The Walt Disney Company Manager – Emerging Technologies and Innovation in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Walt Disney Attractions Technology (WDAT) provides a global technology platform for Walt Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships and signature experiences. We deliver a world-class guest experience through continuous innovation and engineering excellence.

Emerging Technologies group within WDAT spearheads technology driven innovation by incubating innovative ideas into production-ready solutions. We are focused on practical and viable business applications of research in new technologies such as computer vision, natural language processing, internet of things, mixed reality, machine learning and block chain.

As a manager in this group, you will be responsible for the delivery of various technology prototypes and pilots working with a team of software engineers, architects, vendors, products managers and artists. The core set of projects in the near term will be focused on machine learning and related data engineering. You will lead a team of engineers in an agile environment to build AI micro-services on WDAT’s enterprise data platform.

Apart from software delivery, you are also expected to routinely evaluate research publications and technology trends, debate their feasibility with the engineers and collaborate with our business partners to apply them to real world business problems.

Responsibilities :

  • Deliver innovative prototypes and pilots in an agile environment leading a diverse team of onsite and offshore resources

  • Motivate and guide the team to implement creative (many times first-of-a-kind) solutions. Create an environment suited for fail-fast approach.

  • Conduct “deep dive” sessions; get involved in the details.

  • Understand the business domain and related data/application technical architecture

  • Manage stakeholder expectations, scope and communication.

  • Manage user stories, tasks and delivery sprints using JIRA.

  • Manage schedule, budget and quality assurance of the project.

  • Lead design-thinking and brainstorming sessions on new product ideas.

  • Present at various internal innovation events.

  • Foster a work environment conducive to taking calculated risks in solving problems.

  • Foster partnerships with universities and cutting edge technology providers

  • Use storytelling to conduct compelling demos

Basic Qualifications :

  • Management experience with big data technologies in an enterprise environment.

  • Ability to sell ideas and deliver projects in a matrixed organization.

  • Strong concepts in statistics and data science. Ability to interpret models and to explain trade-offs in non-technical terms. Ability to distinguish between causality and correlation.

  • Working knowledge of decision trees, ensemble models, clustering and reinforcement learning.

  • Experience with batch and streaming analytics in a cloud environment (preferably AWS).

  • Ability to distinguish between current, near-term and long-term applicability of AI. Ability to integrate symbolic and artificial intelligence in a single solution.

  • Understanding of security, privacy and ethical problems related to AI.

  • Conceptual understanding of deep neural networks (CNN, RNN), their current capabilities and limitations.

  • Understanding of trade-offs involved in applying ML models to real-world environments. Ability to work with challenges such as unlabeled/ unstructured/ sparse data, noise levels, edge computing, limited interpretability etc.

  • Proven project management experience in collaborative scoping, scheduling, budgeting, resolving conflicts and mitigating risks.

  • Proven experience in modern software engineering practices such as continuous integration, continuous delivery and auto scaling.

  • Ability to modulate communication based on the audience.

  • Ability to multi-task and get things done.

  • Demonstrated skills in multi-tasking and time management.

  • Ability to build strong cross-functional working relationships.

  • Follow Disney standards in safety, courtesy, show-readiness and efficiency.

  • Passion for learning new technologies and brainstorming their applications with the team.

Preferred Qualifications :

  • Has 7+ years of software delivery experience (3+ years in a team lead role, 3+ years in big data engineering, 1+ years in machine learning, 2+ years in service/application development and production support)

  • A combination of enterprise and start-up experience.

  • Ability to create quick and compelling presentation slides and story-board animations (e.g. Vyond/GoAnimate)

  • Experience with hackathons or similar tech events

  • Mastery in Excel / Google spreadsheets and similar online document management tool

Required Education :

Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, or other technical discipline, or equivalent work experience

Preferred Education :

MBA or a Master’s degree in Information Systems / Statistics / Decision Science / Machine Learning

Job ID: 572777BR

Location: Lake Buena Vista,Florida

Job Posting Company: Disney Parks & Resorts