply and note a sentence or two addressing so in the cover letter section.

We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

All of our team whose roles allow them to work remotely are doing so, and will continue to do so until we’re able to be back in the office. For teams that are not able to work remotely we’re making every accommodation possible to provide a safe working environment, and ensuring we meet all state and county guidelines. 

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance (company pays 100% of employee premium), unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 50% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kitty Hawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kitty Hawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kitty Hawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Kitty Hawk is an E-Verify employer.