Sr. Software Engineer

Sunnyvale, CA

Position Description

About Blue River

We’re Blue River, a team of innovators driven to radically change agriculture by creating intelligent machinery. We empower our customers – farmers - to implement more sustainable solutions: optimize chemical usage, reimagining routine processes, and improving farming yields year after year. We believe that focusing on the small stuff – pixel-by-pixel and plant-by-plant - leads to big gains. As part of John Deere, we are innovating computer vision, machine learning, robotics and product management to solve monumental challenges for our customers. Our people are at the heart of what we do.

Through cross-discipline collaboration, this mission-driven and daring team is eager to define the new frontier of agricultural robotics. We are always asking hard questions, rapidly iterating, and getting our boots in the field to figure it out. We won’t give up until we’ve made a tangible and positive impact on agriculture.

Position Summary

As a Sr. Software Engineer you will serve as the technical lead for system software engineering, including software integration, machine bring up, debugging, documenting, and prototyping of new technologies that will be revolutionary in robotic and computer vision based systems for agriculture. The ideal candidate will have system-level curiosity, enjoy a fast-paced environment and will deliver results regardless of challenges. The schedule is ambitious and the agricultural season waits for nothing and nobody. The system needs to meet the high performance and reliability standards that our customers expect and rely on.

You will have an impact on the team not only through the problems you solve, but through technical leadership and by continuously developing engineering best practices and improving the team around you. John Deere's agricultural sprayers (think big tractor) will leverage AI and Software built by the team you'll be joining. Working hand in hand with John Deere, the world's largest farming equipment manufacturer, means you’ll impact the process of farmers across the globe. Come help us turn rivers blue!

Role Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with all Blue River and John Deere engineering teams to establish system software design and drive feature improvements.
  • Plan and guide the integration of complex multi-disciplinary robotic systems, collaborating with many groups of engineers within Blue River and John Deere.
  • Develop and integrate software at a system and subsystem (component) level.
  • Work on optimizing the fundamentals of learning-based control systems as applied to complex control problems
  • Own system health and iterative improvement process. Shepherd the project through technology readiness and integration readiness maturation.
  • Collaborate with the systems team, QA team, and hardware team on developing highly functioning system processes and program content around System Verification and Validation.

Professional Skills and Experience


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or related field required
  • 5+ years of experience working on high tech vehicles, agricultural tractors or related products
  • Strong communication skills, with strengths in interacting with multiple development teams
  • Solid experience integrating and deploying software on complex electromechanical systems
  • Strong applied skills in C++, Hardware, Linux, Modern Controls, Classical Controls & Math, Estimation
  • CANbus networking (ISO11783/J1939) and Ethernet networking experience
  • Experience with Linux and real-time or near real-time systems
  • Solid understanding of software complexity and interactions within a vehicle system
  • Scrappiness and perseverance; demonstrated ability to be successful in uncertain situations, and high degree of agility and creativity to adapt and react to learnings


  • History of working on physical robots in real-world environments
  • Experience with a pub/sub middleware solution such as ROS or other robotics-focused software packages
  • Experience with theory and practice of sensor fusion for diverse sensors, such as cameras, LIDAR, distance sensors, GPS, pressure/force sensors, etc.
  • Experience with sensor/actuator calibration, localization, perception or controls
  • Understanding of robotics concepts such as kinematics, dynamics, control systems, signal processing, etc.
  • Computer vision and machine learning experience
  • Comfortable working
    • independently and within teams, in parallel, and asynchronously
    • across team boundaries, with developers and field engineering
    • across products, features and components, in parallel
  • Maintain good rapport with customers and vendors


  • Familiarity with maintenance, repair, and reprogramming of heavy equipment
  • Experience within agriculture operations, operating various types of machinery
  • Experience working with/around agricultural or large machine form equipment
  • Design of agricultural equipment

We value a variety of voices. You don’t need to check every box on this list to apply.


Blue River offers competitive compensation and benefits, including a great 401(K) match. We believe in a work life balance and offer generous Paid Time Off and Sick Leave as well as Paid Parental Leave and an adoption benefit. Subsidized lunches, flexible work hours, CalTrain passes (with mobile Wi-Fi!) and a collaborative and supportive environment also contribute to making Blue River a great place to work.

We are committed to building a diverse team and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.


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