Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto, will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.

What is the role?

Over the past two years, we have built a unique team of urbanists and technologists who have developed a vision for what this neighborhood of the future will be and how it will function:

  • A mobility system that is safer and more convenient than the private car at much lower cost;
  • A new standard of sustainability creating buildings that proactively manage and reduce energy by over 20%;
  • A close-knit community that uses data to improve city services;
  • Housing and real estate that is more efficient and thus far more affordable;
  • Open digital infrastructure that inspires innovation.

As a 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 solving complex computational problems, dealing with messy sources of data, and building systems which scale.

Our software engineers are utility players who will support different product areas. You will work across software and hardware, and develop deep partnerships with our UX designers, product managers, and subject matter experts (e.g. architecture, housing affordability, mobility) to deliver products to unlock the true potential of a place. You will travel to Toronto to listen, learn, and partner directly with the community in conjunction with the Sidewalk Toronto project. This is not a standard software engineering position.

We encourage engineers of all experience levels to apply, and will determine your level within Sidewalk Labs based on merit and interview performance.

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 be continue to evolve – we’re still a small team. Some projects will be ad hoc, or you might be part of a longer-term initiative. The types of problems we are trying to solve could include:
    • 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 their positive impact on the future of the city?
    • How can we build digital products that will help us keep urban populations healthy and happy?
    • How can we make a city that gives back to the environment?

What leads to success:

  • 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 generally look for 2+ years of industry experience in a world-class engineering organization is required.
    • 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. All employment is based on merit and business need.

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