Firmware engineer [job 206]

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 many industries. If you have exceptional talent and a vision for the future, we want to talk.

We are seeking to add new members to our engineering team focused on firmware for embedded systems. We’re looking individuals who have passion, experience, and hard-won lessons in the art of embedded software development. You enjoy diving into new platforms and technologies to figure out how they work and appreciate the thrill of seeing your software bring a physical system to life.  

Position Responsibilities

Working in a small team of engineers, you will help build the software that drives our solutions to the world’s toughest problems. Your software will have a major impact on the projects you work on, powering the hardware underlying our robotic systems and translating designs into reality.  

  • Develop firmware in C/C++ and/or assembly for a variety of embedded system platforms

  • Research and identify appropriate technologies to utilize in the development of an embedded system, and bring-up new tools and environments for embedded platforms

  • Represent software as a stakeholder within a multi-disciplinary team, from system formulation through design, build and test

  • Collaborate with a hardware engineers in development, integration, and debug of prototype hardware

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

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


The ideal candidate will fit many, but not all, of the following technical qualifications. We value talent and passion over ticking every box.

  • Experience in having seen at least one (and probably more) embedded projects through their full lifecycle (requirements, design, build, test, manufacturing)

  • Strong embedded C/C++ and/or assembly skills, as well as proficiency in a scripting language such as Python or Tcl and system shell languages such as Bash

  • Knowledge of embedded computer architecture(s) such as ARM or PIC 

  • Proficient in embedded systems debugging techniques; usage of software/hardware debuggers, emulators and protocols (e.g., JTAG, SWD)

  • Familiarity with real-time operating systems and high-reliability software concepts. Knowledge of related development standards (DO-178, MISRA) are a plus.

  • Proficient with common embedded systems communications protocols (SPI, I2C, CAN, RS-422/485) — applications and implementation

  • Embedded Linux experience, with bonus points for BSP and kernel driver development

  • Experience in testing and validation approaches for embedded systems

  • Able to rapidly acclimate to a new platform and research/teach yourself new technologies and skills 

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

  • Excellent 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 206” 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.