Guidewire: Product Developer

Guidewire is looking for what they call a Product Developer:

We are Guidewire Software, and we’re perhaps the best company to work for that you’ve never heard of. Guidewire delivers proven, modern software to run mission-critical insurance operations, including policy administration, claims, and billing. Guidewire has over fifty customers in six countries on four continents, including some of the largest insurance companies in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Russia. This is a lucrative and underserved market, and we have grown rapidly through a combination of quality products, excellent service, innovative technology, and word-of-mouth reputation.

The applications we build are large and extraordinarily complex, and support the needs of customers across the diverse property and casualty insurance market including personal lines (such as auto insurance), commercial lines (such as those that support small and large businesses), and workers* compensation. We are looking for thoughtful, creative, and skilled developers who would enjoy working with an impressive set of peers to extend our applications to support those business needs. We particularly value clear, logical thinking, good communication skills, a focus on quality, and the ability to work well in a team.

You will be a founding member of a new Product Extension Development Center whose sole purpose will be to extend our core applications to accelerate the development of critical new product functionality that the market craves. You will leverage your Java skills to understand the base product architecture and then design and build critical new business functionality using our product configuration tools, our internal scripting language, and a test-driven, agile software process. You will also develop integration adaptors and mechanisms that incorporate and promote best practices in integrating our products with external applications.

The Good
It’s an unusual role, not a strictly development position, from the sounds of things, more like a consultant on the implementation of guidewire, and implementation, often through configuration and well-known extension mechanisms.  I’m guessing it would be at least partially client-facing, although that’s a guess.

It feels like the wrong title to me, but I haven’t yet come up with a better one.  Some companies would call this a Sales Engineer although it’s not really a sales job.  Some would call it a solution architect role, but that’s not really it either.  Implementation Consultant, maybe?

Also, Guidewire seems to have a good reputation in the field — awards, and so forth.  That’s a good position to be in with the downturn, I would think.

They also project the vibe of a company that offers a good environment:

Although insurance software may sound boring, it’s not. Well, mostly! Sure, it’s serious work (and we charge serious money, too), but we use cutting edge processes and technologies to deliver products that our customers love. Our development process is sustainable, family-friendly, and fundamentally humane, and we pride ourselves on a calm, systematic, and rational approach to our business. We have a work environment that encourages individual initiative, experiments with new ideas for continuous improvement, and lets great people do great work by minimizing the hassles of hierarchy and bureaucracy.

The Bad
I don’t know how to evaluate the likely compensation for a role like this.  It might be less well-paid than a development position.

What’s Missing?
What’s the compensation like?  Where will you be working, since I don’t see a Toronto office?  How much travel will be required?  It doesn’t sound like they’re looking for much travel, but it seems like the kind of role where travel might be a factor.  Will you be the only permanent Guidewire employee in Toronto, or will there be others right from the start?  Will this ‘development center’ be growing, and does that bring with it an opportunity for career advancement?

Your mileage may vary when it comes to this kind of role — it’s a technical role, but not a development one.  Some people are going to find this inherently less interesting than a core product-development position.  Then again, some people might find this refreshing.

The Location
The location’s unknown.  I don’t see a Toronto office listed in their offices.

In Summary
An implementation consultant role for a big insurance software provider who seems to be establishing their foothold in Toronto.


One Response to Guidewire: Product Developer

  1. WhatRecession? says:

    Spoke with guidewire and it looks like your suspicions were more or less correct.
    Not a pure developer job, lots of configuration to be done using their internal scripting language. Will deal with clients, but not much travel involved. Other thing is the are currently looking for office space, but chances are it will be in the westend, possibly near the airport.

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