Manna – Lead Systems Software Engineer

Manna – Lead Systems Software Engineer

The Lead Systems Software Engineer is a mission-critical role that Manna is seeking to fill with an extremely experienced engineer who can lead a team, define strategy and meet deadlines across our stack. Reporting to the CTO and working primarily on the tech onboard our aircraft, this senior hire will also own and manage teams across other technology verticals, such as systems and services.

This is a hands-on role with deep systems (C++/Python/Java) programming experience required.


At Manna, our mission is to improve the world by making lightning-fast suburban deliveries affordable, green, and safe. We design and build our own aviation-grade drones to deliver food and other items directly from restaurants, centralized kitchens, and local stores to consumers’ homes.


  • Own the onboard software on our aircraft, including flight control, safety, and command and control systems. Our onboard systems (“SureFlite”) all interoperate with our cloud-based services such as UTM, Mission, and Route Planning.
  • Leading, mentoring, and growing the onboard software team.
  • Senior member of the technology team, leading the engineers across other verticals in the tech stack. The CTO’s right hand in delivering Manna’s aggressive growth targets, whilst keeping safety in our software as the non-negotiable priority.


This is a mission-critical role, working with our CTO to lead the team and the technology strategy. Specifically, you will own our onboard systems and the team responsible for the same, but your proven experience leading software teams will be used in coaching, mentoring and managing developers across the stack. Our onboard technology is at the heart of what is helping Manna to change the world, you will be responsible for making it world-class and above all, completely safe.


  • Complete ownership of Manna’s aircraft onboard software and the team responsible.
  • Working with the wider technology team, as well as the operations team, the regulation team, and the senior leadership team to implement onboard systems that are incredibly safe and a product that is world-class and viable.
  • Hands-on coding (C++, Python, Java) as well actively leading in development strategy, team meetings and working in an agile environment, with occasionally (constantly!) shifting product priorities.
  • You must be comfortable with embracing a high-energy start-up culture.
  • Providing technical guidance to other team members, as well as mentoring and reviewing the work of your team members.
  • Driving ongoing improvements in application architecture to help build and design highly scalable applications
  • Leading the designing, building, and delivery of new aircraft functionality

Now, Let’s talk you out of this…

Reasons you don’t want this job:

  • You don’t love fast-paced, firefighting, reactive programming, finding creative solutions quickly for a team that is changing the world.
  • You shy away from working directly with senior leadership and the CEO of an org, sometimes debating best design approaches
  • You don’t love getting your hands dirty.
  • You’re afraid of cracking some eggshells
  • You don’t love a little chaos occasionally
  • There is no Javascript involved, nor gigantic slow/unproven “frameworks”

Still here? GREAT!

Experience, qualifications, and personal attributes that we’ll be looking for:

  • You have 10 + years of system / low-level software engineering or relevant experience, including leading complicated, agile engineering teams
  • You know what memory allocation, real-time scheduling, efficient/reliable code is.
  • You’re a self-starter who thrives in ambiguity and loves adapting to changing priorities. You must be comfortable with embracing a high energy start-up culture.
  • You react quickly to slack/other messages reporting bugs and are keen to jump on and find a fix (but you’re so good at your job those bugs happen very rarely!)
  • Despite your many years of experience, no element of the development process is beneath you. You’re frequently seen with your sleeves rolled up, diving into whatever needs to be done to achieve the mission.
  • You are an excellent communicator, keeping the org in the loop by being able to communicate upstream, downstream, and laterally.
  • End-to-end lifecycle, automated CI, automated testing
  • Proven ability in managing & mentoring junior team members
  • Experience working on safety-critical software such as the DO-178C standard an advantage

Salary: Competitive salary + stock options

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