14 West | Senior Java Spark Engineer - Technical.ly

Senior Java Spark Engineer

14 West |  Baltimore, MD | Dev / Eng

Job Description
Perks + Benefits
Company Culture
Technical.ly Coverage

The Senior Java Spark Engineer is responsible for analyzing business requirements, designing architectural solutions to problems, developing superior software solutions, and continually assessing and improving upon performance of application and data structures.  To be successful, the Software Engineer must be an adaptable team player who can work in a dynamic, challenging, and highly technical environment. 

The Senior Java Spark Engineer will report to the Senior Manager of Development and be a part of multiple cross-functional Agile teams.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, 14 West was voted one of Baltimore’s Top Workplaces by The Baltimore Sun.

You can learn more about life at 14 West by checking out our WestWord blog.



  • Analyze requirements.
  • Architect and develop product features.
  • Work with Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Solution Architects and Managers to set expectations.
  • Keep team on track with deadlines.
  • Document designs, code, and all project assets in an organized and up-to-date manner.
  • Provide initial analysis and produce accurate levels of effort.
  • Implement established 14 West processes in the course of his/her work.
  • Support development operations.
  • Maintain code bases.
  • Provide solutions to complex engineering tasks.
  • Troubleshoot problems and issues with code and data.
  • Research emerging technologies and make recommendations for processes improvements.
  • Participate in code review in a senior technical


  • Ability to assess a task, sometimes without perfect or complete information.
  • Ability to keep self-engaged in their work, on task and meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent prioritization and organization skills.
  • Strong communications skills both written and oral.
  • Fundamental understanding of database technologies and best practices.
  • Ability to analyze code and optimize performance.
  • Sufficient security knowledge to spot potentially insecure code.
  • Possesses general business acumen.

Technical Requirements

  • Java (5+ years of enterprise experience)
    • Core Java must be VERY solid. Understanding must be both practical/applied and conceptual.
    • Should have a strong working knowledge of the Collections API.
    • Should have a strong working knowledge of the Messaging API.
    • Experience using MVC,  Singleton, Factory, Annotation, and Testing-Driven Development.
    • Understanding of user interface and front end technologies is desirable.
  • Big Data
    • 3+ years of experience in the Hadoop ecosystem.
    • 3 + years utilizing Spark to stream data at an enterprise level is required.
    • Experience with other plugins within the Hadoop and Big Data ecosystem.
    • Experience moving data within AWS efficiently.
  • Hibernate
    • Intimate familiarity with the concept of persistence and persistent state within an application.
    • Strong understanding and demonstrable working knowledge of data access methods and APIs.
    • Strong understanding and demonstrable working knowledge of fetching strategies.
    • Well-versed in the design of RDBs, including best practices with regard to performance.
    • Understanding of Hibernate transactions and transaction configuration.
  • Spring
    • Demonstrated practical knowledge of Spring context, beans, properties and schemas.
    • Extensive experience in building Spring-driven applications.
    • Extensive experience with Spring MVC and spring transaction management.
    • Deployment Environments.
    • Strong working knowledge of web application containers.
    • Should have at minimum intermediate level proficiency with UNIX/linux.
  • Databases
    • Should be technically familiar with a variety of databases.
    • Experience with MS-SQL Server,  MySQL is a must. MongoDB a plus.
    • Understanding of tuning queries for performance desirable.
    • Understanding of NoSQL databases is a plus.
  • Other Technologies
    • Familiar with AWS infrastructure.
    • Familiar with Microservice architecture.
    • Familiar with containerization and Docker.
    • Familiar with caching frameworks, strategies and limitations.
    • Strong JMS, and experience with  a message broker (Artemis, AMQ, RabbitMQ or similar).
    • Experience with Git or SVN, and versioning source code.
    • Experience with JIRA or similar project management tool.
    • Experience with web application performance profiling tools is a plus.


A desirable candidate will have at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related Engineering or Information Sciences program from an accredited university. If not, the candidate must demonstrate commensurate experience in collaborative technical environments.

About 14 West

14 West is the business services arm of The Agora, a network for more than 40 of the world’s most innovative media and marketing companies. By relying on us, The Agora Companies enjoy the unique luxury of focusing on the work they want to do… not the work they have to do. We share a history and a heritage with the businesses we support, and custom tailor our administrative and technical strategies to suit them. We believe passion is a critical ingredient in the services we provide. And we strive to deliver leading-edge yet sustainable solutions that promote perpetual growth.

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Health & Wellness Benefits
  • Dental
  • Disability Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Onsite Gym
  • Vision
  • Wellness Programs
Parental Benefits
  • Generous Parental Leave
Perks & Discounts
  • Casual Dress
  • Company Outings
  • Snacks
  • Special Discounts
Professional Development
  • Online Trainings
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
  • 401K
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
  • Generous PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Days

What’s it like to work at 14 West in Baltimore?

Missing a day in the office at 14 West makes you feel as if you’ve missed out. We have a great group of really smart and motivated people that come up with truly brilliant solutions to the challenges we face in the publishing and subscription services we enable. This being said, the office is totally casual — people bring their dogs to work and there’s work/life balance in that you can work remotely if needed.

Our offices are beautiful. They make up a campus of 12 individual buildings in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. In the summertime when we have interns working with us it starts to feel like a college campus as you see the interns going from building to building with their backpacks. The buildings are a mix of incredible historic homes and some modern construction. We sit in massive open offices that carry mixes of the functional roles; this enables cross collaboration. You can stand up and go talk to anybody, you don’t have to set up formal meetings. It’s open and easy, and that’s how we’re able to move so quickly to get things done each day.

Who is 14 West and what do you do?

14 West is the backbone of The Agora; a network for over forty companies in publishing and direct marketing that exist across 17 countries. The various companies span from Money Map Press to The Oxford Club and the very first of The Agora Companies, International Living (now based in Waterford, Ireland). At 14 West, we are a centralized service provider that enables the growth and innovation of all these different niche companies; internally we refer to them as affiliates. We are the technology, accounting, human resources, legal and facilities teams devoted to them.

What’s a common attribute amongst 14 West employees?

The preeminent traits seem to be a desire to learn and curiosity. If you are willing to work hard and want to understand how 14 West works, how The Agora Companies make their money, how things are done and how to contribute new ideas, you’ll be rewarded and will move up quickly. One thing that is expected of everyone that walks in here is you need to raise your hand and you better have high expectations for yourself. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you what to do, that gets noticed very quickly and not in a good way.

What is the team working on at the moment?

We handle all of our enterprise data. A lot of our focus right now is in optimization and building world class tools for our affiliates. One specific project our team is working is developing a set of new self-service applications where instead of Agora affiliates reaching out to our team directly for data and reports, they’ll be able to source what they need on their own. We are developing a series of new, cutting-edge feed applications where data can be loaded in, reports can be generated on the fly and our developers can understand exactly what the affiliates most want.

How do 14 West employees stay connected and engaged with each other?

A lot of us travel to different conferences to develop our skills and that’s always a great way to reconnect in a more personal way with your colleagues.

We do a lot of volunteer work within the community right around us here in Baltimore. Aside from this, we take pride in having the best holiday parties — there have been people caught trying to sneak into them! We also do a lot of happy hours in the office (employees enter their preferred beer or wine via their Drizly account). 

What can new employees expect?

New employees can expect extensive training through 14 West’s learning and development division, which features hands-on classroom learning and online guided courses that ensure new hires have been inducted into the company through a mentored program. Otherwise, get ready to run with your ideas. We like big ideas and if you bring them to the table you better be ready to act on them, we’ll provide the resources to drive it.

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