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How to Stand Out as a Software Engineer or Developer with SDi

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With our recent acquisition of RDA, Inc., Sentient Digital, Inc. is looking to bring on several quality candidates and would like to share how to stand out as a software engineer or developer with our team.

Our software engineers and developers are an integral and critical part of SDi. These experts are vital for our strategic growth, creative digital solutions, and flexibility, requiring us to seek out new talent to meet our ambitious growth goals.

Making these hires will ensure we are on track for our 3–5-year growth plan. Specifically, we are looking to hire two systems engineers and one software developer in the near future, then bring on additional talent as dictated by our growth.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining our team, keep reading for more information and contact us today.

Who We Are and What We Do

Sentient Digital, Inc. is a technology solutions provider for government, military, and commercial clients. Our focus is on creating long-lasting relationships and value for our clients through consistent project success, subject matter expertise, and innovative solutions. Our business units include mission software solutions, professional services, cyber mission assurance, integrated solutions, and enabling technology, encompassing a wide range of products and solutions.

With our acquisition of RDA, we have acquired a Mission Software Solutions (MSS) team of software engineers and scientists. Our hiring will primarily focus on this team over the next 3–5 years, where new talent will largely be working on product development and research opportunities, including new small business innovation research (SBIR).

SBIR is a government funded program that supports technological innovation. With these funds as an incentive, small businesses engage in research and development to potentially commercialize their products.

SBIR is intensely competitive, and it is organized into three phases:

  • Phase I is designed to establish “the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization.”
  • Phase II is additional support to continue the work demonstrated in Phase I.
  • Phase III of SBIR is for small businesses to attempt to commercialize their objectives. Phase III status comes with multiple benefits, but there is no funding associated with a Phase III designation in most cases because the intention is for commercialization.

For more information about who we are and what we do, read about how we work; what our mission, vision, and core values are; the culture of quality at SDi; and our team’s founder, leadership, and subject matter experts.

How to Stand Out as a Software Engineer or Developer with a Career at SDi

We have worked to build out the systems engineer and software development positions at SDi as a great career opportunity. The work we do is inherently innovative and our business is in growth mode, which means there is substantial room for career development and advancement. Quality candidates share our core values, are hungry for challenges, and aspire to contribute to fulfilling work and ambitious projects.

Growth Mindset

Someone working on a laptop with a growth mindset, an important way to stand out as a software engineer or developer

A growth mindset is essential for the team we are building with RDA and to stand out as a software engineer or developer in general. Having a growth mindset means seeking challenges, prioritizing learning, and constantly looking to develop new skills and build upon what you know.

We are looking for ambitious individuals who are in team-building mode. Because of the nature of our work, individuals with a growth mindset are essential to our mission. Our software engineers and developers create products that are not available in the open market, which means you are consistently producing innovative work the world has never seen before.

That presents a unique opportunity. Systems engineers and software developers at SDi must start by deeply understanding the client’s needs. Through that foundation of what is needed, we employ a series of systems and processes to provide the client with innovative technology solutions according to a specific timeline. In this system, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative problem solving.

Career Advancement

A growing team can translate into opportunities for those team members to advance in the next few years. That is why having a growth mindset is essential for our open positions: we’re looking to hire leaders who are eager to drive the advancement of our team, stand out as a software engineer or developer, and grow into the responsibility that comes with such advancement.

Because of this, candidates can be sure that career development will be central to a position on this team. For those who are eager to build something new, we understand that means new research and professional development are also core to the position. Our teams create unique solutions, and our engineers and developers benefit from working on complex problems while learning new tools and approaches to help them solve those problems.

Part of our commitment to professional development is expressed in our emphasis on mentorship as well. At SDi, junior engineers work closely with senior engineers, and they benefit from years of experience in the industry at their fingertips.

Our employees are intensely collaborative, and many of our senior staff began as junior engineers themselves. Investing in our engineers and developers at all skill levels—from junior, to mid-level, to senior—is evidence not only of our commitment to the future of SDi, but also the future of your individual career.

How Will New Hires Fit into the Structure of SDi?

SDi has adjusted our growth plan to prioritize focusing on the Mission Software Solutions (MSS) team with RDA. This team’s mission is to provide quality systems engineering, digital signal processing, and software development for SONAR systems. We work to achieve this mission through outstanding technical leadership and impeccable engineering services throughout the development lifecycle.

RDA performs a significant amount of work with SBIR as well as Navy customers in NAVAIR and Surface Ship. Great skills, talent, and strong customer relationships are highly valued among this team. The ever-expanding opportunities for research, product development, and new customer relationships means those individuals who are hungry for growth and advancement will thrive in a position on our MSS team.

P-3C LCAP (2003–2018)

Our MSS unit’s capabilities are expansive, and the service areas are ripe for innovation. These service areas include:

  • Anti-Submarine Warfare
  • Systems Engineering
  • Acoustics Research and Development
  • Prototype Development
  • DSP Software Development
  • COTS Integration

Our current strategic business products target SBIR topics in each phase: I, II, and III.

What Is the State of the Current MSS Team?

The MSS team is committed to employing an ambitious 3–5-year growth plan that we believe will lead to bigger teams and bigger projects. Our current goal is to increase our workforce by 50% over this time period, including SBIR research, data analytics, and systems and software development.

The current team is operating under the leadership of Jon E. Dionne, General Manager and Director of Mission Software Solutions at SDi, who has been with RDA for over 25 years. He joined RDA as a junior engineer, working on a variety of SBIR efforts.

Jon E. Dionne

Dionne was promoted to Principal Investigator as a result of his top-rate analytical skills, solid customer relationships, and strong writing and verbal skills. In this position, he was given additional autonomy to work on his own SBIR topics before eventually being promoted to Vice President of Engineering prior to SDi’s acquisition RDA.

Dionne says he is excited to join the SDi team and for RDA to come under its umbrella. SDi and RDA complement each other, and make for an exciting, long-enduring new company.

As the General Manager and Director of MSS, Dionne manages the business unit’s contracts, people, customer satisfaction, and financial goals. Beginning as a junior engineer himself, he is eager to assist in the development and growth of his team and mentor new professionals just as he was mentored at RDA.

Who Are We Looking For?

Ultimately, the values at SDi are driven and facilitated by our commitment to a quality culture. At Sentient Digital, there are defined characteristics of quality culture that allow our teams to successfully operate, push technological limits, and exceed client expectations. We remain committed to:

  • Continuous feedback
  • Comprehensive change management
  • End-to-end professionalism
  • Agile test-driven development
  • Quality and customer assurance

This is true for every position at SDi, and we need candidates who can demonstrate not only the ability to perform the job duties at hand, but also the personality that will thrive within our quality culture. We are looking for all levels of skills, from junior staff (right out of college to as much as 5 years experience), to mid-level (5–10 years of experience), to senior (10 years or more of experience). The exact qualifications for our positions are:

For systems engineers, emphasis on SONAR systems design and underwater acoustics data analysis is preferred. Experience with MATLAB or Python is required. Experience with Java or C++ in a Microsoft Windows environment is a plus. Systems engineering applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Physics, or Underwater Acoustics. A postgraduate degree is a plus. For software developers, experience with Java or C++ in a Microsoft Windows environment is required. Experience with MATLAB, Python, GIT, and Agile is a plus. Emphasis on SONAR systems design and underwater acoustics data analysis is preferred but not required. Software development applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering, or one of the degrees for the systems engineering position, plus relevant software development experience. A postgraduate degree is a plus.

Apply to Work with SDi and Learn How to Stand Out as a Software Engineer or Developer

Our MSS team is looking for talented people with a desire to build a team and grow. Being a systems engineer or software developer at SDi comes with a lot of responsibility, but the work is incredibly rewarding.

If you believe you fit the type of individual we are looking to hire, we encourage you to apply for one of our current job postings or contact us today to talk. Under the leadership of Jon Dionne, the MSS team is excited to build a new core of engineers and developers and work toward the sizable impact our growth plan is targeting.