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Staff/Principal Software Engineer, Instrument Software

Volta Labs

Volta Labs

Software Engineering
Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Volta Labs is an MIT spin-off that has unlocked powerful new DNA sequencing capabilities by developing novel fluidic technology. Building off of this core technology, Volta has created a product that streamlines DNA sequencing sample prep. Volta is at the forefront of a sequencing revolution, driving sequencing towards seamless ease of use and complete automation.
We are a product and data-driven company where employees are empowered to learn and thrive in a fast-paced, open, and collaborative environment. This is an exciting phase to join Volta; with commercialization imminent, our product has the potential to change the future of sequencing.
About the Team
This role will be part of the Instrument Software team at Volta. This small but mighty team is responsible for all software controlling the instrument. The tech stack is primarily Python 3 and C++, with ReactJS, and Typescript used for the instrument UI. Our software has been deployed in some of the foremost research institutions in the world. Areas of work include firmware, instrument control, real-time video processing, and telemetry. Join us if you are passionate about the interaction of software, hardware, and biology and want to define the future of automation in the life sciences!
About the Role
We are looking for an experienced tech lead to drive the design and development of embedded software for the Volta automation platform. This new, high-impact role offers great visibility within the company and the opportunity to directly contribute to Volta's growth. You will become an expert in Volta's instrument software, influence the product roadmap, and ensure the successful deployment of instrument software at customer sites. As an early member of the team, you will also play an important role in shaping the culture of the team and the larger software organization as we scale.
This is a 100% on-site role in the Seaport district of Boston, MA


  • Lead the design and development of instrument software for the Volta automation platform
  • Write high-quality, maintainable, and testable Python code
  • Proactively identify technical risks and devise mitigation strategies
  • Scope tasks and timelines for the instrument software team, balancing short-term and long-term needs
  • Coordinate junior and senior software engineers toward successful implementation of software requirements
  • Communicate effectively with cross-functional stakeholders and build alignment toward specific solutions
  • Support hiring activities and mentor junior engineers
  • Nurture a culture of engineering excellence within the team


  • Python programming: This senior-level individual contributor role requires a mastery of Python programming basics and a strong grasp of advanced Python programming constructs and paradigms (decorators, type hinting, concurrency, asyncio, event-driven programming). You must also have significant experience architecting software systems and a good understanding of Linux plumbing tools like systemd and udev.
  • Software for hardware: All Python code you write will run on the instrument and control its functionality. You should have extensive hands-on experience with the design, development, and testing of software to control hardware. This is typically obtained in the context of robotics, lab automation, 3D printing, etc.
  • Tech lead: Prior experience as a tech lead leading complex software projects to successful completion is required. We are looking for a proven ability to liaise with cross-functional stakeholders to elicit requirements, define acceptance criteria, and communicate progress. You should have also scoped tasks, defined timelines, and coordinated the activities of a software team.
  • Startup orientation: Volta is an early-stage startup. To succeed at Volta, you must have a "get it done" mindset and be willing to step outside your usual job role to ensure project success. You should also be able to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment with ambiguous requirements and evolving priorities. A pragmatic approach to prioritizing tasks and managing tech debt is a huge plus.
  • BS or higher in Computer Science, or a similar field, or equivalent experience
Our Benefits and Perks:
Robust Equity Program, to build future wealth through stock options with high growth potential
Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage, including Medical, Dental, & Vision
HSA, FSA, and Sponsored Commuter Benefit Plans
Access to Our 401K Plan, to save for your future
12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave, which can be taken over 12 months
Unlimited Paid Time Off, because we understand the importance of time off for rest and adventure
10 Paid Federal Holidays
Twice Weekly On-site Lunches, variety snacks, beverages, & treats
Weekly Paid Coffee Date with Colleague
Monthly Team Happy Hours
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, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status, and we actively seek out and value diverse perspectives. Women, people of color, people who are differently abled, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply. Even if you don't check every box, but see yourself contributing, please apply. Help us build an inclusive community that will change the face of bio-automation!