This is the closest to a music scientist position that I have ever seen. It gives me a rough idea of what I should use as a guideline as an autodidactic.  From what I see there is not such a position entirely, but at least it gives me the motivation to learn. I cut the job posting to the essentials. I removed the introduction of the company (which we all know) and the italics at the bottom for the equal opportunity disclaimer. I am starting to get an idea of what my end goal is (employed by someone in another field else that is). The bullet points in bold are great starting points. *Update: I also have the Spotify version of a Music Scientist .



Data engineers at Pandora are responsible for the services and infrastructure capable of processing and making available the extensive volume of data produced on its platform each day. Analytics developers build the infrastructure needed to enable analysts and scientists to query and author data products that operate against our largest collections (billions of events per day). At Pandora the analytics team supports a variety of business functions including our science, marketing, product, finance and sales teams.

You should have a solid understanding of Java software development, and take personal responsibility for testing the code you write. You should have strong academic credentials and a degree in Computer Science or a related field. You should be enthusiastic about learning new technologies and skills. You must be capable of managing your time well and working collaboratively. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are required.



  • 2+ years of development experience and some significant exposure to Big Data Technologies
  • Experience with the Hadoop project ecosystem a significant plus (Hive, Tez, MapReduce etc)
  • Experience with distributed or clustered NoSQL / NewSQL databases is valuable
  • Experience developing object-oriented code in Java, Scala or Python
  • Experience with *Spark (Java, Python or Scala) is valuable
  • Experience developing software for deployment on Linux / Unix
  • Experience working with back-end databases such as Hive, MySQL, Postgres
  • Intermediate to advanced experience developing SQL applications of significant complexity
  • Experience developing web applications a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative team work environment
  • BA/BS or better in Computer Science or a related field *school is a non-option. This is where pet projects are important!


Keywords here are: SQL,Python, Apache *Spark, Linux, Hadoop ecosystem[covered in the curriculum].

I will narrow it down to these 3 criterium:

  1. The big 3 to learn fluently: Python, SQL, and Linux.
  2. Complex mathematics. Especially, Linear Algebra,Introductory Probability, and Calculus.
  3. Create proof of concept for learned material . Primarily open Source projects/applications.

Nailing number 1 and 2 very cold (fluent) will help me figure out the rest. Of course I haven’t tested this theory, but this is what I am seeing so far. Bonus study: I have to improve on my verbal communication skills as an English speaker (maybe take acting classes?, join toastmasters?).

Data Engineer Position at Pandora: A Music Scientist’s job description part 1

Category: Notes