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?

The role is for an embedded software engineer for Pebble: a low-cost, low-infrastructure, privacy-preserving sensor product that Sidewalk is developing. The product is a vehicle detection system with two main components: (1) small, durable, low-power sensors that can be installed easily and at low cost, and (2) a wireless, solar-powered communications gateway. Pebble can provide parking operators, real estate developers, municipal agencies, and other managers of parking or curb space with the real-time data they need for better day-to-day operations and long-term planning.

As an embedded software engineer, you will work across the organization and use technology to inform our decisions and bring this vision to life. We must create innovative products that will push the boundaries of traditional thinking in urban environments while protecting user privacy and security. This will involve bringing up physical and digital prototypes, deploying them in the built environment, finding clever solutions to power and networking constraints, and scaling them up to make a significant positive impact. 

You will work closely with our software and hardware team, and you will develop deep partnerships with our UX designers, product managers, and mobility and built environment experts to deliver products to unlock the true potential of a place.

We have two opportunities for this position, and will determine your level within Sidewalk Labs based on interview performance. 

To learn more about our vision for Pebble, please check out this podcast episode.

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 integrated into the Pebble team and built a deep understanding of its current initiatives, technology infrastructure, and product direction.
  • By the end of month 3, you will have added features to our existing products and prototyped at least one new idea to improve Pebble’s embedded systems.
  • From there, your role will continue to evolve—we’re still a small team. Projects may be ad hoc or part of a longer-term initiative. Problems we are trying to solve could include:
    • How might we design sensor products to help communities and planners understand their cities and make good decisions?
    • How do we craft wireless protocols that operate seamlessly in every urban environment, from underground parking garages to busy downtown streets?
    • What will secure our products against snowy climates, adversarial hackers, and daily wear-and-tear?

What leads to success:

  • Know your embedded engineering.
    • Be comfortable developing memory-and power-constrained embedded microcontroller systems using C/C++, including embedded-specific architecture patterns, low-level driver development, testing, debugging, and proper documentation.
    • Understand the physical hardware your code runs on. Have experience designing and bringing up embedded microcontroller systems from initial specification to final production, with an understanding of circuit design, sensors, and wireless communication.
    • Because of the speed at which we're traveling, candidates need to be able to hit the ground running from day one. Therefore, 4+ years of industry experience are a must.
  • 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 and cleanly. You recognize that documentation is just as important as code, and strive to build understandable systems.
    • 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. 
    • You are obsessed with privacy and constantly ask how we can build privacy into product design.
    • You always consider how our technology will affect customers and the communities they serve.
    • 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.
    • You are committed to creating more equitable and inclusive outcomes both in the workplace and in the work you do.

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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