Update, 2/23/21: we are no longer accepting applications – thanks to the tons of people who have contacted us! We are in the process of going through resumes, code samples, and interviews now.
We’re looking to add a senior developer to the Laminar Research team in the coming weeks.
As an X-Plane developer, you would work on both our desktop and mobile simulators, and you’d have quite a bit of latitude to work on the projects you find most interesting. At various points, you might find yourself doing things like:
- UI development
- Low-level performance optimization
- Improvements to the X-Plane SDK used by third parties
- Rendering engine work
- Platform-specific OS integrations
(We don’t expect you to come into the role with deep knowledge of all those things. We like to hire “T-shaped developers,” people with deep knowledge in one or two areas, who can be flexible and pick up new stuff in other areas as the need arises.)
Why Work for Laminar Research?
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 simulator 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 conversation 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, or the MMO server.
A qualified candidate will:
- Have experience shipping major features in production applications with minimal oversight.
- Be a quick learner—we expect much of what you need to know 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 English communication skills.
It’s a bonus—but not strictly necessary!—if you have specific experience relevant to X-Plane. There’s no exhaustive list of skills we could use, but some possible examples include:
- Real-time graphics
- Real-time C++ development
- Mobile development
- Game development
- GIS data processing
- The X-Plane plugin system
Our Interview Process
Here’s a rough sketch of what the interview process will look like for the candidate we hire. (We might decline to proceed further with a candidate at any stage—don’t take that as a snub, as we may have simply found applicants with more relevant experience.)
- Intro email, maybe with some “screener” questions as follow-up
- Invitation to complete a “take-home” coding project.
- Our take-home project is designed to be done in 3-4 hours for candidates with lots of experience in C++ native app development, but it will take longer if you’re new to this sort of thing.
- The project is designed to be as similar as possible to the real work you’d be doing day-to-day. (It’s pulled from real features we’ve shipped in the past.) This helps us understand if you’d be a good fit for the role, but it can also help you decide if you’d like the work.
- We don’t want to waste your time, so we won’t ask you to do the take-home project unless we think there’s a good chance you’ll succeed.
- One or more remote interviews with the team—this will include at least Ben, our project manager on the desktop sim, and Chris, our project manager on mobile. We’ll talk to you about your experience, how you approached challenges in your past, and so on. There’s nothing to prepare here—you’ll just need to be yourself. 🙂
Things that are intentionally not included in our interview process:
- Flying you halfway across the world for an in-person interview
- Solving “puzzles” unrelated to real programming
- Answering silly “CS trivia” questions
- Writing code that bears no resemblance to something you would actually need on the job (e.g., “reverse a linked list”)
- Writing code under pressure, or with someone looking over your shoulder
In general, we don’t believe that subjecting candidates to a stressful interview process makes the process any better—we’ll do our best to make sure you’re comfortable.
How to Apply
Send an email introduction to hiring at X-Plane.com that includes:
- A brief overview of a project (or projects) you’ve enjoyed working on
- Discussion of projects you have not enjoyed working on
- Why you think you’d be a great fit for X-Plane
- Optional: a resume, links to GitHub/StackOverflow/your blog/etc.—anything you think will help us understand who you are as a developer
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. 🙂 )
We’re looking to hire pretty quickly, so we’ll stop taking new applicants on the February 19th, 2021.
18 comments on “We’re Hiring a Senior Developer (Apply by Feb. 19)”
I’m not presently in the market (bootstrapping a VR mech game!), but I wanted to share some positive remarks.
I’ve seen a lot of posts for open jobs. This ranks among the top. It is frank and has no BS in it. You sound like a great group of folks to work with and I think you’re going to invite top talent to apply.
Looking forward to seeing X-Plane’s continued growth.
I appreciate the kind words. 🙂 We’ve put a lot of thought into the hiring process—we really want it to reflect the fact that we respect the people we work with as, well, people.
Do you cover my expenses or do you buy it with my plane ticket?
I live in Turkey
The company is fully remote, as is our interview process—no plane ticket necessary.
What’s the pay?
Same as every company: “competitive.” 😉
In all seriousness, though, it depends on the candidate—we don’t pay FAANG rates, but we’re also not going to low-ball you. If you have specific salary requirements, shoot me an email and I’ll tell you if your target number is out of the question.
As a software solution architect I strive to keep job postings as simple and non scary as possible. This posting is so honest and straight and an example of the right attitude to attract good developers that can grow with your team.
Compliments, very well done.
Is it 100% remote?
Yep! The team is very distributed—many in the US and Canada, some in Europe & South America, but very few people even in the same state.
Sounds amazing. Too bad being a Java guy I can only do boring stuff for banks, insurance companies and government agencies.
Good to hear you are expanding the team though!
As a recreational pilot working in an aerospace engineering role with dev experience including some C/C++, OpenGL etc I’d really love to work for someone like Laminar. Alas, I can’t apply for what seems like my dream job, but I really hope you find that one person that makes the team even more special than it already is. Best of luck.
I know quite well XPlane and, as Linux user, it’s the only flight sim I ever used since decades.
I have been programming since I started using computers in the ’80s and I have good skills in C and OpenGL, as well as some recent languages such as Lua and Go.
I have pretty good knowledge of XP’s SDK and the datarefs/commandrefs system.
But I’m not really applying for this job.
My working experience wasn’t as programmer, but as 3D VFX artist and, later, entrepreneur.
I am co-founder of a company that produces Visual Effects for movies and commercials.
I honestly believe that I can help as consultant to improve the visual part of XPlane, without the need to follow paths based on orthophotos provided by internet services.
I see a lot of potential in the graphic architecture of XPlanes that can be exploited to get stunning improvements.
This is the company website:
yep, Tyler’s acting as role model, and the guy who hired him a genius.
while his work speaks for itself we don’t see a lot of the laminar people,
which is a pitty. There is much Austin on the video spur but no insights
of the team and how they work, think, act, coordinate. Are there creative
sessions? who does the drawing and who goes for dogwalking?
i don’t expect a reality tv show, but something that helps us connect
beyond the customer-developer line 🙂
can’t wait for the next youtube presentation!
Can you hire someone to fix the stutters please??? we keep asking but it seems to be hitting a wall..
Wanted: Stutter Fixer
Must have 10+ years experience finding and removing stutters. No wall hitting accepted.
Extensive 3d cloud portfolio is a plus. 🙂
I am a C++ developer with background in flight simulation industry in Canada. I would love to apply but I can’t find any email address to send my resume to… Can you help me with that?
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