Your Overnight Happiness Ambassador will see you now
Glimpsing the future in eye-opening tech job listings.
Ninjas, evangelists, alchemists: Silicon Valley has a long history of unsubtly repackaging jobs that might otherwise be titled technical support, marketing or office management.
But beyond the distinctive euphemisms, the thousands of jobs posted each week by tech behemoths, well-heeled startups and those trying to bridge the valley of death in between often hint at more dramatic economic shifts underway. And, hey, even if those world-changing ideas don't materialize, the listings provide a useful record of what once, for some reason, seemed like a good idea.
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We've rounded up a half dozen of the most intriguing current job openings in tech. Some sound perfectly normal at first, while the jobs they describe are anything but. Others sound bonkers but may be extremely normal. Who can tell? Enjoy.
Facebook: People Research Scientist, Leadership
Menlo Park or New York City
Yes, you could rely on humans to hire other humans. But what's the point of that when you're a social networking giant that already relies on massive amounts of data about its 2 billion users to deliver cute baby photos and ads for knock-off designer bathing suits? Facebook is one of several high-profile tech companies attempting to merge artificial intelligence and human resources with its "People Analytics" division. The goal, the company says: to use sophisticated equations to assess, identify and develop Facebook's future leaders.
Requirements: Ph.D. with 5+ years of experience, or master's degree with 8+ years of experience in a field like computer science, labor economics or human-computer interaction.
Joby Aviation: Stress Engineer — Occupant Seats
A decade into its effort to build the world's first fleet of flying taxis, the secretive coastal California startup Joby Aviation appears to have learned an important lesson: Don't go cheap on the seats. The company based just south of Silicon Valley has posted a slew of new jobs after a recent $590 million funding round from investors including Toyota, JetBlue and Intel. Among those is a very technical call for an engineer who knows a whole lot about seats (no word on whether they'll eject or not).
Requirements: Bachelor's degree, 5+ years of industry experience, "Mastery of finite element analysis and fatigue methods."
Oh My Green: Overnight Happiness Ambassador
When you're a startup selling wellness and a proprietary snack-ordering platform to other tech companies, you can't exactly have a team full of Debbie downers. So it makes sense that Stanford-bred, Y Combinator-backed Oh My Green is hiring several Happiness Ambassadors across the country. Sure, this job mostly appears to be food service and customer support, but "Overnight Happiness Ambassador" does sound better than "Graveyard Shift Snack Delivery."
Requirements: Passionate, detail-oriented, ability to frequently lift 15+ pounds.
DoorDash: Dasher Experience Specialist
Gig economy companies like DoorDash have an existential management problem: How are their employees supposed to interact with the legions of contractors who find work through the app? The company is building out a new layer of middle men and women that, in the case of DoorDash, are "responsible for funneling Dashers through the Independent Contractor funnel," though not just anyone can fill the void. "We're looking for superstars," the company writes in its job listing.
Requirements: High school diploma, sales experience, positive attitude.
Mondelēz International: Social Listening & Consumer Foresights Lead
East Hanover, New Jersey
In the category of non-tech companies hiring like tech companies, the parent company of consumer food brands like Oreo is leaning hard into using social media and analytics to predict "the future of snacking." The Illinois-based company, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods, is looking for personnel to monitor social media influencers for bankable "snacking moments," and to integrate longer-term tech trends like visualization and artificial intelligence.
Requirements: Bachelor's degree or MBA, social media experience, "Futurist/Trend house/Media/PR/Communication background."
Dyson: Scrum Master
Do you have a servant leader personality? What about a Scrum Master certification? Does any of this make sense? In the world of project management, this is fashionable jargon for wrangling developers, quickly generating new versions of a product, and sticking to timelines and budgets. If the world's most prestigious vacuum company is among those already going the way of the scrum, is it only a matter of time until we all report to our own servant leaders?
Requirements: Experienced Scrum Master with Servant Leader personality.