Principal Distributed Systems Engineer

San Mateo, CA US
AWS Azure GCP Java C++

Build the future of data. Join the Snowflake team.

The Service runtime team’s mission is to deliver a modern, distributed, cloud-native service fabric that ensures Snowflake can scale infinitely to meet rapidly growing customer demand across multiple cloud providers.

Today the service platform manages the lifecycle for thousands of VMs and millions of customer jobs globally.  It delivers a rich set of monitoring, diagnostic, and configuration management services to ensure the system runs efficiently.

This is just the beginning.  We need to continue innovating and designing for the future.  We are seeking talented Principal Distributed Systems Engineers to lead strategic initiatives to support new workloads being built for the Snowflake Data Cloud while ensuring scalability, efficiency, and availability continues to exceed our customer demand.

You’ll work with some of the brightest engineers in the industry to deliver impactful results. To be successful, you’ll need to be deeply technical and capable of holding your own with other strong peers.  You possess excellent communication, collaboration and diplomacy skills. You have many years of experience developing, deploying and operating large scale systems.


  • Lead significant engineering efforts in the Service team and beyond
  • Lead improvements to scalability, reliability, service health, supportability, observability and manageability of the product
  • As a domain expert, understand the state of the art, the design of competitive products, and be familiar with research in the area of distributed services
  • Develop and lead new ideas and innovations
  • Make contributions at the company-wide level with longer-term objectives, usually 1-3 years in duration.
  • Be a key decision-maker on technical or business issues, which significantly impacts roles and responsibilities of others
  • Regularly explore uncharted territory. Be aware of business trends and emerging technologies even outside the current business and determine how they can be leveraged to the advantage of Snowflake


  • 12+ years hands-on software engineering experience
  • 6+ years of experience building large scale distributed, fault-tolerant services
  • Strong experience with database fundamentals including working with relational data, semi-structured data, and unstructured data
  • Strong systems programming skills including multi-threading, concurrency, caching, batching, etc.
  • Fluency in Java and C++ required
  • Strong experience with service-oriented architectures
  • Track record of identifying and implementing creative solutions
  • Experience with cloud infrastructure - AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud
  • Masters or PhD in Computer Science or a related field

Every Snowflake employee is expected to follow the company’s confidentiality and security standards for handling sensitive data. Snowflake employees must abide by the company’s data security plan as an essential part of their duties. It is every employee's duty to keep customer information secure and confidential.

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