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Sr. Lead Software Engineer, Presto Execution Engine

Apply NowApply Later Job ID R-03481 Location Emeryville, California, United States Business Pixar Animation Studios Date posted Jan. 31, 2023

Job Summary:

We are looking for a team-focused and collaborative engineering leader for our Presto Execution Engine team! As the Presto Execution Engine Lead, you will guide the development of the core of Presto, Pixar’s Academy Award-winning in-house animation software used on all of our films, evolving our most essential technologies to the exciting and ever-changing challenges brought by new films and new ways of working. You will lead the integration and further development of this engine into Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD), greatly expanding USD’s capabilities. You will work closely with the group’s director and manager, and collaborate with production and other R&D teams to define the roadmap, balancing short-term needs with long-term strategic direction. In collaboration with your team of software engineers, you will implement new features and maintain the existing system. As the lead, you also play a critical role in mentoring individual contributors on the team, supporting and enabling their career development.


  • Drive solutions to challenging problems that arise from evolving the architecture of software that is heavily exercised in an active production environment

  • Collaborate with other R&D and production teams, as well as external partners to identify needs, discover dependencies and prioritize tasks and available resources

  • Balance short-term needs with strategic direction while keeping focus on long-term goals and continually ensuring that production users are not blocked

  • Provide team members with regular feedback and support them in developing a plan for growth

  • Set technical direction, plan and implement new features, optimize algorithms and data structures, and support and maintain the existing system


  • Start with a strong understanding of C++ that you continually expand upon

  • Express curiosity in deepening your understanding of down to the metal performance characteristics of your code

  • Take pride and passion in planning software architecture that minimizes complexity, scales well, and remains malleable to an ever-evolving film-making pipeline

  • Hold yourself and others to a high bar when it comes to engineering methodologies, like writing maintainable code, providing good documentation, and embracing automated testing

  • Have the ability to listen well and communicate clearly

  • Find fulfillment in mentoring and inspiring individuals, as well as supporting their career growth

  • Able to work hybrid model (4 days a week on campus)

The hiring range for this position in Emeryville is $213,520.00 to $276,320.00 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors.

About Pixar Animation Studios:

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renoinswned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” “Inside Out,” and “Coco.” Its movies have won 35 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $13 billion at the worldwide box office to date.

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: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, Disney Parks, and Experiences and Products. 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 Pixar Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Pixar Animation Studios.

Pixar Inc. 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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