Software Engineer - Privacy-Preserving Infrastructure

New York City

Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. Our vision for cities is rooted in a cross-disciplinary approach that is reflected in our team, composed of experts from real estate, government, finance, technology, engineering and more. Since our founding in 2015, we have evolved into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York and Toronto.

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.

We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it.

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;
  • Cryptographic approaches to preserving privacy that enable the trusted exchange of data in an open city ecosystem, including zero-knowledge proofs and anonymous but verifiable credentials.

As a software engineer on our team, you will work with designers, product managers, urban experts, and other engineers to bring privacy-preserving credential systems to life in cities. This will involve solving complex systems design, distributed systems, and user experience problems while prioritizing benefit for people and cities.

Our software engineers are utility players who have the ability to dive in and out of various parts of the stack. You will work across backend and frontend, and develop deep partnerships with our UX designers, product managers, and subject matter experts (e.g. architecture, housing affordability, mobility) to deliver a set of systems and integrations for managing data and access to data which unlock the true potential of a place. 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 around verifiable credential systems (Python and Java, running on the Google Cloud Platform/Kubernetes, with Android as a deploy target, and using a substantial amount of open-source software), 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 subproject.
  • From there your role will be continue to evolve – we’re a small team with ambitious goals.

What we expect:

  • 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. We generally look for 2+ years of industry experience in a world-class engineering organization.
    • Experience with Python and at least one systems programming language (C++, Java, or Go). Experience with Google Cloud Platform and/or Kubernetes a plus.
    • Experience with Android or iOS development 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.
    • 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.
  • Be obsessed with ethics, privacy, and security.
    • Constantly ask how we can build privacy into product design.
    • Seek to understand new privacy-preserving technologies and how to integrate them into our products and services.
  • Solve problems, together.
    • Communicate: regularly, compassionately, and effectively.
    • 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, but be able to disagree and commit if the team makes a decision.
    • Have flexibility to work on the team’s most pressing problems.
  • Care.
    • About cities, solving hard problems, and the people you work with.

We are excited to hear from you.

The community of the future is a place for everyone, and Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. All employment is based on merit and business need.

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