Senior Principal Engineer - Compute Platform

    • Fastly
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Posted 31 days ago | Updated 11 hours ago


On Site
USD 228,280.00 - 285,350.00 per year
Full Time


Systems architecture
Technical writing
Virtual team
Customer experience
IT strategy
Open source
Programming languages
Problem solving
Network protocols
Cloud computing
WebAssembly (Wasm)
Software development

Job Details

Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly's edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers' applications as close to their end-users as possible - at the edge of the Internet. The platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development. Fastly's customers include many of the world's most prominent companies, including Vimeo, Pinterest, The New York Times, and GitHub.

We're building a more trustworthy Internet. Come join us.

Fastly's Compute Platform is the ultimate flexible edge compute platform. Our unique serverless platform scales workloads globally, without our customers lifting a single finger to manage their edge infrastructure. The platform is a generic compute platform, primarily built in Rust, that executes arbitrary WebAssembly programs across our global POP footprint. In partnership with the WebAssembly community, we're developing new ecosystem capabilities and expanding first-class programming language and tooling support for Fastly's Compute Platform.

We are looking for a Senior Principal Engineer who thrives on designing and navigating the path from today's systems architecture to tomorrow's strategy and cares deeply about everything from efficiency and scale to the developer experience our customers have when writing programs that run at our edge. You will make a massive impact on the entire organization - Fastly's Compute engine is not just used by our customers, it is the substrate that Fastly builds on internally - the underpinning of all of Fastly's Edge

You will drive the architecture of the Fastly Compute Platform. You'll be deeply hands-on and technical - writing code, designing systems, shipping features, solving for scale and efficiency, collaborating with engineers in and outside the team and guiding and mentoring junior teammates. We are a distributed team that prioritizes customer experience, reliability and efficiency and working together. You will act as the technical leader to the organization, partnering with the Senior Director of Compute Platform, Senior Managers and team leads. You will keep the goals of the greater engineering organization at top of mind while forging deep connections with other senior principal Engineers, senior leadership, and engineers across the company.

What You'll Do:
  • Maintain a broad understanding of how critical systems work together - your work will span everything from scaling our platform infrastructure, WebAssembly, and the Fastly Compute SDKs
  • Design, implement, and maintain critical Compute systems and features with a focus on performance, resilience and scalability
  • Anticipate where and when systems will need to be adapted to meet our growth needs
  • Articulate technical strategy via design documents
  • Sequence the technical building blocks required to enable durable innovation
  • Guide, share knowledge, and lead teams toward implementing cross functional systems
  • Enable outcome driven, collaborative discussions utilizing the deep technical knowledge of the teams you work with
  • Mentor and provide regular feedback to engineers
  • Lead by example. Be an active implementer and team member
  • Work with engineering and product leadership across the company
  • Help guide and debug the organization to successfully implement the vision
  • Partner with Sr Engineering leaders to build and execute in both internal & open source contexts

What We're Looking For:
  • 10+ years of hands-on experience as an engineer building complex, reliable, and highly efficient systems
  • Recent experience developing applications that are deployed on bare metal servers
  • Recent experience with systems programming languages such as Rust, C or C++
  • A strong communicator who can articulate and execute on broad technical vision
  • A collaborative leader and problem solving starting from first principles
  • Demonstrated success choosing pragmatic solutions over perfect solutions to ship timely features
  • Someone who balances the need for collaboration while avoiding design by committee or autocratic decision making
  • Experience traversing a matrixed organization in order to drive meaningful technical change
  • A customer centric mindset - our primary users are developers!
  • Experience building software that makes efficient use of system resources in order to scale.
  • A grounding in open source ecosystems, community specific tooling and trends
  • Someone with proven experience building systems that are easily operated

We'll be super impressed if you have experience in any of these:
  • WebAssembly or other container based technologies
  • Compilers
  • Network protocols and architectures
  • Developer tooling & developer focused product lines
  • Open source

Work Hours

This position will require you to be available during core North American business hours, and available to support the team through incidents that require escalation.

Work Locations & Travel Requirements:

This position is open to both hybrid and remote locations.

The preferred locations for this position are:
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Denver, CO

Fastly currently embraces a largely hybrid model for most roles which allows employees flexibility to split their time between the office and home.

We are willing to consider remote candidates in US (Remote) and Canada (Remote).

This position may require travel as required by your role or requested by your manager. Travel is required 1-2 times a quarter depending on need. Travel is typically to an office location for events like tech summits, team summits, and planning activities.


The estimated salary range for this position if hired in the United States is $228,280 to $285,350.

Starting salary may vary based on permissible, non-discriminatory factors such as experience, skills, qualifications, and location.

This role may be eligible to participate in Fastly's equity and discretionary bonus programs.


We care about you. Fastly works hard to create a positive environment for our employees, and we think your life outside of work is important too. We support our teams with great benefits that start on the first day of your employment with Fastly. Curious about our offerings?

We offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance. Family planning, mental health support along with Employee Assistance Program, Insurance (Life, Disability, and Accident), an open vacation policy and up to 18 days of accrued paid sick leave are there to help support our employees. We also offer 401(k) (including company match) and an Employee Stock Purchase Program. For 2023, we offer 10 paid local holidays, 11 paid company wellness days.

Why Fastly?
  • We have a huge impact. Fastly is a small company with a big reach. Not only do our customers have a tremendous user base, but we also support a growing number of open source projects and initiatives . Outside of code, employees are encouraged to share causes close to their heart with others so we can help lend a supportive hand.
  • We love distributed teams. Fastly's home-base is in San Francisco, but we have multiple offices and employees sprinkled around the globe. As a new hire, you will be able to attend our IN-PERSON new hire orientation in our San Francisco office! It is an exciting week-long experience that we offer to new employees to build connections with colleagues across Fastly, participate in hands-on learning opportunities, and immerse yourself in our culture firsthand.
  • We value diversity. Growing and maintaining our inclusive and diverse team matters to us. We are committed to being a company where our employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work and have the ability to be successful -- every day.
  • We are passionate. Fastly is chock full of passionate people and we're not 'one size fits all'. Fastly employs authors, pilots, skiers, parents (of humans and animals), makeup geeks, coffee connoisseurs, and more. We love employees for who they are and what they are passionate about.

We're always looking for humble, sharp, and creative folks to join the Fastly team. If you think you might be a fit please apply! A fully completed application and resume or CV are required when applying.

Fastly is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity and to providing employees with a safe and welcoming work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Our employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, family or parental status, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and federal or state disability laws, Fastly will provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact your Recruiter, or the Fastly Employee Relations team at or .

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