Rocket Lab USA is hiring a

Software Development Manager

Long Beach, United States

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,300 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

The Photon Program

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. Your days will be spent writing software, testing software, and managing sprints and teams to enable a wide range of satellite missions. 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.

Software Development Manager

Based at Rocket Lab's new headquarters in Long Beach, California, the Software Development Manager is responsible for leading a team of embedded software engineers to develop high reliability, resource constrained, real time flight software for spacecraft. In this role you will manage and implement the team’s processes, develop and evaluate team performance, coordinate schedules and staffing across multiple projects, and escalate issues to senior managers.


  • Collaborate with program managers, systems engineers, and subsystem leads to develop software requirements, balance competing project priorities, and drive iterative software deliveries to meet program milestones
  • Direct day to day activities of embedded software engineers to ensure timely delivery of quality software for flight systems
  • Manage performance and skills development of embedded software engineers
  • Report status on project deliverables and risks to program managers and Space Systems Software leadership


  • 10+ years of demonstrated experience in embedded software development through the full lifecycle (requirements, design, development, test, deployment, operation)
  • Experience with C/C++ and embedded Linux or equivalent embedded, real time development environments
  • Ability to lead teams and delegate appropriately
  • Ability to work with other managers and teams to identify and solve problems
  • Ability to summarize and present information & data to internal and external stakeholders


  • Direct experience writing flight software
  • Systems engineering experience
  • Experience with iterative software development methods such as Agile
The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience. 

In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
Pay Range (CA Only)
$156,000$180,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality.  For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.


This job is no longer available

Enter your email address below to get notified whenever we find a similar job post.

Unsubscribe at any time.