Principal systems engineers are engineers that lead a group of other engineers in technical projects. Their primary job goal is to analyze all parts of a system and make sure each component is acting as it should. They do some physical work on the systems they oversee; however, the majority of their time and effort is spent analyzing systems and delegating tasks to their team members. Many different types of companies hire principal systems engineers, including the government, security, defense, and technology organizations.
Principal systems engineers usually spend their workday indoors, working closely with their team in an office setting. They must be able to understand all of the components of a system and how they interact with each other. It is up to the principal systems engineer to make sure the system parts work correctly together and to delegate to their team when and how something should be fixed to keep the system working smoothly.
Principal systems engineers also often work with clients to analyze their needs and determine how to design and develop a project. Principal systems engineers must use a variety of software on a daily basis, such as GreenHopper, EggPlant, and SpiraTest. They must also employ ideas or concepts such as agile scrum methodology and enterprise architecture frameworks.
Companies usually require that principal systems engineers have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, as well as 10 to 15 years of experience. Experience in a leadership role is also generally preferred.
Principal Systems Engineer Tasks
Develop, configure and oversee the upgrade, enhancements and fixes of applicable systems.
May also interact with customers, make business assessments and mentor other engineers.
Plan, develop and lead systems engineering projects and efforts.