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Rakuten Kobo Inc.
00013169 Requisition #

Data Architect

The Company:

Here at Rakuten Kobo Inc. we offer a casual working start-up environment and a group of friendly and talented individuals. Our employees rank us highly in terms of commitment to work / life balance. We realize that for our people to be innovative, creative and passionate they need to have healthy minds and bodies. With that in mind, we offer one of the best group benefits plans as well as gym discounts and a personal fitness budget. We hold an annual Wellness Day, host Lunch and Learns to promote a healthy lifestyle and provide fresh fruit daily and other healthy snacks. Teams love our Pooch program and say "dogs in the office make everything better".

Booklovers are thrilled to see that we offer employees a free device upon joining.  We encourage reading time as well as host frequent Lunch and Learn Author Series.


We believe in rewarding all our employees with competitive salaries, performance based annual bonuses, stock options and training opportunities.  For our growing Kobo families, we offer a maternity/paternity leave top up, as well as time off for the non-child bearing parent.

The Role:

On the data operations team, we treat data like a product; our users may be internal but the information we provide is critical to the success of our business and the experience of our customers.  As such we work closely with Product Owners, Analysts, and Engineers to identify opportunities, ideate, and iterate on solutions.

As a data architect you will report to the Director of Architecture & Technology Services and help ensure the stability of our data infrastructure while continually modernizing our technology and approaches.  The role is a new one at kobo so you will have the unique opportunity to help us shape our vision data democracy at Kobo.  

If you like to coach, collaborate, mentor, be creative, get your hands dirty, and generally just get lit-up by solving hard problems with a team of highly engaged people, you’ll fit right in.


  • Able to articulate the flow of data across all of our myriad systems and services

  • Develop strategic roadmaps for stabilization & modernization

  • Identify and prioritize pain-points affecting stability, scalability, performance, and development velocity

  • Collaborate with Product Owners, Analysts and Engineers to discover opportunities & refine requirements

  • Work with Data & Product Engineering teams to design technical solutions

  • Facilitate self-service access to data through documentation & self-describing implementations

  • Work with Site Operations and Site Reliability Engineering to ensure that systems are well understood, discoverable, highly available, monitored and follow best-practices

  • Define SLOs, and retention policies

  • Define capacity plans in conjunction with Infrastructure Architect

  • Work with Systems Architects to design loosely coupled and highly cohesive services & data streams

  • Create and evangelise best practices for design and development activities.

  • Research and evaluate new and emerging technologies in a scientific manner.

  • Develop production quality proof-of-concept components to demonstrate or prove out ideas and designs.

  • Participate in paired programming, design and code reviews, and operational support.

  • Deliver presentations to stakeholders and provide training to team members.

Skills and Experience:

Technical Skills

  • Must have an understanding of modern data architectures such as: Data Rivers, Data Lakes, or Data Warehouses

  • Must have the ability to model complex systems using a combination of:

    • Patterns such as: Stream processing, batch processing, eventual consistency, versioning, async programming

    • Domain Driven Design

  • Good to have an understanding of data processing tools / technologies such as:

    • Spark

    • Kafka / Kafka Streams

    • Rabbit MQ

    • Hadoop / HDFS

    • MapR

    • Relational & SQL databases

    • NoSQL solutions such as Document databases, column stores, graph databases

    • Hive

    • Airflow/Luigi

    • supervisord 

  • Nice to have an understanding of Microservices Architecture


  • Must be: 

    • Able to find creative solutions to challenging problems

    • Quality focused with an eye for simplicity

    • Excellent communicator & leader

    • Well organized and thorough

    • Able to coach, mentor and evangelize 

  • Nice to have an understanding of agile product development methodologies


Relevant experience as a technical lead or architect on projects of a significant size and scale is a benefit.

To Learn More About Kobo:

Rakuten Kobo Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.  Accessibility accommodations for candidates with disabilities participating in the selection process are available on request. Any information received related to accommodation needs of applicants will be addressed confidentially.

Rakuten Kobo would like to thank all applicants for their interest in this role however only qualified candidates will be shortlisted.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Clara HD, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading and audiobook listening app for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

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