Principal Software Engineer


Virginia, United States Remote

Full time

Software Engineering / Software Developer

Jan 24



  • Leads efforts and discussions for the architecture of aspects of products/solutions (e.g., design, cost). Creates proposals for architecture and design documents and leads testing of hypotheses and proposed solutions. Shares and acts on findings from investigations own design decisions and oversees the junior team members. Leads the development of design documents for designs or User Stories and determines the technology that will be leveraged and how they will interact. Leads design discussions with the team and shares findings/learnings from investigations, holding ownership for design decisions. Leads efforts to assure system architecture meets security and compliance requirements and expectations. 
  • Independently creates and mentors others for a clear and articulated plan for testing and assuring the quality of solutions, and defines success for outcomes of tests (e.g., unit tests). Identifies needs for a broad versus selected approach in testing mechanisms and makes informed decisions to implement the most effective tests. Leads efforts to add new tests, remove antiquated tests, and aggregate tests to improve the overall test suite. Improves recommendations to the team and augments test cases to ensure that solutions have good test coverage. Leads efforts to continually integrate automation features when planning for testing. 
  • Leads identification of dependencies and the development of design documents for a product, application, service or platform. Leads identification of other teams and technologies that will be leveraged, how they will interact, and when one's own system may provide support to others. Leads efforts to determine back-end dependencies associated with product, application, service, or platform functionality for the solution/product. Demonstrates deep understanding of up and downstream effects of solutions and work provided to ensure appropriate security and performance, driving reliability in the solutions, and optimize dependency chains and retrieves across teams. Identifies areas of dependency and overlap with other teams or team members and drives coordination. Enables cross team communications and resolves conflicts between teams. 


  • Reviews the code of a product to assure it meets the team's and Microsoft’s quality standards, is reliable and accurate, and is appropriate for the scale of the product/solution area. Applies feedback to current and future iterations. Participates in code reviews to ensure coding standards are followed. Considers diagnosability, reliability, and maintainability when reviewing code, and understands when code is ready to be shared or delivered. Applies and screens for coding patterns and best practices in reviews, and provides feedback on code to drive adherence to best practices. 


  • Leads efforts for creation and conducting of experimentation to determine the effectiveness of changes, monitors developments for prototyping and testing products, interprets results, and decides on next steps or ship decision from results. Drives identification of the correct metrics for experimentation in determining improving customer value. 

 Reliability and Supportability 

  • Maintains operations of live service as issues arise on a rotational, on-call basis. Implements and helps others implement solutions and mitigations to complex issues impacting the performance or functionality of Live Site services. Reviews and writes issues postmortem and shares insights with the team. 
  • Holds accountability as a Designated Responsible Individual (DRI) and mentors other engineers across products/solutions, working on call to monitor system/product/service for degradation, downtime, or interruptions. Alerts stakeholders as to status and initiates actions to restore system/product/service for complex issues. Develops a playbook for the team to resolve issues. Coordinates people and resources to ensure DRI responsibilities are covered across teams. Responds within Service Level Agreement (SLA) timeframe. Has line of sight to incidences and plans to address emerging issues. Leads efforts to reduce incident volume, looking globally at incidences and providing broad resolutions. Escalates issues to appropriate owners. 



Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, or related technical discipline AND 6+ years technical engineering experience with coding in languages including, but not limited to, C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, or Python 
  • OR equivalent experience. 
  • 3+ years building cloud scale services 


Preferred Qualifications   

  • Drive accountability, ownership for end-to-end project lifecycle with solid project management, and solid communication skills and ability to influence broadly 
  • Expertise in problem solving and analyzing distributed systems and critical production service environments 
  • Experience creating, developing, delivering, deploying, maintaining online services  
  • Proven ability to plan, schedule and deliver quality software  
  • Extensive knowledge and experience designing for operability  


Security Clearance Requirements  

Candidates must be able to meet Microsoft, customer and/or government security screening requirements are required for this role. These requirements include, but are not limited to the following specialized security screenings: 

  • Microsoft Cloud Background Check: This position will be required to pass the Microsoft Cloud Background Check upon hire/transfer and every two years thereafter. 
  • Candidates must have an active TS and be willing to upgrade to TS/SCI (with polygraph) or have an active TS/SCI and be willing to upgrade to TS/SCI (with polygraph). This role will require candidates to maintain the TS/SCI (with polygraph) clearance. 
  • Citizenship Verification: This position requires verification of US Citizenship to meet federal government security requirements. 

Software Engineering IC5 - The typical base pay range for this role across the U.S. is USD $133,600 - $256,800 per year. There is a different range applicable to specific work locations, within the San Francisco Bay area and New York City metropolitan area, and the base pay range for this role in those locations is USD $173,200 - $282,200 per year.

Microsoft has different base pay ranges for different work locations within the United States, which allows us to pay employees competitively and consistently in different geographic markets (see below). The range above reflects the potential base pay across the U.S. for this role (except as noted below); the applicable base pay range will depend on what ultimately is determined to be the candidate’s primary work location. Individual base pay depends on various factors, in addition to primary work location, such as complexity and responsibility of role, job duties/requirements, and relevant experience and skills. Base pay ranges are reviewed and typically updated each year. Offers are made within the base pay range applicable at the time.

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