software engineer [JOB 202]

Seattle, WA, United States

First Mode draws on the exceptional talent and creativity of its multidisciplinary team to solve the toughest problems on and off the planet. We help companies, governments, and individuals from the earliest stages of problem definition to prototype creation and demonstration. A continual desire to discover and invent has led our team to drill into the unknown surface of Mars, electrify large industrial equipment, and apply remote sensing technologies to water conservation.

While each project is unique, we typically meld together robotics, automation, systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and advanced fabrication to create a new future across industries. If you have exceptional talent and a vision for the future, we want to talk.

First Mode is seeking to add members to its software systems team that have strong capabilities for working these problems within a constrained, fast-paced environment. Applicants from all industries are welcome, with particular emphasis in software development in complex, multidisciplinary systems.

Position Responsibilities

Working in a small team of engineers, you will help build the software that drives our product development, leveraging modern tools, techniques and best practices to craft solutions to real-world problems. Our software projects span a wide spectrum from embedded systems to large-scale distributed computing, but usually involve interaction with a physical system. You will work alongside -- and learn from! -- engineers of mixed disciplines as you think outside the boundaries of your own code to make a major impact on the systems we design and implement. In many cases our software tool stack is not pre-determined so you will have the opportunity to help guide the technologies that we choose.  We need software engineers that: 

  • Are driven to deliver high quality, working software

  • Work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic team environment 

  • Are excited by researching and teaching themselves new technologies and skills 

  • Love to learn how things work, and understand how software can interact with the physical world as part of a system 

  • Have gleaned insights from interesting projects (school, personal, or professional) and can tell a great story about the lessons they learned

  • Are willing to travel within the United States and internationally to represent First Mode to its customers, vendors, and partners

It is not expected that all software engineers are capable of debugging microcontroller assembly code one day while working with sophisticated machine learning the next (though that would be great). However, you should have an area that you’re passionate about and could teach others.

Candidates should possess some of the following qualifications: 

  • Have experienced one or more complete product lifecycles

  • Possess a diverse experience base, with comprehension of low and high-level software 

  • Experience in a low(ish)-level programming language (assembly, C, C++), as well as a higher-level language (Python, JavaScript, etc.)

  • Familiarity with computer architecture 

  • Experience with high-reliability software development, deployment, and operation

  • Experience in real-time embedded systems, mission-critical software, or distributed system software 

  • Familiarity with open source tools and technologies 

  • Experience in machine learning techniques

  • Experience in software architecture development (UML or other modeling tools) 

  • Experience with software configuration management tools/methods

  • Experience with the development and execution of software test plans

  • Experience with software quality metrics (path coverage, static analysis, etc.)

  • A knack for thinking about how the parts of a system work together

  • Ability to write and speak clearly about technical subject matter

  • Flexibility and responsiveness in a fast-paced, dynamic, small team environment


  • This position will be located at First Mode’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington


  • Applicants must be eligible for employment within the United States of America

Apply or ask a question: Please e-mail your resume (and cover letter if you’d like) to with “Job 202” in the subject line.

First Mode is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with First Mode is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.