Principal SWE Lead

Last updated 3 days ago
Location:Redmond, Washington
Job Type:Full Time

Microsoft’s Cloud Operations and Innovation (CO+I) team builds and operates Microsoft datacenters, which in turn power Microsoft’s cloud business. We anticipate and provide capacity for continuous scale, enabling ~30% of Microsoft revenue through Commercial Cloud ($38 billion in FY20 Q1). The CO+I Engineering team (CO+IE) delivers services, applications, and automation supporting datacenter planning, construction, and operation. We own a large portfolio of services, including workflows that enable predicable, lowest cost datacenter construction, telemetry systems that drive high availability and optimized energy usage, and task and performance management applications that help our operation run as efficiently as possible. CO+I Engineering is a competitive advantage for Microsoft, and an important pillar in its cloud success.


Within CO+I, the Cloud Operation, Innovation and Engineering (CO+IE) organization owns software solutions to enable cost effective execution of data center planning, operations and execution in every data center Microsoft’s cloud services, Azure, run in.

Our focus is on smart growth, high efficiency, and delivering a trusted experience to our customers and partners worldwide. Our solutions orchestrate and coordinate with systems and processes across many teams in Microsoft – creating and driving clean API’s across them. We acknowledge that the world will never be perfect, so our systems deal with it. Hence, we build systems that are dynamic, highly automated, and easy to operate.

We are a tech team with a high business focus. Our processes are agile – adapting to changes and discoveries and delivering incremental value as soon as practical. We partner with many teams across our immediate group and across all Microsoft to leverage each other’s area of expertise. Joining us, you will touch every Engineering group in Microsoft such as Azure, Office365, Exchange, Bing, Windows, and Xbox.

CO+IE systems are developed in a “next generation” solution with frontend written in Angular/REACT/Node and backend written in C#/Python, among other technologies. We leverage Azure components including but not limited to Azure web services, Service Fabric, Azure SQL, Cosmos DB, Data lake, Queues, and Azure Functions. We have a variety of synchronous and asynchronous systems working together to support planning, execution, operations and security at hundreds of datacenters around the world.


We are looking for Principal Software Engineering Lead who is passionate about solving large messy business problems at scale with technology. You will be responsible for end to end deliverables with a high degree of visibility. CO+I is a young organization within Microsoft, and as such, you will be responsible for envisioning, designing NEW features from the ground up! We work at a fast pace, in an Agile environment. You must like to deliver value incrementally in a continuous learning environment. Being a foundational layer of Microsoft means that your individual work will have a broad impact across the entire company.

As a leader, you will be interacting constantly across organizational boundaries and providing thought leadership with your partner teams. You will need to deliver through your team as well as collaborate across teams to deliver greater value to Microsoft. You must love to coach and grow the people on your team.

You should face the world with a combination of hard-nosed realism and clear-eyed optimism that you can make substantial impact. We are keenly interested in engineers familiar with distributed systems, strong background in coding and software design, debugging, and operations experience. We need someone who can contribute to full stack development and devops.

If you enjoy driving innovation in a fast-paced engineering team, passionate about building great user experiences using the latest cutting edge technologies, yearn to build highly scalable distributed services, working across a breadth of CO+I systems in addition to being a depth expert in one or more of those systems this is the right opportunity for you.


  • BS degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

  • 8+ years of experience designing and developing software in distributed, cloud based systems.

  • Expertise in middle tier/backend technologies such as .NET, relational and/or non-relational (NoSQL) databases, web services, ORM, and RESTful concepts

  • Strong problem solving and debugging skills

  • Proven track record of design and technical accomplishment

  • Excellent analytical skills and an ability to abstract concepts and think in terms of OO design

  • Data-driven mind-set. Ability to mine data and persuade your team using effective analysis

  • Strong operator: strong track record in operating in addition to building solutions

  • MS or PhD in Computer Science is a plus

Leadership Qualifications

  • Experience in leading agile and incremental delivery

  • At least four years’ experience leading teams with direct management responsibilities

  • Strong written and verbal communication at all levels (technical, with peers, with leadership, and with execs)

  • Track record of mentoring and growing junior engineers

  • Ability to quickly learn on the job - concepts, processes, technologies

  • Proven track record of driving consensus and action across teams and job families

  • Ability to deliver results despite ambiguity in the requirements and the environment

  • Ability to balance digging in the details and tracking the big picture

  • Focus on solving customer and business problems

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.

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.

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