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Elemental Excelerator


Community Energy Labs

Community Energy Labs

Software Engineering · Full-time
Portland, OR, USA · Seattle, WA, USA · San Francisco, CA, USA · Los Angeles, CA, USA · Remote
165,000 – 200,000 USD per year
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2024

We’re seeking a Head of Engineering who's ready to roll up their sleeves and help us change the world. You'll partner closely with our founder and CEO leading products from our current prototype to launching v1.0 and beyond. We are looking for an experienced technologist who knows how to build a team that collaborates effectively with product and customer functions.  We seek an exCELlent teammate who is committed to leading a critical arm of a small, innovative, and growing company.

This role will be rigorous, fun and rewarding.  It requires a wide-ranging skill set.  Our interview process reflects that.


Community Energy Labs enables buildings to use energy when clean sources of power are available and to use less energy overall by making smart decisions about when and how energy is used.  We primarily work with community buildings and schools - buildings that make up nearly 30% of the commercial floor space in the US!

Community Energy Labs, its employees, and its customers are driven to be a part of the solution to saving our planet. Our software combines cutting edge control algorithms, machine learning, and traditional control techniques to lower cost and manage energy.  We combine that with an intuitive user interface that makes saving money and the planet easy for everyone - even cash-strapped schools with overworked building operators.

CEL's core AI-powered clean building control platform concept was a regional winner of  CleanTech Open's 2020 international accelerator, an overall winner in the  2020 Madrona Venture  Labs Go Vertical challenge, a three time SBIR winner with the Department of Energy, USDA, and NSF. CEL is a community member in Elemental Excelerator, Google for Startups and other prestigious accelerators. Follow CEL on LinkedIn.


As CEL’s first Head of Engineering you have the opportunity to work with caring, smart and passionate colleagues.  You'll build, lead, and manage our first complete engineering team. You'll be the go-to person for all things strategic and tactical, translating your work with our CEO, business and customer teams into technical roadmaps, tasks, performance management, and team development.

  • Experienced building enterprise SaaS, iot & /or ML engineering teams
  • Willing to communicate & teach technical & non-technical audiences
  • Embrace simplification in code, architecture & processes
  • Comfortable with the high level of flexibility, accountability & transparency required to be fully remote


  • Hybrid, or, Fully remote full-time salaried position (US west coast time zones highly preferred)
  • Travel is expected, but not frequent


  • $165,000-$200,000 per year commensurate with experience
  • Equity compensation (.5-2% depending on salary)
  • Flexible work hours & PTO
  • Silver plan level health benefit coverage for you & your family
  • An intentionally diverse, international team

If you're ready to dive in headfirst and make a real impact, we want to hear from you!


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.  You love leading design, development, and delivery of high-quality software products that provide a hassle-free way for our customers to save money and the planet.


  • Focus relentlessly on first principles engineering to analyze, understand & build specifications for the simplest possible systems capable of supporting core machine learning  & model predictive control strategies
  • Define & maintain engineering best practices that set the bar high for data management, AI pipelines/services, code quality, testing & releases
  • Keep our systems relevant, accurate, tractable & transparent enough that you could describe your team’s work at a high level to just about anyone in the organization & they’d understand the value
  • Treat complexity as your mortal enemy


  • You are the general contractor to our CEO’s architect
  • Translate a vision for meeting customer/business needs into good product specifications your team can build
  • Effectively weigh & manage costs (budgets, scope, technical debt)
  • Deftly articulate the tradeoffs of build versus buy
  • Stay in tight alignment with our CEO to iterate on requirements that move from prototype to MVP in a manner right sized to our capacity
  • Connect business & technical strategy & mission with your team’s daily work


  • Build a culture where customers come first & everyone feels included
  • Lead by example & foster tight, accountable & focused working relationships inside & outside of the company
  • Tend & befriend top talent - bringing them on board when the time is right & bringing them along when they need extra support or encouragement
  • Give the team the direction they need to understand the big picture & execute
  • Develop scalable training & retention methods, keeping relevant Playbooks up-to-date & easy to follow



  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a comparable understanding of programming & architectural principles
  • 5-10 years of software development experience, with a full stack background
  • Demonstrated skill working closely with product on product engineering at a software company
  • Experience with the full employee lifecycle, from hiring, to managing  performance, to letting folks go


  • Service orientation toward partnering with your peers at the company
  • Strong leadership skills in software development & deployment
  • Argue like you’re right & listen like you’re wrong
  • Can handle rapid changes while steering the team & staying calm
  • Proficiency in modern programming languages, frameworks & development tools such as Python, TypeScript, React, Node.js, GraphQL, k8s, Redis, Postgres & edge/iot management & development tools.
  • Experience architecting cloud computing environments & managed services such as: AWS; Azure; GoogleCloud
  • Strong grasp of Agile, DevOps & CI/CD
  • Strong analytical, debugging & troubleshooting skills
  • Enough exposure to hardware or devices that you can make intelligent decisions re: protocol drivers, build versus buy (Rust, C++, other lower level languages)
  • Solid written & verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor less senior engineers & staff
  • Strong judgment, decision making & prioritizing skills


  • 3+ years of professional experience at a startup or small business
  • Experience scaling B2B or enterprise iot & saas applications from alpha prototype to version 1.0
  • Familiarity with: automation; building energy modeling; energy & utilities; protocols specific to iot, buildings & energy such as: BACnet, Modbus, DNP3, OpenADR
  • Management experience with or adjacent to Data Science, AI/ML


We’ve read the research and we know that certain underrepresented groups in tech might read  our post and think “Oh, gee, well I only have nine out of ten qualifications.”  If our mission and this job speak to you and you have the interest and ability to work smart, learn, and grow with us then we want you to apply for this job!

Community Energy Labs is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.


Community Energy Labs is an equal opportunity employer.