Lead Mobile Software Engineer (Remote/Hybrid Option); Ithaca, NY

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Job Description

Lead Mobile Software Engineer (Remote/Hybrid Option); Ithaca, NY




Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


Lead Mobile Software Engineer (Remote/Hybrid Option)

About the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a tech-centered conservation organization with a mission to advance the understanding and protection of birds and biodiversity. By engaging millions of people across the globe who watch birds, producing scientific and technical resources, and partnering across governments, non-profits, and industry we are working to solve big environmental challenges. We rely on a small, dedicated team of engineers to curate more one billion bird sightings, and take creative approaches to building apps that help communities in all corners of the globe connect to birds and monitor bird populations.

The Opportunity

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is seeking a highly motivated mobile app developer to advance Merlin Bird ID and eBird apps that reach more than three million active users a month. This role will lead and direct an engineering team to design, implement, and maintain complex mobile applications for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (CLO), external customers, and funding agencies. The Lead Mobile Software Engineer will be expected to: 1) manage software engineering projects with multiple, concurrent development efforts, interact with both internal and external customers and architect application solutions, 2) serve as a primary technical liaison between internal engineering teams, supporting coordination and integration of application infrastructure to meet strategic objectives, 3) supervise technical staff, conduct performance reviews, and mentor engineering team members, 4) develop applications in Swift, Objective-C, Java, and/or Kotlin, and 5) participate actively in the design and evolution of CLO technical infrastructure and hosting platforms, including the transition to more scalable, agile, cloud-based systems.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is an inclusive community, and we recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature. The Cornell Lab is committed to fostering a healthy workplace that values diverse perspectives and backgrounds as well as supporting growth and advancement opportunities. The Lab welcomes staff who are still learning in their careers and who are motivated to take on new challenges.

What We Need


  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and 5 to 7 years relevant experience in mobile app development.
  • Must be experienced leading an app development team in collaboration with product managers.
  • Experience with native mobile app development such as Swift, Objective-C, Java, and/or Kotlin.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing complex information technology projects, including needs assessment, team organization, definition of standards and workflows, task planning and tracking, establishment of realistic goals, and delivery of products on time and within budget.
  • Experience defining project requirements, including hardware and software.
  • Experience designing, coding, testing, debugging, documenting, and integrating complex applications.
  • Manage highly available production infrastructure with parallel systems for development and testing, and to perform or oversee installation, migration, and version management of all enterprise components.
  • Strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Clearly communicate complex technical issues to leadership team, and to participate effectively as needed in management meetings at all levels.
  • Work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Build working relationships to solve problems and achieve common goals.
  • Must be able to handle multiple concurrent tasks and priorities, and adapt to changing priorities, situations and demands.
  • Create and foster an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion in all endeavors.
  • A cover letter and resume are required for further consideration for this position.
  • No Visa Sponsorship is available for this position.
  • This position is located in Ithaca, New York and will provide hybrid work flexibility.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree preferred with more than 7 years’ experience.
  • Prior use and thorough understanding of Merlin, eBird, or other Cornell Lab tools and resources.
  • Understanding of and interest in conservation, birds, bird monitoring protocols, and related vocabulary.
  • Experience with the following enterprise components: web servers (e.g., Apache HTTP Server) including and virtual host and SSL certificate management; Java application servers (e.g., Apache Tomcat); content management systems (e.g., WordPress); servers providing GIS functionality (e.g., GeoServer); relational databases (e.g., Postgres); single sign-on systems; LDAP servers; automation servers (e.g., Jenkins); analytics and user tracking (e.g., Google Analytics, Firebase, HubSpot).
  • Experience with cloud infrastructure services from major vendors (e.g., AWS, Azure).
  • Knowledge of security issues, disaster recovery, monitoring, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, and enterprise storage technologies.
  • Experience writing grants and seeking external funding to support technical infrastructure.


What We Offer

Rewards and Benefits

  • This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The position will allow for the flexibility to work remotely at a location of employee’s choosing within the United States. The New York Convenience of employer guidelines require New York State individual tax reporting and withholdings for this position. Additional individual state income tax filings may also be required if working temporarily outside New York State.
  • Cornell receives national recognition as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.
  • Our benefits programs include comprehensive health care options, generous retirement contributions, access to wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands. We invite you to follow this link to get more information about our benefits: https://hr.cornell.edu/benefits-pay.
  • Follow this link to learn more about the Total Rewards of Working at Cornell: https://hr.cornell.edu/jobs/your-total-rewards.
  • Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, and an end of the year winter break from December 25-January 1.
  • Cornell’s impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Extramural Study and Employee Degree Program, tuition aid for external education, and Cornell Children’s Tuition Assistance Program.


Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information.


University Job Title:

Software Engineer IVJob Family:

Information TechnologyLevel:

GPay Rate Type:

SalaryPay Range:

$99,359.00 – $121,439.00Remote Option Availability:

Fully RemoteCompany:

Contract CollegeContact Name:

Maria Avila

Job Titles and Pay Ranges:


Non-Union Positions

Noted pay ranges reflect the potential pay opportunity for each job profile. The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position
  • Unique applicable skills
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)


To learn more about Cornell’s non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator.


Union Positions

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined in accordance with the rates in the respective collective bargaining agreement. To learn more about Cornell’s union wages, see Union Pay Rates.


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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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