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Space industry pressed to hire enough software engineers

9 Oct 2019, 22:55 UTC
Space industry pressed to hire enough software engineers
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Some space companies say their greatest hiring difficulty today is recruiting enough software engineers to work on their programs.
“It’s an area I think this industry has always struggled with,” OneWeb Principal Engineer James Grossman said Oct. 9 at the Satellite Innovation conference here. “We’re competing for people with some of the best-funded companies in the world, and that’s always difficult.”
Space companies, including many here in Silicon Valley, say competing with nearby tech giants — from Google to Apple — make it difficult to find the talent they need.
“The interesting thing about space now is it needs a lot of non-space capabilities,” LeoLabs CEO Dan Ceperley said in an interview. LeoLabs is building a network of radar dishes for tracking satellites and space debris. Much of the company’s services rely on cloud computing, which is software-intensive, he said.
“You need people who know how to run cloud applications,” he said. “Even the software that’s organizing the satellites or running the radar networks is in the cloud.”
Ehson Mosleh, chief scientist at manufacturer Tyvak Nanosatellite Systems, highlighted software for propulsion systems as an example of where engineering expertise is critical. With constellations ...

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