Senior Database Performance Engineer

Full Time Boston, MA Cengage


Do you dare to reinvent the future of education?

At Cengage, we are harnessing the power of tech to build a future where all learners have the tools and confidence to achieve their goals.As a Cengage employee you will pioneer transforming the way people learn. Collaborating with the best of the best, you will feel challenged and inspired to do breakthrough work. With the support of our united team, there is no limit to what you can imagine, create and set in motion.

Are we right for you?

We bring our “A” game, unique talents and point of view to the table every day. We are curious and comfortable with change and are willing to take risks to transform education. Most importantly, everything we do, we do for the learner.

The Database Performance expert acts as a leader to establish proactive performance monitoring, complex query optimization and hands on troubleshooting of multiple database platforms from traditional RDBMS (Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL) to NoSQL (MongoDB, Cassandra). This role works closely with key Technology Solutions Partners, Security and product development teams to ensure the production and non-production database systems are highly available and are optimally performing

What You’ll Do Here:

  • The Database Performance Expert ensures the current database systems are properly utilized and accurately plans for future expansion based on a fluid, agile environment
  • The role ensures timely response to production performance issues in a matrix-based responsibility model, and collaborates continuously with other teams to ensure consistent delivery across all development teams, avoiding duplication of efforts
  • This position is responsible for database performance, monitoring, collaboration with the development team as they introduce new applications and infrastructure as well as the Global Technology Services (GTS) team to coordinate maintenance, backup and patching of the different database platforms
  • RDBMS – Will work within the GTS organization to provide database design, performance tuning and performance monitoring expertise in support of the Cengage RDBMS Platforms
    • Operational excellence managing large scale databases with at least 5 years of hands-on experience
    • Collects and reports metrics that reflect the performance of CLTS databases, supports our SLAs and goals for availability and performance
    • Assists with the preparation of Capital and Expense budgets
    • Secures database by collaborating with the infrastructure team on access and control policies and procedures; maintenance, hardware, upgrades and developing disaster recovery procedures
    • Supports database performance by monitoring database performance; evaluating and resolving processing and programming problems; designing database management tools; answering user questions
  • NoSQL – Will work within the GTS organization to provide database performance tuning and performance monitoring expertise support of the Cengage NoSQL Platforms
    • Strong understanding of complex inner workings of Cassandra, such as the gossip protocol, hinted handoffs, read repairs, Merkle trees
    • Supports application design by contributing expertise to applications, operations, and technical support teams
    • Utilization of the Cassandra tools (e.g. nodetool) for monitoring, repair, backup and restore of Cassandra database systems
    • Will be deploying, monitoring and ongoing operational maintenance of any other NoSQL database such as MongoDB, Hive DB, Hadoop HDFS
    • Assists with the preparation of Capital and Expense budgets
    • Secures database by preparing access and control policies and procedures; collaborating with the infrastructure team for maintenance, hardware, upgrades and developing disaster recovery procedures

Skills You Will Need Here:


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and recent, relevant work history
  • Minimum of eight (8) years of experience in large scale databases environments and diverse teams
  • Good understanding of architecture with focus on performance: caching strategies, synchronous vs asynchronous approaches, throughput vs latency
  • Identify bottlenecks and root causes
  • Experience with hands-on production performance support
  • Knowledge of optimization and fine-tuning techniques for API, Orchestration, Caching and Data Access stack
  • Ability to read, understand and analyze logs from multiple systems and tech stack
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills and ability to translate business and technical requirements into workable technical installation timetables
  • Proven strong written and oral communication skills with ability to communicate effectively in meetings, email and informal discussions
  • Good presentation skills
  • Strong time management skills and excellent organizational skills with ability to juggle multiple demands without missing deadlines
  • Strong understanding of risk management techniques and ability to develop appropriate contingency plans


  • Good understanding of JVM tuning and Java profiling
  • Knowledge of HTTP, REST and SOAP protocols
  • Experience leading IT outsourcing partners
  • Experience with Windows, Linux, EMC, IBM
  • Understanding of the public cloud space, including AWS and tools to maintain high performance in a hybrid cloud/on premise environment
  • Experience in any role that is part of an agile development environment or team

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