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This month in tech job listings: Coronavirus aftermath edition

Layoffs abound, but some giants are still hiring. So is a company planning to clean all those empty offices.

A woman wears an Oculus VR headset

Oculus VR is hiring for an ethics, safety and privacy manager, at a great time for escaping reality.

Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two months ago, in Protocol's inaugural roundup of the most intriguing and revealing job listings in tech, we found strange (or at least strange-sounding) opportunities for "overnight happiness ambassadors," flying car engineers and scrum masters.

Last month we focused on how gig-economy companies were expanding from Colombia to Jakarta to San Francisco, spawning thousands of jobs not only for contract delivery drivers, but also data scientists, "people partner analysts" and jack-of-all-trades community managers.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and turned the job market upside-down. Would tech's thirst for new talent dry up? Are we all destined to work in on-demand delivery? Not according to Silicon Valley's biggest companies.

Job listings persist. In the last week alone, Google health care offshoot Verily posted 15 new openings on LinkedIn. At Netflix, as global consumers binge watched en masse, the company posted 140 new roles. On a much bigger scale, Amazon posted just shy of 12,000 new jobs — and not only for warehouse workers.

Here are five of the most telling examples of where we are:

Verily: Lead Technical Program Manager, Baseline

South San Francisco

Until a few weeks ago, Verily Life Sciences was just another one of Google parent company Alphabet's many side projects. That changed during a nationally televised briefing by President Trump, who thrust the company into the spotlight by promising that Google had "1,700 engineers" working on a coronavirus screening website. As it turned out, it was the much smaller team at Verily working on incorporating the virus into a health data effort called Project Baseline.

That division is now hiring for several positions, including a technical program manager tasked with delivering software projects that further Baseline's "quest to map human health." The role requires work with internal science, engineering, regulatory and business teams, as well as external partners — like the White House, perhaps?

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent experience, excellent "communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills."

Amazon: Head of Internal Communications

Arlington, Virginia

Coronavirus lockdowns have made Amazon more valuable than ever, but that doesn't mean it's been a smooth ride for the workers powering the operation. Amid a drive to recruit 100,000 new warehouse and delivery workers, the ecommerce giant attempted to quell a New York strike this week by firing the organizer and announcing that billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos will donate $100 million to U.S. food banks. Want to relay all of that (or at least some of that) to fellow employees? Check out the opening posted late last week for a new head of internal communications.

Requirements: Bachelor's in communications or marketing, 10+ years related experience, "a 'can-do,' problem-solving approach to managing ambiguity."

Oculus VR: Ethics, Safety and Privacy Manager

Menlo Park

People are locked down and physically farther apart than ever, so what better time to strap on a VR headset and mentally escape the cabin fever? Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus is hiring for several positions to help build "the next generation of computing devices to make people feel closer." But how do you keep the virtual world from spiraling out of control even faster than our own socially distant society? The company is currently scouting for a new ethics, safety and privacy manager to help figure that out.

Requirements: 5+ years of experience with a master's degree or 10 years with a bachelor's degree, skilled at "influencing stakeholders and engineers."

Netflix: Space Planning Manager

Los Gatos

While many companies go into survival mode, Netflix is trying to broaden its global reach by hiring new publicists in locked-down major markets including India. But at a time when more bored consumers than ever are glued to their screens, Netflix is also planning to grow its physical footprint in the Americas. And while much of the business world is debating whether the coronavirus-induced shift to remote work will obviate the need for brick-and-mortar offices, the streaming giant last week posted an opening for a space planner to map out a long-term strategy for its 1-million-square-foot "and growing" real estate portfolio.

Requirements: Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in architecture, proficiency in AutoCAD, expertise in "user research, occupancy planning and strategy, and space programming."

Zo Klean Technologies: Commercial Office Cleaner

San Diego

While Netflix and other tech tenants mull the future of corporate offices, one sector is accelerating hiring for people willing to go in to work right now: office cleaners. Take San Diego's Zo Klean Technologies, which allows businesses to book commercial cleaning services through an online platform. The company is offering $1,500 to 2,500 per week, no benefits, to clean offices, industrial labs and other buildings while the rest of the world freaks out about germs.

Requirements: High school education, U.S. work authorization.

Does Elon Musk make Tesla tech?

Between the massive valuation and the self-driving software, Tesla isn't hard to sell as a tech company. But does that mean that, in 10 years, every car will be tech?

You know what's not tech and is a car company? Volkswagen.

Image: Tesla/Protocol

From disagreements about what "Autopilot" should mean and SolarCity lawsuits to space colonization and Boring Company tunnels, extremely online Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his company stay firmly in the news, giving us all plenty of opportunities to consider whether the company that made electric cars cool counts as tech.

The massive valuation definitely screams tech, as does the company's investment in self-driving software and battery development. But at the end of the day, this might not be enough to convince skeptics that Tesla is anything other than a car company that uses tech. It also raises questions about the role that timeliness plays in calling something tech. In a potential future where EVs are the norm and many run on Tesla's own software — which is well within the realm of possibility — will Tesla lose its claim to a tech pedigree?

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Becca Evans
Becca Evans is a copy editor and producer at Protocol. Previously she edited Carrie Ann Conversations, a wellness and lifestyle publication founded by Carrie Ann Inaba. She's also written for STYLECASTER. Becca lives in Los Angeles.

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Apple isn’t the only tech company spooked by the delta variant

Spooked by rising cases of COVID-19, many tech companies delay their office reopening.

Apple and at least two other Silicon Valley companies have decided to delay their reopenings in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Photo: Luis Alvarez via Getty

Apple grabbed headlines this week when it told employees it would delay its office reopening until October or later. But the iPhone maker wasn't alone: At least two other Silicon Valley companies decided to delay their reopenings last week in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Both ServiceNow and Pure Storage opted to push back their September return-to-office dates last week, telling employees they can work remotely until at least the end of the year. Other companies may decide to exercise more caution given the current trends.

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Half of working parents have felt discriminated against during COVID

A new survey found that working parents at the VP level are more likely to say they've faced discrimination at work than their lower-level counterparts.

A new survey looks at discrimination faced by working parents during the pandemic.

Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

The toll COVID-19 has taken on working parents — particularly working moms — is, by now, well-documented. The impact for parents in low-wage jobs has been particularly devastating.

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Alphabet goes deep into industrial robotic software with Intrinsic

If it succeeds, the gambit could help support Google Cloud's lofty ambitions in the manufacturing sector.

Alphabet is aiming to make advanced robotic technology affordable to customers.

Photo: Getty Images

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Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

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