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Principal Platform Engineer

Rolling Deadline  |  Full-Time Job  |  San Francisco, CA US


Job Details
Principal Platform Engineer
The Principal Platform Engineer is a key asset to the PLOS Engineering team, providing foundational expertise for building the next generation of PLOS software on Google Compute Platform (GCP).

The Principal Platform Engineer draws on a diversity of experience in software engineering, reliability engineering, and cloud architecture to collaboratively design, build, and maintain modern cloud-native solutions to power the ongoing revolution in open science.

As a senior role, this position demands not only advanced technical mastery, but also strong leadership and communication skills. Senior engineers are essential to our design and review process, serve as mentors to developing talent, and interact at a high level with product managers and business stakeholders.

Engineering @PLOS
We are a small, passionate, cross-functional team, bringing together software, reliability, and testing engineers to build the software and systems that power PLOS.

We embrace and contribute to free and open source software, and we make time for personal projects, hackathons, and other social events, as we build and maintain everything from publishing systems to data pipelines to innovative new products.

Increasingly distributed, we maintain highly collaborative relationships and coordinate our efforts through agile methodologies and modern engineering practices. Deeply pragmatic in our approach to engineering, our culture also values diversity, agility, and experimentation, and we genuinely endeavor to live up to our values.

Key Responsibilities
Guide ongoing transition from bespoke application stacks to cloud-native solutions
Mentor reliability and software engineers who are new to cloud engineering
Work with product owners and stakeholders to refine requirements and estimates
Translate business requirements into reliable, scalable, performant system designs
Define Infrastructure as Code and manage all aspects of platform lifecycle
Contribute to software application development, operations, and release engineering
Document contributions and collaborate to improve documentation efforts and strategy
Constructively review code, documentation, and work output of other contributors
Design monitoring and feedback systems, and drive implementation and adoption
Improve and expand strategy and tactics for Continuous Integration and Delivery
Manage Kubernetes clusters, cloud-native services/infrastructure, and the occasional VM
Contribute to expanding data engineering efforts and initiatives
Benchmark, analyze, troubleshoot, and improve application performance/operations
Continuously identify and implement process and technology improvements
Provide cross-functional expertise across engineering disciplines and business units
Handle escalations during periodic on-call rotations
Required Qualifications & Experience
7+ years of professional software, reliability, data or combined engineering experience
3+ years of professional experience implementing software applications in GCP
Deep understanding of modern software and systems engineering theory and practice
Ability to translate requirements into scalable, maintainable designs
Mastery of at least one of our preferred programming languages (java, python, javascript), and fluency in at least one more
Thorough understanding of modern software development tools
Basic proficiency with gnu/linux (particularly debian/ubuntu), shell tools and scripting
Extensive experience with docker, container tooling and workflows
Deep knowledge of Kubernetes and experience running complex applications on it
Experience defining Infrastructure as Code (terraform experience highly preferred)
Expert at designing and managing CI/CD pipelines
Functional literacy of SQL, NOSQL, and document index databases and design patterns
Fluent in distributed systems theory, with practical operations experience
High-level network engineering & security skills
Ability to improve all levels of system design, operations, and maintenance
Intrinsic motivation, project management skills, and high productivity
Excellent communication skills, ability to work with stakeholders and lead meetings
Ability and desire to mentor other engineers and non-technical staff
Desirable Attributes
Professional level GCP certification
Terraform mastery
Passion for metrics, automation, and feedback loops
Commitment to testing and quality
Security testing and remediation experience
Data engineering & design experience
Experience with SOLR and/or Lucene-based search technologies
Familiarity with XML, XSLT, and/or XML publishing pipelines
Experience with configuration management (salt, ansible, chef, etc.) tools
Experience with VMWare and/or Nutanix platforms
Extensive leadership experience
At PLOS, we were founded for the principles of equitable access and leveraging diverse insight for our collective progress – it’s core to who we are. Equal employment opportunity isn’t just a box we check; more than just accepting distinct perspectives, we seek and support them because we know they strengthen our teams, our work, and our communities. We’re ever-evolving in our journey for representation and equity, and strongly encourage applicants with diverse identities to apply: you’ll find a group of critical thinkers eager to challenge the status quo and learn with you as we continue breaking barriers to open science.

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