Sony is always looking for ways to improve the performance of its platforms, and a new career opportunity ad posted by the publisher, seeking a Staff Developer Support Software Engineer goes exactly in that direction, especially to provide optimized solutions to first and third party developers.
Below you can read the ad with the most relevant parts bolded:
This engineer will assume the role of Staff Developer Support Engineer, working directly in the systems team and act as a leader on the team to drive innovation on the Playstation® platforms. This individual should be a systems expert on the PlayStation® platform with an in-depth knowledge of our platform architectures and be able to come up with resolutions to complex problems that our licensed developers encounters. This individual will be one of the principal contacts within the team and lead collaboration efforts with other SCE organizations, manage creative research projects, and promote innovation to support our licensed industry-leading developers to produce the best consumer experience.
- Lead and develop innovative techniques, algorithms, and tools that take advantage of our advance platform architectures to maximize the quality and performance on the Playstation® platforms
- Lead the delivery of this content to developers to ensure the best adoption and integration into developers internal engines.
- Be one of the principal support contacts and leaders in the group and drive collaboration on complex projects with various organizations within SCE to produce the solutions that address developers technology needs
- As one of the leaders within the group, be able to promote and foster innovation within the team to produce creative solutions that take advantage of the graphics architecture.
- Lead and manage projects that will develop a framework that will be the foundation of future research projects.
- Be able to perform those responsibilities with no considerable direction
- A minimum of 7 years programming in C/C++
- Understanding of low-level PlayStation®3 system, PS®Vita system, and PlayStation®4 system.
- Experience writing and debugging low-level code for PlayStation®3, PS®Vita, and PlayStation®4.
- Knowledge of platform-specific engines and how they are developed.
- Knowledge of overall game engine architecture.
- Ability to efficiently troubleshoot, fix, and profile various problems encountered during game development
- Keep current on the latest trends in system techniques.
- BS degree in computer science from an accredited university or equivalent
- Minimum of 7 years experience in low-level console development
- Shipped at least 1 game on current generation PlayStation platforms
- Experience using SPURS
- Experience with PlayStation Edge Geometry
- SPU coding and optimization
- Experience in tool development (asset pipeline, exporters, etc. )
- Assembly-level optimizations (i.e. PPU/SPU)
- Experience with PPU/SPU intrinsics
- Experience giving lectures and presentations to a large audience (200 – 400 people)
- Knowledge of compute and GPGPU
The engineer described by the ad is what you would define a development god. And I’m not kidding, considering that the preferred skills include the knowledge of the deepest levels of the architecture of every PlayStation platform to degrees most of us can’t even imagine.
PS4 is definitely represented with the knowledge of compute and GPGPU (General-purpose computing on graphics processing units), but the architecture of the PS3 is still represented with great relevance with the highlighted experience with the veteran console’s Synergistic Processing Units and SPURS (SPU Runtime Systems). PlayStation Edge is a set of advanced graphics tools for PS3, and the advanced synergies between the Cell’s Power Processing Unit and the SPUs are also covered.
It’s definitely not surprising, considering that a lot of engineers that worked on PlayStation platforms will tell you that the ability to make the SPUs “sing” is the telltale sign of a rockstar-level engineer.
This is the second ad in a few days looking to bolster PlayStation low-level (which doesn’t mean what you probably think it means, as low-level in development terms involves working with the deepest layers of a platform’s or engine’s architecture) engineering team, and it could very well be part of Sony’s response to the optimizations coming with Microsoft’s DirectX 12.