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Systems Engineer

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 833222BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Jul. 30, 2021

Job Summary:

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ world-class filmmakers, artists and technical magicians collaborate to create the magic of animation. Bring your unique talents, passion and ideas to our team and prepare to play in a creative, artist-friendly environment.

We are adding one more talented engineer to our Technology team. In this role, you will partner with artists, production leadership, technical directors, other systems and software engineers, and technology leadership on the design and implementation of foundational infrastructure services motivated by the needs of content production at Walt Disney Animation Studios. The ideal candidate will enjoy the diversity and challenges of working at various levels in the software stack, from core compute and data management to developing APIs and intuitive user interfaces. All projects have in common the pursuit of simple and performant solutions to complex problems, using agile development methodologies as part of high-energy, proficient teams.

The engineer filling this role will engage with team members and stakeholders on a variety of projects depending on studio needs.


  • High performance parallel computation
  • Distributed job scheduling algorithms with associated artist workflows
  • Highly efficient data management and storage orchestration
  • Data mining and machine learning
  • Intuitive data visualization design

Our engineers are highly supportive of each other and our stakeholders. You will be expected to demonstrate self-direction when needed, and also be comfortable supporting your team by bringing fresh insight for shared problem solving. Also critical to success in this role is the ability to build trusted relationships with technical and non-technical users to understand their needs and pain points intimately, and deliver relevant solutions.

Specifically as it pertains to this role, this position resides within the Platform Engineering team at Walt Disney Animation Studios. This team designs and builds our infrastructure platform, from core services to large-scale high performance computer systems. By creating a dynamic infrastructure, Platform Engineering provides the foundation that bridges the hardware/software boundary.


The Systems Engineer will work within the Platform Engineering team collaborate with the Production and Technology teams to provide highly available and scalable core infrastructure services that are hosted within our on-premise data center and/or cloud providers. This includes system analysis, design, troubleshooting, and integration of new products and developing tools and strategies to improve existing systems.


  • Partner closely with stakeholders and technical teams to deploy, manage, and optimize systems and services on our on-premise infrastructure and cloud environments.
  • Prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the construction and expansion of our systems so updates and other maintenance tasks don't get in the way of daily operations.
  • Inspire and motivate others through technical excellence and best-in-class engineering practices.
  • Actively participate in team discussions and challenge the status quo when appropriate.
  • Publish and maintain detailed documentation in regards to our processes and workflows.
  • Standardize and automate processes and services using script based solutions.
  • Routinely test software for issues, bugs, and security issues.
  • Conduct high-level root-cause analysis for service interruption and establish preventive measures.

Key Qualifications

  • Hands-on, proven expertise with developing technical solutions involving multiple applications to solve business and production needs
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, particularly in working within teams and among stakeholders
  • Expertise in Linux, MacOS, and/or Windows systems administration in a professional environment
  • Experience managing cloud based solutions using VMware, AWS, GCP, and/or Kubernetes
  • Experience with LDAP, DNS, SSO, MDM, SMTP, system performance-monitoring tools, virtualization, HTTP, email routing and administration, interacting with REST APIs for application integration and automation, and familiarity with authentication standards
  • Knowledge of programming with Python and other scripting languages such as bash, Perl, etc.
  • Knowledge of Git or other version control systems
  • Ability to query and visualize data using tools like Grafana, Kibana, and/or ElasticSearch.
  • Excellent troubleshooting and problem solving skills
  • Understanding of TCP/IP networks, troubleshooting, and related technologies
  • BS in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering; or comparable industry experience


  • Experience with Kubernetes, Docker, Rancher, Helm and CI/CD experience
  • Experience administrating Storage technologies (for example: object stores, NFS, pNFS, and/or Ceph)

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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