b5media: Director of Technology

b5media, a local blogging powerhouse, is looking for a Director of Technology. Their approach is true to form, with a job posting and several blog entries on the subject:

This is their take on what they’re looking for:

More than anything we are looking for a mid-level to senior person who’s run major forward-facing (specifically consumer) web properties in the past. We need someone who understands development principles and how to push them forward. We want someone who wants to work in a startup, is passionate about blogging, and wants to see our already significant company grow even further. The person must be in or willing to be relocated to Toronto (on our dime, obviously) – and can even be in the US (yay for the reverse brain drain!).

End of the day, we hire smart people who like to have fun and really want to build great stuff that tens of millions of people are going to see. The challenges for this year are significant, but so is the opportunity. In fact, by this time next year, this individual will be leading a team of 15-20 folk building some of the most widely used tools in the blogging world.

The Good
It seems to me like b5media is well-positioned, growing, and in a young market where there is still a fair amount of room for growth.  It looks like the role is relatively senior, and you might be able to participate directly in the growth and definition of an interesting local technology company.  The location’s enjoyable, if getting there isn’t troublesome.

The postings have a lively, friendly feel; seems, at a distance, like it could be a fun place to work.

The Bad
There’s not really enough information in the postings to assess what technology one might be directing.  While they talk about “15-20 folk building some of the most widely-used tools in the blogging world”, their staff list doesn’t seem to show 15-20 “technology” people and if WordPress powers the back-end, it’s not clear what you’ll be building.

There’s not a lot of definition on the role and process, which may just be an indication of their size, and the fact that roles and processes don’t need much clarity, that it’s just a focus on getting the work done (although the role presumably has some responsibilities with regard to taking ownership of some aspects of getting the work done).

Ultimately, that lack of information continues across the board.  What’s the compensation?  What’s the work — what exactly will you be directing?

Well, it’s a LAMP stack and WordPress.  Not everyone’s into LAMP.  Some of colleagues past and present dismiss PHP, and I’ve gotta say, it’s not my favorite language, but then again, it does power many of the web’s biggest properties, so there’s obviously something there.

Their location‘s good and bad; Spadina and Queen is a fine place to hang around, get lunch, have some fun.  Depending on where you live, though it’s an awkward place to commute to.  The Spadina car and Queen car are both sluggish during rush hour, and it’s just far enough from the subway line to make walking a healthy, yet time-consuming exercise on a twice-daily basis.  It’s not incredibly far from the highways, but it’s far enough and on a slow-enough thoroughfare that getting from the Gardiner to Queen/Spadina is often irritatingly slow.

In Summary
It’s hard to say.  Could be a senior position at a rapidly-growing local technology company doing exciting things in a good location, or it could be you and a couple guys trying to keep a lot of wordpress instances happy, writing a few plugins, and wishing the Spadina car weren’t so packed.  At this point, the postings are more style than substance, and while it’s a good style, you’ll obviously have to spend some time talking to them to find out what it is that they’re really looking for, and whether or not that’s you.


One Response to b5media: Director of Technology

  1. […] believe they’re located near Queen and Spadina, right next to b5media.  As I said for b5: Their location’s good and bad; Spadina and Queen is a fine place to hang […]

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