Amazon’s Drone Team Needs You: Take A Peek At 27 Job Ads
Back in 2014, I published a playful article about Amazon’s early efforts to build out its drone-delivery initiative, Prime Air, as seen through a handful of the Seattle company’s job ads. It’s time for a revisit. Prime Air is coming to life, and there’s nothing like a fresh stroll through Amazon’s career listings to see how.
Earlier this week, Amazon’s head of investor relations, Darin Manney, briefed investors on Prime Air as follows: “In the UK, we’ve been working with and developing Prime Air for some time to develop a rapid delivery system that is safe, environmentally sound and really enhances the services that we provide for millions of customers. We’re extremely happy to partner with the UK government to advance the safe use of drones for small parcel delivery. This is providing us with permission to trial new methods in the space, including beyond line-of-sight operation, sense-and-avoid technologies and flights where one person operates multiple drones.” (Transcript courtesy of SeekingAlpha.)
With a UK roll-out taking shape — and with Amazon clearly interested in expanding drone delivery into other markets at some point, it’s now possible to find 27 job openings related to Prime Air. The following ones are especially enchanting.
Are you an outstanding software engineer who combines “superb technical, research and analytical capabilities with a demonstrated ability to get the right things done quickly and effectively.” Or maybe a research scientist? Either way, Amazon wants people like you to tackle Prime Air’s considerable programming needs. There are jobs open in the U.S. and in Israel, too.
Do you know a lot about antennas, GPS and SIM cards? Amazon needs someone to be PrimeAir’s global commodity manager. You’ll be in charge of what’s called the “inbound supply chain.” If the Prime Air Force is fully ready to fly each morning, congratulations! If it isn’t, you might face a long — and difficult — day.
Who’s going to enable Amazon to deploy the right-sized drone for each shipment, with sufficient flying range to get there and back? Other companies might go to market without a coherent game plan, but this is Amazon. There’s a job opening for Prime Air’s configuration manager. If that sounds like you, get ready to develop and maintain a system that “will track the configuration of every aircraft.”
For all of us non-aerial people, the arrival of drone delivery might seem bewildering and stressful. (Exciting, too!) Someone needs to manage and guide public awareness, to the degree that any of this is possible. If you see yourself as a “high-judgment, detail-oriented and creative” person, you could be Prime Air’s community specialist. (This is a Cambridge, England opening, but I’m guessing that similar positions will open up over time in other Amazon service areas.)
For the community specialist position, you will need to be good at “translating nuanced, complex concepts into broadly digestible content.” You’ll also need to be able to “exercise high judgment while acting quickly.” If you aren’t sure what those last six words mean, you probably aren’t right for the job.
The best way to avoid a lot of crisis PR, of course, is to do everything possible to make sure that crises don’t happen in the first place. If you’re an expert in loss prevention, intrusion detection and that sort of thing, Amazon has just the job for you. Here’s a link that tells you more about what Prime Air’s senior program manager for security strategy and standards will do.
Don’t think of that security opening as a cushy desk job, though. As the Amazon posting dryly observes, “Walking is a regular part of the job. The right candidate will have hands-on experience, including the ability to lift up to 20 pounds.” If you need sturdy shoes or some exercise equipment to get in shape, Amazon will be glad to take your order.