Mindblossom: Sr. Solution Architect

Mindblossom is looking for a Senior Solution Architect (monster, craigslist):

We are looking for an experienced architect who can provide leadership and innovation for our technology team. You will work with the clients to design interactive web applications that meet their needs and budgets. You will be responsible for producing estimates, specifications and timelines for handoff to the production team. You will also be involved in the ongoing development of our strategic products. The ideal candidate understands the balance between good technology decisions and good business decisions. You will work closely with a team of extremely talented developers, designers and information architects. You will have the opportunity learn and work with new and emerging technologies. You will also have the opportunity to work with big brands and produce applications that will be used and seen by millions of people.

You will work with a structured management team who is focused on retaining and developing talent. We strive to be as agile as possible in the delivery of our work and are constantly looking for ways to make our development process lighter and more efficient.  This role reports directly to the VP of Technology.

Most of our applications are developed using Groovy/Grails, Flex and Flash (Action Script 3). From time to time we work with PHP, J2EE and SPRING.

We work using Ubuntu, Mac OSX and Windows. We prefer MySQL unless specified by our clients.

The Good
First and foremost, this seems (at least from the outside) like a company with a relatively good grasp of technology.  They’re using a decent technology stack, particularly for the kinds of work that I think they’re doing.  It seems like a reasonably senior role.

We talked about Mindblossom before, when we posted a Junior Developer position; I wasn’t sure if Junior Developers were out there reading Toronto Tech Jobs, but the posting attracted enough attention that I didn’t regret the posting, and this seems like a much more senior position.  the VP of Technology seems, from limited interactions that I’ve had with him, to be a reasonable guy.  It’s hard to read too much into a willingness to discover and make use of a resource like Toronto Tech Jobs, but it seems like that says something about a company. 

The pay seems reasonable without being exceptional; it’s hard to judge the quality of the  benefits, but that’s pretty normal at the “job posting” level.  The fact that they have benefits and bonuses is a good start.

The Bad
There isn’t much here that I dislike, really.  Most of the things you might consider bad will probably fall under the missing or YMMV categories.

What’s Missing
I’d like to understand the role more — it sounds like your primary mission will be something like project planning: setting scope, estimating, making timelines.  But there’s also some commentary in there about “development of our strategic products”, which is mysterious and possibly interesting.  So, what does a ‘Solution Architect’ do at Mindblossom?

It would be nice to understand the team structure in which you’d be working; who else will you be working with, what are the size and composition of those teams, and how does a Solution Architect work with those teams at Mindblossom?  In that vein, understanding the way that Mindblossom gets things done (aka Process) would be helpful.

Although the posting mentions PHP “from time to time”, it’d be nice to understand what the likely mix of work is in something quantifiable, like percentages.  I’m not sure that’s something that can sensibly be folded into the posting, but it’s something you could talk to Mindblossom about.  It would also be interesting to get a summary of the kind of work they do. 

Your mileage may vary about the kind of work they’re doing.  If it’s following the agency model, it may be mostly be small, lightweight applications delivered quickly and rarely revisited.   Sometimes that’s a fairly repetitive-feeling role to be in.  And, despite the technology stack that they intend to use, in an agency environment, you don’t always get to control the technology stack, so you should be prepared to work with other technologies when necessary.   Then again, there are some advantages to getting variety, getting to do greenfield work a lot, and learn from your past projects to make different decisions — it can be a good learning environment in that respect.

In Summary
If you’re interested in a ‘Solution Architect’ role in an agency environment on the Grails stack, this could be an interesting opportunity.


One Response to Mindblossom: Sr. Solution Architect

  1. […] It looks like Mindblossom is still trying to find a Solution Architect, as previously discussed.  I still get the sense that if the work appeals to you, this could be a good […]

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