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Performance & Benchmarking Engineer

San Mateo, CA | Engineering

Job Description


About You

For you, there is nothing like the satisfaction of seeing a huge cluster of servers churning through massive amounts of data quickly and efficiently.  Our ultra high performance software powered by our Fractal Cache(tm) and Adaptive Job Synthesis(tm) technology is the perfect playground for you to learn about and measure the performance of large scale, distributed systems.  You love measuring performance, looking for anomalies and finding where the system breaks down.  You have a thorough understanding of distributed systems, clustered servers, and query processing: You have mastered best practices in the black arts of performance measurement including tuning, modeling workloads, lab configurations, and automated nightly runs.  You love the “aha!” moment when you figure out what went wrong or how to speed things up.  You are analytical, precise and generally a very curious person.  You must find out how fast the car will actually go and then figure out how to make it go faster.

The Role

Performance is critical to our success.  You’ll be responsible for leading the charge in the never-ending pursuit of faster and faster data analysis against ever-growing volumes of data (Big Data).  You’ll utilize your broad skill set to perform many functions, including setting up performance labs, writing benchmarks, cataloging results, finding and fixing problems, and improving system performance.

You will develop and use tools to understand and characterize system performance and scalability.  You will work with the engineering team to find and fix performance bottlenecks and initiate improvements in architecture and underlying code.  In some cases, you may contribute solutions directly.

You will be immersed in many technologies, including distributed systems, materialized views, multi-query optimization, distributed querying, scalable distributed data structures, main-memory databases, and fault-tolerant architectures.

You will work with development teams that are designing/architecting our platform as well as customers and field personnel to understand customer workloads and model them efficiently.  The Performance Engineer will focus on developing practical and sophisticated tests and benchmarks that enable Platfora to perform complex load simulations in order to understand and improve end to end system performance.  You must understand system architectures, isolate / pinpoint problem areas, and develop test plans that span hardware and software tiers with little more than verbal conversation.


  • 3+ years industry experience or equivalent
  • A distinguished track record on technically demanding projects
  • Ability to find root cause of performance bottlenecks
  • Skilled with object-oriented scripting language such as python or ruby
  • Expert in a high level object-oriented language like Java or C++
  • Working knowledge of TCP/IP, networking topology, routers, switches
  • Working knowledge of network packet sniffers and unix log file analysis
  • Comfortable in a linux environment
  • Ability to identify potential limitations in software architectures
  • Understanding of throughput, latency, memory and CPU utilization
  • BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or equivalent work experience
  • Outstanding attention to detail and communication skills

Desired Skills:

  • 3 years of performance analysis / benchmarking
  • Deep knowledge of Java and its internals (e.g. JVM performance tuning)
  • Good understanding of JMX.
  • Experience using “Big Data” technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem
  • Familiar with Java Debugging / Monitoring Software (e.g. JProbe, YourKit, Dynatrace, Introscope)
  • Familiar with SQL query plan analysis/tuning, contention/locking analysis and tuning
  • Familiar with SQL replication, memcache
  • Experience with agile development methodology

What You Can Expect

We are laser focused on building the next great data company. If you join us, you can expect to work with talented, driven, creative and results-oriented co-workers who also bring joy and balance to their work. Your compensation will include meaningful equity ownership and a competitive salary and benefits.

About Us

Platfora is revolutionizing the way companies work with big data. We are a Hadoop company - but not focused on the low-level plumbing like the other guys. We make Hadoop useful and unlock Big Data in amazingly interactive ways for everyday business users and analysts. To get there, we are building an extraordinary team of Big Data and scalable systems experts, rock-star data scientists, and sublime UX/visualization designers. Join us on the journey ahead!


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