Sr. Principal Engineer, Compute

Annual salary, USD
228,280 - 285,350
Job function
Software Engineering
Job type
Full Time,
Job posted
Apply before
24 Apr 2024

About Fastly

Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables the best of the web to thrive, and helps you deliver better online experiences.

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.

We are looking for a Senior Principal Engineer who thrives on designing and navigating the path from today’s systems architecture and the systems strategy for tomorrow.

As a Senior Principal Engineer you will drive the architecture of our Fastly Compute platform. You’ll be hands on. Writing code, designing systems, solving for scale and efficiency, collaborating with engineers in and outside the team and guiding and mentoring. The compute platform is the underpinning of the Fastly Edge. The impact potential of this role within the broader organization is huge because Fastly’s Compute engine is not just used by our customers. It is the substrate that Fastly builds on internally. The platform is a generic compute platform that executes arbitrary WebAssembly programs across our global POP footprint. We deeply care about everything from efficiency and scale to the developer experience our customers have when writing programs that run at our edge.

You will act as the technical leader to the organization, partnering with the Senior Director of compute, managers and team leads. Importantly you will keep the goals of the engineering organization at large, top of mind. This means forging deep connections with other senior principal Engineers, senior leadership, and engineers across the company. The kinds of problems you will be encountering will span everything from scaling our platform infrastructure, WebAssembly, and the Fastly Compute SDKs. We are a team that prioritizes customer experience, reliability and efficiency and working together.

What You’ll Do

  • Maintain a broad understanding of how critical systems work together
  • Anticipate where and when system will need to adapted to meet our growth needs
  • Articulate technical strategy via design documents
  • Sequence the technical building blocks required to enable internal and cross functional company goals.
  • Guide, share knowledge and lead teams toward implementing cross functional systems.
  • 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
  • Work directly with Engineering Managers and team leads to make the vision a reality
  • Work with a distributed engineering team
  • Partner with Sr Engineering leaders to build and execute in both internal & open source contexts.
  • Work in close partnership with engineering leaders to build out and execute on everything from system design to engineering best practices

What We’re Looking For

  • 10+ years of hands-on experience as an engineer building  complex, large-scale, reliable, highly distributed systems with a focus on efficiency and performance optimization.
  • A track record of building and evolving efficient and reliable globally distributed systems
  • A strong communicator who can articulate and execute on broad technical vision
  • Someone who can lead collaborative problem solving starting from first principles
  • Able to take inputs and move fast, avoiding design by committee or autocratic decision making
  • Experience traversing an 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.
  • Someone with experience or knowledge of the WebAssembly ecosystem
  • A grounding in open source ecosystems, community specific tooling and trends.
  • A sense of how to be a good citizen in open source ecosystems, and advancing of company goals

We’ll be super impressed if you have experience in any of these

  • WebAssembly or other container based technologies
  • Compilers
  • Network protocols and architectures
  • SRE or operational experience
  • 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 Location(s) & Travel Requirements

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

This position is open to applicants in any Fastly US location, with preference on the following office locations:

  • San Francisco
  • Denver

We may consider highly qualified remote applicants in the US and Canada.

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 other office locations for events like tech summits, team summits, and planning activities.


The estimated salary range for this position 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), a non-accrual 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 2024, we offer 10 paid local holidays, 11 paid company wellness days.

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.

Apply now >


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What position is Fastly hiring for?

Fastly is hiring a remote Sr. Principal Engineer, Compute from 🇺🇸 USA, 🇨🇦 Canada

What type of employment does Fastly offer?

This is a Full Time role.


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