Autonomous Software Field Test Engineer- Contract

Sunnyvale, CA

Position Description

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. By partnering with 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

Our Vehicle Autonomy Team is looking for a highly skilled Software Field Test Engineer to deliver the promise of autonomy to the world’s farm fields.  As a Test Engineer, you will be responsible for delivering trust in our autonomous solutions.  We are looking for someone who thrives solving unconstrained problems, enjoys probing systems for vulnerabilities, and has a history of breaking things with the intent to make them better.  In this role you will be responsible for defining, developing, and performing feature-level testing on machinery and test set-ups.    The schedule is ambitious and the agricultural season waits for no one. We tackle our objectives with multi-functional engineering teams consisting of systems and embedded software, test and QA, mechatronics, computer vision and machine learning engineers. Our team is empowered to figure out how to overcome challenges, plan and prioritize work – everyone is a key contributor.  This is a contract position with an anticipated duration of 6 months. 


This person will serve as the lead for reproducing field issues, debugging, documenting, prototyping, and system testing 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. 

Key responsibilities include: 

  • Build detailed test plans; compile and analyze test results. Formulate conclusions and make recommendations
  • Work closely with all Blue River and John Deere engineering teams to establish holistic tests 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.
  • Evaluate product failures using advanced engineering techniques. 
  • Integrate and/or install software at a system and subsystem (component) level.
  • Perform exploratory testing to understand potential test plan gaps.

Professional Skills and Experience


    • BS or higher in Engineering
    • 5+ years of experience testing high tech vehicle, robotic, or agricultural products
    • Linux familiarity, including script programming, CANbus networking and Ethernet networking
    • Experience translating system and customer needs into testable requirements
    • Solid understanding of software complexity and system architecture interaction
    • Advanced experience with complex systems development; hardware and software focused understanding of meeting high level systems needs
    • Capable of creating the documentation for system validation; experienced in complex systems support 
    • Scrappiness and perseverance; demonstrated ability to be successful in uncertain situations, and high degree of agility and creativity to adapt and react to learnings


  • Microcontroller programming, such as Parker and Danfoss 
  • Excellent brainstorming, creative thinking and communication skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to operate, plan and execute, within the presence of uncertainty
  • Experience debugging electro-mechanical and / or perception systems
  • 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
  • Design of agricultural equipment
  • Experience with code source, build management and deployment systems (Github/Gerrit, Jenkins, Artifactory)
  • Skills in Python and C++.


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