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Platform Engineer (Dayton, Ohio; Top Secret Clearance)

Defense Unicorns

Defense Unicorns

Software Engineering
Dayton, OH, USA
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024


Please note that this position is required to perform duties on-site in a government controlled Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in Dayton Ohio, with expectations of the engineer to hold and attain Top Secret Clearance to the Special Access Program (SAP) level. We are exploring additional incentives to account for the special requirements of this role.

Role Description:

We are seeking a talented and experienced Mid-Level Platform Engineer to join our team. The ideal candidate will play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of our platform, demonstrating a strong understanding of system architecture, problem-solving skills, and the ability to guide junior engineers.

As a Mid-Level Platform Engineer within our organization, you will join a team of dedicated unicorns who are focused on advancing freedom and independence globally. Our teams work on various different technical baselines depending on specific engagements. We focus our Products on the Platform layer, but to deliver for our Heroes, we also work IaC automation, security, and implementation.


You will help us automate and build a runtime Production Environment and serve as a link between the Applications, either custom development, COTS, or OSS, and that environment, advocating best practices and facilitating communication between the application teams and platform teams. In addition, this position is required to perform duties on-site in the government controlled Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), with expectations of the engineer to hold and attain Top Secret Clearance to the Special Access Program (SAP) level. Finally, this position is identified to work on-site in Dayton, Ohio supporting both a contractor and government team day-to-day.

In this position, you will be expected to:

  • Validate Solutions/Implementations: Ensure that solutions and implementations align with the outlined tasks and business requirements. Conduct thorough validations to maintain the integrity and efficiency of the platform.
  • Independently Problem Solve: Demonstrate the ability to identify and solve business problems independently. Develop small components to address specific challenges without relying on explicit architecture diagrams.
  • Understand Medium-Level Tasking: Comprehend how medium-level tasks contribute to the achievement of overall goals. Collaborate with cross-functional teams to integrate various components into a cohesive and functional platform.
  • Estimate Time and Effort: Provide accurate time and effort estimates for medium-sized tasks. Assist in project planning and resource allocation based on estimated timelines.
  • Demonstrate Programming Language Proficiency: Possess familiarity with at least one programming language. Exhibit a basic understanding of when to use a programming language versus a shell for efficient task execution.
  • Own the bridge between the Application Development team and the Production Environment:
    • Interject "best practices" to the application development team and facilitate collaboration between the application development and platform teams.
    • Lead discussions on the benefits of using cyber-secure tools.
    • Establish and facilitate automated Zarf builds as part of CI for multiple app dev teams.
    • Collaborate with the Platform team on End-to-End (E2E) and Integration testing.
  • Contribute to CI/CD and other automation experiences: Build and maintain automated pipeline functions, leading teams towards delivery and sustainment options.
  • Implement infrastructure as code and contribute to the build/maintenance of kubernetes clusters on various distributions, primarily Nutanix.
  • Apply extensive experience with cloud deployments, emphasizing secure coding practices and vulnerability remediation.
  • Exhibit strong programming skills and deep familiarity with Linux/Unix operating systems.
  • Create and maintain operational runbooks and alerts, ensuring API orchestration and cyber-secure approaches.

Travel Expectations: 10%

The listed responsibilities are not exhaustive and additional responsibilities may be assigned based on the evolving needs of the organization. We are seeking a dynamic individual who is able to adapt and take on new responsibilities as they arise.

Preferred Experience and Qualifications:

  • Hold and attain a Top Secret security clearance to the Special Access Program (SAP) level.
  • Located in Dayton, Ohio
  • Proven experience as a Platform Engineer or similar role, with a focus on system architecture and development.
  • Demonstrated experience with cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes, Google Cloud, and Docker.
  • Familiarity with continuous delivery, distributed architectures, systems, everything-as-code, containerization, and cloud services.
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language (e.g., Python, Go, Ansible) and a basic understanding of shell scripting.
  • Proficient with YAML.
  • Experienced in working on a team following an Agile framework in both a remote and on-site SCIF environments.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams.
  • Experience with security automation and familiarity with API Security, Container Security, and Cloud Security.
  • Familiar with architecture security design, monitoring, and performance instrumentation in a complex enterprise environment.
  • Comfort with debugging systems and reading/writing code.
  • Possess a DoD 8570 IAT II certification.
  • Experienced in Department of Defense work, specifically working on a production Authority to Operate (ATO'd) system.
  • Knowledgeable about DevSecOps/DevOps and CI/CD theory.

If you are a skilled Platform Engineer looking to contribute to the growth and success of a dynamic organization, we invite you to apply and join our team.

Full compensation packages are based on candidate experience. Compensation ranges are established using national benchmarking data and apply across all geographic locations within the United States.

Remote - USA
$153,000$195,000 USD

Who We Are: Defense Unicorns delivers mission value by streamlining software delivery so our customers can focus on the most important challenges. We share a vision of freedom and security for the advancement of progress and innovation. Our commitment to this vision, and to our mission-driven customers, means a commitment to speed, user experience and optionality, without compromising security. Our team is composed of innovators, software engineers, and veterans with decades of experience delivering technology programs across the federal market.

What We Do: We create and deliver secure solutions for continuous software integration and delivery. Defense Unicorns consolidates the best practices for security pipelines, testing, and deployment automation in order to meet the high security requirements valued by mission owners. Our solutions are agnostic by design and we believe that growing a robust ecosystem of secure, cloud-native software solutions can help enterprise customers inside and outside the federal market buy and integrate software more easily.

Who We Serve: Defense Unicorns’ customers are mission-focused leaders across public and private enterprises. We proudly support defense and civil agencies across the U.S. government and we work closely with the creators of leading-edge software solutions to deliver value to the mission-owner by improving the security and consumability of commercial software products.

What We Work On:

  • Kubernetes
  • Cloud Environments (AWS/GCP and Azure)
  • Infrastructure-as-code (like Terraform/Pulumi)
  • Continuous Delivery and automation tooling
  • GitOps
  • Containers
  • CNCF projects and open source products and packages
  • Helm/Kustomize-Value Stream Mapping
  • Building and improving security delivery
  • Building Kubernetes and cloud native applications

Benefits Our Unicorns Enjoy:


  • Medical/Dental/Vision
  • Premiums are 100% Company Paid
  • Health Reimbursement Account
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance


  • 401k with Employer Contribution (Regardless of Employee Contribution)
  • Company Stock Options
  • Home Office Setup Budget


  • Unlimited paid time off, with a mandatory 10 days off on top of 11 federal government holidays, week of Thanksgiving, last two weeks of December (including New Year’s Day)
  • Paid Parental Leave


  • Reimbursement for approved trainings/subscriptions
  • Conferences (travel, lodging, and fees)

Defense Unicorns is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, union status and/or beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.