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.


Autodesk: Lead Developer, Character Animation

August 13, 2008

Autodesk is looking for a Lead Developer, Character Animation:

  • Lead the design of new animation features for future releases of Maya. This includes working closely with Product Designers to define the desired behavior, and with other developers to produce reliable estimates of the effort required to implement each feature.
  • Interact with customers as needed to understand their needs and communicate the animation direction & vision.
  • Primarily responsible for developing high quality, stable code for use in products and solutions for customers.
  • The Good
    Autodesk is a well-known company and Maya is a well-known and frequently-used tool, so this is an opportunity to work on visible software that will be used.  Maybe not by your grandma or your friends, depending on who your friends are, but by serious companies looking to do animation for films and video games.  Autodesk makes a point of calling out “Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies for 2007” and “Baseline Magazine’s Fastest Growing Software Companies” awards, but they seem to have a reputation of being a reasonable place to work, if possibly lacking in innovation.

    The Bad
    Autodesk is not a small company, with 7000 employees, so you may end up being a cog in a big machine.  And they’re either off their game or hit by the economy, being down 30% since the beginning of the year.  They also don’t say much about the compensation or the process, let alone the location.  The role and technology could possibly use further definition as well.

    Not everyone wants to develop in C or work for a company of Autodesk’s size.  The location seems to be over by George Brown at King/Jarvis, which won’t be ideal for many although it’s not too far off the subway line.

    In Summary
    If you’re the sort of person who wants to develop animation tools in C, there aren’t many bigger games in town, so you might want to hop to it.

    Autodesk: Software Development Manager, Industrial Design

    June 10, 2008

    Autodesk is looking for a Development Manager: Industrial Design to lead “a top-notch, global engineering team engaged in the development of next generation software solutions for Industrial Design” by:

    • Project Task Estimating and Scheduling.
    • Manage cross functional relationships.
    • Software Implementation.
    • Team Management and Team Building.
    • Communication.
    • Organizational Savvy.
    • Staff and Career Development.
    • Global Engineering Team.

    The Good
    Generally, Autodesk does a decent job with their postings.  The role is laid out, there’s a decent, if not detailed, sense of the work.  Autodesk itself is well-known, and so are a number of their products.  Their financials have been pretty stable, with a little movement around revenue prediction adjustments, but nothing that leads to the sense of instability.

    The Bad
    There’s basically no description of the compensation (other than ‘exceptional’) and process.

    The way ‘organizational savvy’ is described makes me consider if the role is in a politicized, charged environment.  If so, then that’s something that some candidates would see as an interesting challenge, while others might avoid.

    The location seems to be in the King and Sherbourne area, which is quiet, and moderately central, but neither exciting nor close to the subway lines.  Certainly better suited to someone who is vehicle-commuting or in the central or east end.  The nearby George Brown campus would allow for all sorts of extra-curricular learning, I guess.

    The underlying technology, which is less important for this role, I imagine, is C++.  Since Toronto’s mostly a business-programming town in Java and .NET, this may be a problem for some of you.

    The global engineering team aspect is hard to read.  Autodesk is a big company, and a bit of distributed teams is probably to be expected, but it’s possible this masks a development model that might not work well, so you’d want to inquire.  The desire to have someone with experience working with software engineers in China may play into that.  That said, Toronto has a sizeable portion of Chinese developers, so if you’ve got a Chinese background, this might be a strength you can leverage.

    In Summary
    Basically, Autodesk is a big company making recognizable products, so if the rest of the position fits, it may be worth learning a little more about the work and the compensation.

    Little Bites: Autodesk Maya Threading, Telecom Dev Mgr, Cobol/Assembly, Adult

    April 15, 2008

    It’s been too long since I’ve done C, so I can’t say whether or not Autodesk’s job to look into Threading and Performance for Maya is interesting to someone who’s well-versed in C, but it’s a well-known company, a well-known product, and a technical challenge, so I’m thinking it’s not all bad.

    VTrac is helping a telecom firm look for a Development Manager to work in the new product division, on something related to billing.  The compensation is apparently ‘very competitive’, but there’s just not enough detail to really tell if this is interesting.  If you think this might be you, talk to VTrac and get more details (and then come back and tell us).

    Ten people to recode an application … into Cobol?  And it wouldn’t hurt if they know assembly?  I’m not even sure what to say.  Good luck, guys.  Charge a lot of money for that job.  And is that better or worse than Senior IT for the adult industry?

    Autodesk: UI Research

    February 22, 2008

    Autodesk is looking for a developer for UI research with C#/C++ experience.  In addition to being a well-known company, this sounds like an opportunity to do some interesting work:

    This position is an opportunity to be a key contributor to a project that introduces new innovative user interaction techniques into Autodesk products. As part of a team of researchers and designers you will contribute to the implementation and evaluation of prototypes for strategic research projects.