Staff Data Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Engineering /
As a Wealthfront Data Engineer, you will be challenged to help build a cloud-native Data Analytics Platform that securely manages our clients’ financial data.This is increasingly important with new privacy regulations. Most data platforms use data for reporting and ad hoc analysis. We push the boundaries of real-time decisioning using ML and optimization within our product experiences. Optimized cost to serve high throughput, low latency insights are new challenges to most data engineers today. As part of an agile team in a startup, you will have input, impact and ownership in the entire process rather than be part of a large company assembly line.

Our goal is to provide better experiences and financial outcomes for our clients as we understand their financial situations and aspirations.  To do this, we need to both scale our platform to handle our growing client base and deliver new features that take advantage of the increasing amount of information we have. Our data engineering team is at the center of this exciting challenge.

We’re looking for engineers eager to help scale our existing data infrastructure and build out new compute capabilities. This includes making tradeoffs between online, offline, and streaming architectures, as well as learning the product, the finance domain well enough to understand the impact these decisions will make on clients. As a Staff Data Engineer you will be a driver in the development process on a leading technology team.


    • Help define data platform capabilities and patterns
    • Lead engineering initiatives to deliver on these capabilities
    • Understand and anticipate stakeholder needs and translate needs into deliverable data systems and products
    • Design, develop and operate large-scale data systems and data products
    • Build and scale data infrastructure that powers batch and real-time data processing of hundreds of billions of records daily
    • Design and develop reusable components and frameworks for ingestion, cleansing, and data quality
    • Collaborate with upstream teams and downstream consumers to create expandable data contracts
    • Create data models that represent the business entities and process in a manner that is best suited for the use cases.  Create datasets based on the model that provide performant access
    • Provide visibility into the health of our data platform (comprehensive view of data flow, resources usage, data lineage, etc)
    • Automate and handle the life-cycle of the systems and platforms that process our data.
    • Evolve maturity of our monitoring systems and processes to improve visibility and failures detection in our infrastructure
    • Streamline the intake of raw data into our Data Warehouse
    • Provide implementations to expose actionable data to internal and external partners
    • Develop automation scripts for deployment, continuous integration, and continuous testing
    • Help mentor, guide and grow the technical depth of other members of the team.  
    • Collaborate with data team, product owners, Scrum-master to refine and estimate stories/epics
    • Be an integral part of our scrum team to deliver on commitments on time and with good quality

Education, skills and experience

    • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering or a related field, or equivalent training, fellowship, or work experience.
    • 8+ years of experience with Bachelor’s degree or Masters degree in relevant fields with 6+ years experience in Data engineering / Big Data. 
    • 6+ years of experience working with data technologies that power analytics (e.g. EMR, Spark, Kafka, Airflow, Redshift or Data warehouse, etc)
    • Solid understanding of distributed programming and experience with Spark or Hadoop
    • Deep knowledge of Spark
    • Experience with Kafka/Kinesis/Flume
    • Deep understanding of data persistence (relational, key/value, document, columnar, OLAP)
    • Expert at SQL and query performance tuning
    • Deep understanding of AWS services, and security and how they can be combined to design scalable cloud solutions
    • Familiar with git or any other source/version control and understand concepts of continuous integration and deployment. Experience using any one automated deployment tool (Jenkins preferred)
    • Experience designing DAGs using Airflow/Luigi/Oozie. (Airflow preferred)
    • Skilled at crafting and building robust backend data services (distributed systems, concurrency models).
    • Strong dedication to code quality, automation and operational excellence: unit/integration tests, scripts, workflows
    • Expertise in object-oriented and/or functional programming languages (e.g. Java/Scala, Python)
    • Excellent written and verbal communication and social skills; able to effectively collaborate with partners
    • Detail oriented. Strong prioritization skills and sense of urgency
    • Strong analytical and problem solving skills. Takes pride in efficient designs and accurate results
    • Objectively analyzes the pros, cons, and the tradeoffs of a design path and helps the team to arrive at the most optimal solution, which may not be their own
    • Loves to learn and experiment with new technologies and shares findings with the team
    • Effective team player. Honest and respectful of others

Additional preferred skills

    • AWS Certifications
    • Functional programming
    • Experience with Infrastructure as Code technologies like AWS Cloud Formation/Terraform
    • Experience with Chef, Jenkins and similar build tools
    • Experience with Container technology (like Docker)
    • Experience with Apache Flink (or any CEP tool) is nice to have
    • Experience with at least one ETL tool (Informatica Cloud, Talend, etc.)
    • Familiarity with machine learning and data analysis packages is nice to have SciPy/NumPy/MatplotLib, R, SAS, SPSS but not required
    • Familiar with how reporting software works (Tableau/AWS Quicksight/Superset  etc.)
Everyone across the financial spectrum deserves to live secure and rewarding lives. In order to successfully serve clients across the United States, the Wealthfront team is focused on hiring team members with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

About Wealthfront

Wealthfront is a nextgen banking and investing service. We offer high-interest checking with our Cash Account, help you build your net worth with automated investing, automate your savings strategy with our service Autopilot, and give you a single view of your finances with our intuitive mobile app.

Our ultimate vision is to optimize and automate all of our clients’ finances and build what we call Self-Driving Money™️. We want clients to be able to automatically deposit their paycheck into their Wealthfront account, and let us take care of the rest — paying their bills, topping off their emergency fund or 401(k), and investing the rest based on their specific goals and lifestyle. To get there, we’ll be focusing the bulk of our efforts on creating a better alternative to what the banking industry provides. Join us so you can help us turn this industry on its head and build a service that our clients don't just like, they love.