Principal Data Engineer


Full time

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sep 22

Job Title:

Principal Data EngineerRequisition ID:

R002924Job Description:

Job Title:   Principal Data Engineer 

Reporting to:    Technical Director, Data Pipeline

Department:    Data Pipeline

Location:    Vancouver, BC; Santa Monica, CA; Sherman Oaks, CA; Boulder, CO



Your Platform 

Activision Central Tech works to support our development studios and their titles. Comprised of seven main teams, we have many specialties including big data, privacy and security, motion capture and animation pipeline technologies, graphics, build and infrastructure for studio development and data centers, optimization, systems programming and online services including matchmaking and networking. Central Tech is distributed globally with offices across the U.S., and in Canada, England, Ireland and Japan.

Most of our teams are comprised of both engineering and research talent, allowing us to always have an eye on the future. Our talented engineers help with title development and provide valuable knowledge sharing between studios while our researchers are action-oriented and keep a strong connection with the needs of the game studios. 

Central Tech is part of Activision. To learn more about us and our research, please visit us at

Your Mission

The Activision Data Pipeline team is looking for a Principal Data Engineer to help lead the development of our near-realtime pipeline, processing tens of billions of messages per day, feeding our petabyte-scale Data Lake, high-volume stream customers, and API-based access tools. 

Game development is a highly dynamic, fast paced environment with numerous challenges beyond boilerplate data pipeline work. Your work will help guide decisions throughout the company, improving all aspects of our players’ experiences.


  • Priorities can often change in a fast-paced environment like ours, so this role includes, but is not limited to, the following responsibilities:
  • Being the trusted expert charged with guiding the development of our Java-based pipeline, and keeping it up-to-date with the latest technologies that align with the ever-increasing demand for higher-volume, lower-latency data
  • Designing & developing novel approaches for near-realtime processing of tens of billions of messages daily, providing data to an ever-expanding set of customers in a cost-efficient manner
  • Collaborating with Activision’s Cloud Infrastructure team to ensure optimal configuration of our GCP-based platform
  • Representing the data perspective in technical discussions with game studios, other Central Technology groups, vendors, the open source community, and other key partners
  • Providing technical leadership and mentorship to data engineers of all levels
  • Documenting and presenting key learnings & best practices to various groups throughout the company and beyond
  • Ensuring we meet our SLAs/SLOs, including participation in our team support rotation

Player Profile

  • 10+ years of relevant software engineering experience
  • 5+ years of large-scale, highly-distributed cloud application development and operation
  • Expert-level knowledge of Java, Scala, Python, and/or other relevant languages
  • Expert-level knowledge of modern, near-realtime data pipeline / Data Lake technologies such as Kafka, Kafka Connect, Spark, Hive, or similar, and various Big Data storage formats and their tradeoffs
  • Real-world experience of working with Linux/Unix, version control, containerization, etc.
  • Proven verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex technical ideas to end users
  • Proven ability to understand customer workflows, analyze architecturally significant requirements, and implement systems to match
  • Knowledgeable and passionate about software development best practices, including testing and build automation

Extra Points:

  • Demonstrated real-world knowledge of relational, non-relational, and/or other database types
  • Experience leading a small-to-midsize team of engineers working on complex systems and problems
  • Knowledge of the games industry, ideally from a live operations (Games-as-a-Service) perspective
  • Delivering breakthrough analytical projects resulting in measurable engagement or revenue impact 
  • Basic project management knowledge, utilizing software such as JIRA

Our World

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), is one of the world's largest and most successful interactive entertainment companies and is at the intersection of media, technology and entertainment. We are home to some of the most beloved entertainment franchises including Call of Duty®, World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Diablo®, Candy Crush™ and Bubble Witch™. Our combined entertainment network delights hundreds of millions of monthly active users in 196 countries, making us the largest gaming network on the planet!

Our ability to build immersive and innovate worlds is only enhanced by diverse teams working in an inclusive environment. We aspire to have a culture where everyone can thrive in order to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment. We provide a suite of benefits that promote physical, emotional and financial well-being for ‘Every World’ - we’ve got our employees covered!

The videogame industry and therefore our business is fast-paced and will continue to evolve. As such, the duties and responsibilities of this role may be changed as directed by the Company at any time to promote and support our business and relationships with industry partners.

Activision is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable law and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.

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