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Global Fishing Watch

Data and Back-End Engineer


November 13


  • Understand the Global Fishing Watch output datasets and pipelines that generate them. 
  • Implement and maintain different data ingestion/processing pipelines for existing and new projects, extending and improving our existing data pipeline stack built using Airflow, Cloud Dataflow, and Bigquery. 
  • Handle architectural and design considerations such as performance, scalability, reusability, and flexibility constraints. 
  • Evaluate the data integrity from each source, finding the way to ingest, curate, and normalize it. 
  • Document and communicate changes inline code, PR, tickets and release notes with the engineering, product and data team. 
  • Work jointly with the research team to make prototypes out of proof-of-concepts and operationalize prototype pipelines. 
  • Work jointly with the product team to understand the needs of the output datasets and find interconnections between projects. 
  • Work jointly with the front-end and data to make sure the data is being used correctly.
  • Implement uptime monitoring for the multiple ingestion pipelines and set up continuous QA metrics on processing pipelines. 
  • Keep updated on the latest technologies available to make our pipelines and APIs efficient.
  • Review the technical design and perform code reviews of other developers’ work.
  • Debug data issues working closely with team members from other areas of the organization (subject matter experts or ML scientists).
  • Modify/Fix/Implement new API endpoints owning the full development cycle. Including supporting QA for test automation and product for feature release and documentation.


Required technical skills

  • Experience working in agile software development teams: 5+ years;
  • Experience with SQL language: 3+ years;
  • Python experience: 3+ years;
  • Experience working with cloud platforms like Amazon, Azure or Google Cloud Platform: 2+ years;
  • Experience working with Docker: 2+ years;
  • Experience in software release management: Git, CI/CD

Preferred technical skills

  • Experience with streaming data pipeline;
  • Experience with terraform;
  • Experience with Data transformation workflows;
  • Open-source collaboration experience;
  • Go, NodeJS and R experience;
  • Experience automating big data processes and models, both heuristic and ML-based;
  • Experience with scalable architectures and frameworks – e.g. Kubernetes, Cloud Dataflow, etc;
  • PostGIS, GDAL and other GIS tools

Required Communication skills

  • High proficiency in English;
  • Experience working remotely and asynchronously.
  • Excellent communication skills – in person, phone, and, most important, written;
  • Comfortable communicating with a wide range of individuals, designers, developers, product managers, and other relevant staff members;
  • Team player, willing to work with, teach and learn from the GFW team;
  • Proactive mindset – enjoys and exhibits a high degree of ownership of tasks and projects;
  • Comfortable working in a small but fast-growing organization;
  • Intellectually curious, forward-thinking, willing to suggest/try new technologies and creative approaches to problems;
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing instructions and requirements;
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines

The successful candidate will meet most, but not necessarily all, of the criteria above. If you don’t think you check all the boxes, but believe you have unique skills that make you a great fit for the role, we want to hear from you!

Company Background

Global Fishing Watch is an international, non-profit organization committed to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency. We create and publicly share knowledge about human activity at sea to enable fair and sustainable use of our ocean. Founded in 2015 through a collaboration between Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google, GFW became an independent non-profit organization in June 2017. Using cutting-edge technology, we create and publicly share map visualizations, data and analysis tools to enable scientific research and drive a transformation in how we manage our ocean. Our major focus is on commercial fishing because it is the most widespread human activity at sea, the most impactful on ocean health, and the most crucial for global livelihoods and food security. By 2030, we aim to monitor and visualize the impact of ocean-going vessels, both industrial and small-scale, that are responsible for the vast majority of the global seafood catch. We believe human activity at sea should be common knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean commons for the common good of all.