Organic: Director of Project Engineering / Technical Architect

Organic is looking for a Director of Project Engineering (or Technical Architect):

The Director, Project Engineering (Technical Architect) (title depends on candidate experience level) is responsible for all client service engineering efforts within the regional office including the management of solution architectures, data architectures, development and coding efforts, and quality assurance.

The Director, Project Engineering (Technical Architect) is responsible for consistently delivering technical excellence and efficiency on all projects as well as, assisting with the development of new business and on-going client relationships. The Director will manage a regional team of discipline-specific team leaders and developers, and is ultimately responsible for the on-time, on-budget delivery of the engineering aspects of all projects. The Director is responsible for all hiring, performance management resource utilization, and managing technical aspects of client/project profitability.

The Good
Organic’s an agency with a long history and some good technology background going back into the origins of Apache.  They have some good clients, which could mean interesting work.  This seems to be a relatively senior role.  There might be an opportunity to have a real impact here.

The Bad
The fact that the one role has two potential titles based on experience seems a little odd to me.  Much of what they’re asking for is not the role of a technical architect, as far as I’m concerned.  I’m not sure if I understand the mix they’re looking for, and it worries me that they may not know, or are willing to make do, but I’d need a better explanation to truly argue the point.

There’s lots of areas where more information would be useful.  The role seems moderately well-defined, but what about the work?  What kind of work does Organic do these days?  How big are the teams involved?  What technologies do they use?  What’s the compensation?

This role is senior enough that it may not have much hands-on actively-involved-in-building-software time.  That’s not explicit in the posting, but it seems like a significant possibility given what they do want the applicant to be doing with his or her time.  That kind of role is not for everyone.  In particular, it can be difficult doing a good job of the architecture side of the role if you can’t stay involved, so this is may be a delicate balancing act.

The agency environment isn’t for everyone.  Organic’s larger than most of the agencies I worked with, so perhaps the story’s a little different there, but agency work tends to have a certain feel, and a lot of it can be very marketing-oriented, so if you’re trying to save the world or something, this might not be your best chance.

The location is just far enough west that it might give some people pause, if they’re coming from the east or from the north. It’s a nice area, and it’s not truly off the beaten path.

In Summary
A senior management role in a well-known agency for someone with a background that spans most of the technology side.  Interesting if you’ve got a good technology background but don’t feel like you have to be hands-on.


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