Sr Application Software Engineer at Emerald Cloud Lab | Powderkeg

Location: Remote

Employment Type: Full-time

Team: Engineering

About ECL

The Emerald Cloud Laboratory (ECL) enables life scientists to move out of the lab, and to conduct research entirely from a computer. Stepping away from manual completion of experiments at the bench, scientists on the ECL leverage the remote, automated execution of all standard biology and chemistry experiments in Emerald’s industrial lab facilities, working within a software platform for all stages of research workflows, from experimental design to data analysis.

Engineering at ECL

The Application Software Engineer develops the ECL Command Center and the multiple internal web-based applications on which the ECL runs. The Command Center offers scientists a broad suite of tools for designing experiments on the ECL, tracking their progress, and analyzing their results, all within the collaborative context of working alongside other researchers. Projects include: the notebook interface to Emerald’s Symbolic Lab Language (SLL); team-based features for managing projects and end-to-end research workflows; point-and-click command builders that onboard users into the capabilities of SLL; building out the platform for running the web application on the desktop.

We’re a small team, which means it is essential for every team member to be ready to take ownership and lead projects. Feature development and proximity to overall UX are both central in this role, so the Application Engineer works very closely alongside the outstanding ECL Design team.

As an early team member helping to build the Engineering team as well as the product, you will also be encouraged to contribute to the software engineering practices we maintain in our own work, and which we bring to ECL as a whole. We strive to be continually critical of our process, cutting cruft and homing in on performance multipliers (like continuous integration and agile development practices).

Our Tech Stack

Our applications are built on web-based technologies (React / HTML5 / CSS3) running on the cloud and desktop across Windows and Mac OS. Our backend services are written in Go, and deployed on AWS infrastructure in Docker containers, with container orchestration through Kubernetes. Our source code control is on Github, with integration with Travis CI for continuous testing. SLL and the Experiment Framework are written in the Wolfram Language. Our stack is always evolving, and we welcome new ideas and technologies which enhance our ability to deliver incredible software.

The Application Engineering role operates primarily in frontend UX technologies like React and Redux. More broadly, bringing online the first cloud-based biotech lab is an expansive, diverse challenge. A core component of our job is consistently determining the right tools for the job at hand, and diving in to learn these new technologies along the way.

You might resonate with the culture at ECL if ...

  • You are impressively empathetic. You can argue the rationale you disagree with as convincingly as the one you agree with.
  • You are intellectually fearless. Stretching yourself well out of your comfort zone across multiple disciplines is more the rule than the exception at Emerald.
  • You are curious. When first-principles reasoning illuminates a path that diverges from the standard assumptions, you feel compelled to see where it leads.


If you would like to apply and learn more, we’d love to hear from you! Please follow the link below, including your resume and a brief remark about what you are looking for. If we see a strong potential match to our current needs, we will reach out to start a conversation.

Optional but welcome:

A link to your Github account or any projects you are proud of can be especially helpful. With project links, please include a short remark to help us get our bearings.

Job Summary
  • Job Title
    Sr Application Software Engineer
  • Company
    Emerald Cloud Lab
  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Employment Type
    Full time
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