Director, Hardware Engineering Manager

  • Sidewalk Labs
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Oct 21, 2020
Full time role

Job Description

Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an urban innovation company working to make cities more sustainable and affordable for all. We create products, invest in new companies, and help plan innovative places around the world. Since our founding in 2015, we’ve grown into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York City. Our cross-disciplinary team consists of experts from real estate, urban planning, government, finance, technology, and engineering, among other backgrounds.

We’ve launched innovative companies addressing urban mobility, next-generation infrastructure, and community-based healthcare, and invested in startups working on everything from robotic furniture to digital electricity. We continue to work internally on projects such as factory-made mass timber construction that can improve housing affordability and sustainability, a digital master-planning tool designed to help developers and communities achieve shared objectives, and a new approach to all-electric neighborhoods.

With the potential to catalyze and scale new models for sustainable and affordable growth, our work is both 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 Hardware Engineering, you will be a key leader of Sidewalk Labs’ Engineering team, working to build and integrate the products, services, and solutions that we believe can radically improve the lives of city residents, workers, and visitors while protecting user privacy and security. This will involve solving complex hardware and firmware problems, dealing with many moving pieces and people (manufacturers, customers, contractors, team members), and building systems that scale. 

You will work across hardware, firmware, and software, and develop deep partnerships with our UX designers, product managers, program managers, and subject matter experts (e.g.  architecture, housing affordability, mobility) to deliver products to unlock the true potential of a place. 

The role will involve growing and managing a team of hardware and firmware engineers and setting process and direction to take early stage ideas to market. 

Note: We are currently working remotely, and we expect to eventually re-open our offices when it is safe to return, in 2021. After re-opening, candidates will be expected to come into the New York office.

What you have to achieve:

  • Within your first month, you will have begun to build strong relationships with the members of your team and to understand the dynamics of the organization. You will have built a deep understanding of Sidewalk Labs’ current initiatives and  hardware development / manufacturing processes, and identified ways to make them more robust. 
  • By the end of your third month, you will have  led the team through the addition of one new system capability and facilitated the development of one new functional prototype.   
  • You will have built deep relationships with your team - and developed an understanding of how best to grow it. 
  • 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?

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Know your Hardware Engineering.
    • You have a strong background in hardware and firmware, 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 multiple domains from concept to mass production.
    • You have a deep understanding of the process required to ensure the development of a reliable, cost effective product. 
    • You know how to chart a path to a successful, on-schedule product launch, and know what tradeoffs need to be made at critical points of the product’s lifecycle. 
    • You have acted as lead/liaison to a contract manufacturing process that built and shipped hardware at scale. 
    • You have at least 10+ years of industry experience and multiple years as a manager. 
  • 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 develop production systems and code.
    • You are obsessed with privacy and constantly ask how we can build privacy into product design.
    • Be comfortable with a range of hardware technologies, 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.
  • Be an 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. 
    • You are a strong, organized process leader, and an exceptional communicator. 
    • Work closely and collaboratively with other project domains (product, software, design and business development) in a way that aligns goals and expectations across the business unit. 
  • 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.
  • Bring heart to everything you do. 
    • Care about cities, solving hard problems and our team’s success.

We actively seek applicants from underrepresented communities. Even if you are not 100% sure you are right for the role, please apply and we will be happy to consider your application. All employment is based on merit and business need, and we respond to each application we receive.


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