Qualcomm: WebKit Rendering Lead

January 8, 2010

Qualcomm is looking for a WebKit Rendering Lead:

Our Web Technologies team is looking for candidates who have a passion for enhancing the web experience with rich multimedia and graphics. Extend your experience in audio, video, imaging, and graphics technologies as you accelerate the web with HTML5, Javascript, browser plugins (Flash) and CSS. We are preferably looking for ‘webkit committer’ or ‘webkit reviewer’ who can take a lead role optimizing WebKit eye candy.

As a member of the Web Technologies team you will be involved in creating the next generation mobile web experience by leading an engineering team to design and optimize the WebKit rendering engine for power and performance. Build open web standards (W3C) into the Webkit engine using open multimedia and graphics standards such as Khronos OpenMax IL, OpenVG, and OpenGL ES. Realize your innovations by collaboratively integrating the solution with product, systems and integration teams

The Good
WebKit has been a leading browser engine for some time now — it’s the engine at the core of Chrome, Safari, iPhone and Android.  HTML is increasingly moving into supporting more rich experiences, and it sounds like you’d be working on the leading edge of that.  If you’re already a committer or reviewer, it sounds like you’d have a big leg up, and this would be a chance to get paid to do something you might currently be doing as hobby.  This is also the kind of work that is pretty difficult to find in Toronto, in my experience.

The Bad
Although a job doing WebKit work is pretty  exciting, if that’s your goal, you might prefer doing Android/WebKit in Waterloo, Safari/iPhone WebKit in Cupertino, or Chrome/WebKit in Mountain View(?).  While you’ll be working on a leading browser engine and a leading area of that browser engine, you won’t be working for one of the most exciting companies in that area.  Qualcomm’s interest in this is probably LiMo, although you’d have to talk to them to get a better sense of what they’re doing and why.  Still, that isn’t a massive downside.

What’s Missing?
Almost everything other than the work.  What does Qualcomm get out of WebKit dev, is this to power LiMo, or for some other reason?  What’s the compensation like?  Who would you be working with at Qualcomm, on what team, in what division, and how many of the other people are in Toronto?  Where’s this office located?

Your mileage might vary when it comes to the location, or to some of the specifics that Qualcomm has thoughtfully left out of the posting, but if this is the kind of work you want to do, you’ll probably be talking to Qualcomm anyway.

The Location
It looks to be at Qualcomm’s office up by Buttonville Airport / Markham / 404 & Hwy 7.  This is a common tech area, but it’s definitely “out of the way” for people who aren’t already up north of the city, or highway-commuting from the east end.

In Summary
There are probably two categories of people who would read this posting.  Those who have the interest and experience to find this a really interesting opportunity and those who don’t.  In the former case, you’re probably going to want to lwarn more no matter what I say. In the latter case, you might find the posting interesting, but you probably can’t get the job even if you wanted it, so it’s only interesting in passing, and you’ve already moved on.


Comverse: Director – Development

March 11, 2009

Comverse is looking for a Director – Development:

Responsible for the development of products and applications including design and implementation guidance for web based products.​ Provides prototypes of key functional implementations and oversees and provides leadership for all technical approaches.​ Provides technical leadership and mentoring to the Front End development team on technical implementations including web server and portal based multi-tier applications.

  • Work closely with the Product Architecture and the FE Design team to define technical architecture.
  • Responsible for design, development, and testing of applications and products
  • Provide decision making for software engineering and development, sensitive to the constraints and needs of the business.
  • Monitor technology trends such as emerging standards for new technology opportunities
  • Work within software engineering plans/​schedules, providing technical designs and guidance.
  • Ensure adherence to technical architecture standards and practices to ensure reproducible development and high quality.
  • Engage in hands-on, in-depth analysis, review, design and implementation of applications
  • Provide employee coaching and mentoring.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior position at a telecom company with a 1B market capitalization.

The Bad
Ultimately, the fact that Comverse is down very significantly in stock price year over year is a bit of a concern.  The markets haven’t been kind to anyone, but Comverse looks harder hit than many.  The financial results restatement may have had something to do with that, based on a quick scan.  You might want to do a more detailed probe into their financial health and ask some probing questions of your potential employer.

They’re looking for someone with good Java and C++ experience; this is a fairly rare combination these days, although certainly there are some of you out there with both.  That said, given that it’s a director-level position, they’re probably looking for someone with enough experience to lead well, rather than someone they expect will be writing C++ and Java code.  And, far as I’ve seen, Java ‘portal’ technology is a bit of a dead end, so I’m surprised it still comes up.

What’s Missing?
Is this position located at University and Dundas, which is the only location I’ve found for Comverse in Toronto?  What’s the technology mix like?  What are the sizes and composition of the teams that you’d be directing, and what products and solutions does Comverse build in Toronto?

Although I’d say that most senior tech positions require decent negotiation skills, the fact that this opportunity calls it out so directly implies that you might have a struggle ahead in terms of conflicting priorities.  I’ve worked in environments where the biggest challenges were getting a set of product priorities in place, and it can really distract from the effort of building the product.  Your mileage may vary as to whether or not this is something you want to take on.

The Location
Comverse seems to be located at University and Dundas, which isn’t a bad little neighbourhood.  There are a pile of Chinese restaurants to the west, a fair number of restaurants on both University and Dundas, and it’s not far to Queen.  There’s not a ton of shopping right there, but the Eaton Centre’s not far, and likewise Queen street.  The subway’s right there, although it’s a bit of a walk from Union if you’re taking the Go, and it’s not a great area for parking.

In Summary
If you’re interested in being a director of development and you’ve got a background in telecom, this might be the opportunity for you.

Unspecified: Eclipse Tooling Developer

October 6, 2008

Brainhunter is helping an unspecified company look for an Eclipse Tooling Developer to help them work on the C Development Tools:

  • Use C & C++
  • Use Eclipse Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Test Eclipse Implementation
The primary skill sought is Eclipse Tooling development creating Eclipse plug-in. Usage of Eclipse for application development is not sufficient. 

The successful candidate will be working on a team enhancing the open source C/C++ Development Tools project in areas of interest to IBM products and technologies. 

The Good
Working on Eclipse and the CDT is a pretty niche area, so if that’s something that interests you, there aren’t a lot of options.  Basically, the interest here is the technology.  There may be other ‘good’ points about the job, but they’re not visible from this information-sparse posting.

The Bad
There’s really not enough information here to do much more than trigger interest in possibly working on the CDT:

  • Who would you be working for?  
  • What would you be working on extending the CDT to do, and what does that have to do with Servlets?
  • Where would you be working?  
  • What kind of compensation would there be?  
  • Would you be on a team, or by yourself? 
  • etc.


Not everyone has both the Java and the C chops (or interest) required to work on the CDT.   Your mileage may also vary when it comes to this kind of low-info recruiter posting.

In Summary
If you’re interested in doing Eclipse extensions and/or working on the CDT, there aren’t that many chances to do so, so it’s worth trying to find out more.