How to get job on Elon Musk’s SpaceX software team

SpaceX successfully launched two NASA astronauts into orbit for the first time on May 30 – and in so doing, CEO Elon Musk hit a major milestone in human flight and came one step closer. One more step towards achieving your Mars ambitions.

Six members of the SpaceX software team, who helped “develop and deploy the Dragon flight software,” aka the Crew Dragon capsule used to launch astronauts, hosted the “Ask” Reddit session. Me Anything” on June 6.

Elon tweets about the SpaceX AMA software team

“We’re here to answer any questions you may have about Dragon, the software, and working at SpaceX,” the team wrote on Reddit.

The work of each team member is varied – from managing software development for the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-2 to running flight software and cybersecurity – and each shares a bit of advice on how to do this. get a job at SpaceX.

Here are the team’s best tips for landing a software job at SpaceX.

Get a degree in computer science ‘or something like that’

During the AMA, a Reddit user identified as a high school student asked, “What can I do if I want a software job at SpaceX in the future?”

“Get your CS [computer science] Jeff Dexter, who runs flight software and cybersecurity at SpaceX, said.

“[E]The good people at SpaceX are meticulous in their understanding of how their code works, how the revolution works, how Linux works, how the hardware works, etc,” he explained.

Plus, many Open engineering and software engineering job listings at SpaceX include a basic requirement of a bachelor’s degree or higher education.

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Get experience through ‘hobby projects or internships’

In addition to the degree, “gain experience building things and solving hard problems in the real world, through hobby projects or during internships (at SpaceX!),” advises Dexter.

For example, SpaceX has “found a particularly good intersection between video game development and what we do,” John Dietrick, software development effort lead for Demo-2, said on Reddit. “There are a lot of mathematically similar and performance-focused problems in the two spaces.”

In fact, Musk has says his own love of video games prompted him to start programming – when he was 12 years old, he coded a video game called “Blastar”, which he later sold for $500 for deals for PC publication and Office Technology magazine.

Don’t let the lack of either of these discourage you

While a degree or experience can help, It’s not the end of it all, it’s all.

“Having different people with different backgrounds (education, experience, and culture) is a big plus on the team,” said Matt Monson, who used to work for Dragon and now leads Starlink software, said. “For example, there aren’t many teams from an aerospace background. Different perspectives help us see problems from different angles, and that quite often helps us see solutions. that we’ve never seen.”

When it comes to this, “we’re really looking for a couple of things: talent (potential) and the right attitude (desire to improve yourself, serve the team instead of being selfish),” says Monson. . “These are more important than specific experiences, and we expect to invest in people to help them grow.”

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As Musk himself tweeted in February, to get a job at SpaceX, “It takes a super hard work ethic, a talent for building things, common sense and dependability, the rest of us are. trainable.”

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