Announcing Databricks Seattle R&D Site

Today, we are excited to announce the opening of our Seattle R&D site and our plan to hire hundreds of engineers in Seattle in the next several years. Our office location is in downtown Bellevue.

At Databricks, we are passionate about enabling data teams to solve the world’s toughest problems — from making the next mode of transportation a reality to accelerating the development of medical breakthroughs. We do this by building and running the world’s best data and AI infrastructure platform so our customers can use deep data insights to improve their business. Founded by engineers — and customer-obsessed — we leap at every opportunity to solve technical challenges, from designing next-gen UI/UX for interfacing with data to scaling our services and infrastructure across millions of virtual machines.

Building this platform requires world-class talent. Recognizing the amazing talent pool in the Seattle area thanks to institutions like UW and other cutting-edge tech companies, we’re excited to establish our presence there.

We are launching a number of important efforts in Seattle, covering a wide spectrum of our product and infrastructure:

  • Frontend: An important founding thesis of Databricks is can’t simplify data without great UI/UX. That’s why we are at the forefront of building better tools that dramatically simplify the complexity of data science, from notebooks to visualizations. This is a big charter of our Seattle site.
  • Distributed Systems and Infrastructure: Because data-intensive workloads are compute-intensive, we run one of the largest software fleets. Our infrastructure launches millions of virtual machines each day processing exabytes of data. Even just monitoring all of these VMs is a huge scalability challenge! Due to our scale, rare events are the norm (TCP SACK, kernel freezes, and memory defrag issues). The Seattle site will include our core compute fabric team (resource management for millions of VMs), operating system team (high-performance security isolation) and networking team (secure, high throughput, low latency networking).
  • Databases: We are building the next generation query engine (Photon) and streaming systems that can outperform specialized data warehouses in relational query performance, yet retain the expressiveness of general-purpose systems such as Apache Spark to support diverse workloads ranging from ETL to data science.
  • Security: Security is paramount to our customers and core to how we build and operate systems.   We’re building world-class security infrastructure and frameworks, including embedding security as a core tenet in our development lifecycle.

Your future colleagues

Even though this blog post is the first time we are announcing our Seattle site plan, dozens of engineers and product managers have already joined us to form the basis of the site. Following is a list of some of the colleagues you will be working with:

  • Zaheera Valani: Zaheera is the site lead for our Seattle engineering presence. Zaheera’s building out our Partner and Developer Platform engineering team. She joined us from Tableau, where she led the Data Management group.
  • Kanit “Ham” Wongsuphasawat: Tech lead of our visualization team, Ham created popular open-source visualization projects such as Vega-Lite, Voyager, & TensorFlow Graph Visualizer. His recent post “Building the Next Generation Visualization Tools at Databricks” was a big hit!
  • Rong Ge: Rong leads experimentation and software rollout infrastructure (what should a rollout infrastructure look like for hundreds of data centers and millions of machines?). Previously, she was a TLM/Uber TL for various parts of Google Ads and GCP infrastructure.
  • Michael Piatek: Most recently, Michael was responsible for Colab at Google and is joining Databricks to accelerate our work in notebooks & interactive computing.
  • Jonathan Keller: Jonathan joins us from Google, where he led product management for BigQuery and will be taking on data governance.
  • Justin Talbot: Tech lead of our visualization team. Justin was an Architect and Product Director at Tableau, having shipped some of the most popular features such as Level of Detail Expressions.
  • Anders Liu: Anders came from Microsoft leading the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) control plane, one of the fastest-growing services in Azure history. Anders leads our OS infra team.
  • Fermin Serna: Fermin is our Chief Security Officer and previously lead security at Citrix and Google.

They are joined by a few of the long-time Bricksters who are moving from the Bay Area to Seattle to serve as cultural ambassadors:

  • Ihor Leshko: Ihor leads our compute fabric org and will be building out new compute fabric teams in Seattle. He’s making sure that we live by our cultural principles: be customer-obsessed, let the data decide, own it, and teamwork makes the dream work.
  • Patrick Yang: Patrick was instrumental in integrating the Redash acquisition into Databricks and spearheads multiple efforts in Databricks SQL. He’s already talking to Zaheera about bubble tea delivery to the office, a long tradition in our San Francisco HQ!
  • Jake Rachleff: Jake is a tech lead in the networking team. He is searching the Seattle area for the best bagel shop in town to carry on SF’s weekly bagel Wednesdays.
  • Sumit Mehrotra: Sumit has been working remotely from Seattle for a few years. He leads our product teams for administration, observability and growth. He joined Databricks after stints in Facebook, Microsoft and the startup world. Having been the first product/engineering brickster in Seattle he can let you in on the tips and tricks of traveling from Seattle to San Francisco, not that you’d need to!

Join us as a Seattle founding member!

We’ll be hosting several onsite events in the coming weeks, where you’ll be able to connect with our engineers and managers and learn more about our culture and efforts in Seattle. You can also check out our career page to learn about our open roles.

Come join us and become a founding member of the Seattle site, to make data and AI dramatically simpler!

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