Sr Principal Software Engineer - 90335080 - Philadelphia

Date: Jun 19, 2022

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, 19104

Company: Amtrak

Your success is a train ride away.

Amtrak connects businesses and communities across the country and we move America’s workforce toward the future. We employ more than 20,000 diverse, energetic professionals in a variety of career fields throughout the United States. The safety of our passengers, our employees, the public and our operating environment is our priority and the success of our railroad is the result of our employees.

Are you ready to join our team?

The Senior Principal Software Engineer is responsible for analyzing, designing, developing, installing software solutions. The role is also a point of escalation for operational support for Train Control systems (train dispatch, SCADA and PTC)


Daily responsibilities may include development, configuration and/or integration; reviewing tickets and ensuring issues are resolved quickly; working with project managers, Business System Analysts, IT service owners and IT service offering leads to keep all parties updated and aware of development efforts and issue resolution status; and providing technical leadership for operational and project related initiatives.


The Senior Principal Software Engineer provides subject matter expertise and technical direction throughout the project lifecycle, including business requirements, functional specification, development, testing, deployment, and support hand-off. This role works closely with customers, business analysts and team members to understand the business requirements that drive the analysis and design of quality technical solutions. The Senior Principal Software Engineer confirms solutions are aligned with business goals and requirements, as well as aligned with IT strategies, and comply with the organization’s architectural standards. 



  • Provides technical subject matter expertise (SME) while managing across diverse teams, owns deliverables, manages to deadlines, and communicates across teams to achieve goals.
  • Determines operational feasibility by evaluating analysis, problem definition, requirements, solution development and proposed solutions.
  • Resident expert of their domain. The main go-to person for final technical decisions. Resolves conflicts related to engineering, design and delivery practices.
  • Champions new approaches (technology and otherwise) and builds consensus across peers, subordinates and superiors.
  • Owns and leads the software development approach as an engineering exercise; confirms requirements are clear, follows a documented development methodology and makes sure a unit testing regimen is followed to deliver code per designs. Designs, builds and suggests architecture that will last beyond current initiative or product effort.
  • Leads technical direction and decisions, follows a documented development methodology and makes sure a unit testing regimen is followed to deliver code per designs. 
  • Collaborates with enterprise architect and infrastructure to integrate applications and hardware.
  • Ensures that the design and application implementation meet security and QA standards. 
  • Creates and updates documentation as necessary to ensure architectures, designs and other descriptions are up to date and describes the as-deployed system.   
  • Leads the development planning process with customers, IT business analysts, architects and team members.
  • Works with architecture and technology to codify development tools, code reusability standards, improve design documents.
  • Documents and demonstrates solutions by developing documentation, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, charts, code comments and clear code.
  • Prepares and installs solutions by determining and designing system specifications, standards and programming.
  • Improves operations by conducting systems analysis, recommending changes in policies and procedures.
  • Protects Amtrak by following Information Security standards and applying consistently.
  • Understands business needs and knows how to create the tools to manage them.
  • Confirms all development work is in harmony with all industry and company standards as well as ensures the overall implementation is aligned with Amtrak's technology strategies. 
  • Adheres to quality standards and procedures.  Reviews modules for quality assurance and checks compliance with application architecture standards and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).  May assist in defining development guidelines and standards to be utilized in software development/integration. 
  • Proactively recommends improvements and provides ongoing maintenance of applications. 
  • Assists in the development of user guides and training documentation.
  • Provides technical guidance or system process expertise.  
  • Develops reports and presentations for senior management, as needed.
  • May manage vendor relationships that are required to provide operational support.
  • May coordinate preventative maintenance activities between vendors, IT and the business, including the installation of service packs, patches, and hot fixes.
  • Keeps abreast of new technical standards and practices.
  • Analyzes/monitors applications to ensure that the functionality and performance meets all product and service level requirements
  • Provide 24/7 operational support


  • Bachelor’s Degree in computer science, information systems, software engineering or business management plus 9+ years relevant experience or 13+ years of relevant work experience in subject matter expert capacity required to satisfy education and experience requirements.
  • Deep General Web, Cloud & Mobility Background. Very strong knowledge of core Internet (HTTP, Mail, REST, DB, Data Modeling etc.)
  • Very strong documentation and communication skills.
  • Ability to articulate complex architectures in completeness and detail that demonstrate a mastery of the subject.
  • Highly proficient knowledge of algorithms, data structures, design patterns and the experience with programming languages is required.
  • Extremely proficient in frontend (Web) or backend (Server) or mobile application development or cloud platform services.
  • Broad level of understanding of information systems and application architecture standards. 
  • Extensive experience with Agile methodologies and techniques including SCRUM and SAFE frameworks
  • Can focus on business goals while ensuring development is completed on time. 
  • Recognized as a trusted adviser, with a track record of creating successful technology solutions that support the organization’s strategic vision and goals.
  • Ability to work well under deadlines and in a flexible environment.
  • Must have experience/in-depth knowledge of business operations and systems requirements processes including ability to measure short- and long-term business goals.  
  • Must be a capable team leader, with experience managing teams of consultants, analysts, technologists and third-party suppliers to develop detailed solutions, costs, timelines and methods for delivery of technology solutions.
  • Seasoned at successfully managing the sourcing and selection process for third-party software and other technology components and services, as required to enable delivery of digital transformation solutions.
  • Must possess the ability to utilize adaptable communication skills to effectively translate between technical and business language. 
  • Must possess the skill to educate project team members on business unit goals and objectives and educate the business on the value of information technology. 
  • Ability to identify, propose and oversee the execution of business solutions as well as interpret documents communicating business needs and requirements. 
  • Must possess the skill to assess the business needs through direct interaction and identify opportunities to improve the business through effective use of technology.
  • Excellent troubleshooting, analysis, and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication skills - both oral and written.
  • Extensive experience programming and/or systems analysis experience with a displayed mastery of multiple program languages.
  • Languages: Designs, codes, tests, debugs and documents using the C, C++, Java languages and shell & Perl script in Linux Red Hat OS environment
  • GUI’s : X-Windows, X11, OSF/motif 
  • Database : MS-Access/ MySql database 
  • N/W programming using TCP/IP protocol
  • Development tools : GNU, Bitbucket, Zira, UIL



  • 11+ years of relevant experience in a subject matter expert capacity.
  • Master’s Degree



  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.


Requisition ID:107704
Posting Location(s):Pennsylvania
Job Family/Function:Information Technology 
Relocation Offered:No 
Travel Requirements:Up to 25% 

Amtrak employees power our progress through their performance.

We want your work at Amtrak to be more than a job – we want it to be a fulfilling experience where you find challenging and rewarding opportunities, respect among colleagues, competitive pay, benefits that protect you and your family and a high performance culture that recognizes and values your contributions and helps you reach your career goals.

All positions require pre-employment background check verification, a pre-employment drug screen and proof of full vaccination against COVID -19. Amtrak is committed to a safe workplace free of drugs and alcohol and performs pre-employment substance abuse testing. Marijuana, notwithstanding any statute, ordinance, regulation, or other law that legalizes or decriminalizes the use or possession of marijuana, whether for medical, recreational, or other use.  Candidates who engage in the usage of marijuana will not be qualified for hire.   Successful applicants for employment with Amtrak must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the date of hire as a condition of employment, subject to requests for accommodation.  Fully vaccinated means 14 days have elapsed since receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 14 days since receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In accordance with DOT regulations (49 CFR § 40.25), Amtrak is required to obtain prior drug and alcohol testing records for applicants/employees intending to perform safety-sensitive duties for covered Department of Transportation positions. If an applicant/employee refuses to provide written consent for Amtrak to obtain these records, the individual will not be permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions.

Note that any education requirement listed above may be deemed satisfied if you have an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Amtrak is an EOE/Affirmative Action Minority/Female employer, and we welcome all to apply. We consider candidates regardless of race/color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions), national origin/ethnicity, age, disability (intellectual, mental and physical), veteran status, marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, genetic information, citizenship or any other personal characteristics protected by law.

POSTING NOTES: Information Technology || Information Technology