Software Engineer, Generative Design

  • Sidewalk Labs
  • New York, NY
  • Nov 07, 2020

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 mobilitynext-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?

As a software engineer, you will use your significant technology expertise to solve problems faced by cities worldwide.

You will be a key member of Sidewalk’s generative design team, helping build a product that solves complex problems in urban design, masterplanning, and real estate development. Our generative design team is committed to radically improving the quality of urban life through better digital design tools — and we’re bridging the urbanist-technologist divide by combining expertise in machine learning, optimization and cloud computation with a nuanced understanding of why and how the design of a city’s physical form matters.

For more information, please see this blog post and this video.

We encourage engineers with full-time experience to apply, and will determine your level within Sidewalk Labs based on merit and interview performance. We unfortunately will not be hiring upcoming college graduates at this time. 

What you have to achieve:

  • Within your first month, you build a deep understanding of Sidewalk Labs’ current initiatives and technology infrastructure (Python, Go and Typescript running on the Google Cloud Platform/Kubernetes), coding style and standards, and have contributed code to the repository.
  • By the end of month 3, you should have added features to our existing projects, and prototyped at least one new idea.
  • From there your role will continue to evolve – we’re still a small team. The types of problems we are trying to solve could include:
    • How can we clearly build complex and dynamic 3D visuals of urban design that dramatically improve the work of experts and the understanding of non-expert users?
    • How can we build a participatory planning tool that responds to community needs?
    • Can we study and understand centuries of what’s made a city or neighborhood successful through machine learning techniques on open datasets?

What we expect:

  • Know your software engineering.
    • Have a strong CS background in order to choose the right algorithms, systems approaches and patterns to solve problems, without reinventing the wheel.
    • Candidates need to be able to hit the ground running. Therefore, we look for 2+ years of industry experience.
    • Experience with Python and at least one systems programming language (C++, Java, or Go). Experience with Google Cloud Platform and/or Kubernetes a plus.
  • 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 quickly.
    • 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. You are excited to learn something new when the need arises. 
    • Be creative: you’ll come up with new ideas based on your broad understanding of technological possibilities and city domain knowledge.
  • 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 individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. All employment is based on merit and business need.

Sectors

Buildings & Cities

Climate Solutions

Walkable Cities, Household Recycling

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