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Software Engineer - Studios Pipeline Infrastructure

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 808624BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Jun. 08, 2021

Job Summary:

At Walt Disney Animation Studios we have a deep commitment to the philosophy that creativity inspires technology, and technology inspires creativity. Engineers in our Production Technology department are charged with developing and implementing new solutions for unique and challenging problems for all of our animated content. We do this working alongside a user base that shares a collaborative environment with us, and uses the code we develop to make our feature films.

We are adding one more talented developer to our Technology team. In this role, you will partner with technical directors, other software engineers, and technology leadership on the design and implementation of new studio infrastructure to service the needs of film production at Walt Disney Animation Studios.


The ideal candidate will enjoy a diverse set of challenges in building up and operating solutions which span the full software stack, from backend services and infrastructure to developing APIs and artist-facing tooling. All projects share a common goal of simple and performant solutions to complex problems, and use agile development methodologies as part of high-energy, proficient teams. The developer filling this role should welcome being assigned to a variety of projects, depending on studio needs.

Projects Include

  • Building frameworks to enable rapid development and modification of pipeline tools for a service-oriented infrastructure
  • Identifying common patterns which could benefit from centralized APIs
  • Developing and integrating newly built pipeline services in existing and future pipelines
  • Helping to design, refine, and implement the asset model for current and future
    production pipelines around USD
  • Contributing to the realization of a studio’s vision of a collaborative, media-centric artist

What does it mean to be a developer here at WDAS?

  • Our engineers get the opportunity to work on the full stack of our tools, from developing underlying infrastructure through building intuitive artist-friendly interfaces.
  • Work hand in hand with artists to make the tools we need for the incredibly complex and rich characters and environments featured in our movies.
  • Develop on top of a highly performant, extensible in-house application framework.
  • Develop new artist-centric interaction models using the latest hardware and technologies.

Key Qualifications

  • BS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or other related field; or comparable industry experience
  • Strong experience with Python and C++ (up to x11/x14)
  • Strong software design, engineering, and prioritization skills
  • 2+ years experience designing and developing service-oriented infrastructure
  • Ability to identify, research, integrate, and adapt new technologies quickly as business needs evolve
  • Exemplary communication, team working and problem-solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with their sustainability
  • Effective listener: able to engage with engineers and artists to understand their requirements and infer practical solutions

Bonus Qualifications

  • Production experience working as an Artist or Technical Director (in VFX, animation)
  • Familiarity with Maya, Houdini, Nuke, and USD
  • Experience designing and building production pipelines
  • Familiarity with DevOps practices, principles, and tools
  • Exposure to Relational, Graph, and NoSQL DBs (e.g. PostgreSQL, Cassandra, Couchbase, Redis, Elasticsearch)
  • Experience with Linux and macOS system administration

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 2019’s Frozen 2, 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 or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. 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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