Join the Family

Felicis portfolio companies are growing their teams in the U.S. and beyond.

Senior Software Engineer - Geodata Pipelines Lead



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


Zipline is scaling up drone delivery to make vital medical supplies available on demand to anybody, 7 days a week, regardless of where they live. We design, manufacture, and operate our own fleet of autonomous drones, all the ground-based equipment that supports flight, and numerous cloud services to tie it all together. Today, we fly the equivalent of once around Earth’s equator every day, and about 25 million people in three countries have access to our services. Our mission is to serve all people equally, which requires scaling up to operate in every country around the world.


The Zipline Maps team is responsible for producing the geospatial data that our drones need to safely navigate from a distribution center to each delivery site. We build and maintain systems for collecting and aggregating spatial data from a variety of sources, validating our flight routes over the latest information, and providing geospatial services to stakeholders across the company. We use these tools to measure and manage risk and ensure regulatory compliance in each jurisdiction.

As Zipline grows, the imperatives of scale are driving the development of robust systems that enable distributed teams to manage geographic data around the world. We analyze the accuracy of elevation models, estimate and track the completeness of ground feature datasets, evaluate the impact of new distribution centers, model an evolving regulatory landscape, and keep everything up-to-date as time passes and the world changes around us.

For this role we seek a software engineer with cross-functional leadership skills who can design and coordinate processes for capturing, indexing, and post-processing normalized geospatial data used for both flight operations and data science analysis. Operational geodata includes terrain, obstacles, and surface models derived from photogrammetry. You’ll work with teammates around the world who are using these tools to establish our operations in new countries, answering questions like where can we fly, who can we serve, and how we manage risk.

Core elements of our stack today include Python, PostGIS, GDAL, Shapely, Flask, React and AWS. We also lean heavily on ArcGIS and QGIS.


  • 8+ years of experience shipping and maintaining production software
  • 3+ years of leadership experience, decomposing complex problems into engineering and operational requirements and coordinating with cross-functional teams
  • Experience building pipelines for processing geospatial data at scale in the cloud
  • A safety mindset and an understanding of best practices for testing and validating software and data
  • Comfort working with a geographically distributed team, either from our office in South San Francisco or remotely
  • A mindset of customer obsession and an enthusiasm to continuously iterate on your solutions in close collaboration with your users
  • A commitment to work with your peers with empathy and compassion, enabling the team to develop skills and grow together
  • A unique perspective cultivated by a diversity of life and career experiences that brings an innovative and refreshing spirit to our team.
  • Nice to have: Experience with drone surveying or autonomous vehicle data collection
  • Nice to have: Experience collaborating with technicians in the field to develop efficient workflows


The starting cash range for this role is $170,000 - $210,000. 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 are troubled by the widespread inequity that has excluded too many people from our field, and are committed to building a team that faithfully represents the global population we serve. If there is anything we can do in the interview process to make it easier for you to apply, please let us know.