Senior Lead Software Engineer – Mobile and Web Applications

Website USC - University of Southern California

Senior Lead Software Engineer – Mobile and Web Applications

The Learning Science group at the University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technology is searching for a dedicated and innovative person to be the Senior Lead Software Engineer – Mobile and Web Applications for our team. The Learning Science group leverages AI, Machine Learning, and other emerging technologies to personalize learning so that students of all ages and backgrounds can learn better and achieve their goals. We work to establish new genres of AI tools that can empower educators, underserved groups, and public/government organizations to make the greatest impact for the learners who need it most.

We are looking for a motivated, experienced software development and application leader who can transition next-generation mobile and web learning technologies out of the lab and to the people who need them. In the Senior Lead Software Engineer position, you will have the opportunity to lead challenging, compelling training prototypes that make a difference. Projects include rapid concept prototypes, randomized-controlled studies with established prototypes, transitioning mature prototypes to broader use, and assisting learning experts with novel machine learning pipelines to scientifically study the process of learning.

Your work will push the boundaries of how technology benefits society, by accelerating learning, improving health outcomes, and sharing scientific findings with the world. Additionally, the work at ICT will give you the opportunity to meet intriguing people from all walks of life, including technologists, writers, producers, social scientists, military/government personnel, community partners, and philanthropists. We put a premium on satisfaction in the workplace at ICT and encourage all associates to maintain a quality work-life balance.

Preferred Characteristics:

  • Initiative: Strong initiative to discover and master new and emerging technologies
  • Leadership: Enjoys mentoring bright student researchers, interns, and junior programmers from diverse backgrounds, and collaborating with PhD level researchers on equal footing
  • User-Focus: Committed to high quality applications, with a focus on user goals and needs
  • Software Quality: Excellence and standard-setting in software design, across multiple programming languages and new frameworks (JS/Typescript, Python, IaaS/Terraform, etc.)
  • Impact: Track record of leading a software team to release applications used at scale

Preferred Technical Skills:

  • Cross-platform mobile app development expert (i.e., React Native targeting iOS and Android) o   Web stack in converting user stories and wireframes into working prototype using modern web development stacks (e.g., MERN – Mongo, Express, React/Redux, Node.js)
  • Project transition and deployment automation (e.g., Terraform IaaS, Github actions, CircleCI) o   Experience with TestFlight and Apple Store distributions and/or Android prototype and production distribution technologies.
  • Open source project experience as both a maintainer and a contributor

Frequently Used Tech Stack Components:

  • Mobile (iOS and Android): React Native, Unity, React/Gatsby
  • Frontend Web: React/Gatsby o  Backend: Node.js, GraphQL, MongoDB, Flask
  • Infrastructure: Terraform, AWS (S3, EB, EFS, Cloudfront), Docker, CircleCI, Github Actions
  • Testing: Cypress, Mocha o  Machine Learning: HuggingFace, PyTorch, TensorFlow, SpaCy, scikit-learn, pandas
  • Augmented Reality: Unity, ARKit, Vuforia

This position will involve substantial leadership on evolving tech stacks over time and evaluating candidate technologies (e.g.,, AWS SQS, serverless), in collaboration with the broader research team. Opportunities also exist to develop proposal concepts with established researchers that can lead to new research directions and applications.

Preferred Background: This position is appropriate for applicants of all levels of traditional education, from self-taught experienced software engineers through PhD holders whose passion is to transition research from a lab into the world. More so than a specific degree, a high quality applicant for this position will have at least 5 years of experience as a lead software engineer who a) has transitioned mobile and web based products to substantial user bases in production use and b) is experienced with collaborating with multiple intermediate and junior programmers, content developers, and quality assurance members.

Application Link: Please apply for this position at the USC Job Site at this posting:

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combined work experience and education.
Minimum Experience: 5 years
Minimum Field of Expertise: Relevant work experience providing strong technical knowledge of programming and analysis, and senior or lead experience.
Compensation: Salary range starts at $135,000 per year plus benefits, with significantly higher starting salary offers for candidates with stronger experience and specialized education.

Supplemental Materials: When applying for this position, please provide any materials that you feel represent your body of work in addition to your cover letter and cv:

  1. Code samples, open-source projects, websites, and/or demos that you feel represent you.
  2. These may be provided as a page of links with descriptions or supplemental materials that you upload with your resume/cover letter during the application process.

Please title attached files with your LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – Senior Lead Software Engineer –
Mobile and Web Applications – Object Type (e.g., Cover Letter, Resume, Code Sample)


USC Institute for Creative Technologies: The University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies is where academia, entertainment, and the military meet. Located in the heart of Silicon Beach/Playa Vista, no other institute offers a more diverse collaborative environment where basic and applied research work hand in hand to develop cutting edge technologies. We find ICT to be an exciting place to work and expect you will too.

We are world leaders in virtual human research, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, computer training simulations, computer graphics, and immersive experiences that improve human decision making, cultural awareness, leadership, and health. ICT employees are encouraged to develop themselves both professionally and personally, through workshops, invited guest talks, movie nights, social events, various sports teams, a private gym and a personal trainer.  The atmosphere at ICT is informal and flexible, while also encouraging initiative, personal responsibility, and a strong work ethic.

Why work at ICT: As part of the University of Southern California, full-time ICT employees enjoy a range of great benefits, as well as the rich academic environment afforded by a highly-regarded research university.  Employees can choose from a variety of exceptional medical and dental plans, the USC Retirement Savings Program, educational benefits, paid time off (including Winter Recess and 9 paid holidays), and many more! Please look at all the benefits offered to our full-time employees in full detail at

Research Examples – Learning Science: To get a feel for the research we conduct here, you can view introductions to a few projects with the links below:

Personal Assistant for Life-Long Learning (Overview):

CareerFair.AI / MentorPal: Mentors Creating their Own Virtual Conversational Agents (v1 Web-Based System) (v2 Project Announcement)

Tar AR Augmented Reality Experience with La Brea Tar Pits (Presentation):

Captivating Virtual Instruction for Training (Overview):

Semi-Supervised Detection of Engagement (Presentation):

OpenTutor: Dialog-Based Tutoring (Publication)

To apply for this job please visit