Software Development Manager

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4059418003]

Field(s) of expertise
Software Engineering Electronics Engineering
Job type

About this job

At Rocket Lab we believe the future will be defined and enabled by access to space. We’re making it easy to get there. We’re already the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch and now we’re also building satellites and space systems that enable exploration and innovation in low Earth orbit (LEO) and beyond.

Rocket Lab is seeking exceptional engineers to work on its Photon satellite program. Photon is a first-of-its-kind platform in the small satellite industry: a versatile satellite bus that is also an integral part of the launch vehicle. Photon is being developed to enable a broad range of missions in low-Earth orbit and beyond. Photon was recently selected by NASA to deploy a CubeSat to the Moon in 2021 as a pathfinder for Gateway, the program to return humans to the lunar surface.

Engineers within the Photon team have a unique opportunity to help shape this space system and, given the high launch cadence of Electron, have unparalleled opportunities for end-to-end software development and on-orbit operations.


As the Software Development Manager you will develop software plans and priorities, in collaboration with other engineering leads, for flight and embedded software, as well as write and test software, run sprint planning, manage a software team, and run their code in space. Your days will be spent writing software, testing software, and managing sprints and teams to enable a wide range of satellite missions.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with systems engineers and embedded systems engineers in developing requirements and managing interfaces with hardware and software within the vehicle.
  • Develop application software for flight and ground systems.
  • Develop documentation for operation and interface with software products.
  • Develop and participate in test campaigns ranging from unit-level to automated testing at the subsystem and system-level.


The ideal candidate will have a strong technical background, be familiar spacecraft and satellite systems, and have a proven track record of leading small and efficient software development teams. The ideal Software Development Manager will have a combination of program management, people management, and software development experience.

Required Skills & Experience

  • An engineering degree in computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, or equivalent qualification.
  • 10+ years of demonstrated applicable experience in both software development and program management.
  • Software development in Linux and embedded environments, as well as C and C++.
  • Experience with software running in autonomous systems (satellites preferred, but other examples would include UAVs, self-driving cars, etc.).
  • Experience with networked communications and/or distributed systems.
  • Document management & systems engineering experience.
  • Experience working with subcontractors and vendors.
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities.
  • Demonstrated success meeting aggressive development schedules.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Direct experience writing satellite software.
  • Knowledge of the radiation environment of space and its impact on software architecture.

Important Information

To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

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