Biology Virtual Machine Engineer

Radix Labs

Radix Labs

Massachusetts, USA · United States · Remote · Cambridge, MA, USA · Remote
Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2022

Biology Virtual Machine Engineer

Full Time

Hi! We’re Radix. We’re building the next revolution of scientific tools so scientists can spend more time doing what they do best: science. Right now, scientists with PhDs and years of experience spend literal hours every day copying and pasting data in Excel and manually pipetting. We think this is a problem and we’d rather they got that time back so they could put more time into important scientific discoveries like curing cancer, alzheimers, and even rare genetic conditions. Radix brings to biology a framework and a set of tools much like the tools for CAD/CAM/CAE or VLSI Design.

The biggest roadblocks biologists face today aren’t scientific, they’re operational. They’re about the sheer scale and complexity of making labs work properly. Increasing combinatorial complexity, choppy data flows, awkward equipment integration and poor software compatibility are all holding scientists–and discovery–back. We’re solving these problems and doing it by making a compiler, operating system, and programming language for the computer architecture of the modern biology lab.

We’re a diverse and merry band of nerds, hackers, and cat affectionados. If you work for us, you won't be the only woman, non-binary or trans person, POC, Latino/a/x, non-US citizen, wearer of silly hats, or cat! A key commonality is that we love working with our smart, passionate teammates and customers and that we’re dedicated to improving biologists’ day to day, especially when it means solving hard problems in CS. We also like mechanical keyboards and interesting programming languages a lot. More than is remotely reasonable.

We’re making progress every day towards dramatically improving scientists day to day. Our products delight our clients who are able to do much more with the help of our software and are able to stop doing the boring mechanics that they hate. We strive to make practical, pragmatic steps towards useful solutions that’ll let our customers. Sounds like the sort of team you’d like to be a part of?

In this position, you’ll work on our novel virtual machine that targets the physical biology lab. The closest proxy is compilers designed for very early computers where hardware frequently failed and early programming languages that were incredible because they weren’t assembly. When we first started on this, we thought we’d make a compiler. A VM turned out to be a better approach, but some compilers background and knowledge will be relevant.

A note about our hiring process: we look at candidates holistically without regard to positions that are open. We ask two simple questions: “Will this person make Radix a stronger and more capable team?” and “Are we excited to work with them?” If the answer to both of those questions is yes, we make an offer. As a result, none of the skills are hard requirements and you won’t see desired years of experience in any of our job postings. We are happy to hire people who are new grads (and non-grads) through to industry veterans. If you think this work sounds exciting, please apply!

Key skills (pick any 3-4):

● Experience with functional programming (our VM is extremely functional). We use Cats & ZIO.

● Previous exploration into compiler and/or VM theory or implementation for fun or profit.

● Enjoy thinking through safe and novel optimization passes and how these can be implemented.

● Enjoy working on and through challenging problems and solving problems for the first time.

● Experience mentoring, collaborating, and learning with engineers at all levels and across focus areas. We learn from each other and collaborate a lot. Interdisciplinary work is required to make our products usable.

● Able to solve problems and implement code quickly. We have customers using this product and sometimes we need to add new features relatively quickly to enable our customers to do their jobs efficiently.

Nice to have (pick 2+):

● Comfort with or interest in actor systems (we use Akka).

● Have done some things in a bio lab or think this sounds cool.

● Human factors, user centered, or general design exposure.

● Experience with GNU/Linux (we do all our work in Linux) and Git for version control.

● Have thoughts and feelings about programming languages.

● Keen to learn and make biologists’ work lives better.

● Previous Scala experience.

Radix is a exciting work environment. We care about each other. We’re also LGBTQ+, polyamoroy, kink, gender, minority, and most other things supporting. We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.