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Software Development Lead - AR/VR Experiences

Glendale, California, United States

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Job ID 778583BR Location Glendale, California, United States Business The Walt Disney Studios Date posted Mar. 31, 2021

Job Summary:

The Walt Disney Studios Technology Innovation Group (TIG) is looking for an experienced technology and innovation practitioner to serve as the Technology Innovation Software Development Lead. He/she will help TIG to develop our advanced platforms and systems including technology such as Augmented and Virtual Reality, Advanced Rendering systems, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and Creative Collaboration. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an ability to drive tangible results. The candidate must understand key business and financial drivers for the company and align research goals accordingly. He/she will develop and protect strategic IP that advances the ability of the company to do business. He/she will develop prototypes and proof of concepts that demonstrates core concepts and ideas.

To be successful in this role, you must be curious, innovative, a quick learner, and have a strong understanding of the key technologies that will drive and advance the ideation, production, distribution and presentation of Disney content and experiences. As part of this, you will work seamlessly with key internal stakeholders and external innovation partners. You need to have solid communication abilities and work well in complex cross-functional teams. An ability to be flexible and work in a dynamic and extremely fast-paced environment to meet the needs of our business are critical to success. Experience developing many concurrent projects a plus.


  • Drive the design and development of TIG’s advanced platforms, systems, and applications
  • Drive the adoption of new technology that is along the TIG technology roadmap in particular AR/VR technology, advanced interactive graphics, and machine learning algorithms
  • Establish and maintain an effective organizational and communications structure with an emphasis on agility, quality, and efficiency
  • Aid in the creation of proof-of-concepts that incorporate many technology layers
  • Hands-on development developing working, readable, testable and maintainable source code
  • Manage relationships with outside vendors and partners
  • Manage project financials as required
  • Facilitate meetings as required

Technical and Operational Skills

  • The ideal candidate will have demonstrated expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Real-Time Graphics: Real-time computer graphics hardware and software, game engine technology (particularly Unity and iOS Native development), and interactive graphics techniques
    • Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual reality and augmented reality hardware and software, tools, technologies and techniques. Experience capturing, creating, and driving digital humans and avatars a plus
    • Mobile Device Development: Mobile device hardware and software, tools, technologies and techniques. Experience developing high-end 3D interactive graphics and AR/VR applications on mobile devices (using game engines and coding to the metal) a plus
    • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: Techniques, pipelines, and processing for artificial intelligence applications, including statistical machine learning and deep learning approaches
  • Familiarity and experience with technology used for visual effects and digital content creation, with a focus on the technology used in the creation of high-end cinematic content, including production techniques, deliverables, formats, and workflows
  • Strong overall understanding of general-purpose computer systems including cloud, network, server, desktop, tablet and mobile form factors

Basic Qualifications:

  • Advanced Degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or related field or equivalent professional experience
  • 5+ years of technology-focused industry experience
  • Experience in Media & Entertainment, Theme Parks, or experience with VFX and/or Animation pipelines a plus.
  • Proficient in both high-level scripting languages (e.g. Python) and lower-level compiled languages (e.g. C/C++)
  • Deep knowledge of computer graphics (lighting, shading, rigging, fx, etc)
  • Proficient with computer graphics content creation tools (Maya, Houdini, Nuke, etc)
  • Proficient with game engine technology (e.g. Unity, Unreal, RealityKit).
  • Experience with AR/VR and related technology ; ARKit/ARCore experience a plus
  • Experience developing apps for public release (e.g. iOS technology)
  • Familiar with agile development philosophy and practices
  • Familiar with Machine Learning tools and techniques, especially as applied to 3D interactive experiences
  • Experience leading small to mid-sized software development teams a plus
  • Experience leading/managing 3rd party vendors

    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Enjoys the unknown and navigates ambiguity with a composed demeanor
    • Distills large, complex problems into small, testable pieces that iterate towards a final implementation with clear checkpoints and risk assessments
    • Has an aesthetic sense, and understands how visual needs translate into technical requirements
    • Is a great communicator, written and verbal

    Preferred Education

    • Master's or Ph.D. in Engineering, Computer Science, or related field a plus

    About The Walt Disney Studios:

    For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!. Ours is a culture of innovation, inspiration and collaboration that brings together visionary artists, gifted technologists and savvy business minds to conjure up magical entertainment experiences for a global audience.

    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 The Walt Disney 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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