Job Title: Principal Engineer

Location: London

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Salary: Competitive

Duration: Permanent

Posted: 28th June 2019



Kobalt is one of the world’s largest, most innovative music companies, using technology to power creative freedom, transparency, ownership and control for artists, songwriters, publishers, and labels.

Founded in 2000 by Swedish entrepreneur Willard Adhitz, the startup built a platform to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and transparency across the billions of micro-payments collected in today’s highly complex digital world. As the traditional music companies fought technology and contracted, Kobalt embraced it and grew, building an infrastructure and world-class creative team purposely designed to usher in the streaming era, along with a more fair, rewarding music business for creators.

With over 650 employees in 12 offices around the world, Kobalt today represents over 20,000 artists and songwriters, 600,000 songs and 600 publishing companies. Kobalt is proud to work with artists, songwriters, and companies like Childish Gambino, Max Martin, Paul McCartney and MPL Communications, Disney Music Group, and many more. 


At Kobalt, our Principal Engineers wear many hats. They’re change agents, using their passion to proactively and decisively helping improve our processes, practices, infrastructure, architecture and services. They’re experts with deep technical knowledge and extraordinary problem solving skills, which they use to influence and support the business in decision making and in coming up with innovative solutions to new problems. They’re mentors and inspirational figures to engineers that thrive on learning and development. They use their clear vision and industry knowledge to contribute to Technology and Product roadmaps. They own the technology strategy and communicate it clearly to the rest of the organisation. They do all of this and somehow still manage to have great impact as individual contributors of code, frameworks and tools.


  • Contribute to setting technical strategy for both function and across organisation
  • Create understanding for the engineering teams around strategy and overall vision
  • Responsible for defining performance, scalability and up time metrics
  • Arbitrate on technical issues and champion technical solutions that meet business and customer needs
  • Lead on optimisation and quality
  • Collaborate with your senior leadership team within tech and product to articulate and deliver a technical roadmap that meets current needs but supports us to scale & grow for the future
  • Focus on building a high performing engineering capability for your area, both hiring, growing & retaining great people and instilling great ways of working
  • Advocate for learning and mentoring talent
  • Responsible for day-to-day operational excellence, including dealing with incidents & outages and making sure teams can be reactive as well as proactive when incidents arise
  • Part of Kobalt’s tech leadership team and support in defining our overall tech strategy
  • Play a personal leadership role on some major initiatives which need driving across multiple business units
  • Positively contribute to projects outside of areas of focus up to a third of the time
  • Ability to share expertise and promote diversity while navigating a complex organisation
  • Value and be a culture ambassador for Kobalt


  • High level technical leadership in a product lead tech org
  • Extraordinary problem-solving skills to scale up platforms and spearhead technological innovation
  • Exposure to complex architecture challenges and complex business domain challenges
  • Deep career expertise in software design, simplicity, scalability, re-usability and reliability
  • Strong computer science and engineering fundamentals to Bachelor Degree level, enabling you to navigate, extend and re-invent complex systems most likely gained at
  • Passion for metrics and data-driven decision making
  • Have influenced engineering culture/process and to contributed to hiring great engineers at pace and mentoring their development
  • Strong understanding of Data, including its collection, governance and processing at scale (e.g. using tools such as Spark, Hadoop, Storm or Kafka)
  • Experience in a Java, JVM technologies environment with strong database skills in Oracle or another enterprise RDBMS
  • Strong experience deploying application in AWS or Google Cloud
  • Focus on domain driven development, behaviour driven development and test driven development best practices
  • Contributions to the technology community through open source, publications, speaking or university lecturing.


Applicants must be eligible to work in the United Kingdom. Verification checks will be conducted during the interview process and a full DBS check on acceptance of offer. Kobalt is an equal opportunity employer encouraging diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other status or characteristic protected by law. 

Thank you for choosing to apply for a role at Kobalt! By applying for a role on our website you are allowing Kobalt to collect your personal data and contact you regarding this opportunity. We care about transparency and believe that skill sets can be applied to multiple roles, so we would love to able to get in touch with your regarding other opportunities that may be suitable for you. We will therefore keep the information you supplied to us for one year. We collect your personal data for the purposes of managing Kobalt recruitment related activities and in relation to the evaluation and selection of applicants and as is otherwise needed in the recruitment processes. You can read our Privacy Policy HERE where we outline full details in line with GDPR requirements.

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