Head of Data Engineering at Planet

Posted on:
February 23, 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 seeking a Head of Data Engineering to join and help build its cross-functional Data team. The team is responsible for bringing best-in-class Data Products to Planeteers as we look to achieve our North Star over the next decade and enable every Planeteer to measure the impact of their work towards our triple-bottom-line (planet, people, profit). This leader will play a critical role in shaping the team’s technical direction, designing and implementing the data architecture that enables reporting, analytics, data science, and machine learning. This position is a hands-on Data Engineering role, with the core focus being on developing and deploying production-grade code, bringing the best of Product Management and DevOps practices to bear. There is also opportunity for this to be a people leadership role that builds and manages a high-performing team of Data Engineers.

Impact You’ll Own:

Architect and implement large-scale data processing infrastructure that enables analytics, data science, and machine learning in a cloud environment supporting hundreds of concurrent users

Develop best practices for data creation, collection, storage, processing, access and value creation that impact company-wide data strategy across Planet’s footprint

Partner with software engineering teams and data stewards to model foundational schemas, and establish data contracts to improve production-level data quality at every stage of the data lifecycle

Participate in design and architectural review sessions with data team and software engineering partners to ensure we can instrument and measure what matters most to our customers

Collaborate with engineering and product leadership to translate business requirements into data products, managed with product lifecycle

What You Bring:

8+ years of experience in a data engineering role building end-to-end ETL/ELT pipelines, and working with data warehouses, data lakes, and their underlying infrastructure

Experience with data governance, schema design, and schema evolution

Progressive leadership experience mentoring and coaching others, and partnering with cross-functional teams

Experience building, maintaining & improving batch data pipelines using DAG-based tools such as Airflow

Experience with cloud computing platforms such as Google Cloud Platform & AWS

Experience implementing DevOps best practices within the data platform, including solutions for CI/CD, data observability, monitoring, and lineage

What Makes You Stand Out:

Experience playing decision making role in buy vs build decisions across Data stack

A passion for, and track record of, playing full-stack Data leader, thinking carefully about data quality, use cases, and ROI of data infrastructure investments

Experience in producing and consuming topics to/from Apache Kafka, Google Cloud Dataflow, AWS Kinesis, or Azure Event Hubs

Experience with Infrastructure as code tools such as Terraform

Experience developing real-time data pipelines using frameworks such as Apache Beam, Flink, Storm, Spark Streaming, etc.

Benefits While Working at Planet:

Comprehensive Health Plan

Wellness program and onsite massages in specific offices

Flexible Time Off

Recognition Programs

Commuter Benefits

Learning and Tuition Reimbursement

Parental Leave

Offsites and Happy Hours

Volunteering Benefits


The US base salary range for this full-time position at the commencement of employment is $149,600 - $246,000.  Additionally, this role might be eligible for discretionary short-term and long-term incentives (bonus and equity). The final salary range is determined by job related experience, skills and location.  The range displays our typical hiring range for new hire salaries in US locations only.  Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for your preferred location during the hiring process.



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 Planet Data Privacy Notice for California Staff Members and Applicants, and hereby consent to the collection, processing, use, and storage of my personal information as described therein.

Privacy Policy (European Applicants): 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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