Unspecified: Vice President, Engineering

ROSS is helping an unspecified company look for a Vice President, Engineering:

Reporting directly to the CEO, and serving as a key member of the Senior Executive Team, the Vice President Engineering will drive the strategy and vision of our client’s product development in alignment with our client’s overall goals.​  The successful candidate will have solid experience in working with young technology companies, and in building process oriented structure, which facilitates the delivery of products.

Working closely with the senior management team, the successful individual will direct the growth and development of the product in alignment with the strategic direction of the Company.​  The focus of this role will be on evolving their technology to meet current and future requirements while implementing strong processes and disciplines within the Engineering team.

The company sounds suspiciously like Bluecat Networks.  Frankly, if it’s not Bluecat, then someone’s cribbed from a Bluecat posting somewhere, as it’s very much couched in the same language.

The Good
It’s a senior role at what seems to be a private company (so I can’t really tell you much about their finances).  There are also few opportunities to get involved in lower-level development in Toronto, so what they’re doing might be appealing to some of you.  They claim to be looking for someone with experience in Agile.

The Bad
Many of you won’t have the right mix of experience to qualify for the position: Software Development, networking and low-level development, hardware, and tech management.  Then again, if you do have the experience, you probably won’t find a lot of people competing with you who do.  It also sounds like the engineering department is a bit of a mess, given the call-to-action:

This role is a challenge! You’ll be walking into an environment that needs a good clean-up; this isn’t for the faint at heart or someone just looking for maintenance!! Our client needs someone to take their Engineering Department to the next level.

What’s Missing?
Is this really bluecat?  Why are they hiring a VP during a downturn?  What’s their financial position like?  What’s the compensation like for this role?  Where do you fit in the overall organizational structure?  What’s the size and composition of the engineering team?

The posting seems to be pretty up-front that this is a challenging role in an environment that needs significant change, rather than simply to manage the status quo.  Not everyone is looking for that kind of challenge, and you’d want to be sure that the company really has the appetite for this kind of change.

Assuming it’s Bluecat, they’re at Yonge/401, they’re a little far north for someone coming from the east or west, or living in the core, but they’re not bad if you’re up in mid-town, uptown, or highway commuting.  They’d be awful for someone who’s taking the GO train.

In Summary
If you’ve got experience in tech management as well as Java enterprise development and low-level, networking and hardware, then you’re probably in a fairly small set of people who’s well-suited for the job, and you may want to drop a line to ROSS to get put in touch with Bluecat.


3 Responses to Unspecified: Vice President, Engineering

  1. Excellent use of the word ‘couched’.


  2. Ted Nugent says:

    The posting for this job also appears on the XPToronto newsgroup but through a different recruiter. The text is identical to Bluecat’s website. The other piece of missing information is they were filling this role in May 2007. It looks like the last VP Engineering didn’t get very far in the role. My concern would be that they are dumping a bunch of historical drama onto the incoming VP without taking a hard look internally at what caused the problems in the first place.

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