Qualcomm: WebKit Rendering Lead

January 8, 2010

Qualcomm is looking for a WebKit Rendering Lead:

Our Web Technologies team is looking for candidates who have a passion for enhancing the web experience with rich multimedia and graphics. Extend your experience in audio, video, imaging, and graphics technologies as you accelerate the web with HTML5, Javascript, browser plugins (Flash) and CSS. We are preferably looking for ‘webkit committer’ or ‘webkit reviewer’ who can take a lead role optimizing WebKit eye candy.

As a member of the Web Technologies team you will be involved in creating the next generation mobile web experience by leading an engineering team to design and optimize the WebKit rendering engine for power and performance. Build open web standards (W3C) into the Webkit engine using open multimedia and graphics standards such as Khronos OpenMax IL, OpenVG, and OpenGL ES. Realize your innovations by collaboratively integrating the solution with product, systems and integration teams

The Good
WebKit has been a leading browser engine for some time now — it’s the engine at the core of Chrome, Safari, iPhone and Android.  HTML is increasingly moving into supporting more rich experiences, and it sounds like you’d be working on the leading edge of that.  If you’re already a committer or reviewer, it sounds like you’d have a big leg up, and this would be a chance to get paid to do something you might currently be doing as hobby.  This is also the kind of work that is pretty difficult to find in Toronto, in my experience.

The Bad
Although a job doing WebKit work is pretty  exciting, if that’s your goal, you might prefer doing Android/WebKit in Waterloo, Safari/iPhone WebKit in Cupertino, or Chrome/WebKit in Mountain View(?).  While you’ll be working on a leading browser engine and a leading area of that browser engine, you won’t be working for one of the most exciting companies in that area.  Qualcomm’s interest in this is probably LiMo, although you’d have to talk to them to get a better sense of what they’re doing and why.  Still, that isn’t a massive downside.

What’s Missing?
Almost everything other than the work.  What does Qualcomm get out of WebKit dev, is this to power LiMo, or for some other reason?  What’s the compensation like?  Who would you be working with at Qualcomm, on what team, in what division, and how many of the other people are in Toronto?  Where’s this office located?

YMMV
Your mileage might vary when it comes to the location, or to some of the specifics that Qualcomm has thoughtfully left out of the posting, but if this is the kind of work you want to do, you’ll probably be talking to Qualcomm anyway.

The Location
It looks to be at Qualcomm’s office up by Buttonville Airport / Markham / 404 & Hwy 7.  This is a common tech area, but it’s definitely “out of the way” for people who aren’t already up north of the city, or highway-commuting from the east end.

In Summary
There are probably two categories of people who would read this posting.  Those who have the interest and experience to find this a really interesting opportunity and those who don’t.  In the former case, you’re probably going to want to lwarn more no matter what I say. In the latter case, you might find the posting interesting, but you probably can’t get the job even if you wanted it, so it’s only interesting in passing, and you’ve already moved on.

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