Autodesk: Java Architect – Enterprise Cloud

June 1, 2011

Autodesk is looking for a Java Architect – Enterprise Cloud Software:

We are currently looking to hire software development rock stars to help us move the processes of our design customers to the cloud.

 Will design, architect and implement an enterprise grade cloud application
– Development of multiple web-based applications
– Active member of a highly skilled and motivated agile development team
– Work closely with product design and product management to collaboratively define and build elegant user interfaces
– Collaborate with other developers and colleagues to validate your designs
– Drive adoption of standards and common UI components across multiple teams

If you don’t have enough experience to position yourself as an architect, you could try for their Sr. Java Developer or Java Developer positions, also for their Enterprise Cloud.

The Good
Autodesk is an established player with a big client base. If you build something good for them, it will probably get used by lots of people. It sounds like a reasonably senior position. They’re willing to make lip service to agile at least — although there’s no detail on that point.  Cloud technologies can be interesting, although they don’t talk much about what Cloud means to them.

They certainly believe their compensation package is a good one:

Autodesk provides one of the most exceptional compensation and benefit packages, including stock options and employee stock purchase plan for all regular employees, RRSP matching program, generous vacation policy, ongoing employee training and development, flexible work hours and more!

The Bad
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I find the ‘elite’ metaphors for technology positions to be annoying. They’re not looking for a rock star, they’re looking a Java architect. If you’re looking for a really great one, make that clear, and make it clear that you’re willing to pay accordingly, otherwise you’re just “fluffing.”

What’s Missing
More detail on almost all fronts. Where’s the Autodesk Office? What does Autodesk pay a Java Architect, and what’s the net effect of all their compensation programs? What does cloud mean to them — AWS? Rackspace Cloud? Or just “a client-server system we can sell to our clients as ‘the cloud'”? What’s the software they’re trying to build? What does agile mean to them? Why do they want both GWT and Struts/Tiles?

The Location
Although Autodesk doesn’t mention the location, their primary Toronto office seems to be near King and Sherbourne. It’s not a terrible area, moderately central, walkable (although far) from Union Station, accessible via the King Streetcar and not terrible to get to via the highway. If you’re in the Beach or Leslieville (hi!), it’s probably a pretty great location, but if you’re north or west, it’s probably just ok. There are good shops and restaurants around the St. Lawrence Market, and over to Yonge, although it’s not as close to the shopping core as many central offices.

In Summary
If ‘Java Architect’ sounds like something you’d want to be, then a Java Architect for Autodesk’s Cloud is probably appealing. And if you’re not sure that you can pull off Architect, it sounds like they’re hiring for the rest of the team too.


Unspecified: Software Architect, Java

February 12, 2009

An unspecified startup is looking for a Software Architect (Java):

We are a software start-up based in downtown Toronto looking to build our core team as part of a new venture we are getting ready to launch in the fall of 2009. The company is targeting one of the most exciting online market opportunities available today. We’ve got our plan developed and now it’s time to start building out a world-class technology team. 

If you have a strong background in Web 2.0 in a Java environment, passion for using cutting edge technology and solving interesting customer problems AND improving people’s lives, our little company is the right place for you. We provide a positive and supportive work environment, interesting and challenging work and a ringside seat to witness and contribute to the explosive growth of online media in the 21st century. Our team is passionate about their work and our vision to secure an enviable position of what is today a $100Billion industry. If this sounds like you, then please read on. 

We are looking for an Application Architect with a passion for technology coupled with great communication skills. We are seeking a hard-working, adaptable problem solver, who loves to solve technical challenges and feels comfortable working directly with marketing, product, creative and other teams. This is a fast-paced, open environment where innovation and participation is encouraged through blogging, custom tool development, hack-day events and other out-of-the-box techniques. 

As the “Application Architect” must be highly analytical and have exceptional hands-on technical skills in Java. You must possess the skills needed for successful technical leadership and motivation of high performance team of developers, including: open source committers, framework architects and expert software engineers. 

The Good
It’s an early stage to get involved with a startup, and if they do in fact have a good idea in a lucrative market (big if, of course), then it could be an excellent time to get involved.  The way the posting is written implies people who have at least a reasonable understanding of technology and development and approach, which are all good signs.  They also seem flexible about the work arrangement (contract, full-time, telecommute).  The technology stack seems like a reasonable one.

The Bad
It’s an early stage startup.  That could mean long hours and limited pay, not uncommon for a startup environment where they’re banking on the startup success being valuable to all of the participants.  Then again, they seem open to the idea of contract work, which might imply at least reasonable pay.

What’s Missing?
What’s the startup?  What do they do?  What’s their big idea, and  how are they going to get a toe-hold in a $100B industry?  How did they get as far as a plan without having an architect-type-guy in mind?  What are their expectations in terms of compensation — salary, equity, etc for contract or otherwise?  Who’s already on board the startup?  How are they funding this effort, and how long will that funding last?

Not everyone is sold on working for a startup.  It’s a very different vibe from a large or even small-to-medium established company.  There’s usually a lot to do and not very many people to do it, which means wearing a lot of hats, rolling up your sleeves and typically working hard.   

The Location
Well Yonge and College isn’t terribly specific, but it’s not a bad little area.  There’s a food court and grocery store in college park, some decent restaurants on Yonge and over on Church, as well as nestled in the side streets.   It’s pretty accessible by subway.  On the other hand, if you’re driving in or you’re taking the GO train, this might not be your first choice, as it’s a bit of a walk from Union and somewhat painful to reach by city streets.

In Summary
If you’ve got a strong background in Java, architectural experience, and some willingness to either join a startup or do some contract work for one, this could be an interesting opportunity.  You’d need to know more to get really interested, but what’s there seems solid.

Stochastic Systems: Sr. Developer / Architect

January 26, 2009

A company supposedly named stochastic systems has a posting up on workopolis looking for a Senior Developer / Architect:

Stochastic Systems is a young and highly capitalized startup company that is focused on building and delivering competitive, leading edge, order execution software services to brokerage firms in Canada and overseas. Stochastic has several Java/.NET development openings in both Toronto and Vancouver.

The job description is spartan, but what’s there is relatively sane.  What I don’t understand is why I haven’t been able to find a web presence for Stochastic Systems, which makes me wonder if there’s a real company on the other side of this posting (although most fake postings don’t bother to invent a fake company name, so I’m open to the vague possibility that Stochastic Systems just hasn’t bothered to put up a web page, or that it’s difficult to find).

Unspecified: Lead Solution Architect

January 9, 2009

Procom is helping an unspecified company look for a Lead Solution Architect:

Our client is looking for a Lead Solution Architect who will take responsibility for understanding the technology environment of a leading data warehouse. The ideal candidate will have the ability to 1) assess the present technology environment, 2) design a new environment, and 3) develop the plan to get from the “as-is” state, to the “to-be” state.

There’s really not enough here for a full analysis, as it’s a short and detail-free teaser posting by a recruiter.  On the other hand, the posted rate is $100/hr, so if you’ve got experience with datawarehouse technologies, SAS,  and financial institutions, this might be worth further investigation.

Foresters: IT Architect, Applications

January 5, 2009

Foresters is looking for an IT Architect, Applications:


Foresters is at an important juncture in its history.  Product and membership growth requires substantial changes in the scope, flexibility, robustness and leadership capabilities of its IT services.  In a progressively outsourced environment, a new service delivery model has been designed, and is in the process of being executed.  This requires the addition of talent in new roles, three of which are IT Architects.”


Generally, the role of the IT Architect is responsible for envisioning and designing the technology environment required to meet the organization’s business objectives and therefore realize its strategic vision.


While grounded in the present, the role of the IT Architect is essentially future facing – ensuring that the technology environment has the necessary capability, capacity and flexibility to fulfill the current and future requirements of the business.  In order to achieve this, the IT Architect must be able to function skillfully in both the business world and the technical world and move back and forth between these two domains with ease.  By building a comprehensive enterprise architecture, and by demonstrating the ability to devise technology solutions that meet or exceed the needs of the business, the IT Architect provides the foundation to focus on building and running the business.


If this role doesn’t sound like you, you could try the IT Architect, Data or the IT Architect, Infrastructure they mention but that doesn’t yet seem to be posted, at least not on Workopolis.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior role in a relatively well-known organization.  
If Foresters is indeed at a critical juncture, then this could be a great time to get involved.  And, since work is only part of your life, the fact that they invest time and money into causes might be of some interest to some of you.

The Bad
Although Foresters is technically insurance-focused rather than, say, investment banking, it’s not a fabulous time to be in insurance either, from what I understand.  That said, they have a 1.4B surplus, which presumably means they can afford to weather some bad times.

What’s Missing?
Where’s the location, the corporate headquarters or somewhere else?  What’s the compensation like for an IT Architect at Foresters?  What does “progressively outsourced” mean for Foresters?  How many applications does Foresters build and maintain?  What are the challenges facing the current architecture, and what kind of goals do they have for the forward-looking architecture?  What is the other architectural role not yet posted, and how will the three of you work together?  What’s the working relationship likely to be with the implementation team(s)?  What is the size, composition and number of the implementation teams?  What would the organizational structure look like in IT management, and how do you fit into that?  Why is this time so critical for Foresters? 

Your Mileage May Vary
Your mileage may vary when it comes to working for a ‘progressively outsourced’ organization that uses phrases like, “technical architecture compliance.”  You’d have to talk to them to understand in greater detail what this means for them.

Although they don’t mention a location, the corporate headquarters seems to be on Don Mills, south of Eglinton, right around the Science Centre.  That location’s not terribly well-serviced by transit.  It’s pretty convenient by car, either by city streets if you’re in the east/northeast or by the highway if the DVP is more your speed.  It’s not a fabulous location for other reasons, although there are a fair number of random shops and restaurants around, particularly if you’re likely to have a car with you.  Let’s just say that I doubt you’d be picking this for the location.

And finally, your mileage may vary when it comes to a fraternal benefit society, which has reasonably laudable goals but comes with the trappings of lodges and other such oddities that might not be to everyone’s taste.

In Summary
Basically, this sounds like a “love it or hate it” posting for many — which is great, because it means that you can read it and probably get a good sense of where you fall without having to waste everyones time with a phone screen and interview before getting to that point.  If you’d like to be one of three architects helping to shape the future of progressively outsourced IT at relatively well-known fraternal benefit society focused on insurance, then get to it.

Unspecified: Technical Architect

December 8, 2008

TAL is helping an unspecified company look for a Technical Architect:

• Key player in translating business requirements into dynamic, proven J2EE based solutions.
• Lead high level architecture design inline with current and future business demand.
• Drive the creation of new product design requirements and technical specifications.
• Participate in the construction and coding of key modules, infrastructure and proofs of concept.
• Act as a technical adviser in support of key sales opportunities and professional services engagements.
• Communicate architectural concepts via mentoring, technical presentations and white papers. 
• Drive tool selection and technologies for development.
• Approve all core product designs.
• Lead application migration to new platforms, databases and technologies.

The Good
Sounds like a pretty senior role in an organization;  keeping an eye on the present and future of the software development arm while managing reports and contractors.  It’s also not stuffed with heavy process terms that might imply it’s an organization where you’re going to spend most of your time marking off checklists and following the eighty-two step process to repeatable software nirvana.  It also sounds like you’d be at least partially hands-on, which in my opinion is imperative for the success of the software team, even though it’s not how all companies view architecture.

The Bad
It’s a recruiter posting with only minimal information, so it’s possible that this is in fact an organization with a heavy-weight process that was just clipped out of the posting as it was sanitized.  The reference to ‘subcontrators’ is hard to read much into, but  you’d want to understand what they’re using subcontractors for.

What’s Missing
A ton, as is usual for a recruiter-based posting.  What’s the company?  What do they do?  What software do the build?  What technologies do they use to do so?  What’s the number, size and composition of the teams you’d be working with, and how’s the development organization structured?  In essence, this is just enough to get you interested, but you’ll need to learn a ton more by talking to the recruiter about the position.

Your mileage might vary when it comes to being hands-on at times, but I think the best architects will actually be pleased with this requirement. 

In Summary
If you’re an architect in the Java world with the interest and ability in doing some hands-on work as well as the high-level architectural work, this might be worth further inquiry.

Follow-Up: Mindblossom, Architect

December 6, 2008

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 opportunity.