Staff Device Software Engineer

Remote (San Francisco)
5 months ago
Full time role


SPAN is developing products to enable rapid adoption of renewable energy and deliver an intuitive interface for the home. We ...

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Job Description

Our Mission  

SPAN develops products that accelerate the rapid adoption of renewable energy in the home. The flagship SPAN Smart Panel is the first true evolution for the traditional home electric panel, harnessing enhanced technology for metering, monitoring, and control. An expanded product suite of intelligent, integrated solutions radically lowers the cost and complexity of energy upgrades–including solar, batteries and EVs–empowering homeowners to be active, resilient and informed players in the energy market. 

The Role

As an staff engineer on the Device Software team, you will define and implement new features directly related to SPAN’s hardware products. Hardware products are central to SPAN’s business and writing firmware for even our smallest microcontrollers means working on something that directly affects the user experience. The team is small and you will own large user-facing features from conception through implementation, working independently to bring them to completion. Our goal is to hire friendly, smart engineers who like to work on in collaborative teams to solve complex problems. Ownership and autonomy are large and you can expect to work directly with the product, software, and hardware teams to ensure the right things get built.

The Team

SPAN’s Device Software team is responsible for the software that is physically embodied in our hardware products. Our first product - the SPAN Panel - contains a complex network of microcontrollers and a single board computer that must work together to react quickly to changing conditions with impeccable reliability to perform its job. The Device Software team touches every part of that system from 8-bit microcontrollers through embedded Linux, sometimes extending down to the electrical hardware below and up to the cloud infrastructure our devices speak to.

We look for friendly, excellent engineers who enjoy working with their peers to solve complex problems. We prioritize autonomy, trusting that the people we hire are capable of great things when supported by a team, and encourage everyone to exercise their agency in pursuing solutions. Engineers work directly with the broader software, product, and hardware teams to ensure the right things get built at the right time.


In this role, you will do a combination of:

  • Working across hardware and software boundaries on complex multiprocessor systems
  • Writing firmware for microcontrollers both on bare metal and for RTOS (FreeRTOS) environments
  • Writing system software on embedded Linux
  • Working with product owners to specify, estimate, break down, and author new features
  • Collaborating with our Electrical Engineers to specify, bring up, and troubleshoot new PCBAs

As we are a startup, this list is neither exhaustive nor complete. We are excited for people to explore responsibilities outside their areas of expertise if the need or interest arises. We also do not expect every candidate to do all of these things; we each work on the areas of our interest and skill set.

Representative Projects

  • Digging into the onboard temperature sensor in a SOC to understand and debug the manufacturer's calibration process
  • Writing service in Rust to communicate with a new home IoT device, then working with the cloud and mobile team to design the homeowner onboarding and commissioning flow for it
  • Designing a security and authentication strategy to allow a homeowner to safely access web resources hosted on their home panel
  • Writing a tool in Python to help the systems team explore the communication protocol of a new solar inverter
  • Exposing time-critical metrics from our hardware to help the business team better understand our customers
  • Designing and building software infrastructure to allow our data scientists to deploy machine learning models to the field, then collect and analyze results
  • Working with the product team during the conception of a new product to define what kind of local communication is possible at the install site

About You

Required Qualifications:

We are seeking a Firmware/Embedded Linux engineer with:

  • Experience writing software for a hardware device (in Linux, and/or on a microcontroller, etc)
  • 7+ years of Software Engineering experience 
  • A desire to consider how your work fits into the larger puzzle of the Span product and business, and a track record of taking ownership of projects and features.
  • Understanding engineering principles and processes to design robust, scalable, and resilient systems
  • Experience with modern software development processes like unit testing, continuous integration, and version control
Bonus Qualifications:

We do not expect any engineer to have all skills, but we do want you to be excited to learn and grow. Every Device Software Engineer is free to roam up and down our device software stack, so any combination of the following skills is welcome but not required.

  • Experience with functional safety and processes/standards like ISO-26262, IEC 61508, and UL1998
  • Exposure to Rust (the programming language)
  • Experience writing C, especially memory management and pointers
  • Exposure to real-time operating systems (especially FreeRTOS) or systems programming in general
  • Familiarity with a higher level language like Python/C++/Java/Rust/etc and Object-Oriented design
  • Wireless technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee
  • Experience writing or debugging Linux userspace and kernel drivers, especially around network interfaces
  • Experience with electronics lab equipment

The U.S. base salary range for this position is $147,000 - 200,000 plus benefits, equity and variable compensation for Sales-related roles. This range represents SPAN’s good faith estimate of competitively-priced salary for the role based on national, real-time industry data from companies of a similar growth stage. This range reflects minimum and maximum new hire salaries for the role in San Francisco county. Within the range, individual pay is determined by location and individual factors including relevant skills, experience and education or training. This range correlates to the relative level of the candidate we believe we need for the role and may require an adjustment for candidates of a different level. 

Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for the location this role is based during the hiring process. 

Life at SPAN

SPAN embraces diversity and equal opportunity in a serious way. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. 

Headquartered in San Francisco’s vibrant SoMa neighborhood, we are an eclectic group of creative thinkers who value open communication, teamwork, and a ‘make it happen’ approach to addressing complex challenges. 

We’re hiring talented individuals who are driven by success and are passionate about shaping the future of renewable energy. If that sounds like you, we’d love for you to consider joining the rapidly growing team at SPAN.

The Perks:

⚡ Competitive compensation + equity grants at a well-funded, venture-backed company

⚡ Comprehensive benefits (including medical; dental, vision, life and disability insurance)

⚡ Comfortable, sunny office space located near BART and Caltrain public transit

⚡ Strong focus on teambuilding and company culture (events, meet-ups, clubs)

⚡ Flexible hours and unlimited PTO

Interested in joining our team? Submit an application today and we’ll be in touch with next steps!

SPAN is developing products to enable rapid adoption of renewable energy and deliver an intuitive interface for the home. We ...

View Company Profile