Principal Software Engineer, Kessel Run Runtime Orchestration

Employment Type Full Time
Role Type Individual Contributor
Work Location Boston, MA
Customer United States Air Force
Project Kessel Run

About F9

F9 is a mission-oriented team of Principal Software Engineers that have come together to deliver modern software engineering capabilities to the United States Defense Industry. Our customers include the United States Air Force, Aerospace, Raytheon, and Harris.

F9’s CEO, Eric Schoonover, started his career as a software engineer at Microsoft and Netflix where he progressed from a risky hire with no experience and no education to a principal level software engineer. He co-founded a YCombinator-funded startup after leaving Netflix and eventually landed at Time Inc as Vice President of Engineering. Prior to founding F9, he was Director of Engineering for the United States Digital Service in the Executive Office of the President, and Director of Engineering at the Defense Digital Service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

All F9 principals have extensive private sector experience and deeply value a culture of effective software engineering, freedom, and responsibility.

About Kessel Run

F9 holds a multi-year contract with the Air Force contributing to the Kessel Run software development program. Kessel Run has changed how the Department of Defense organizes, codes, builds, deploys, and operates software in support of American warfighters.

The Kessel Run Engineering Services (KRES) team is based out of the Kessel Run Experimentation Lab (KREL), an entire floor of the WeWork office in downtown Boston. KRES is responsible for developing and operating a suite of shared services that deliver economies of scale to the software engineering teams addressing a wide variety of Air Force missions.

The KRES team develops and operates engineering, security, release, deployment, health & monitoring, runtime, identity, and a variety of storage services. Each of these services is leveraged by dozens of mission teams and hundreds of software engineers.


As a Principal Software Engineer on the Kessel Run Runtime Orchestration team you will be responsible for the design, development, delivery, and operations of the runtime compute platform that executes all the software built by Kessel Run software engineering teams in support of our American warfighters. Today more than 30 different Kessel Run applications are run on the compute services provided by the Runtime Orchestration software engineering team.

Kessel Run’s Runtime Orchestration team ships multiple services, each service targets facilitating the execution of a different type of Kessel Run mission application workload. By a substantial margin the largest runtime service that we operate today is Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry provides a common runtime abstraction over our AWS and on-premises VMware vSphere infrastructure, allowing any Kessel Run application to be deployed and run in any Kessel Run environment without changing code.

As the scope of work for the Kessel Run Runtime Orchestration team expands additional application workload types need to be added. Currently first class support for Docker based applications is a high priority.

Required Capabilities

This is a principal level individual contributor position, the expectation is that you are a highly effective software engineer capable of delivering faster than most competent people think is possible. You work well with less experienced software engineers, you guide them towards valuable contribution. You have demonstrated hands-on experience implementing application runtime services for hundreds or thousands of different software applications using Kubernetes. You understand how to build idiomatic Docker containers that are secure, small, and start quickly. You have experience developing and operating multi-tenant services running in a commercial cloud environment.

Other Qualifications


Working at F9

Generous Compensation
We came for the mission, but we know the market value of the best people. We offer generous compensation packages in-line with industry.

DIY Benefits
We give our employees a generous allowance to use on a healthcare plan of their choice from several flexible tiers and formats. If you don't spend it all, you keep the difference.

Gear for Professionals
We understand that having the right gear makes your life better, and your work better. Premium noise-cancelling headphones, a top-of-the-line computer of your choice, and a baller mechanical keyboard are all standard issue. Something else? No problem. We trust our team to expense what they need.

Unlimited PTO
As a group of senior and principal engineers, most of us have families and—quite frankly—amazing lives outside of work. Get things done, but take as much time as you need, when you need it.

Ownership & Freedom
F9 hires experts in their field and trusts them to make the most of their time. You will own every aspect of your work, because we trust you to be awesome.

Proper Playtime
Whether it's snowmobiling in the mountains or dining at some of the best restaurants in the world, our team outings are not standard corporate events. You will never be forced to participate in mediocre mandatory fun.