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Principal Programmer

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Job Description

Coconut Lizard and d3t are at the cutting edge of technology and creativity, delivering co-development video game services to our global triple-A clients. Our successful studios are continuing to grow and we are looking for a Principal Programmer to join the expanding Engineering Team. Our studios, part of the Keywords Studios Group, work on multiple exciting projects at any one time offering plenty of variety and involvement.

We have been established over 13 years and our studio projects have included Hogwart’s Legacy, Vampire: The Masquerade - Blood Hunt, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Alan Wake Remastered, Mafia II: Definitive Edition and EA Sports FC24.

Our studios are based near Gateshead (Tyne and Wear) and Daresbury (Cheshire) where we offer an amazingly professional, fun and supportive working environment. We are very passionate about what we do and pride ourselves on our inclusive mentality, mentoring ethos and have been awarded 'Best Places to Work’ multiple times by including 2021, 2022 and 2023. In addition, we won ‘Best Creative Service Provider‘ at Develop 2022 and were nominated in 2023.

The Role - Principal Programmer

A Principal Programmer at d3t and Coconut Lizard works alongside our Tech Directors and Leads to form the experienced core of the department. Our Principal Programmers can expect to take ownership on large, complex and interesting technological challenges for our high-profile clients on AAA games.


  • Researching, owning, implementing and delivering large systems autonomously and as part of a team. 
  • Work on a variety of projects and low-level programming challenges, across PC and consoles. 
  • Take on the most complex programming tasks and bugs. 
  • Communicating and collaborating with multiple disciplines to deliver work on time, to spec and to a high standard. 
  • Work closely with local teams and global clients to gather requirements and update on progress. 
  • Support less experienced members of the engineering team through advice, code reviews and calls.

Skills we think you should have

  • Languages: Expertise in many including C++ 
  • Experience: 10+ years 
  • Knowledge: Developed large scale systems in any of (e.g. gameplay, UI, physics, networking, memory, animation, core tech, graphics, profiling etc.) 
  • Technology: Experienced with commercial and bespoke game engines, IDEs, source control, build infrastructure 
  • Confidence: Will take on any challenge or responsibility 
  • Dependability: Works autonomously, flexibly, proactively and to deadlines 
  • Growth: A desire to continually update knowledge and expertise 
  • Teamwork: Enjoy working as part of a team and supporting others 
  • Communication: Excellent

Skills we'd like you to have

  • Knowledge of render tech 
  • Released games 
  • Low level console development 
  • Full development cycle 
  • Porting games 
  • Tools development 
  • Build and infrastructure 
  • Small team or sub team leadership


Hear from our Principal Programmer, Richard Britt, and our Studio Technical Director, Andy Booth on their experiences, by clicking on their names!

Further Information:

We offer a flexible working policy – the role can be hybrid, remote (UK based only) or studio based at either of our studio sites - d3t (Runcorn, Cheshire) or Coconut Lizard (Gateshead, Tyne & Wear).

Initial interviews will be help by video call with additional interviews at the studio, dependent on location.

Don't meet every single requirement? Not a problem - please apply. At d3t and Coconut Lizard we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace and culture. If this opportunity excites you but your current skills or past experience don't align perfectly with the job description, we encourage you to still apply. You may just be the right candidate for this or other roles within our team.

Internal Use -

Role Information: EN

Studio: d3t

Location: Europe, UK, Gateshead

Area of Work: Game Development

Service: Create

Employment Type: Full Time, Permanent

Working Pattern: Hybrid, Remote, In-Office


These are just some of the many benefits offered by our studios:

  • 25 days holiday (+ bank holidays + up to 5 days extra for length of service)
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • Flexible working hours
  • Private Medical Insurance Scheme (including dental) & Eye Care Scheme
  • Anti-crunch ethos - an amazingly professional, fun and supportive working environment!
  • Income Protection
  • Annual Bonus – be rewarded for great teamwork!
  • Free Parking
  • Tech and Bike Scheme
  • Company Share Scheme
  • Game Vouchers
  • Company Socials, Project Launch/Wrap Parties + Annual Events
  • Breakout Areas – filled with perks such as games, BBQ area, complimentary snacks to suit all dietary preferences etc.