Principal Software Development Engineer

Last updated 4 days ago
Location:Redmond, Washington
Job Type:Full Time

Do you see yourself as a coach, a collaborator, and a customer-focused engineer? Would you be excited to build the technology that allows us to optimize our service on the hundreds of thousands of servers that comprise the Microsoft 365 Substrate Fleet? Do you care deeply about leveraging the latest and greatest hardware innovations to drive performance improvements for online services? We are looking for a Principal Engineer for the Hardware as a Service Org (HaaS) who embraces these roles and is excited by hardware technology.

M365 Substrate is the data and intelligence platform that enables internal partner teams at Microsoft to build, deploy, and maintain compliant productivity apps and services with reduced effort and faster time to market. The HaaS organization is responsible for everything hardware and capacity related for the M365 Substrate - from cradle to grave. Our mission is to enable the delivery of M365 Service at scale with optimized capacity management and greater than 99.9% availability in order to empower every person and organization on the planet.

We are searching for someone to help design future hardware for our server fleet. We deploy at scale, and this is a challenging position that requires both technical and interpersonal excellence.

We are looking for a Principal Software Development Engineer with deep knowledge of hardware who will:

  • Collaborate - Partner with Engineering Managers and Program Managers across the organization to drive hardware improvements into our existing fleet of servers
  • Lead - Advocate for Substrate hardware design and configuration needs within the larger Azure Hardware organization to influence hardware platform decisions that optimize for Substrate workloads
  • Be a Role Model - Embrace our cultural values of inclusion and belonging and help to create an environment where team members can be open, authentic and feel empowered to do their best work
  • Learn - the individual selected for this position will need to be current with industry trends, work with third party silicon and peripheral solutions, understand the needs of our partners in operations (a cheap server is no good if it's not maintainable) and understand the diverse needs of the Susbtrate community to deliver top tier solutions that will address requirements over the multi year lifetime of server hardware
  • Focus on the Customer – Care deeply about the health and availability of our fleet and continuously advocate for Substrate hardware optimization now and in the future


  • Provide leadership within the HaaS Management team to define joint hardware optimization goals.
  • Provide hands-on technical leadership: architecture, design, quality assurance and live site.
  • Partner with Program Management to meet immediate and longer-term business objectives.
  • Collaborate with teams across the company in Office 365, Azure and Bing.
  • Foster a healthy and inclusive team environment.
  • Be a mentor for the people within our organization and help them grow.



  • 10 years of experience designing and developing commercial grade software/hardware, with much of that experience in a large scale, high availability services.


  • BS/BA in computer science, or equivalent in related technical experience. Individuals with a degree in a non-STEM field (or without a degree at all) who have retrained as a software engineer and demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Experience in a role where you have demonstrated a passion for continued learning and for coaching and mentoring others.

Ability 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.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.