Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Engineering Manager, Data Platform

Metal Pay

Metal Pay

Other Engineering
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2023

Engineering Manager, Data Platform

About the company:

KoBold Metals® is a rapidly growing Silicon Valley start-up using AI to enable the transition to electrification and help solve climate change. We are backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a16z, Bond Capital, Sam Altman, T Rowe Price, and other premier VCs.

Our team includes the best of the industry in exploration geoscience, data science, software engineering, and business personnel. KoBold’s world-renowned geoscientists have made nearly 20 discoveries. They work on joint teams with outstanding data scientists, who have PhDs in physics, math, materials science, and geophysics. And our technology backbone has been built from scratch by our team of software engineers who are alumni of top Silicon Valley tech companies.

About The Role:

One of KoBold’s core beliefs is that making mineral exploration data broadly accessible to humans (geologists and data scientists) and machines (machine learning pipelines) will improve our chances to discover the metals such as lithium, copper, nickel and cobalt that are critical for the energy transition. This engineering manager role will help realize this vision by leading the team that builds the system to store and serve all geoscientific data at Kobold. Together with your team, you will build this system to organize large-scale mineral exploration information and make it accessible and useful. You will collaborate with our outstanding team of data scientists and geologists to build the system features needed to solve challenging scientific problems together.


The Engineering Manager will be responsible for:

People management

  • Manage a fully remote team of 5-10 engineers of varying seniority
  • Foster a sense of inclusion and psychological safety in your team so that team members of different backgrounds and personalities feel empowered to contribute
  • Have periodic individual check-ins with your reports and provide timely and actionable feedback
  • Understand the professional development objectives of all team members and create opportunities for each person to work on problems that advance their objectives
  • Grow the team in collaboration with the VP of Engineering and our recruiting team: create a hiring plan, attract talent with a focus on diversity, organize and execute the interview process, onboard new hires

Focus on the user (in collaboration with product management)

  • Deeply understand the exploration objectives of the company through reading and dialogue with data science and geoscience leaders
  • Understand in detail how data scientists and geologists interact with data at Kobold: existing and desired workflows, pain points, workarounds, opportunities to make it faster and easier to access the right data at scale
  • With input from a wide range of stakeholders (team members, product, science, geoscience and company leaders), map business and scientific objectives of the company to engineering deliverables for each upcoming quarter
  • Improve the user experience in a launch and iterate fashion, interacting closely with users at all stages including product/user discovery, prototyping, design, implementation, launch, post-launch adoption and refinements

Technical execution and leadership

  • Lead the week-to-week working cadence and quarterly planning process, set clear goals and timelines, and align our execution/tracking frameworks with our plans
  • Provide guidance to team members on triage and near-term prioritization, handle and prioritize ad hoc requests, unblock team members
  • Operate our data systems to meet their service level objectives using best practices in testing, deployment, capacity planning, measurement, detection, and incident response
  • Monitor and optimize usage and cost of AWS and other external software providers
  • Provide input to and be a sounding board for engineering team members on technical challenges and design proposals, and facilitate technical discussions that advance our collective understanding of the problem and develop solutions
  • Understand the architecture and code to be able to do all the above effectively in a hands-on fashion


  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or the physical sciences.
  • 5 years of software engineering experience, writing code in a production environment
  • 2 years of leadership experience, managing a software engineering or data science team
  • Expertise in Python and a Cloud-based stack such as AWS, Github, Docker, CI/CD, Kubernetes, Postgres or other databases, Datadog or other telemetry systems, Jenkins, …
  • Track record of delivering engineering products with transformative business impact
  • Track record of working effectively with a variety of stakeholders: multidisciplinary environment, diverse personalities and backgrounds

A great candidate will also be:

  • Highly intellectually curious and eager to learn in depth about KoBold’s technology and mineral exploration and geoscience more generally from technical experts who aren’t software engineers
  • Keen not just to build cool technology, but to figure out what technical product to build to best achieve the business and scientific objectives of the company
  • Able to effectively communicate engineering concepts, trade-offs and work estimates to non-engineers
  • Eager to work on challenging, ambiguous scientific problems
  • Versatile, resourceful, and comfortable with a fast-changing and multidisciplinary work environment
  • Intuitive and empathetic, able to read people effectively and understand what’s important to them, and able to attract great talent and to build long-term relationships

KoBold Metals is an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunities for people of any race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, or veteran status.

This position is full-time, exempt.

Location: Remote, Candidates can be located anywhere in the United States or Canada.

The US base salary range for this full-time exempt position is $200,000-$240,000.