Engineering Manager: System Architecture (Government Clearance - Secret required, TS Preferred)

Descartes Labs

Descartes Labs

Software Engineering, IT, Other Engineering
Multiple locations · Denver, CO, USA · Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 4, 2023
The Company
Descartes Labs, Inc., and its wholly-owned government subsidiary, Descartes Labs Government, Inc., solve the world's most complex problems through advanced science. We offer customers an accelerated ability to address operational needs by transforming the world's data into actionable and predictive insights that impact climate change, sustainability, food security, national security, and safeguard natural resources at the speed of relevance. Our solutions offer unique advantages to our customers that are grounded in an ever-expanding portfolio of dual-use commercial products and capabilities which are enabled by our core technology stack. We are proud to be a remote-first, deliberately distributed organization that recognizes that people have different needs and motivations for building a life and career that matters and works for them. For this reason, we are open to our employees working from any location, in a way that enhances their well-being, productivity, and role. We focus on helping our employees produce positive outcomes and we recognize that the path to getting there will look different for different people.
About this Role
Descartes Labs Government, Inc. (DLG) is deploying our dual-use commercial cloud-based data and analytics technologies in secure government cloud environments, and we are looking for an engineering leader to join our team who will oversee these efforts and drive the engineering activities in our innovation portfolio. The Engineering Manager is both a hands-on technologist, passionate about learning, with a desire to lead a team of Engineers and Scientists. They will provide guidance and implement engineering best practices, must have experience working in classified government cloud environments (AWS) and managing cloud operations teams.

Your Impact

  • Expectations of this role will be 40% engineering management and technical leadership, 40% architecting and solutioning, and 20% hands-on coding across the following key impact areas:
  • Engineering Manager: Supervise a team of technologists of various specialties (full stack engineers, front-end and back-end engineers, applied scientists, etc.) and continue to mature and build an engineering organization that will allow DLG to meet the needs of our customers.
  • Lead Engineer: Serve as the key DLG engineering leader in a systems engineering/solutions architecture capacity offering organizational guidance, contributing to the DLG strategic technology roadmap, technical collaboration across organizations, technical project tasking, and serving as the key engineering leader on our Technical Review Board (TRB).

What you bring

  • Demonstrated experience, in both leadership and hands-on roles, developing, deploying, and operating cloud offerings that support government missions in Amazon Web Services (AWS) CUI, Secret, and TS cloud environments.
  • At least an active secret clearance (TS with SCI preferred) and at least 12 years total work experience which includes experience as a hands-on engineer, having managed complex tech projects, and building products and features from scratch and at least 3 years of cumulative experience in supervisory roles, managing engineering teams.
  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering (ideally computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, software engineering, etc.) or related technical discipline with directly related experience to this role.
  • Accountability and experience prioritizing engineering activities in matrix organizations of cross-functional teams that utilize both Agile (formal Agile sprint and scrum methodologies managed using JIRA) and Waterfall development modalities.
  • Engineering leadership in a systems engineering or solution architecture capacity that is grounded in robust, demonstrated experience designing and implementing build systems, APIs, AWS cloud architecture knowledge, strong working knowledge in several programming languages (Python, JavaScript (Node, React), C++, Go, Rust), modern DevSecOps, and the ability to provide technical mentorship and feedback to direct reports and broader design reviews.

Nice to Haves

  • Experience managing a team that transitioned a cloud capability successfully through the United States Government security accreditation process.
  • Prior military, government civilian, or defense contractor.
  • Experience as a systems engineer and working with and/or leading multi-disciplinary technical solutioning.
  • AWS government cloud environment experience managing cloud operations teams (security, help desk and site reliability), engaging in the security accreditation process for cloud technology deployments in AWS, triaging requirements from multiple stakeholders (programs, business development, applied science) and translating functional needs into engineering requirements.
  • Proficiency in working with large-scale remote sensing and geospatial data systems, as well as experience in designing and managing ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) pipelines.
  • Previous experience in engineering roles or dual-use technology companies in data analytics, cloud services, or space.
  • Experience managing software code repositories and applying lessons learned to implement iterative processes and leadership oversight to ensure configuration control, code documentation, and code reviews.
  • Establishing attainable service level agreements (SLAs) and the mechanisms to monitor and report on them.
  • Experiencing forking a commercial code base, continuing to maintain updates to that code base such that a deployment of the technology in a government cloud instance maintains feature parity with the commercially available product.

Who You Are

  • Curious. You are always exploring and experimenting, interested in why and how, seeking not only to understand but to make work and the world better. You enthusiastically share your learning with others and actively seek information and knowledge.
  • Conscientious. You are determined, always keep your promises, and are forward thinking. Principled and integrous, you take your commitments seriously.
  • Humble. Unpretentious and self-aware, you cultivate compassion for others and take responsibility for your mistakes. Egos are barriers to doing the best work and always learning.
  • Open and Inclusive. You are receptive and interested in new ideas and perspectives, even when those perspectives don’t agree with your views. You value and respect difference and create ways for all people to contribute to the organization.
  • Collaborative. You know it takes a team to get anything accomplished and you actively and inclusively work across the organization. You listen intently and openly and are always focused first on creating the best results.
  • Adaptable. You can navigate changing circumstances and environments with ease and approach uncertainty with enthusiasm, while inspiring others towards effective goal setting and accomplishment.


  • The base salary range for this position is $175,000 - $195,000
  • Please note the base salary range is a guideline, and individual total compensation will vary based on factors such as qualifications, skill level & competencies as well as security clearance.
You belong here! If your experience and interests match with some of the above, we want you to apply.
We are dedicated to building a diverse community, where employees belong, even if they are different. Scientific discovery is in our DNA, and diversity fuels innovation. Accommodations will be provided as requested by candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.