Senior Software Engineer - Security Lead

  • Kairos Aerospace
  • Remote (USA) or Mountain View, CA
  • Nov 05, 2020

Job Description

About Kairos Aerospace
At Kairos Aerospace, we combine innovative aerospace systems with advanced data science. Unlike traditional aerospace companies, we sell information, not hardware - we operate our sensors cost-effectively at continental scale to produce novel data streams about pressing global problems. First on our list: spotting hard-to-monitor emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that accelerates climate change. Since starting continuous survey operations in 2018, Kairos has removed methane emissions equal to over 9.2 million tonnes of CO2e through our work. To put that in perspective, that’s equivalent to over 2 million cars being removed from the roads for a year or shutting down about seventeen 350 MW coal-fired power plants. We call that a good start. As a team, we love science and engineering, we love getting our hands dirty with hardware and software, and we love seeing our work make a difference in the real world. We’ve created a diverse, collaborative, supportive, and fun environment based on integrity and treating people right. So no matter your gender, gender identity, race, age, beliefs, sexual orientation, or disabilities, we welcome you and would like to work with you. :-) It’s never boring, it’s always challenging, and we’re usually laughing.
Software Engineering at Kairos
Everything that Kairos does is driven by software, from recording sensor data while flying at 3000', to ephemeral high-scale cloud-native data processing, to computer-aided GIS analysis, to using machine-learning to extract structured information from geopixels. The software engineering team is involved in every step of our process, building the automation that allows Kairos to not only image things that humans have never seen before but to do it reliably, repeatably, inexpensively, and quickly. (Yes, you can have all four). We work primarily in Python, with a smattering of Bash, SQL, Terraform, and Typescript when it makes sense.
We work on single-board-computers, field laptops, in virtualized cloud environments, in containers, inside of web browsers, and even inside lab automation frameworks. We practice compositional engineering, tying together disparate pieces of technology to create novel artifacts that solve real-world problems. We practice continuous integration and deployment, automated testing, and have a lovely monorepo. In short, it's a playground for the skilled generalist.
Security Lead
The security lead role expands the role of Software Engineer as outlined in Software Engineer - Generalist to encompass security. Kairos cares deeply about security - our clients entrust us with gathering sensitive data about the performance of their field equipment, and making sure their emissions data stays confidential is a core concern of our business.
A growing, evolving team and role
The lead security engineer position is a foundational position on our team, with lots of room for growth and advancement as the company grows. Where appropriate, the right person will be eligible for rapid promotion into a leadership position up to and including CISO. (Where appropriate, we will hire people directly into more senior titles, as commensurate with experience).
This position is a specialized role inside a team of generalists. For the specialized responsibilities outlined below, you would be the lead person for dealing with those types of issues when they arise. At other times, you’ll be writing software for our various application domains.
Initial responsibilities will include a mix of non-security related software engineering work - that may migrate over time to being exclusively security-focused as needed by the business. Kairos believes in work-life balance: this job posting describes a wide breadth of areas to work in but doesn’t imply more than a full-time workload.


  • Define and lead projects to ensure and enhance the security of operations for our internal users, data collection operations, and our cloud-based data processing and enrichment pipelines.
  • Work directly with the CTO to create and implement our security policies and training programs for our team.
  • Create and review security-related architecture in our software systems.
  • Help craft secure ways of handling client data given specific requirements around country-level engagements.
  • Create our security monitoring and operations practice and procedures.
  • Act as a productive member of our software engineering team, as described in Software Engineer - Generalist.

Relevant Experience

  • Low-level understanding of managing Linux environments, from field laptops to virtual machines to containerized workloads.
  • Experience with end-user security infrastructure, including things like PKI/CA systems, VPN configuration, endpoint protection, federated authentication, and incident response.
  • Familiarity with ISO certifications for implementation of security best practices.
  • An understanding of both secure software and infrastructure engineering as well as incorporating a security mindset and procedures into day-to-day operations.
Life at Kairos
A few important facts about working at Kairos Aerospace: - We provide health, dental, and vision insurance, including subsidized coverage for dependents. Our 401K plan does matching based on the amount of methane we removed from the atmosphere in a given year. - We think death-march hours are a bad way to run a company. We expect something approximating a 40-hour workweek, but mostly we just care that your work gets done. No, really. (Full disclosure: we occasionally put in some extra hours during crunch periods, but that is the exception, not the norm). - We do not track vacation time, nor do we have set hours to be in the office. Instead, we encourage taking real vacations, mental health days, leaving early to pick up the kids, working from home, time-shifting commutes, staying home when you're sick, ducking out to the gym - we believe work time should be flexible. In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have transitioned to 100% remote work aside from hardware and flight operations and plan to continue having remote positions in perpetuity. (We love it when kids make a cameo in a video call.)

Organization Type


Organization Size



Atmosphere, Energy

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