Director, Engineering - Mobility

  • Sidewalk Labs
  • New York, NY
  • Feb 08, 2020
Full Time

Job Description

Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company with a mission to radically improve urban life. We aim to create inclusive, large-scale communities by bringing together an innovative planning approach, products and services designed to address urban challenges, and capital for real estate and advanced infrastructure. 

Since our founding in 2015, we've grown into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York and Toronto. Our cross-disciplinary team consists of experts from real estate, urban planning, government, finance, technology, and engineering, among other backgrounds.

To date, we've incubated and invested in multiple companies focused on solving city problems, and we've launched the Sidewalk Toronto project, which aims to create a community along Toronto's waterfront that achieves new standards of sustainability, affordability, and economic opportunity for all.

With the potential to catalyze and scale new models for inclusive growth, our work is both highly exciting and complex. We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!

What is the role?

In your role as a Director of Engineering, you will be a key leader of Sidewalk Labs’ Engineering team, working to build the products, services, and solutions that can radically improve the lives of city residents and visitors, while protecting user privacy and security. This will involve solving complex computational problems, dealing with messy sources of data, and building systems that scale. 

If you’ve ever mused over the origins of a stop-and-start traffic jam, puzzled about how to make a local train run faster, or wondered how a single traffic light can be tuned to help traffic flow freely miles down the road, you might be right for the Sidewalk Labs mobility team. 

Mobility technology involves working across software, firmware and custom hardware (though you needn’t be an expert in all three, and we have a hardware team), and developing deep partnerships with our designers, product managers, mobility experts and city partners to deliver products that change the way we move around. This is not a standard software engineering position. 

This is a large discipline. Challenges could involve simulating new approaches to make mobility networks run efficiently, building novel sensors that protect the privacy of users, or using the latest in machine learning to extract signals from large data sets while removing all hints of personal information.

This is an ideal position for either a rising leader looking to take the next step up in their career, or a current manager looking to get back to being more hands-on. The role will involve growing and managing a team of engineers and setting technical direction to take early stage ideas to market. 

What you have to achieve:

  • Within your first month, you will have begun to build strong relationships with the members of your team and are beginning to understand the dynamics of the organization. You will have built a deep understanding of Sidewalk Labs’ current initiatives and technology infrastructure (Python, Go and Typescript running on Google Cloud Platform/Kubernetes), coding style and standards, and have contributed code to the repository. 
  • By the end of your third month, you should have deep relationships with your team, made recommendations on how to improve and iterate on our technology infrastructure and development process, and have set an engineering roadmap that balances resources constraints, customer commitments, and technical debt. 
  • From there your role will continue to evolve, as you take on a leadership role in the engineering team. The types of problems we are trying to solve could include:
    • How can we help cities reduce road congestion?
    • How does air pollution vary throughout a city, and what are the best ways to reduce it?
    • How can technology support city leaders and planners understand their city and make good decisions?
    • How do we use technologies like self-driving cars, pervasive networking and widespread environmental sensors to maximize quality of life in the city?
    • How can we build digital products that will help urban residents keep themselves healthy?

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Know your Computer Science.
    • You have a strong CS background, in order to work with your team to design great systems without reinventing the wheel.
    • You have been a part of shipping several successful products, ideally across every level of the software stack (from server to front end) and across multiple domains. 
    • You have at least 10+ years of industry experience in a world-class engineering organization. 
  • Act as a technologist.
    • Bias towards action and shipping. Once you’ve sketched out an idea, you find the fastest path to a prototype to prove the concept.
    • Strong ability to write production code.
    • You are obsessed with privacy and constantly ask how we can build privacy into product design.
    • Be comfortable with a range of languages and open source tools and frameworks, and make good decisions about which to use to solve a particular problem.
    • Be creative: you’ll come up with new ideas based on your broad understanding of technological possibilities and city domain knowledge.
  • Exceptional leader. 
    • You have led teams to significant impact, and guided complex projects with many internal and external stakeholders. Your teams and reports hold you in highest regard since you drive teams to deliver their best work, and care about the individuals. 
  • Solve problems, together.
    • Come up with novel solutions, working well with technologists and non-technologists alike.
    • Ask hard questions and challenge assumptions to ensure that we’re solving the right problems.
    • Have flexibility to work on the team’s most pressing problems.
  • Care. 
    • About cities, solving hard problems and our team’s success.

The community of the future is a place for everyone, and Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to apply. All employment is based on merit and business need.

Impact areas

Buildings & Cities  


51-200 employees  

Organization type

For-profit startup/company  

Climate solutions

Household Recycling,   Walkable Cities  

Will sponsor Visa