Sr Principal Software Engineer - C++ Programmer

Date: May 24, 2023

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, 19104

Company: Amtrak

Your success is a train ride away!

As we move America’s workforce toward the future, Amtrak connects businesses and communities across the country. 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 due to our employees.


Are you ready to join our team?

Our values of ‘Do the Right Thing, Excel Together and Put Customers First’ are at the heart of what matters most to us, and our Core Capabilities, ‘Building Trust, Accountability, Effective Communication, Customer Focus, and Proactive Safety & Security’ are what every employee needs to know and do to be most impactful at Amtrak. By living the Amtrak values, focusing on our capabilities, and actively embracing and fostering diverse ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives, together we will honor our past and make Amtrak a company of the future.


The Senior Principal Systems Engineer is responsible for development and Tier-3 support of multiple complex systems and platforms.  This is a leadership role requiring a well-versed practitioner of systems engineering while ensuring development of high-quality systems. The Senior Principal Systems Engineer oversees major projects providing subject matter expertise and technical direction.  Role is accountable and responsible for systems analysis, design, development, integration, and enhancements. They will have demonstrated mastery in Cloud technologies, middleware/DB platforms, networking, packaged applications, systems integration, or SW development.


The Sr Principal Systems Engineer facilitates engagement with stakeholders to understand business requirements that drive the analysis and design of quality technical solutions. The Senior Principal Systems Engineer ensures solutions align with business goals, and IT strategies as well as compliance 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.
  • Owns and leads the systems development approach as an engineering exercise; confirms requirements are clear, follows a documented development/build methodology and makes sure a robust unit and system testing regimen is followed to deliver solutions per designs.   
  • 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/build planning process with customers, IT business analysts, architects, Information Security, and other team members.
  • Works with architecture and technology to codify development tools, code reusability standards, improve design documents.
  • Develops design specifications and sizing estimates for technical requirements. 
  • Leads the development of technical solutions to meet defined requirements including changes, enhancements or development of new infrastructure, platform and other systems.
  • Oversees third-party technical resources providing services to Amtrak.
  • Confirms all work is in harmony with all defined industry and company standards as well as ensures the overall implementation is aligned with Amtrak's technology strategies. 
  • Ensures compliance with all 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 system/solution development/integration. 
  • Proactively recommends and provides ongoing maintenance of systems serving as a senior support resource and point of escalation. 
  • 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.




  • Bachelor’s Degree in computer science, information systems 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
  • C, C++ Programming Experience
  • Extensive systems development and/or systems analysis experience with a displayed mastery of multiple program languages, infrastructure components or technology platforms.
  • Can adapt methodologies to fit the project scope and unique needs that may arise.   
  • Expert level of understanding of information systems and systems architecture and integration standards. 
  • Ability to drive business success by meeting goals and ensuring deliverables are completed on time. 
  • Recognized as a trusted technology adviser, with a track record of creating successful technology solutions that support the organizational strategic vision and goals.
  • Ability to work well under deadlines and in a flexible environment.
  • Extensive and proven experience/in-depth knowledge of business operations and systems requirements processes and ability to apply technical solutions to meet business needs.  
  • Must be a capable team leader, used to managing teams of consultants, analysts, technologists and third-party suppliers to develop detailed solutions, costs, timescales and methods for delivery of technology solutions.
  • Seasoned at successfully managing the sourcing and selection process for third-party software , hardware and other technology components and services, as required to enable delivery of digital transformation solutions.
  • Skilled at adaptable communication to effectively translate between technical and business language. 
  • Well versed in educating and leading project team members on business unit goals, objectives, and initiatives, and guiding junior resources to develop appropriate system solutions in alignment with business objectives.  
  • Ability to identify, propose and oversee the execution of business and IT solutions as well as interpret documents communicating business and IT needs and requirements. 
  • Must possess the skill to assess the client needs through direct interaction and identify opportunities to develop the business through effective use of technology.
  • Excellent communication skills - both oral and written.
  • Experience overseeing/managing third-party/vendor technical teams and resources.




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



  • Work is performed in an office environment
  • May require travel up to 10% of the time 
  • Requires on-call status
  • After hours and periodic shift work may occasionally be required
  • Willingness to support applications 24 x 7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) 
  • Additional duties as assigned 


Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.



The salary/hourly range is $131,830 - $170,850. Pay is based on several factors including but not limited to education, work experience, certifications, internal equity, etc. Depending on an employee’s assigned worksite or location, Amtrak may consider a geo-pay differential to be applied to the employee’s base salary. Amtrak may offer additional incentive and pay programs to recognize and reward our employees, including a short-term incentive bonus based upon factors such as individual and company performance that is commensurate with the level of the position and/or long-term incentive plan compensation. In addition to your salary, Amtrak offers a comprehensive benefit package that includes health, dental, and vision plans; health savings accounts; wellness programs; flexible spending accounts; 401K retirement plan with employer match; life insurance; short and long term disability insurance; paid time off; back-up care; adoption assistance; surrogacy assistance; reimbursement of education expenses; Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility; Railroad Retirement sickness and retirement benefits; and rail pass privileges. Learn more about our benefits offerings here.

Requisition ID:158038
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.


In accordance with federal law governing security checks of covered individuals for public transportation ( Title 6 U.S.C. § 1143), Amtrak is required to screen applicants for any permanent or interim disqualifying criminal offenses.

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