Director Software Engineering, Planetary Variables at Planet

Posted on:
January 5, 2023

🔭 Our mission & vision

Job Description

Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Customers and users across the globe use Planet's data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world’s toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, and software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture and community and we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first and prepares our company for growth. Join Planet and be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is a global company with employees working remotely world wide and joining us from offices in San Francisco, Washington DC, Germany, and The Netherlands.

About the Role:  

Planet is looking for an exceptional Director of Engineering for our Planetary Variables department. 

In this role you will lead multiple teams of software engineers and remote sensing scientists whose mission is to transform complex earth observation data from a range of constellations into actionable and accurate measurements, everywhere on the Earth’s landmass. You can learn more about what we are building here and here.

The ideal candidate is independent, creative, has significant experience building large software products or platforms and is familiar with analytics methodologies from traditional remote sensing to computer vision and machine learning. 

Planet’s Software Engineering team is “Remote First”. This means you will work from home (or from one of our offices in Europe), collaborating with your teams remotely and periodically travel to our offices or other locations for meetings and meetups.

Impact You’ll Own:

You will take a very active role in building  your teams. Your ability to plan your organization, find and retain great talent and manage it effectively is critical to success in this position. 

Inspire and motivate your team, communicate effectively across the organization, with key customers and in industry forums.

Partner with the Product and Design peers to build the product roadmap and help your team build great products.

Develop, implement and manage key metrics for your organization.

Foster a culture of innovation and customer focus within the teams and the organization you support.

Collaborate with engineering leaders across the organization to define and adopt best practices and ensure the systems built by your team fit well with the overall Planet architecture and ecosystem.

What You Bring:

10+ years of software development and leadership experience

At least 10+ years of experience building software products or services

Experience managing managers in an engineering setting

At least 7 years of team organizational leadership experience

At least 5 years of experience managing organizations larger than 20 people

BSE in Computer Science or similar or relevant experience equivalent

Remote Sensing, Computer Vision and/or Machine Learning experience or educational background.

Experience building scalable analytics products based on Earth Observation data 

Proven track record of taking complex algorithms and models from prototype to fully automated operations at scale

Experience in Agile / Lean development and testing automation methodologies as well as processes for software systems

Ability to leverage multiple methodologies to accomplish the product objectives and deliver value to the end-user

Familiarity monitoring and operating highly scalable cloud native software

Experience building services that leverage cloud-based infrastructure and tooling such as AWS or GCP.

Strong communication, writing and interpersonal abilities, positive attitude, diplomacy and persuasiveness, analytical ability, judgment, and negotiation skills.

Demonstrable core values of fairness, inclusivity, and compassion, and honesty.

Experience creating a strong engineering culture through thoughtful recruiting, mentoring and career development, creating interdependencies to drive collaboration, and improving engineering flow (process/communications/etc).

What Makes You Stand Out:

Familiarity with current state of the art software development techniques

Hands-on experience building algorithms, models and products for two or more of the following application areas: land use & land cover, agriculture, urban/settlement mapping, defense and intelligence,insurance & finance, water & climate.

Familiarity with data generated by multiple sensor types including VNIR, synthetic aperture radars and passive microwave sensors.

Benefits While Working at Planet:

Additional company winter holidays and regular global days off

Remote friendly work environment and flexible working hours

Contribution to our growth by offering equity options for employees

Giving back to the community - one day per quarter for charitable work

Learning and Tuition Reimbursement

Regular hack-weeks and meetup events to exchange knowledge

Home office budget

Employee Resource Groups providing empowering spaces for connection and mentorship

Some Press About Us: 

Our CEO, Will Marshall featured on TED and featured in a Planet Blog

“Planet: Bringing Space Back Down to Earth”

Tiny, privately owned satellites are changing how we view the Earth features in NBC News

“Planet And Rocket Lab Create Mission Patch To Honor Women In Aerospace” —Planet Blog

Why we care so much about Belonging. 

We’re dedicated to helping the whole Planet, and to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices and on all of our teams. That’s why Planet is guided by an ultimate  north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity and inclusion.  If this job intrigues you, but you’re thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please... do apply!  At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description.  We don’t just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill people’s careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts.  We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride. 

EEO statement:

Planet is committed to building a community where everyone belongs and we invite people from all backgrounds to apply. Planet is an equal opportunity employer, and committed to providing employment opportunities regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. 


Planet is an inclusive community and we know that everyone has their own needs. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation during the interview process, please call Planet's front office at 669-214-9404 or contact your recruiter with your request. Your message will be confidential and we will be happy to assist you.

Privacy Policy: By clicking "Apply Now" at the top of this job posting, I acknowledge that I have read the Candidate Privacy Notice GDPR Planet Labs Europe, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.



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