We’re looking to add a junior UI developer to the team in the near future.

About the position

We need a junior developer to come do user interface work for us. As you may know, the Plane Maker and Airfoil Maker user interfaces did not get the same overhaul that X-Plane itself did for version 11, and we’d like to change that. That’s a major undertaking, and you, dear applicant, could be responsible for it in its entirety.

Beyond that, X-Plane itself has a “long tail” of UI improvements that we’d like to see. You could be the one to move these improvements from “The Glorious Future™” schedule into reality.

Our UI is built on a custom widget-based framework that is only now starting to reach maturity. So, while a lot of your work will involve putting together existing pieces, there will definitely be problems you can only solve by writing completely new UI components.

Why work for us?

As a member of our team, you would:

  • Work on stuff that matters. Real pilots fly safer because of training in X-Plane, and real aerospace organizations (like Boeing, Cessna, and NASA, to name just a few) prototype aircraft in X-Plane before they build them in the real world.
  • Work on a product that millions of people will see. You’ll get feedback from users, and that feedback will drive future development.
  • Have tremendous input on the direction of the product. Because X-Plane is an exceedingly small team, every team member has a lot of say about what we work on and how we make the product better for our users.
  • Set your own schedule. As far as we’re concerned, if you’re shipping features and fixing bugs, it’s your business when you do so.
  • Work remote. No commute, no cubicles, nothing to impede you from doing great work. (But the rest of the team is just a Slack call away!)
  • Work on a variety of technologies and products. At various points, you might work on X-Plane, Plane Maker, WED, the X-Plane installer, the Scenery Gateway web app, or even the X-Plane.com web site. We are not the kind of place where you get hired for one aspect of the product, and are then forbidden from touching anything else.


A qualified candidate will:

  • Have a computer science degree or equivalent real-world experience.
  • Be a quick learner. We expect most of what you need to know (beyond computer science fundamentals) to be learned on the job.
  • Have the self-discipline to work from home and set your own schedule. (It’s not for everyone.)
  • Have excellent communication skills in English.
  • Be interested in UI/UX.
  • Be available for full-time work.

Bonus points for:

  • Experience using X-Plane or Plane Maker.
  • Experience using widget-based front-end frameworks (e.g., Qt, Swing, wxWidgets, GTK+)—the specific frameworks don’t matter much, since X-Plane uses a custom GUI framework internally.
  • Experience writing C++.
  • Experience writing games or doing other graphics programming.
  • Strong command of object-oriented programming & design.

How to apply

Send an email introduction to me that includes:

  • A brief overview of a project (or projects) you’ve enjoyed working on
  • Discussion of projects you have not enjoyed working on
  • Anything else you’d like me to know about your skills & experience

The introduction is really just a means for me to get a handle on who you are as a developer, so do not stress over it!

My email is my first name at X-Plane.com. Please do not attempt to apply in the comments!

(Not sure if this is a good fit for you? Email me anyway and we can talk. 🙂 )

I’m going to plan to respond to all candidates we want to move forward with in mid- to late-September. I’m expecting a larger volume of email than I can respond to individually, so if you don’t get a response, please know that it’s because I’m overwhelmed, not because I’m trying to be rude.

About Tyler Young

Tyler is a software developer for X-Plane. Among other projects, he was in charge of the X-Plane 11 user interface and the massive multiplayer implementation.

4 comments on “We’re Hiring (Again)

  1. Tyler,

    X-Plane’s UI/UX has yet great potential,
    glad to see that you push new levels for the interface.

    Some users standing by as a potential sparring partners to your new hire,
    providing experiences/feedback that may support his/her creative mind from
    a critical audience’s perspective if needed. With respect to x-plane’s various modules (plane maker, x-plane flight simulator, scenery modelling, charts/docs management, and sub-modules like ATC, Plug-ins, etc.) a user coop model would include
    – innovate structure and flow/ interaction Process and Design
    – mapping conceptual elements and how they should be built for max user satisfaction
    – Graphics
    – mixed background/wide scope (aviators to gamers, old to young, artists to autists, genius to superdumb)
    – this user group has no coding experience, no scientist degree, just an excellent sense for application design, preferably aviation (or any type of transportation concept), visionary minds, thinking ahead and creating the non-existing.

    In the unlikely event that you consider such a coop model as potentially valueable,
    and the new designer will be willing to interact with a small number of users, do not hesitate to pick this invitation.

    How does it work?
    Your designer calls in the user reps upon need and lays out the respective task.
    The reps send in their concepts (base level/high level).
    Your designer gets back to the reps for testing if required.

    The reps and their contributions are free, their sole interest is a good product.

    What’s in for you? (why in the world would you even consider such an idea)
    1. Safer to market. The product quality is secured on mutliple piles and stages before it gets exposed to a large mass of consumers.
    2. Questioning status quo, challenging the existing. Designer reaches top level as being pushed to excellence.

    Why is it so easy?
    The time required to interact with such a “creative group” is minimal. The Designer is on his/her own during his whole workflow. But he refers to the group before and after a work segment, just like he would do it with laminar internal discussion groups.

    the new hire will have a fantastic job, the rest of us out there are pleased to be part
    of x-plane’s success. We are confident that new levels can be reached.

    Burn this after reading 🙂


    1. Hi Marco,

      It is certainly the case that we intend to solicit feedback on the upcoming design from the people who will be using it most. We’re all about shipping fast and iterating on an idea.

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