Niantic, the developer of the smash-hit smartphone sensation Pokémon Go, is hiring for a lot of jobs. But the very first position on its careers site: “Software Engineer – Server Infrastructure.”
Niantic can use the help – as the company scrambles to keep up with the continuing influx of demand, the game’s servers have been unreliable since launch, and certain features flat-out aren’t working.
At the San Diego Comic Con, Niantic CEO John Hanke announced that the company wouldn’t be adding any new features to the game until the server situation stabilizes.
But at the same time, Niantic’s job posting highlights just how tough and technically challenging it must be to keep a game like Pokémon Go up and running. Take a look:
Create the server infrastructure to support our hosted AR/Geo platform underpinning projects such as Pokémon GO using Java and Google Cloud. You will work on real-time indexing, querying and aggregation problems at massive scales of hundreds of millions of events per day, all on a single, coherent world-wide instance shared by millions of users.
Interestingly, Niantic also says that experience with the Google Cloud Platform or the Amazon Web Services cloud is “highly desired” in an applicant for this gig. That could mean that at least some of Pokémon Go’s backend plumbing is hosted with Amazon Web Services.
Using Google Cloud wouldn’t be surprising, given that Niantic is a Google spin-out. But using Amazon Web Services would be funny, given that Amazon CTO Werner Vogels took a Twitter potshot at Niantic over the server issues when the game first launched. Or maybe they made the move after his tweet. Either way, interesting.
- The Pokemon Company
Niantic is also hiring specialists in machine learning, which would help them learn from player behavior and refine their games.
The only other specifically Pokémon-related job posting on Niantic’s site is for a Global Community Manager, who would help lead the company’s relationships with players. Intriguingly, the job requirements include organizing real-life player meetups, which means that officially-sanctioned Pokémon hunts could be a thing.
“Being a knowledgeable ‘expert’ about the Pokémon franchise, it’s [sic] products and it’s [sic] global community is a critical requirement for this role,” says Niantic’s posting.
So if you want to help Niantic keep the servers up and running, or if you’re a Pokémon fanatic who wants to spread that love worldwide, these could be the jobs for you.
On a final note, I was directed to Niantic’s job listings page via the App Store release notes for “Ingress,” Niantic’s previous and still ongoing game – it looks like Niantic is trying to recruit people who really “get” the challenges involved in building a game like Pokémon Go.