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Senior Software Engineer-Optimization

Burbank, CA - US

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Job ID 634667BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted 31/01/2019

Job Summary:

At Walt Disney Animation Studios there is a deep commitment to the philosophy that creativity drives technology, and technology drives creativity. This means that the engineers in our Production Technology department are charged with developing, and implementing, new algorithms to solve unique and challenging problems for all of our films. We do this working alongside a user base who utilizes the code we develop on a daily basis to create our feature films.

Projects Include:
  • Parallel Execution Engine backing a custom animation system.
  • Highly interactive ray traced rendering solutions.
  • Software for high quality cloth, hair and F/X simulations.


We are looking for a Senior Software Engineer to join our Production Technology team, to champion and target high performance computing in multiple domains. In this role, you will partner with artists, studio leadership, technical directors, cross-team software engineers, Disney Research, and other stakeholders across the Walt Disney Studios. Your work will focus on the design and implementation of innovative workflows, as well as state-of-the-art solutions motivated by our long term vision for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

About Technology at Walt Disney Animation Studios:
  • We have a compute farm that can scale to over 100,000 cores
  • All of our software is developed for the latest multi-core, multi-socket machines.
  • Acceleration hardware matters to us - we are motivated to achieve high performance on whatever hardware platform can achieve the best results in practice.
  • We care deeply about writing performant, scalable, threaded code that utilizes the latest software and technologies.
  • We collaborate frequently with our business partners at Pixar, ILM, and Disney Research.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Key Qualifications:
  • Proficiency in C++, ideally C++11/14.
  • Experience with memory management, concurrency and high-performance multi-threaded code and optimization.
  • Extensive experience with performance measurement, profiling and analysis.
  • Knowledge of emerging trends in multi-core CPU/GP-GPU space.
  • Strong software design skills.
  • The ability to quickly produce clear, testable code.
  • Strong communication, teamwork and problem solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with their sustainability. Able to prioritize competing demands based on business value.
  • BS or Masters in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of animation, graphics techniques and algorithms.
  • Strong mathematical fundamentals, including linear algebra and numerical methods.
  • Experience with Intel TBB, MPI, or other parallel languages.
  • Experience with programming on the GPU using OpenGL, OpenCL, CUDA.
  • Understanding of CPU microarchitecture.
  • Experience with game engines such as Unreal, Unity, Lumberyard.
  • Ability to demonstrate strong technical leadership.

Required Education

  • BS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field

Preferred Education

  • Masters in Computer Science

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013's Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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