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Senior Backend Engineer - Flight Routes



Software Engineering
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Zipline is at the forefront of a logistics revolution: We design, manufacture, and operate our own fleet of autonomous drones, and all ground-based equipment that supports flight, to deliver critical and lifesaving medicine to thousands of hospitals serving millions of people on multiple continents. Our mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Do you want to change the world? Join Zipline and help us make this a reality for billions of people.


Zipline builds and operates fleets of delivery drones to get critical and life-saving products, fast, to where they’re needed. To power this, our software team is building out long term, scalable solutions to expand rapidly while empowering our world class distribution centers to serve our customers as fast as possible.

In this role you will contribute to, build, and own portions of Zipline’s Flight Route stack. That includes helping build out and scale the path planning services used by Zipline operations around the world. In building these services, you will also contribute to Ziplines strategic deconfliction solutions to increase vehicle-to-vehicle safety in the airspace. Our ideal candidate works well in startup environments, is comfortable wearing many hats, and can mentor other engineers on the team to produce impressive results.


  • Build and own just-in-time services for producing flight routes to support global operations for all of Zipline
  • Work on scaling novel path planning and deconfliction algorithms
  • Work towards optimizing our microservices architecture
  • Be a technical lead and mentor to other engineers on the team


  • 8 + years of professional experience building complex distributed software systems that support production loads
  • Expertise in Python, C++, Golang, or other object oriented languages
  • Strong fundamentals in microservice design principles
  • Understanding of automated testing practices and the ability to apply them to produce solid code that can be iterated on quickly
  • A desire to own and produce highly reliable low-latency services with a team
  • A Strong Generalist Engineering mindset, ready to dive in and contribute across many facets of Zipline’s software

Nice to haves:

  • Experience with taking prototype code and scaling to production
  • Experience using (or tuning) PostgreSQL + PostGIS
  • Experience using kubernetes, CDK/terraform, docker, and other cloud technologies
  • Experience with AWS technologies
  • Experience characterizing the performance of production services and optimizing compute architectures


The starting cash range for this role is $135,000 - $175,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; overtime pay; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!