Principal Engineer

As a Principal Engineer at Coinbase, you will be a steward of our architecture, operations, scale, and security. You will architect, design, and review platforms that support the company’s vision across crypto, fiat, identity, application engineering, and other domains. You will span technologies from mobile to cloud to the blockchain. You will work to make our systems safe, our developers productive, and our deliverables trustworthy. You will look outward as well as inward, aligning our executive team and product strategy with changes in technology, and help us create an innovative culture where we are agents of those changes.

While you need to be strategic in your thinking, this is also very much a “hands-on” job – there are no ivory towers or “architecture-only” roles. You should be able to dive deep into code and implement complex systems where necessary. You must be willing to operate without boundaries and be able and willing to fix problems anywhere you find them – in testing, deployment, operations, security, or strategy, as much as in development and architecture. You must be able to care about a single line of code as much as the company’s vision and strategic investments.

What we look for in you:
  • 10+ years of experience providing technical leadership and direction for software engineering and development.
  • Solid technical skills for design and coding.
  • BS in Computer Science or a related technical field or equivalent.
  • Experience with distributed systems and large scale engineering challenges.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a bias toward open, transparent cultural practices.
  • Excellent skills of mentoring, maturity, dealing with conflict and communication both within the team and across the product group and/or all of engineering.
  • Comfortable leading large cross-functional initiatives, and collaborating with product managers, UX designers, and engineering teams.
  • Embodies our values: Positive energy, continuous learning, clear communication, efficient execution, and commitment to building an inclusive environment.
Nice to haves:
  • You use Coinbase products
  • MS or Ph.D. in Computer Science or a related technical field
  • Have previous experience at a fast paced, high growth stage internet/software company
What you’ll be doing:
  • Design, develop, deploy, and operate technical architecture and systems. Identify opportunities to improve existing systems/workflows for performance, speed, and accuracy.
  • Coach and mentor engineers by giving actionable feedback and setting clear goals. Assist in calibrating and developing the engineering team as a whole.
  • Ensure the team’s clarity on project requirements, build effective technical project roadmaps and plans, and ship high-quality products.
  • Review all feature designs within your product area and across the company for cross-cutting projects. Own the security, safety, scale, operational integrity, and architectural clarity of these designs.
  • Promote engineering and operational excellence, establishing metrics and process for regular assessment and improvement. Participate and steer operational reviews and hold both ICs and managers accountable for improvements. Advocate for improving the customer experience created by our architecture and code outcomes.
  • Help with leadership recruiting efforts for hiring senior engineers and managers.
  • Steer the team’s goals and help guide the technical direction of the company. Partner with the executive team to review and making judgments involving complex technical topics.
  • Understand the trends within the company and in the industry at large. Call out problematic ideas and give appropriate push-back to engineers, managers, and executives.
  • Help the company avoid problematic technologies, designs, and business outcomes.
  • Debug difficult technical problems, and make systems and products work better and easier to deploy, own, operate and diagnose.
  • Deliver technical and process changes to help the company move fast.


Buy and sell digital currency.

Technology we use